Hands, Hearts, and Hope by Lori Somers
I wrote on the bus as we drove miles away from where we left our hearts. What just happened to our large team? We physically wept and bawled like babies as we hugged total strangers. Ah, but after living in their village and stepping foot in their huts, they are no longer strangers, but friends.
God gave me very different eyes for this trip. My sad, judgmental eyes were replaced with hands, hearts and hope. God gave me His eyes, hands and feet for stepping onto the dusty road in Uganda. He gave me his heartbeat for these children. His children, created in His image. He is our heavenly Father. We praise and honor the same God in Heaven. God has been teaching me, like Paul says in Phillipians, that I can be content in any circumstance. Because God is there.
Bukedea represented hands. Our open hands, as we entered into the circle of loving children who are not our own. We held hands, wiped tears, served food, painted nails, danced together in the rain. Our open hands created relationships with these children. Hugging and holding hands of your sponsored child cannot be put into words. But when you see them respond to your love, you know that God lives and loves in Bukedea. When they cry as you leave for the last time, you know that God has used that time together to strengthen each of you. Thank you Lord for our open hands to receive gifts of the heart.
Ongongoja represented hearts. I was immediately ‘yoked’ with a young lady who practically carried me down the road. God was speaking volumes to me about how being yoked with someone, arms around shoulders and waist, is to help each of you. Neither one carries the heavy load, the burden alone. But together you can go far under any circumstance. God kept whispering to me in this carepoint, “the least of these” as he would bring children right up to me for hugs, for sewing their shorts with torn seams, for hand-holding and lap-sitting. My heart was about to explode when we were heading to the bus and one little girl took my hands, she whispered low as I bent down to hear her, “I love you.” These children recognize God’s love when they see it and feel it. It was not anything we did, but God using each one on the team to bend down low to the least of these.
Ogoloi represented hope. This was the first CarePoint established and the progress and sustainability was tangible. The locals in the village are taking ownership of their lives, and their village. Seeing how the CarePoint has grown gives me hope for Ongongoja, to see where they are headed in the next few years. We saw where sponsorship makes a difference in the lives of the children. They are happy, healthy and creative. And they are loved.
Soaking up the sights and sounds of Africa this time was much different. Thank you Lord for giving me your eyes to see a strong sense of life and hope and passion in Uganda. And so it was with our large team, we were no longer strangers, but friends. We didn’t come from the same church, or small town. But God brought us together as a team with one thing in common. Our common ground is God.