Week five was rough. Let’s just get that out there. It’s so funny because I have a friend who came before me and every week that she said would be hard has. I think it’s natural in life to have the up’s and the down’s and being here in Uganda it is all so magnified. I’ve had three friend’s illness’ become very magnified while i’m here, with two of them actually passing this past week. It reminds me of how we really need to live and serve the Lord every single day.
The funny thing is through all of the hardships, the thought of leaving Uganda and life her makes my stomach feel sick. Remembering that I have a year left of college and then graduate school brings about a sadness i’ve rarely felt. Leaving the sweet relationships i’ve been building and creating is too hard to think about. I keep and have kept catching myself this past week trying to “plan” out my future. Every time I catch myself trying to I just laugh and think, “Silly girl, only Jesus can do that”. But in all honesty that’s been one of my biggest issues this past week. I feel like i’m dreaming and desiring of this next chapter in life when I haven’t even finished the last one. If I could name one word for the feeling I have in Uganda it is content. I feel content here, not wishing or dreaming of anything but what the Lord has given me: beautiful families and children to serve and teach, and learn from myself.
This week i’ve been reminded to soak in each minute. To sit and let what the Lord is teaching me sink and feel it all. During this week, I got to be a part of one of the most joy filled moments of my entire life. I’m positive very few things will be able to top it. One of the smart, worthy, beautiful, wonderful, children in Ekisa’s care was able to be reunified with her family. This is one of the aspects of Ekisa that makes them different from many other organizations. They don’t focus on the easy or cheap way-they focus on what is best for each individual child, fully believing that the best thing is for every child to have a family and be in a home. God did not intend for children to live in institutional settings. Every child is worthy and deserves to know the love of a mother and father. This does not mean that the best option is international adoption, because in most cases it’s not. At Ekisa they strive for every child to be with their biological family and in their country if possible. If it’s not there are steps and protocols taken and in place, the last of which being international adoption.
I wish everyone could see the joy a family has of being reunified. Of watching two parents work hard and make the necessary changes in their lives to be able to care for their child. It’s beautiful, and seeing a mother’s eyes shine with gratitude for the multiple chances and opportunities given to her, and for the gift that is people believing in her and her ability to be a parent makes me all the more passionate about the ethical care of vulnerable children. We’re all people, we all make the wrong choices and we need to remember that strengthening families is important.
In the midst of a family being reunified, there was heartbreak and joy as a new boy came into Ekisa’s care. He is sweet, with the most infectious laughter you’ve ever heard. Thankfully the social work team is amazing, and so hard at work to understand more about him, his life, and looking for any living relatives or information they can get on him.
I didn’t take many photos this week, and some that I took i’m just keeping for myself and the other interns. I don’t want my time here to be about photos, I want it to be about serving and creating relationships. Are photos great memories? You betcha, but not all of those memories are meant to be shared.