Jk, but really. I DIDNT KNOW THIS WOULD BE THAT HARD. I thought the hardest part would be going to Uganda, even temporarily leaving my family- a little 6 month old (at the time) nephew I have who was just starting to move around, and my pregnant (at the time) sister who just moved to Florida, and my parents who I love so much, and all my friends. Obviously, it was hard, we got the crying airport pics for proof, but God was just getting me warmed up for the things to come. Can I bless my own heart or what?
The days in Uganda are long, but the weeks are so short. Before I knew it I had a routine, a schedule, a community, and a family. Monday's after a Uniquely Woven staff meeting with Natalie and our two Ugandan staff members, Emma and Isabelle (who are the BEST) I was able to go to Doors Primary School and work at their clinic with a teacher and treat the students and hang out with the teachers. Tuesday's was Jangu Omulise (Lugandan for "Come and Bloom") aka our Bible Study in Namuwongo and dinner with the Doors team. Wednesday's was back to Doors Primary. <3 Thursday's were for home visits. Friday's were for FUN. Saturdays were also for fun or miscellaneous things and Worship night at Doors. And Sunday's were for Church at Muyenga Baptist Church up by the rock quarry. You can't tell me that doesn't seem like the best schedule ever, because it really was. Each day was full of new adventures, new stories, new boda men, and moms and teachers and missionaries and children that I get to call my friends and family now.
But that didn't take away the difficult times, and the extreme loneliness I felt at being 8,000 miles away from what felt like my entire life. I thought it would get easier, and after it got a lot harder a couple weeks in, it eventually did. I settled in to the rhythms of life in Uganda. I was able to go places by myself and if the boda man didn't know where I was talking about, I could show him, (serious high point for me because yall, I'm terrible at directions) and I made plans with friends, and Natalie and I looked up recipes and made dinner together like 5 nights a week. It was home just in time for me to go home.
There's a verse in Mark, 10:29, where Jesus says "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life."
As I was leaving Texas, this is a promise I was holding on to. As I was leaving Uganda, this is where I saw His faithfulness. I have so many brothers and sisters and mothers and children that I didn't know I had. Leaving them was the hardest thing. Not seeing them everyday is still difficult. (I did ask Jesus if I could stay forever...but here I am.)
When I got home, I was so homesick for my other home. Still am, if you can't tell. ;) During a pity party, I remember just thinking "Go to Uganda, miss my family. Come home, miss my Ugandan family. I really can't win. Until I get to heaven, I'm always going to be missing someone somewhere." And Sweet Jesus, full of grace, reminded me of what an honor and privilege that is. Family in America. Family in Africa. I really can't lose.