I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading lately. [I know...sort of the theme of my trip] I have been thinking about all of the outreaches I have done with all of the beautiful, smiling children.......and....
Have I made an impact? Did they learn anything? Did I learn anything? What does effective missions in Uganda look like?
So many questions...
I am currently reading a book by Donald Miller (shocker I know) that is all about life and whether we are actually participating in the story. Are we living a good story? This trip has put so much into perspective. I know that when I return to the states I will do a lot differently. I will spend my money differently, I will choose jobs differently, and I will love differently. What has been most apparent here is how important relationships are. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the outreaches with EAC at times I felt like genuine relationships with the children were lacking. Dan and Loring, who I am staying with, have become friends with a Ugandan family. I have experienced first hand what an impact their relationship with them has been. The genuine Christian community they have developed is changing both families.
When we think about it.....isn't all of life about relationships? Since the beginning God designed us for community. He saw that Adam was alone and knew that he needed a partner. God is who fulfills our longings and desires and makes us complete. But...He blesses us with other people in our lives to enrich us and to share our stories with us.
Sometimes, our stories turn bad. I know mine has in the past. But I know myself better now...I think I just forgot for a little while. I want to encourage you all to think about your stories. Can you make your story better? Even in the everyday things I think we can make our stories better. This trip was the first step towards my better story. When I go home my prayer is that I can continue my better story. I find comfort in the truth that the Lord will guide my steps.
I leave you with a quote from Donald Miller's book. I hope that this is what happens when I am finally close enough to see the lines on His face.
"I'll tell these things to God (my story), and He'll laugh, I think, and he'll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were His favorites. We'll sit and remember my story together, and then he'll stand and put His arms around me and say, "well done," and that He liked my story. And my soul won't be thirsty anymore."
So here is to finding your better story.
love to all.