Crystal has gone to Uganda with Hearts and Hope four different times. She brings so much joy and life to the team! Enjoy her description of her experiences below.
After 4 consecutive trips to Uganda, it’s safe to say I’m addicted. I’m addicted to the overwhelmingly warm welcome that I receive from the time I walk out of the airport in Entebbe. The local staff, our bus driver Julius, the receptionist and wait staff at the hotels we visit…and of course, every person in each village…the elder, the chairman, teachers, parents and children. I don’t think I will ever receive a more loving welcome than in the hands of the Ugandan people.
My first trip was so overwhelming that I didn’t really get to appreciate the trip as a whole. But as each year passes, it’s so awesome to see the people God places in our paths during these trips …the transformation I see from our own team members brings such joy to my heart…Grown men shedding tears…germ-a-phobic’s wiping little one’s noses…it’s as if we all just lose ourselves in humbleness when we are on this trip. We become patient, even though we are hot and dirty…we become little kids again when we join in to jump rope…and some of us even became confident in our dancing skills when pressured by an entire village to join in a celebration. Uganda allows us to live outside our American box, and enjoy life again…just living in each moment.
I keep traveling to Uganda to not just see the progress of an awesome organization, but to remind myself that there can be joy when you have nothing…there can be love for complete strangers whom you may not even be able to communicate with…and there can be so much more to learn from a culture focused on a relationship with a loving God….oh, and the safari is pretty darn cool as well.
Crystal and Henry, the Hearts and Hope Project Manager and a good friend.
Julie, Beth, and Crystal on their last night in Kampala.
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.