Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leaning not upon my own understanding..

Just yesterday I was suppose to step off a plane into Uganda. Today my heart is both heavy and filled that I am not there. One part of me literally aches to be in Uganda, to look around and see it’s beauty. Another part of my heart is planted at home and happy and joyful to be able. 
You see if I learned anything in Uganda it is certainly that life isn’t always what we expected! We plan to get up tomorrow and go about our day but find a tire is flat, or lock our keys inside, or find there is too much traffic to move freely. We automatically question, we automatically try and gain control once again. I know I can speak for myself and say in those situations I rarely find myself taking a second to stop and trust Gods plan, but to fix my own plan. 
Thats where my heart is today. Stopping to listen to Gods plan, to wait on his timing!
That precious little boy I asked you to pray for, well, he is a fighter. He has been in the hospital since early December. Each day is a fight for him, but he stands strong and brave. What an incredible thing of a two year old, what an incredible two year old. 
You see, his parents didn’t plan on having to stop their own plans at Disney World and see Gods different plan. Andrew’s sisters didn’t think they would spend the weeks ahead without their brother and parents. But, I stand back and watch two little girls trust in God. I learn from them, I yearn to have to faith of a child and not to trust in my own plan but to allow God to take care of me just like an earthly parent takes care of his child. 
I sat in a hospital just after Christmas at night watching precious Andrew. Watching his struggles, but seeing his strength. I was reminded of the familiarity to life at Serving His Children but, also the peace of my fathers embrace. I begged for God to have mercy and to give him rest. I prayed and prayed that I would make the right decisions in the next few days. The decision to stay home a little longer and help my family and to serve in my own back door. The decision to go to Africa as planned. I didn’t want to give up my own plan and trust in the lords. I prayed and prayed. I was reminded of two proverbs...
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.” 
Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” 
I feel as if God is calling me to serve my family in America before I serve my family in Uganda. There is still a long journey that they need much help taking on. Though I admit there are times when I just want to run and jump on the next plane and never look back, I also want to stay planted right here and wait. I look into the eyes of two little girls who’s worlds have been rocked and yet they still own their joy and trust. I look hard in the tired eyes of a little boy who wants life to be back to normal and everyone to stop poking and prodding him and still see faith. What a lesson I should learn. 
For the last six months everything about me was geared to go to Africa, and God changed my heart with the reassurance that not only do I get to go later but get to love on my family here with my everything in the meantime.
So, to those of you who have prayed for me or supported my. I can’t say enough Thank You’s again! You are the reason I am able to go back at all even if the timing isn’t exact. I wish, I really wish I could come up with the words. My cup still overflows! Please continue to pray for me, and for Andrew and his family, and for Serving His Children. What blessings you truly are!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hallelujah, What a Savior

It is so hard to believe it is December and time for Christmas again!
It is much harder to believe I have been home for five months now. Some days it seems like a life time, and others is seems like a few days.

I must admit that I am a sucker for Christmas. I can't wait to get the tree up and the decorations scattered each year.

As we finished hanging the lights and other assorted christmas decorations this year  I stepped back to see the final product, and a thought crossed my mind. When is the last time I stepped back and looked at my life this way?

As I fussed with a strand of lights that just wouldn't work no many how many bulbs I replaced, I compared that to me.
How often do I throw myself into one situation when there are a thousand of other strands, so to speak, working perfectly around me? How often do I get frustrated because this one part of life is hectic and blinking when I want it to be calm like everything else?

But, when I stepped back to look at those lights and also stepped back to look at my life in the same way I saw a different picture. I saw a house that really did look festive and a life that really was overflowing with blessings and love and overwhelming amounts of grace!

Hallelujah, What a Savior!

The two brightest strands of lights in my life happen to be two opposite strands.

