This has been an amazing week. I feel blessed that God would even allow me to be on this adventure. It is only by His Grace that I could be here because nothing about it makes sense. It was a jam packed week and I am going to try and detail everything here.
Our flights were perfect. Fortune was amazing. We had hardly any delays, all our baggage arrived safe and sound and we were all in good spirits. When we awoke Wednesday, we eagerly awaited the arrival of Sylvia's husband. It was such a joy filled reunion. I don't think I've ever seen Sylvia smile like she did when she saw her husband. He is such a sweet man with the most gentle spirit. He was so happy to see his son and incredibly grateful for all that Samaritans purse and everyone in Austin had done for his family. We would find out later, that behind all the joy and smiles, he was hiding something. Sadly, he had a horrible injury happen just the day before Sylvia arrived and he lost his wedding finger :o( He didn't want to worry Sylvia or take away any joy from the moment so he waited to tell her. He is in very good spirits about it though and is healing very well.
When we arrived in Kampala,we were off and running. Another child has been accepted into the program and will be traveling soon. I had the privilege of meeting his and he is a delightful boy. He is just 10 days younger than Trent so we have big plans to meet when he comes to Austin. We spent the day with him getting vaccinations, lab results & visa pictures. It was a sweet time.
On Thursday morning, I was off to Mukono to visit the Women of Destiny. As we arrived in Mukono, my heart was racing. I was so excited. When we arrived at the school, I'm pretty sure I didn't even let the driver stop the car before I jumped out and started running. It was so wonderful to see them all. I was able to deliver a beautiful bunch of clothes that Cathy had put together for Maggie, the girl who we sponsor. Maggie was so excited and promptly put on the prettiest dress in the bunch. The only thing missing was Cathy. Everyone asked about you and said they were praying for your return. They all send you their love.
After a wonderful visit and lunch, it was back to Kampala and on to meet the wonderful men and women that create beautiful jewelry for Noonday collection. It was such a blessed time. Each beader has such a unique story and they have been truly blessed by Jessica. I spent time with Jalia and taught her some additional jewelry making skills. I also delivered several set of pliers which apparently was perfect timing because they were down to one pair. Jalia went to cut something and said "we are on our last set of pliers" and I said "I can fix that!" and dropped down about 12 pair. They were so excited. I also tried my hand at making some of the large beads from the Happy Day necklace. I think I did a pretty good job! :o)
Friday morning was fun because I got to meet Mandie Joy who lives in Jinja. She had placed a special order for some jewelry and when I found out I was coming, it worked out perfectly to deliver it to her. She came to the Samaritans purse office and we had a nice visit. Then, we were off to go shopping! In my last 3 trips to Africa, I've probably had 1 hour of shopping time combined, so I really soaked it up. After 13 months and 4 trips to Africa, I finally found my lime green purse!!
As we were waiting for our driver, Samantha asked if I would like a tour of Watoto church. As we were walking around, we heard the children singing. I was peaking in and she went in and asked the director if we could watch. He said "of course". I watched them finish a song and asked if I could take a picture. He then said "we will do a special performance for you." The tears started rolling. They were amazing. Seriously, my cheeks hurt from smiling. I will never, ever forget that moment and must have thanked God a thousand times.
After shopping we headed out to Luwero to visit Sylvia and family. She had prepared a wonderful meal for us and we had a sweet time. It was very, very hard to say goodbye to Fortune, but my heart tells me that I will see him again.
Friday evening, I was blessed to have dinner with my good friend Richard and his lovely wife Grace. He took me to a wonderful Indian restaraunt and we had a great time.
Saturday I met with an attorney to discuss our adoption. It was incredibly informative and it was nice to meet with her face to face. After that, I was blessed to be able to meet Carli Traverse from Carli's kids. She also had placed a jewelry order and was going to what until the end of November to get it when she came to the US. Again, when I found out I was going, we made arrangements to meet. She was kind enough to let me visit her home that she shares with her husband, 3 biological children and 13 children they have taken in from the streets. God bless her heart! One just arrived yesterday...ironically enough from Luweero where they have purchased land to build a childrens home and school. Also, where Sylvia lives. I've always said I don't believe in coincidences. I learned so much from our time together and the children were delightful.
Tomorrow I will attend church at Watoto with Samantha, head out to Lubowa to meet Jalia one last time and end my day visiting with Leah from Cherish. Leah & her family are from Austin and they are now living in Uganda. I'm so excited to learn about their ministry and visit with a Texan in Uganda.
I've learned a lot on this trip. It's been very educational. I really feel that God has carried me through this trip. Doing things "alone" is not my gig...but He has kept me close to His heart and I am so grateful for that. I've read much more than I normally read, haven't watched a lick of TV (no Cathy, not even those crazy soap operas that we always found ourselves watching as we were waiting to leave Lugazi...LOL) and had lots of conversations with God. It's so tremendously humbling to be able to do something like this and I believe He allows these things so that we may give Him ALL the glory. So that is just what I will do. God, you are AWESOME. You are HOLY. You are THE KING OF GLORY. Without you, I am nothing and I am forever grateful for your Presence in my life.