It’s not that there weren’t amazing moments during our visits; there certainly were. We heard stories of children in unthinkable situations, we saw sickness and we saw unimaginable poverty. There was at least one moment of unthinkable heartbreak. Conversely, we experienced incredible joy, sponsors meeting kids for the first time, Grant and Betty, the wonder of Gods creation. But not a single one of those moments set itself apart for me personally. Not one of them moved me enough to put together a blog post to share.
But today it hit me, this trip isn’t about those individual moments. It isn’t about me being able to bring you to tears with stories of sorrow or joy. It is about what made every single one of those moments possible. It is about how each moment, good or bad, came to be and how God's people responded to His call.
It starts with the wonderful Hearts & Hope staff in Missouri. Their vision, leadership and commitment make this all possible. They have given us the opportunity to be part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
And there are the mission teams that go, and share love and time and occasionally money to help the people we meet. And there are of course all of you reading this, that are invested in Hearts and Hope in one way or another. Prayer warriors, sponsors, donors, family members that hold down the fort while teams are away . None of what is done in Uganda is possible without any of you.
And then there’s the group I am really grateful for. There is a team of people on the ground in Uganda that was there before I arrived and is still there now that I have left, and those people are absolute miracles. These people put their personal lives on hold for a several weeks every year to make sure we have what we need when we come and visit. They drop everything to spend day and night with us. They answer our stupid questions, probably the same ones they answer every few months when a new team comes. And I think they genuinely love it.
Nothing we experience in Uganda happens without them. Grant and Betty's story would never have unfolded without that hard work of the Hearts and Hope staff in Uganda working behind the scenes to figure out how they could meet the needs of this one special girl. I would never have had the opportunity to meet the kids my family sponsors if not for the efforts of all the staff in Uganda to first identify the children that need sponsorship but then to make sure that we are all in the same place at the same time during a visit and help me communicate who I am.
And through the sad moments it was a Hearts and Hope staff member that spent countless hours trying to help a family, going far beyond what anyone could have reasonably asked to assist the family. And when things didn’t go the way we all had hoped and prayed, it was the Hearts & Hope team that grieved with the family, not out of obligation, but because they are 100% all in for Christ and for the people they serve.
There are so many stories in Uganda, big and little, that can only be told because God's people answered His call. Your role may seem insignificant to you, but I assure you that it is not. God can and is using whatever you bring to do great things in Uganda and I am eternally grateful to have had a chance to see it and to know