The strand that overwhelms my heart with joy is you. Those of you who read this blog, and take the time to read what is on my heart. Those of you who I might never meet or even know your name that pray for me. Those of you who support me financially that don't even know me, yet you have enough faith in what I am doing to give or buy items. You over fill my cup with joy and gratitude! Because of you I am able to make this trip back to Uganda! I wish I could put into words the overwhelming amount of gratefulness I feel to say that!
It seems like I was saying these exact same words just a short time ago. I didn't know if I was going to make this trip financially. But, Jehovah Jireh, my provider never fails. I put this trip in his hands and waited with my mustard seed of faith. I now have a plane ticket with my name back to Uganda for January 22nd. Again, I say my cup overflows with gratitude, awe, peace, and joy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Now, there is that other bright strand of lights that blink erratically. This strand of lights breaks my heart. This strand of lights begs for my fathers attention. I am sharing this strand with you because I know miracles can happen, I have seen them. Your prayers have been part of miracles that I have witnessed. So, I need your prayers pouring into the heavens again. I am asking you to pray for a very ill precious little boy. This little boy isn't sitting in Africa nor is he suffering from the things I often ask for prayer for on this blog. This precious little boy is my two year old cousin, Andrew. Andrew is fighting in Orlando, Florida right now after already having multiple emergency surgeries. My all too familiar prayer for a healing miracle is never unheard. What an amazing heart wrenching fact that is! Jesus hears all of our prayers. Will you please join me in lifting Andrew up to our father for healing?  We serve a God of peace and healing, I have seen it and I have felt it!

Hallelujah, What a Savior!
Hallelujah, What a Savior, that would love us enough to take a step back and see the big picture. A savior that would care about each one of us enough to make everything work together! While thinking of my life as Christmas lights might seen silly and trivial it spoke to my heart. Besides, can't you just imagine what a light show God might see if our lives really were illuminated in such a way?

Oh Hallelujah, What a merciful and loving Savior!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A small view of my life in Uganda..

I made a video with some of the footage I got during my first trip to Uganda. I have said it a million times, but, there aren't words or photos or videos that can express that trip.

I am still trying to raise funds for my return. If I don't raise them soon I will be unable to make this trip. I am still preserving and trusting in the Father. I know these are hard times for some, and I understand you are unable to help at this time. But, if you feel you want to donate to help me go back and grow deeper in love with Uganda it would be more than appreciated! There is a paypal on this blog and my webstore at:

bethanysblessings.storenvy.com

or you can donate by cash/check by sending me an email for information at bethanyt1@mac.com

Please watch this and take a glimpse into what I saw for 3 months...

A Trip Back to Uganda





Thursday, October 6, 2011

My apologies..

Wow, my apologies!

I made a promise in my last blog I have yet to keep! I still have these products to sell!
But, unfortunatly, I have had troubles with getting everything set up.

But, fear not, they are here! There are currently about 7 items in the store. Please check them out. I will soon be adding more.

Bethanys Blessings Store

If you have any questions about any of these products feel free to contact me.

I also have added a paypal donate button to my blog. If you would like to help fund my trip to return back to Uganda in January it is there for you, and, I would be more than grateful for your contributions.

I find myself fearing for the lack of funds for this trip. But, I am remaining faithful. If my God wants me there he will make a way! Your contributions and prayers mean more than the world to me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I can't get there fast enough..

Oh how much has changed since I have last posted...
I arrived safe in America and I am slowly bus surely getting back into the ways of life here. You might think it should be easy, I have lived here all my life right? It is not though..it truly is not! During my first weeks home not only did the time change completly wreck havock on my body and sleep, but, my heart. I ached for those small faces I left behind more and more each day. I found myself slipping Luganda words into my everyday language or making a joke that only some one in Uganda might get. Every one of those things were small little reminders of where my heart is. I still feel that way of course. I still find myself laying awake wishing I could walk a short distance and just give a little kiss to a sleeping baby or see a smile from a beautiful Auntie. To be very vulnerable, I find myself wondering where I fit back into the web of my friends and family. So much changes when you are gone.

One thing that hasn't changed is my desire to be in Africa. I have been given an offer to come back in January. My answer is evident. There are so many different emotions this time around. How will it be when I come home from being gone so long again? Will it be even harder to leave this time? How on earth will I raise the money this time around? But, I stand faithful. I have a faith that not only can God do it, but he will!

So, I ask...Will you help me make it back? Can you donate a one time gift or even a monthly gift? Can you donate airmiles? Do you have fundraising ideas?

When I say any little thing helps I mean it! It means more that I could EVER tell you.
Please feel free to contact me at: Bethanyt1@mac.com
I also plan to set up a Paypal account for online donations and an online store where I will be selling items I brought home from Africa.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Taking Root...

  In just one short week I will be stepping off a plane in America. The thought just seems unreal! Three months passed in what seems like three weeks. I never imagined on those days when I just wanted to get here so bad that it hurt to be patient that I would be where I am and who I am today. That all seems so long ago.. I never imagined I would be shown the support that has been given to me, making this trip what it has been. All of your prayers, I am thinking of you’s, and both monetary and material donations make such a huge impact. For that I can’t say enough thank you’s!

