April 15, 2007
Jinja, Uganda

Dear friends and family,

I can’t believe that we’re already into our tenth week here in Jinja.  Just when I’ve settled into life here and am getting comfortable with the routine, I realize that my date of departure is right around the corner.  The time is flying by!

We’ve had a busy week here with the arrival of five new volunteers and the return of two girls who’ve spent the last few weeks working with an organization up in Gulu.   Sadly, two of the current volunteers, both of whom I’ve gotten to know pretty well, will be leaving on Wednesday.  I hate to have these friends leave, but I’m looking forward to getting to know the ones who’ve just come.

We’ve had a good, normal week at the baby home.  It’s been a delightful to have adoptive parents of one of “our” babies here for the past couple of weeks.  Their court date was rescheduled for next week, so they’re just hanging out here, spending relaxing days with their son.

Many parents are going to be coming in the next few weeks.  Please pray that the adoption processes would be smooth and easy for each family.  They are so anxious to have their children, so when court dates are delayed, paperwork held up, and things seem uncertain, it can be discouraging!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about each child; their past and their futures.  It’s amazing to consider what some of these kids have gone through.  Some have come to the home because one or both of their parents are: in prison, have died of AIDS, can’t afford to feed them, or are simply unknown. 

The realization of all I’ve been given in a complete, healthy, loving, family is almost more than I can take sometimes.  Why me?  Why am I the one being showered with such an abundance of blessings! 

I also remember that to whom much is given, much is required.  If I take those blessings and just go on with my life as if I deserve them, what a foolish waste of an opportunity.  So, how would God have me to pass them on?

I received a great letter a couple of weeks ago in which I was reminded of the importance in counting the cost when committing to Christ.  When the going gets rough, we mustn’t turn away from the course.  Things don’t always go as we think they ought— thank God, and so when the shadows fall, and we find ourselves in the valley, we can’t turn against God and His plan.  Our flesh would cry out in agony at the “unfairness” of it all.  It’s easy to think that we, as Christians, shouldn’t have to suffer.  Because I have absolute faith in God’s perfection and sovereignty, I know that everything works together for his glory and honor.  Even when we’re in the desert, feeling as if we’ve been completely forgotten, there is still a path ahead that we must stick to and a road that He has set before us.  

We must fight the good fight or run the race, as instructed in Hebrews.   Fighting is never easy, fun, pretty, or relaxing—but it’s necessary.   The important thing to remember about a fight is that there is always a champion.  What would be the use in fighting if one didn’t determine to finish.  We’ve been assured of victory.  Shouldn’t that make us all the more willing to stand fast through every hardship? 

I’ve been attending a bible study down the road every Tuesday night, and this past week, we were singing a song which I’ve sung many, many times.  This time, however, a phrase hit me with such force that it literally took my breath away: “Your grace has found me just as I am, empty handed but alive in your hands.”   When I sang the words “empty handed”  I felt as if the Lord was asking me if I’d be just as willing to follow if I were stripped of everything I hold dear.  I knew He was asking me to set down entirely the security blanket of my hopes, dreams, and expectations that I have always clung to and to never look back.   I think I talked about this in an earlier letter. 

It’s hard to really face what we cling to, and then to let it go, take our eyes off of it, and turn our un-divided attention to Jesus.  It’s a life-long, constant battle, this “letting go.”   As I said to a friend, I feel like I’m on the edge, ready to fall off a cliff.  Just when I think things couldn’t get any more serious, He asks me to step a little further out.  Standing there with arms outstretched, and the wind whipping around me, is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.  When you step back and relinquish control, you’re then just along for the ride.  I’m understanding a little more, the awesome power of God in our lives when we step down and let Him use us as He desires. 

More of You means less of me…I am in awe! 

Thanks again for the honor of sharing with you.  I am constantly amazed by God’s blessings!

Love you all!
In His hands,
          

 

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