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.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Without the words...

It might be impossible for you to think I would be unable to blog, but, it is. I am unable to blog not for the lack of things to say but for the words to say them. Everyday here is a blessing, a challenge, and a experience. I never imagined I could fall in love with so many people and one place so quickly. I have thought through the situations I have been in during my time in Uganda a million times to think of ways to tell you. It is truly impossible.

There are not words..There are not words to explain what it was like to watch baby Mustafa fight for his life. There are not words to tell you what it is like to watch the life leave his body day by day as he struggled for breath. I ached for him and prayed until I didn't have the words, all the while a woman just hours away chanted death over him. I rode, sometimes speechless, watching his breath become more labored and faint as we went to his village over muddy rodes with no more oxygen. I kissed him bye for what I thought was the last time. It wasn't the last time. I struggled for hope and prayed for peace when his family brought him back still alive days later...only to take him away again. I don't have the words to express the battle, to express my helplessness, to express the faith and hope I was struggling to hold onto. Mustafa is now with his savior with a healthy body, taking great big breaths, and laughing. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine one day I will get to hold him again..On that day I won't worry about words to say or questioning why. I rejoice for that day, I rejoice for Mustafa and that far outweighs the pain my heart feels.

Since I have been here I have had to choose to rejoice in the peace of heaven and the grace of our father for two babies. I have had to choose not grieve their loss because I selfishly want them here. I've had to trust in God, and believe in his mercy more than ever. I want to ask why..I want to have the words to comfort the broken moms, but I don't have the words.

Psalms 46:10 says "Be still and Know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted among the earth." I cling to that promise.

Without words there is silence, and in that silence we gain peace. When we allow ourself to be broken and to stop struggling for the words and to let God be God we understand we don't need to understand. I don't need to ask why. I serve a mighty God who cares for me and every one of these babies beyond comprehension. I will trust in his grace, and continue to rejoice everyday for the babys who have made it to that place I long for. I will trust in his mercy as I pray over these babies I continue to love on every day. Because I don't need the words, I need the silence. I need to listen. I need to be still.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

HOPE

“There’s a man down here somewhere between the Saturday cartoons and the dirty magazines. He is raising the dead in the graveyards where we’ve laid down our dreams, and his name is HOPE.”
-John Mark McMillan, Between the Cracks

I see hope. I look around at the pain here and I see hope. I don’t see the hopes that I use to hope for, I see hope for a better tomorrow. When I first got here I couldn’t understand why these people weren’t angry with God, and why I was hurt because I have so much and most around me literally have nothing. But as I sat listening to this song of hope a few nights ago I realized when you have nothing but hope you have nothing but Jesus! When we lay down our personal desires and desire the heart of Jesus we are filled with hope. The hope comes along with assurance that whether we have three full meals tomorrow or not we will one day meet our Father. When I first got here I saw the beauty that was masked with great despair, but my eyes are changing. I am seeing more beauty every day, I am falling more in love with Uganda every day.

This is Uganda, a place for hope...






Also, a side note and great praise. Almost all of the children are growing and improving greatly. It is so incredible to watch them become happy and well.

This was Faleda when I arrived...she cried when you came near and she struggled to walk.


This is Faleda now..she laughs and plays with other kids, she even runs.

God is good, thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray!!
I challenge you to change your sights of the world around you, see the beauty, see the hope.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oh Africa..

Uganda..the place of livestock, food my body doesn’t like, precious babies, much different time zones, beautiful weather, dirty feet, a little baby pee on your clothes, muzungoz, and so so much more! I love it!
During my first week I have fell in love with so many people. It certainly makes the flight worth it, because trust me, it is not a flight I would do for many more reasons. My body did not take to all of the jet lag and change in diet so well, but, I am now much better.
I wish so badly I had the time and patience to write to you every story I want to write. There are just too many. I wish I could tell you about each and every baby here, but, there is just not the time.  One of the characters I met was IdI, and a character he was! He is one of the older boys and has grown leaps and bounds. Unfortunately for me his happy room brightening smile is now home. I already miss his laugh and great personality

Another one of our happy characters with a most beautiful smile is Lucia, who is the sister and caretaker of her brother Jerimiah. Her sister is also staying at serving his children, and though she is slightly shy, she is such a blessing to have around as well! (Unfortunately and fortunately since I wrote this blog they have went home.)
Unfortunately and inevitably there are not only happy faces around. We have some very ill children! One of which is Teddy who has been in the program for some time now. Teddy is paralyzed and it truly breaks her mama’s heart. Mama Teddy tells me stories from when Teddy was well and the pain is visible. The pain is visible everywhere here. Mama Teddy does not fully grasp internet, but, when I tell her people all over the world are praying for Teddy she smiles, and says for me to ask again. So please say a prayer for Teddy!
 
