Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday...He Loves To Delight Us!

There are times in your life whenever you know that it is God who moved big time on your be half. Times where He did things just because he wanted to delight his child. 

My team was one of those ways that God surprised me and delighted me. He could have put me with any 'ol team...but he placed me with the perfect team. And He did it in a very interesting way. Most people find their teams through church, school, or friend. Not my case. 

For many years I have been praying that God would send me on a mission trip. And because God says that you can pray for specific things...I prayed for Africa. I kept praying that God would open the door. 

Months passed...and my dad decided to look on our church website for teams. Side note: he is such an amazing Dad. Anyway, he found a team for me! I checked out their website...sounded pretty amazing! I knew some of the people that were going. Sweet. I figured that this was the door I had prayed for God to open. 

But as the first meeting for the team drew closer..something didn't feel right. I couldn't figure out what it was!! I had dreamed of going to Africa...God had opened the door...and yet something just didn't feel right. I kept thinking...what is my problem?! I didn't want to tell my parents about these feelings I was having because it had taken a lot of work for them to even think about sending me to Africa...I didn't want to put doubts in their mind! So I just kept quiet.

Then one day I woke up earlier than usual and decided to catch up on some blogs that I loved reading. Thats when I came across this post. Oh my good heavennnsssss!!! It was probably only 5:30 a.m yet I just felt like jumping up and down on my bed whenever I read this!!! Part of me was saying...this is so silly...I am already signed up with another team..and plus...I have never even commented on this blog...I mean...golly gee...its a BLOG...my parents would never agree to this. Yet the other half of me was saying...GO!!!!!! So I got in the shower and thought more about it. I just kept laughing out loud at my self thinking...Why am I even doing this to myself...I just need to get this out of my mind for good. Yet I couldn't. I began to pray and pray that God would open the door for me to GO. Please God...pleaaaase!??

I decided to email my dad about it (he was out of town at the time). I just said something like "Dad, I know this is so crazy...but just think about it". And then when my mom woke up I barely even said good morning before I practically screamed "Mom, you have just got to think about it! Please mom...just go read this post!" 

I went to school that day and it was all I could think about. I even told my dearest friend (yes, thats you, Jess!) to please pray for me about something. I didn't tell her what, partly because I knew she would think I was nuts...and partly because I didn't want to get too excited about something so crazy as this. I texted my sister and told her to pray. 

That night my dad called me and told me "email them"...whhaaaaaat? Really...did my dad just say to email some random people I met online about going to AFRICA!? 

So I did...and the rest is history. They invited me to join their team. We talked to them on the phone that weekend...and bought my plane ticket later that next week. Even as it was happening I couldn't believe it.

Some nights I would lay in bed and think to my self..."what if these people are just plain wackos that are going to kidnap me and take me to Africa!?" But I would always end up going to sleep with a smile on my face thinking...I can't believe this is happening! I felt like the luckiest girl alive.

I got intouch with some of the girls that were going via facebook*. They sounded so sweet! One night the team even invited me to be apart of their team meeting via *skype. Yes it was akward...but they were so sweet! 

When people would ask "are you going with your church?? or school??? or what?" I'd always feel so strange trying to tell them the story. Sometimes I'd just say...."its a long, crazy story."

I sometimes wondered while waiting for the trip to come...why this team? What was a matter with the other team? Why am I so stinken' elated over traveling with a team from out of state that I have never met?! This isn't like me. 

Yet, after returning home. After crying my little eyes out as I had to say goodbye to them. I knew. He did it to delight me. Plain and simple. 

They were like family in every way. And I can not stop strategizing  ways to get me up to Colorado to see them again. 

I am forever grateful to MY GOD that loves to delight us.  

Some photos...

We stayed up way after dark on the patio laughing and chatting about the day...

We'd wake up early to sit on the patio and laugh some more...
We'd do stupid things just to make us laugh again...
We worked hard...
We loved...

...and we laughed some more

...got way to excited about yummy food...
...like mirinda!!!

...got our hand dirty together.
...and so so much more. 

Today I am thankful for my God who does big things to delight his children. I am thankful for Team Uganda Go 09. 

African Hearts Concert

Today I feel like sharing with y'all about the African Hearts concert we went to! What an incredible fun experience! 

After a long day of working in the village we were invited to the boys concert. These boys who were once on the street learn to play brass instruments and then do concerts to raise money. What beautiful sounds they made. It brought chills to me thinking about all of these boys once living on the street...and now look at them! They really are miracles and have such a bright future ahead of them.

This is Abbey. He is an unseen Hero of this world...
He is the director of African Hearts. 
It is so apparent that he absolutely loves these boys. 
His love for God is incredible
I can't wait to see Abbey again! 

Waiting for the concert to start...
yes, we did get friendship rings...
and yes i do love this girl so so much and really want to see her
After much anticipation finally the boys walked out...
and did they look dapper or what? See those handsome
red outfits? Pastor Dwight's church gave them money
to buy uniforms...and this was there first night to wear them!
They were so proud! 
And did I mention...that we had fun!? So much fun. 
There was continual dancing and whooping and hollaring :)
Look at George as he breaks it down
Kenny and beautiful Sandra dancing  away!
I just thought this was cute...

