Recently, my friend Jeff Goins, who runs a writing course I’ve taken (Tribe Writers) challenged us to write a manifesto about something we care about. Many of you know I write a lot about modern day missions and social justice based on my six years spent living in a war affected region of Uganda as a missionary and non-profit founder. I write a lot about how we need to change the paradigm, in order to shift from the way things have always been done. So this is my missionary manifesto, this is my clarion call to the world about what missions and social justice should look
Baby E* is just the cutest little guy ever. And he just got adopted! Baby E, 11 months They say that once you hold your baby you forget everything that happened before. All the pain, all the tears dissolve into the glow of tiny fingers and tiny toes. The red birth becomes bright. Even though E* did not come out of my body. In many ways it feels like he’s mine. And when I look at his cheeks and his eyes, and hear his soft baby noises, I too feel the memory slipping away. But I don’t want to
When I come back to America, it’s often hard for me to describe what exactly I do. To say that I experience culture shock is an understatement. I am both in awe and terrified of Walmarts, large crowds of people, loud restaurants, and escalators. I seem to be perpetually cold because my body is un-accustomed to the simple luxury of air conditioning. I always want to sit outside because it seems more comfortable to me and any time I see a black person I want to run up and throw my arms around them like an escaped mental patient. I
Last year, Niclete was just another woman in Uganda living in the slums, trying to provide for her family of growing children, alone. Last year, she did not have a job, or access to maternal health care. Last year, Niclete gave birth to a still-born baby boy, body too twisted. Last week, God redeemed all that. As I struggle through the why’s and wonderings of why bad things happen to good people or any people, for that matter, I look at a picture of Niclete, and I am satisfied that God remembers us. That His intentions towards us
When I first came to Uganda’s green earth six years ago at what I thought was the overly mature age of 26, Pauline was one of the child mothers I met who I was immediately drawn to. She had a quiet spirit about her and a face that spoke volumes of the hardships she’d experienced in her mere 16 years. When I started the Rehabilitation Home, she was one of the first to come and live with me. We spent many days and nights talking, as girls love to do. A boy had impregnated her and left her. Alone,
Sometimes things get ugly. These babes of mine, they fight. And no I’m not just talking about my 5, 6, 7, and 8 year olds, but my grown women. Sometimes my friends here laugh at me and say how can I be a mama and a grandma (yes, it’s true—baby Dominion is in full effect!) to so many and have not yet birthed a baby from my own womb. Then they tell me I have to have my own baby. And then I tell them….I’ve got my hands pretty full already! The mystery startles me too. I’m a mother. And
For some reason, before this year, I had never actually watched the African Queen. Which seems absurd from someone who spends most of her time in East Africa. I decided on my sabbatical that this was a wrong which needed to be righted. What struck me most was the determination of Catherine Hepburn. She had a dream and she was going to hold tight to it, no matter what storm or marsh or rapids she had to face. I spend my life so close to the Nile which that tiny boat traversed down. It reminded me of the wonder
So the rain pours sweet and cold. Washes away the dusty road grime. Cleans us. Fresh, like His love. I’m driving home after a long, sweaty day. I hold the tears back. 7 hours at the hospital. No food. No water. Only to find out another one. Another one has HIV. And she’s pregnant. Alone in this world. And I think of Mama Heidi’s words, “What does love look like?” So we stay and wait in the long lines. We hold hands through the ugly words. We pray. And we help her get medicine to keep this monster at bay.
We sidestep trash and puddle-filled stench. We move through the narrow corridor of buildings in the slum. And there in the midst of it all, we find glory. In the small, dark room we huddle. We’ve come to love. To stay. In solidarity. When Niclete starts to sing, tremorous and brave, the women start weeping. The holy spirit breathes close and still. I think it is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I don’t understand all the words. But I know she is singing to Jesus. A hum of a prayer. Worship in the face of loss.
Writer. Missionary Coach. Recovering perfectionist. I want you to know that you are loved and already good enough. I am about helping people move from brokenness into wholeness. Together, we'll make a more beautiful world.