13 October 2011

Oh, Uganda...

James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." 

Many Christians overlook this verse. They are afraid of it. They know that it means commitment. While I do not believe that every single Christian is to work in an orphanage or move to a Third World country, I strongly believe that every Christian should "visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction..". There are over 163 million orphans in this world. 42 million of them are on the continent of Africa. About 1/3 of African orphans are orphans due to AIDS. (Yes, I said it. The word that has become taboo in Christian society. AIDS... the horrible disease that kills over 5,000 people every single day. AIDS... the disease that makes me want to vomit. The disease that crushes me to the core. I hate it.) About 2 million of these beautiful, orphaned children live in the country of Uganda. 

Uganda, the "Pearl of Africa" is a small landlocked country in central Africa. Its people speak mostly English and Swahili. I could list statistics all day, but they mean nothing to me. What is important to me is the beautiful children there that God has given me a burden for. I have known since I was eight years old that I was going to adopt at least one child from Uganda. This past year, God has proven to me over and over again that He wants me to serve Him in Uganda. I am so amazed that He, the God of the universe, wants me to serve Him! I can't wrap my brain around this idea. 

Many times, it is hard for me to stay here. It is hard to continue studying here at Crown. It is hard to stay here in America. In my heart, I want to be in Uganda. The thoughts will not leave my mind. When it is silent, I hear the songs of an African choir. When I close my eyes, I see hundreds of coffee-colored children with doe eyes staring up at me. I want to just go. I want to get my passport, quit school, pack my bags, and leave. 

But I can't. God wants me here. He wants me to finish. His perfect will for my life includes this. I love it here. I do. There is no place in this world (besides Uganda) that I would ever want to be. I love my classes (besides physical science. But I know that it will help me!!! I think. I hope. I pray.) I love my friends; they are my family. I love my family back in Texas. I don't want to leave them. I want to stay comfortable at home. I want to wake up, do dorm and room chores, go to breakfast with my best friends, take classes, go to work, go to church, go home, do homework, take a shower, sleep, and do the routine over again. It's easy. It's my life. 

But I can't. 

Right now, I'm torn between being a "normal" American teenager and being a missionary in a Third-World country. My body is here, but my heart and mind are in Uganda. I am praying for patience. Here's something that the Lord has shown me lately: If you pray for patience, God will not give you patience. He will give you a trial through which you must learn to be patient. That is what He, in His omniscience, is doing right now. He's stretching me. He's pulling on me, getting me to grow. It really hurts, but it is for my good and for His glory. 

I will, one day, be there. But for now, I am here. I am training. Every moment that I am here is preparing me for the moment I step onto the first airplane and fly off into the rising sun. And it will be worth it! 

Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my son; he also is become my salvation." 

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