They Call Me Mzungu

     One of my favorite things about Uganda is the children we pass on the road. They excitedly wave and smile while yelling the word “Mzungu”. Mzungu is the Lugandan word for white people. As we communicate with the kids on the streets and in villages or the kids in the boarding school it is peppered throughout the conversation, not out of disrespect, but more out of curiosity.

     There are so many things that are special or memorable while you’re on a mission trip but one day in particular will be forever in my heart. Our team was visiting the boarding school in Mbira one morning.   To our delight, some of the younger day school students were outside during their free time playing games. When they saw us coming the murmur of the word Mzungu could be heard among their conversations. One little boy in particular stared intently at me. At first he was shy, no smile, just staring. After a few minutes he gently took my hand into his. This is when my heart swelled with love for this child I had just met. The Holy Spirit took over and Girades was forever imprinted on my heart.

     He went over ever facet of my hands, turning them over and over, and rubbing his hands over mine very intentionally. Our hands together were a reflection of God. Although we spoke different languages and had different skin colors we were created and loved by God. As Girades continued to examine our hands together his teacher called them in, he finally let go. As I watched him go back to his desk he smelled the hand that he had been touching my hand. It was as if he wanted to remember every moment, every detail, and every essence of his time with the Mzungu. I don’t know for sure if he will remember our short time together but I know I will: every moment, every touch, every smile.


Proverbs 22:2 “Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is Maker of them all. ”  SONY DSC

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Where I Wander

     In less than 11 days I will be heading out of the country to Uganda.  This is my first mission trip out of the country, so why not make it half way around the world?!  My brain is currently on overload: What do I pack?  What will I eat?  Can I take traveling for so long (I get tired of the car in 3 hours and we’re heading into 30+ hours)?  These are some of the minor things circling my mind.            

     Then I realized, my mind is wandering into much more dangerous territory.  At times during the day I find my self listening to the evil voice in my ear that doesn’t question my trip but brings up all of my insecurities.  Normally, I take these thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to God) but lately, without realizing, I’ve been listening.  I have no doubt that this is the enemy trying to steal my joy and kill my spirit for doing God’s work and going where God wants me.  Traveling to Uganda to care for God’s children is not where the enemy wants me, so why not wear me down before I go?  

     I’m currently in a bible study called “Duty or Delight” (which, honestly I can’t say without a little giggle).  As I sat in the study yesterday we were talking about what the enemy says to each of us.  To me he says, “Who are you to teach and lead these teenage girls?  You don’t know nearly enough about the bible and are struggling to remember the verses you are challenging the girls to memorize.”  Followed by, “You should be doing what she’s doing.  Look what she did with her girls.  You’ll never be that good.”  

     At that moment, a light dawned on me (no doubt THE Light).  God knows my heart.  He knows that I love Him and want to do whatever and go wherever he leads me.  He knows that I love all of “my girls” with all of my heart and want to share His love for them with them.  I don’t want them to wait until they’re 35 to “get it” like I did, it’s just too good to wait.  I may not know enough of the verses (always learning) but I do know each of my girls.  God cares about my heart, not my head knowledge and is teaching me something new every day.  So I thought, “What do the girls want from me?”.  They want a relationship.  They want someone who genuinely cares about them, who will be there for them when they think no one else will, and most of all, to show them the love of Jesus.  

What does God want from me?  The same thing!   He is all of those things and more for me and He wants me to rest there!  He wants a relationship!  Not my head knowledge.  He wants my heart to break for what breaks His.  He wants me to follow him with all of my heart.  There is nothing I can give God except me.  

So today I choose to follow Him, listen to Him, and go with Him.  I will not wander in the depths of the enemy but will walk in the lit path of my Savior. (Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path.)


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Well Pleased

I’ve been following the Made to Crave devotional by Lysa Terkeurst.  Day 18 was an amazing day.  It encompassed the verse Matthew 3:17.  

…and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

I changed the wording to speak about me.  “This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased.”  WOW, did that speak to me.  My daughter!  Whom I love!  Well pleased!  I was brought to tears when I reworded it to include me, personally.  My God loves me, not because I’ve done something to deserve it, not that I ever could. The Lord is well pleased with me.  My obedience, whether it be my struggle with food or something else, pleases Him.  

Disobedience ALWAYS leads to disappointment.  I don’t want to disappoint God by surrendering to a tasty snack instead of surrendering to Him.  

I needed those words this week.  Thankful for the blessings and love I don’t deserve. 

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I bought bird seed and a feeder for the back yard.  (If you know me, you know that I have a passion for animals.  I wanted to have birds in the back yard, I love watching them).  I bought the cheapest bird seed that I could find, because why do they need the best?  About a week or so after watching the birds and scattering the seed for them weeds began to grow, they were surrounding the tree.  As I was looking at and pulling some of them the other night I knew God has a message for me there, I felt it.  After a few days of “pondering” here’s where I was led.

The tree represents me.  It needs nourishment, sunshine, and a healthy environment to thrive.  So do I!  My nourishment comes from the Lord and his Word.

The weeds represent sin.  They grow quickly, do not need nourishment, and spread to other areas.  One of my biggest sins is gluttony.  It’s not a word I like, I want to water it down to something nicer but that’s it.  By far, not my only sin, but one of my big ones.  It’s mostly a food issue but can surely be put into the realm of materialism and wanting more.  

Back to the weeds.  Like I said, I chose the cheapest seeds I could find.  How many times do I choose the cheapest seed in my own life?  I choose the things of the world instead of God’s best for me.  Why would I settle and be happy with anything but His best?

Pulling the weeds reminded me that I need to “pull” the sin out of my life, turn it over to God, and discard it or it will choke out all that is good…  it will choke out God.  God will never move from me but when sin is surrounding me it’s really hard to see the good and I lose focus on Him.  

As I start a plan to become healthier, yet again, I want my focus to be solely on God.  I want to depend on him for my nourishment. I want to crave him more than any food.  I know there will be rough days but my God is never far from me.  The weight I shed physically will be the strength I gain spiritually.  

Psalm 16:8  “I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” 

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.”

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