Hope to find you all having a beautiful summer! My year has been full of busyness, new experiences, and lots of excitement! My sister and brother-in-law had their first child, an ADORABLE little blue eyed darling named Lukas. I’m learning being an aunt is one of the funnest jobs in the world, and I’m loving every second of it. Along with all the baby excitement, I started a new position at my job. this summer I’m learning the ropes to marketing, and it’s been such an adventure! I never imagined myself doing this job, and ENJOYING it, but I’m learning all kinds of new things about myself. It has it’s good and bad days for sure, but it’s incredible being able to meet so many different people, learn about their businesses and provide ways I can help them.
One of the most exciting things so far, however, is that in August, I will be going to Uganda! All this started during my final year of Bible college when out of, (quite honestly), obligation, I prayed “Here I am Lord, send me.” Despite the dutiful initiation, I meant it in my heart. Something happened that day, and God began placing new dreams and new passions in my heart for the people of other nations. Since then, I started working towards GOING, though I wasn’t sure where.
Doors started opening in the nation of Uganda, so that’s where I started planning. So here I am, months later, just a few short weeks away from the trip! I will be going with a group from my church to the city of Kampala. We will be joining our sister church there who will be holding a multi-campus children’s camp. We will be assisting the staff with those events, potentially teaching lessons at one of the schools, and a few other things around the community.
For a long while I struggled believing that it was necessary, or even morally correct, to use money and time in this way when I didn’t feel I had skills and abilities that were worthy of assisting another community. (Pride is funny, isn’t it?) Though realistically I know my impact in a little over two weeks will be rather insubstantial, I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to have different experiences even if the greatest impact just might happen in your own heart. I think it’s so healthy to gain a broader perspective of the world. I think humanity would be a little more empathetic and a little more beautiful if we were able to see things from another point of view, or at least empathize with another point of view. Not only that, but when God starts something, it’s bound to turn out beautiful. He’s kind of in the business of using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. So I’m going into this experience knowing that in my weakness, he is strong, and he can accomplish whatever he wants, whether that be in someone else’s life, or my own.
There’s so much I’m excited about–but one of the things I’m most thrilled for is just the opportunity to live in another culture. The world is too vast and too interesting to only view from your own little circle! During my time working towards my bachelors degree, I had the opportunity to meet so many different international students who became some of my dear friends. I think my love for new cultures, different people, and the Universal Church started within those relationships. (I think God so often uses individual relationships to create broader empathy and spark new passion and dreams within people.) So THANK YOU to all my beautiful international friends–you are beyond loved and appreciated!
Additionally, I can’t wait to see what Christianity looks like in another culture. I think oftentimes American Christians tend to view American tradition and Christianity as somewhat synonymous. Practices of other cultures can be viewed as wrong when in reality it’s just different. I always try to be sensitive to these viewpoints in myself, so this will be a great opportunity to increase my perspective in this area. I can’t wait to see what Christianity looks like in a non-western culture!
As I touched on earlier, throughout this process of recognizing new dreams and working towards them, I’ve had to battle a lot of self doubt and small thinking, but I know it’s worth it. I certainly don’t want to be someone who lives life within the small lens of a singular perspective, when the whole world is before me, existing in it’s own unique wonder. When I think of heaven, I imagine all the variety of people existing in their own individual beauty, every breath glorifying the one who creates us all… and I certainly don’t want to wait to heaven to get started meeting these people.