They made it! Today around 2:30pm US (CDT) the Preston Trail Team made it onto Uganda soil after nearly 24 hours worth of travel! Can I just say that I'm breathing a lot easier now knowing that my hubs and the entire team are safe and sound, in a hotel with all their luggage, and nothing crazy to report! It's so weird to not know when and if I'll here from Joshua, which leaves me so incredibly grateful for Mark Powell (the husband of our director of compassion ministries, Nancy, who is on this trip) keeping us in the loop as he hears from the team! Like any stalking wife would, I've been keeping a close eye on all Facebook status updates on the Uganda 2011 page, and I get so super excited anytime I see new info posted! Joshua was actually able to post on my FB wall, "Love u so much. We r in and going to bed. Love and miss u and Jude. Will try again when wifi is better"... To which I squealed with excitement to know for certain all was well! I guess he was able to borrow someone's laptop or iPhone while there because he doesn't have either- so to whoever that individual is... you rock! Thank you! I miss him so much already and genuinely feel like I can sense the distance just knowing he is so far away, which is a strange feeling to have.
I will say however, that this bittersweet feeling I had as I drove away from the airport yesterday is definitely being replaced with more sweet rather then bitter! My heart is beating a little faster now that I know they're there and they can hit the ground running! I feel like God has restored an excitement for all that He is going to do in and through this team over the next 10 days of ministry! I pray that God has far greater things up His sleeve than we can imagine! I pray Christ's love would radiate from each one of the team members in such a way that the lives of those they come in contact with are forever changed!
As I type this, it's 6:30am Uganda time and the sun is rising for their first full day! Today they will be working with a ministry that is meeting the needs of orphaned children. I know that both today and tomorrow (when they go to Kampiringisa) are going to take a toll on Joshua's emotions. We talked in length about these two days before he left and we agreed that God clearly was stirring our hearts in BIG ways for these children! We both are heavily burdened for "the least of these" in a way that I can't really even put into words. Since this past February when I went to an adoption retreat (Created for Care) and first learned of these children that are unfairly and unjustly imprisoned, through an incredible documentary called Bereaved by Sixty Feet, I have not gone a SINGLE NIGHT without thinking of them! I'm regularly brought to tears at the thought of these children and find myself genuinely broken to do something! The only thing is... I don't know what "something" is at this point. I'm not sure what God is up to exactly- all I know is that He's broken our hearts for these imprisoned children and we want to respond accordingly. If you think of it, please pray specifically for Joshua to be able to discern the tug of the Holy Spirit and for compassion and grace to pour out of him onto these sweet children!
I'll end with this, because I've thought of this quote often when I think of Uganda... while reading the book From Ashes to Africa (BTW, totally recommend!) the author quotes a lifelong mentor of his, Ken Gire, who said, "Any time art touches your life with tears, whether through a story, song, film or painting, it was wise to pay attention to those tears because your tears could help you find your heart. And if you found your heart, you found what was dear to God. If you found what was dear to God, you found the answer to how you should live your life.".....
Below are several pictures of Nancy Poweel's from PTCC's last trip to Kamiringisa back in January that capture just a glimmer of what life is like there for these kids!
|Picture from the PTCC's Team back in January at Kampiringisa|
|This is what their mattresses look like|
|They were all lined up to get a piece of soap, a pencil and a lollipop... and grateful.|