Two more of our sick children with very great need are Faleda and Rachel. Faleda is so very swollen from kidney failure and her skin has so many sores it brings her great pain to be moved. Rachel is new. Renee got a call about her and we drove a great distance away. While the drive was beautiful and Uganda has many great sights there was such poverty. No matter how you think to prepare yourself it still breaks your heart. When we finally got to Rachel you wanted to run to her. Now, After evaluation from the local doctors and a few days at SHC Renee decided to take her to Kampala Hospital. She is in heart failure and is now back at our house where we are loving her and doing the best we can. All we know to do is pray, please pray. 
(I unfortunately do not have a photo of Faleda and it is also very time consuming to load pictures)

Again, I say I wish I could write about each sick child but it is not possible. I just ask for you to pray for all of them. Continue to pray for me, it is felt, pray for patience in some situations, and continued healing and health for my body. Pray for peace for all of the hurting here!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Assurance

   It truly blows my mind at how long a little faith can take you. This whole trip, once I gave it completely to God, has came together. I did not know how on earth I was going to find or raise the funds needed for a plane ticket. I prayed and God came through with flying colors! My mothers work office raised, donated, and surprised me with enough to nearly pay for my flight. I didn't know if I was going to have enough money to pay for my room and board and have enough extra for my time in Uganda. I prayed and the lord came through.

   I had a conversation just the other day of how amazing it is what God does with just a little faith and how he works through his people to help provide for us. Rather than thinking of all the reasons I might not be able to go on this trip, I said I will go where you make a way lord. He has made a way! If you are or have been a part of helping me on this journey, wether it be monetarily or by prayer, I CAN NOT THANK YOU ENOUGH. I pray that God would bless you abundantly for your graciousness.

   This post is nothing profound or special. It is just me saying thank you, thank you, again!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Get to know Serving His Children

 I am still here! Between working, sending my computer off, and preparing for my trip I have not thought much of blogging. I promise to try to blog more, especially when I actually have stories to blog about.

    I wanted to tell you a little more about the lovely people I will be spending three months with. Serving His Children, as you might guess, has grown very close to my heart. Renee Bach started this program out of a need to stop hunger and malnutrition. I can not say enough about this Girl! Between the very short time I have got to see her, and the many heart breaking and uplifting blogs I have read, I am more and more blown away. She puts every bit of herself into serving and being a light. She started this program in 2009 and it has since then grown and grown and well, is continuing to grow. Rather than going on and on, as I surely can, about what goes on at SHC I ask that you please check out the website and read for yourself an explanation. Read the stories and see photos of the beautiful souls that have been helped. Read about the efforts being made to change the lives of so many. Be humbled.

Serving His Children Website

Serving His Children Blog

   During my time in Uganda I am going to be working with some wonderful people who are perusing Gods heart just as hard as I am. It is such a wonderful feeling that we are in this together, and I sincerely can not wait to see how our lives will be changed. A few of the volunteers I get to serve with happen to be out of town friends who I rarely get to see. I am so very excited God is allowing us to serve together. If you wish to find out more about those friends please visit their website and blog which I will post below. I have also made contact with some of the other volunteers I will be working with. I really can't say it enough but, I can't wait to see what God has in store for us and to see the bonds that will be made!

Living His love Website

Living His Love Blog

   I wish I could put into words the passion I have for Serving His Children and the change that is happening because of this organization. I wish I could tell Renee how much like Jesus she really is and how proud of her he must really be. I wish I could stop malnutrition and hunger every where. All I know to do is help one life and at time, and to go where my father sends me.

   Please continue to pray for Gods will for me, for Renee who has a very heavy load right now, and for all of the children in Masese who are learning of a love they have never known. God Bless.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Journey Begins

Philippians 2:1-4
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
  
    Whether you have stumbled upon this blog or found me because of a letter you received or another source of contact, Welcome. I want to apologize in advance for my blogging skills, or lack there of. Let me start by introducing myself and my reason for blogging. 
   My name is Bethany I am a servant of God who has been called to serve others and share the love he has so abundantly blessed me with. I believe there is a healing power in love that can not be found anywhere else. This journey of serving began in me years ago, once I truly realized how short life is and how precious the people around us are. Though my heart to serve the people of Africa was not evident until about two years ago, it has quickly became my strongest desire. Because of that desire I began praying for answers of how to serve. I knew I was suppose to go to Uganda. But, that was the easy part. You see, I am not a very patient person, and waiting for the trip God wanted me on was not easy. After much prayer I decided to pursue an organization some precious friends were serving. Without making this blog much to long I will skip to the final results. After months of waiting and praying and talking, I am finally able to say that was the organization for me. The organization I will be working with is Serving His Children. Serving His Children is founded and ran by Renee Bach, who is also one of the most precious souls I have ever met. But, you will hear much more about her and Serving His Children in my next post, I am sure. In short I will be spending three months, starting April 4th in Uganda, serving and loving. After buying a plane ticket, and ordering shots, and buying supplies with as much excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and gratefulness as possible I am happy to say..This is where the Journey Begins. I hope you will check back for updates to hear my stories and see the amazing work my God can do.

God Bless.