#13 June email “Extending grace”

Family,

So, I wrote last night about the overwhelming needs here in this country.  We all know that, but most of us just have/had an abstract idea of the need.  Today was another learning experience.  It would be very easy to get depressed, throw my hands in the air and say “I couldn’t possibly make a difference.  Why bother?”  But, deep down, we all KNOW we simply CANNOT do that.  We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters to help.  So, I’ve decided to do what I can and at least tell their stories.

Remember how last night I talked about MMS and how Moses’ sister was poisoned.  Well, he came by today to visit with Dad before he left and learn how to make MMS.  He shared with us that his sister poisoned herself.  She has a total of seven kids.  Her husband died a couple years ago.  She was already a little unstable, but then was left with seven kids and no husband.  So, Moses took four of the kids.  (Moses already has NINE kids of his own)  Life with fifteen people in the house became too much.  So, this past Thursday, Moses took the four kids back to their mom.  She seemed fine with everything.  Then he got the call Saturday night that she had poisoned herself.  She had taken insecticide.

She is now fine (physically), but my goodness!!!  This woman is overwhelmed!  Seven kids!!!!  The average family in Africa has about eight kids.  But, what do you do when your people have all these kids and so many parents die from AIDS???  And… here’s where it’s easy for me to throw up my hands and say, “I’m overwhelmed just hearing about this!!!!!!!!!!!!  What could I possibly do to help?  I’m not a psychiatrist or foster mom!”

We talked with Moses today and he wanted to use the money raised to concrete the school floor to build a house that could accommodate his family plus his sisters’.  We said he had to use that money to concrete the floor since that is what the donor designated the money for.  So, we did some brainstorming, digging and praying… and someone has put up $2,500 to begin the house!!!!  We only need $2,500 more for it to be a finished product (floor, stucco, windows, etc.).  Hallelujah!!!

I praise God that every time I get overwhelmed and feel there is no way to make an impact, He intercedes.  How great is that?!?!?!  I’m telling you, it’s so easy to get depressed here when you really live life with these people and ask about their need.  That’s our calling!!!!  We are here to walk alongside them and meet needs (spiritual, physical, financial, etc.).  I’m not naïve, I know that my dad and I cannot fulfill all these needs we see every day over here.  But what I do know is… We are the body… and WE serve a King that calls us to be cheerful givers!  And… I’ve learned something about that too!!!  God laid on my heart a micro-financing idea to help some young men in the church here…   (Now, I’m not a business woman, but this idea is pretty ingenious and has the potential to really multiply and help a lot of people in the church!!!  I CANNOT WAIT TO GET THIS MONEY INTO THEIR HANDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously!!!  That is how faithful our God is!  He gives us the heart to be obedient!  I’m going to be a ridiculously cheerful giver!  So, I say that so you don’t feel weird and choose not to read anymore of my emails.  If you are called to give, you’ll know.  J

Then, we visited the rock quarry down the hill.  Dad sat with an older gentleman while he worked.  We tried our best to have a productive conversation, but it didn’t work too well.  Dad tried to break the rock for a couple minutes.  It was hard work!!!  He didn’t even notice that the rock was so sharp, it had cut his hand.  Dad asked the man where his water was and he said he didn’t have any.  He had a little bucket with some food and that was it.  The words we did understand were that he was suffering.  Suffering.  My goodness.  What do you do with that?  How do we change this man’s life?  How do we love him rightly?  How do we deny our natural inclination to say, “Let’s leave.  This is depressing!”  I don’t know… I’m really asking… how do we?  How do I be more like Jesus when everything in me wants to throw my hands up and say, “This is all too much!!!”

I feel like everyday Dad and I brainstorm of bigger and better ways to help the Ugandans… and then we meet someone like the man at the quarry.  Suffering.   So, what I’m realizing is that you just do something.  You act.  You pray and then obey.  And… then you get opportunities to give cheerfully!  Just like my friend who is buying the truck!  That’s a lot of money to let go of… and every time I talk to her, she seems more and more cheerful and excited to give.  Now, that’s a blessing!  I used to think about giving just so I would be blessed with more money, but that isn’t always how it works out.  But, you will always be blessed.  Always.

So, I thank you again for all your prayers.  My dad leaves to go back home tomorrow.  I will leave the guest house and go stay with Pastor Godfrey and his family.  His wife, Eva, runs a school and I’ll be helping her for the remainder of the week.  I’m super excited.  She has a primary school, which is like an elementary school!  YIPPEE!!!  I would never want to teach little ones in the states, but I can’t get enough of these little Africans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They are beyond adorable.  I will take as many pictures and videos as possible.

Thank you for journeying with me.  This has been an enlightening experience.  My views are continually being challenged and my walk with God is getting richer and richer.  Thank you for loving me enough to read my heart.  This is all an overflow… I’m beyond blessed and ever so thankful.  I love you all very much.

His,

Michelle

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