  The day I got on that plane those three short months ago I never thought I would be so broken to get on the return plane. I never thought when I hugged my family bye before security that I would be hugging another family bye here. I never imagined that I would start calling Africa home. When I first arrived I never thought I would make such great friends. I never thought this routine would become more than that, it would become my life. I never thought I would be running the house by myself many days and feeling at home and normal doing it. I never imagined I would learn so much from people with far less education than me, the things that really matter. I certainly never thought I would ever be able to understand the broken heavily accented English of Ugandans, but now I find myself speaking the same. I find myself forgetting things about America, like which side of the road we really do drive on. Everything about me has changed, and I don’t want that to go away.

  I couldn’t begin to tell you what this trip has been to me, or tell you the names and stories of all of the people I have fallen in love with. I wish I could just project my memories of these past three months onto a video for all of you to see. Your hearts would be broken and your eyes would be open. My heart has planted roots here and they are slowly becoming deeper and deeper. Uganda has become more than something I am doing for short but, in these past three months, it has become what I do. Even as I write this tears stream down my face. These tears come from a need and desire to still be here or to get back as soon as I can. They come from the brokenness of the things I have seen here. They come because I truly do not know how to tell you everything I have learned that I wish you too could learn.

  So once again..I thank you for your support and your prayers. I thank you for being a part of my journey this far! I pray that you continue to go to our father on behalf of Serving His Children and me. Pray that God would get me back here when and with whom he has planned. Pray that his love would continue to shine bright in the house and his strength would pour out in that little red room down in Massese. Pray that as Serving His Children contines to grow that everyone involved grows closer to our heavenly father!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nine

   One week ago at about 7:00pm I stepped on the verandah of the Serving His Children compound to watch six, yes six, women toting their sick babies step out of Renee's car one by one. They arrived after a long day of travel and waiting at the health center where they were found. Those six moms and babies also arrived with four siblings, two of which are still in the womb but could be here any day. To be quiet honest my first emotion was fear. The very thing my God doesn't want me to do. What did I have to fear? Nothing. I have a promise and a reason to trust my heavenly father, he is always with me. I then felt love flood right back into all of those cracks. A love of a merciful God who brought these children to us, a love for these moms who had enough left in them to bring their babies to the health center. I watched silently in the midst of finishing the other children's bed time routine as they ate a meal, a meal that might have been the first substantial thing in their bodies in days. I watches as Renee places IV's in each baby, something they most likely wouldn't have received yet if they were still sitting in that clinic. I took their arrival pictures and my heart broke for each one more and more..ones swollen feet bigger than the next or ones tiny body more frail than the last. The babies and their moms settled in for a sleep somewhere dry, somewhere clean, somewhere soft, and somewhere safe. I can't imagine th feeling. I can't imagine why I would ever feel fear. I was now overcome with compassion and the desire to be a servant.
Fast forward two days..Three more babies and three more moms strolled out of the same car. This time I knew no fear, just that overwhelming compassion.


Fast forward two days..Three more babies and trhee more moms strolled out of the same car. This time I knew no fear.


In the midst of three days Serving His Children has nine new patients.

Meet the 9 newest peices of my heart.

Daniel
Daniel has stolen my heart, and his tiny little body breaks it. Just as I sit down to write this I must consistently check his temperature to make sure his tiny frail body isn't too cold.
 Sadrak
Sadrak has some very bad kwashiorkor! His little feet are some of the worst I have seen and he does not like me around him too much.
 Ester
Ester might break my heart more than any of these new babies. She has kwashiorkor so bad her sores are completely open and bleed even in her mouth. She also has a terrible ear infection that has been untreated so long it is taking over.
 Yonna
This little boy also has very bad kwashiorkor and likes his personal space.
Joel
Tonny
Tonny is 1 year old. He doesn’t like many people but his mom right now, but I imagine that will change very soon.
Anita
Anita, there is no doubt the girl has a set of lungs. I would be almost 100% positive that she can scream higher and louder than anyone else in Uganda. But, her cuteness certainly makes up for it.
Sandra
Sandra eats well, and I have even seen her smile! I hope she picks up very fast.
Evelyn
A cute name for a very cute little girl! I can’t wait to see her as she begins to heal.

I could write a book about the love I have for each one of these children. I could write an even longer one about everyday here and what a blessing it is, even if those days are in the midst of a storm.
Please Pray for the Precious Babies!
There is only one word for Joel, ADORABLE! He loves to be held tight and is going to have a very fun personality, I can just tell.