At the age of twenty-four, I founded a ministry to help rehabilitate girl child soldiers in a war-torn region of Uganda. It was a ton of hard work. I was young, full of idealism and naiveté and I didn’t know very much then about how to build a thriving culture. As people came alongside me in my vision, I became responsible not just for me, but for my team as well. This created layers of complexity I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate. More people meant more pressure, more consideration of other’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, decisions and disagreements. I had the
“Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation.” Educated girls stand up for their rights, marry and have children later, educate their own children, and their families and communities thrive.” -Girl Rising- I was so excited I couldn’t wait to share. Our 14 girls rescued from sexual exploitation, child prostitution, orphanhood, just had their 1st day of school in Gulu, Uganda. I cried when I read the following testimony from our 13 year old Jolly who was taken from a life of commercial sex work into a life where she dreams because she has the chance
Vanessa pulls her orange skirt over her feet. Her shirt is covered with red hearts. She traces the ground as she cries. Her step father used to call men over to rape her. Used to pimp her and laugh as she cried behind the curtain. Too small. Legs, too small for her age. She is only seven. The tears gather in the middle of her pupils and spill down her face like drops of rain collecting on a window. Where is that smile? Where is that smile I love to see. Where has
“…to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” -Isaiah 61:3 This is our mission. This is why we began. To bring healing to broken hearts, love to those who were not loved, and comfort to those who had been devastated by war. As this past year comes to an end, and
Very rarely do dreams actually come true. So when they happen we have to be careful to stop for a moment, breathe in, and give thanks for the miracle of our lives aligning with our purpose. This has been a journey of deep hope and deep disappointments. A journey of love. One that is unending and unrepentant in what it asks of us. But today, the dream became a reality, the thing that I hoped for, became a part of my life. Today we danced to a drumbeat. In our home, we danced
“Home is where one starts from…. In my end is my beginning.” -T. S. Eliot- The love of God is such that when we lay something down He is faithful to give us something better than we thought possible. For the past week my prayer has been God—your will…(but if I can put a special request in…..)I’d sure love to have my own space. After close to five months of looking much like a pack mule melting in the midday sun and staying in rooms where I dig through my exploding suitcases looking for that one thing I’m almost positive
CHECK OUT OUR LATEST PHOTOS!!!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephmichaelphotography/sets/72157594552064706/ These were possible thanks to my dear friend Jo, an amazing photographer who traveled with me up to Gulu and donated his time and talent to Zion Project. Thanks Jo! Check out all of his photography. It’s amazing!
I never know where to begin to talk about my experiences in Northern Uganda. It’s as if when I come back, my heart is still over there and mouth has not yet caught up with my heart. Gradually stories will come out of me as I regain touch with that part of my heart that is reserved for that place and those people, but my processing is often slow. I come back almost paralyzed by the mountain of things I would LOVE to do for all those girls and by the vast
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.
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