Towards the end of the concert these acrobats came out and showed us what they could do! At times I had to hold my breath because some of the stunts looked so dangerous! They were fun to watch!
And as it got darker the dancing continued on! Towards the end everybody was out in the grass dancing away while it was pitch black. The boys would one at a time get in the middle of our big circle and dance or do the worm and we'd all scream, clap and jump up and down for them! It was so much fun to just not have a care in the world and enjoy a fun night with friends.

It truly was one of the most fun nights...and one that I will never forget! 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just Another Perfect Day In Africa...

warning: i am kinda going out of order here. i still have lots more to write about. but for today i just felt like writing about our second to last day in africa. i know...i should go in order. but hey, its my blog...right? and plus...i am going to make this into a book for myself one day...and then i will put the posts in order. 

p.s. again, i stole these pictures from a friend. 
You know those days that you just wish would never end?? You wish you could just freeze the moment right there. You see pictures from that day and would give anything to just jump back to that day? You know what I am talking about? Thats how our last Saturday in Africa was.

 It was kinda a "free" day. We all decided that we would spend the day in the village with the boys. We had spent the last week there almost every day...but during that time we were so so so busy building the kitchen and planting trees that we had hardly any time to just "hang" with the boys. It was kinda a bitter sweet day. This was our last day with the boys. But we enjoyed the moment and have amazing memories of that day. 

It was a beautiful Saturday. The boys were all home waiting for us when we came. We brought ice cream for them! They were all so excited. The offered us bites of their ice cream...how could you deny it when they hold out their spoon and flash their beautiful smile at you. :) We told them that it was their special day and the ice cream was for them!! 

Now I'll just let the pictures do the talking....
It was a beautiful day...
and I'd do anything to go back to that wonderful Saturday. 

We gave all the boys ties to wear to church. They were SO proud. 
Sweet Abdul with his ice cream...
 I think I have mentioned this before...but Kennie did not like to smile! So we had to do everything in our might to make him smile. :) And he eventually would. 

Abdul and Sam...
I'd do anything to jump into this picture right now. I will forever cherish this picture. I am going to frame it soon...

They gave us a special treat before we left. Jack fruit!! It was very interesting...we all decided that it tasted like a mix of grape and banana. And had a very weird after taste. hmmmm...i can't say if i liked it or not.  

I found it very emotional to ride down that dirt road that lead out of the village for the last time. And it was pouring. Which didn't help with the mood we were all in. 

Tony's Girls Home

If you have been reading this blog for a while you have heard me talk about Tony. Today I am going to share a little bit about his ministry and how they blessed us. 

Tony helps run a girls home. It is kinda of like the boys home that I have talked about...except with girls. He helps get young girls off the street, gives them a home, and shares the love of Christ with them. The girls learn how to dance, sing, and make jewelry. They then raise money by putting on performances.   

It was so evident in the way that he talked about these girls that he truly loved them as if each of him were his daughters! What an amazing example of a Godly men for these girls!
We did not work directly with the girls home but we were blessed enough to be able to go to a performance of theirs one night. And it was quite the performance!!!! They set up chairs for us and made us feel like the most honored guests. They even sang a welcoming song for us and incorporated each of our names into the song! It was very sweet. They did such a great job pronouncing all of our names and we LOVED it. In fact...through out the rest of our stay in Africa we all had that song stuck in our head. We'd be throwing bricks and singing the song "how do you do lexie how do you....lalalala" . Hahah!! It is quite a catchy song I tell ya.

Here is a video of the song :) (sorry I do seem to be a bit shaky with the camera....)Enjoy! Oh and the cute little girl in the tan plaid skirt is the one that says my name at 2:11 seconds into the song :) You have to listen for it. 

After lots of singing from them they then invited (or more like pulled us in) to dance with them!! They of course thought that it was hillareous...because white people just don't know how to shake it like them. But we had fun trying.

After some dancing Tony had each of us go into the middle and introduce our selfs...

After introductions we enjoyed some time meeting the girls. I loved talking with them...and of course...they each wanted their pictures with us. So I got about a zillion of these kind of photos. And I love each and every one. 

beautiful girls. 

This sweet girl (pictured below) especially touched my heart. Her name was Violet. She asked me many hard questions like..."Do you have a father? And a mother too?!?!" I told her that she too has a father...a heavenly father. 
More to come...later. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Back!

Not like I ever mentioned I was leaving y'all (anybody out there that reads this anyway??) but....have no fear. I am BACK. 

I don't really know what happened to me while I was gone (I mean...I do know that my sister got married during that time period...read more about it at www.karleighmei.blogspot.com :)). I was on such a good roll writing out each day. And then I started to lose it. All the days started running together and I started to get overwhelmed trying to think...what did I do on DAY 5!?! DAY 6??! So instead of writing out the rest of the day---day by day---I have decided that I will just start writing about my experiences of the last day. Because frankly...I can't remember what happened on each day. Yes, I know...I should have kept a journal. But I do remember very clearly the things that I want to journal about. So here goes...

Coming up I am going to be writing about the African Hearts boys brass band concert, Tony's girls home program that they put on for us, more photos and writings on the Sanyu, funny stories, church service...and more :) 

Ah, it felt good to get that out there. Now I feel like I can write again! Watch out....I'm baaackkk (for any of those out there still reading...anybody?)  ;)