The Journey Begins

“…Here am I, Lord. Send me.”
Isaiah 6:8

Hello, friend!

Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you’re here.

Let’s just get it right out there in the open. Yes, I have had a blog…or two…before. And, yes, they never lasted very long. (I think maaaybe 10 posts was the record.) But this. This is different, okay? 🙂 There is actually a purpose behind this blog. A rather exciting one, I think. One that keeps me up late at night dreaming and planning and praying.

I started this blog because, next July I will be embarking on a new adventure. This blog is meant to document the new and unexpected journey that the Lord is taking me on. (Ha, that’s the plan at least. We’ll see how well I actually do with this documenting.) So, just what is this adventure? Okay, I’ll tell you…because I may just burst if I don’t! 🙂

Come July, I will be packing my bags, tearily (translation: with ugly SOBS) hugging my fam-bam goodbye, hopping on a plane, and moving to Jinja, Uganda. For one year, I will be Amani Baby Cottage’s Project Coordinator Intern. Kinda crazy, right? Needless to say, this was definitely not something I had in my four year plan but that seems to be the way God works sometimes — redirecting where you least expect it, when you least expect it.

I’m still actually trying to wrap my head around it all. Three weeks ago, I was thinking about college classes, credits, and transfers. Now I’m thinking about passports, visas,  shots, and how in a mere five months I’ll be saying goodbye to life as I know it. I’m filled with all sorts of emotions — excitement, anticipation, thankfulness, awe and a little trepidation. However, I am confident that this is where the Lord is calling me for this next season. And so, I am choosing to trust Him and follow Him completely.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” Proverbs 16:9 
“As for God, his way is perfect…”
Psalm 18:30a

A little background…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a heart for missions, third world countries, and especially orphans. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to work in an orphanage. Yet, over the past few months, this desire has grown and deepened in a way that in hard to put into words. There is a tangible ache to go beyond simply “sponsoring”  a child (which is great!), and to physically be God’s hands and feet and to love the “least of these”, to not just see pictures, but to actually look in the eyes of these precious children.

There were several other factors that played into this decision, too. So, when I scrolling through Instagram one day and saw a post about the Amani Baby Cottage searching for someone to fill the Project Coordinator position, my heart stopped for a second.

“Lord, is this you?” I questioned. “Are you trying to tell me something? Is this what you’ve been directing me towards?” 

But almost immediately after, reality hit. “There’s NO way. This is crazy. I’m just barely finishing my first year of college. I can’t take a whole year off. That’s such a long time. I’d have to quit my jobs, especially my library job which I love. And how would I finance this? What would my parents say? Besides, they would never choose someone like me for this position. I’m not experienced or qualified enough.”  

Yet, the pressing to fill out the application would not leave. After praying, the doubts were silenced and a deep peace settled in my soul. I decided to step forward in faith and just do it. “If this is You, Lord, you’ll work it all out. If not, I’ll be very content to just keep on doing what I’m doing right now. I leave it in Your loving hands. As always, you know best.” 

Well, that was that. Life moved on. Imagine my surprise when about a week later, I receive an email saying that they would like to continue the process of me becoming the Project Coordinator. Say what?! Everything seemed to happen in a whirlwind after that…talking it over with my parents and getting their blessing, background checks, further emails, and a video interview. “Okay, I guess we’re actually doing this, Lord.”

All of it still has me reeling a bit, but I am thrilled to be able to join this incredible ministry and be a part of the amazing work that God is doing there.

Which speaking of, what exactly is Amani Baby Cottage?

Glad you asked. It’s a beautiful ministry dedicated to providing and finding a loving Christian home for children in need. Amani is an African word for peace, which is exactly what ABC strives to be — a place of peace. As per their website:

“Amani Baby Cottage is a [NGO] babies’ home that provides care for orphaned, abandoned and needy children, from newborn to 5 years. It was established in 2003 and has been the home to 350 children. Our goal and mission is to find a permanent home for all of our children through reuniting with their families or adoption. ABC is located in Jinja, Uganda on Lake Victoria near the source of the River Nile.”

I first heard of Amani when I was researching orphanages in Africa a few years back. I also have two friends who have both served different seasons there. One good friend, Lindsey, actually has two younger siblings adopted from ABC. Fear not, it’s a completely a legit and trustworthy ministry.

What will you be doing as this “Project Coordinator”?

Another great question! Again, as per their website:

“As a member of the Amani Baby Cottage team, the Project Coordinator Intern is responsible for the upkeep, organization, and refreshing of the buildings and the children’s belongings. This position will greet teams, give tours, and lead teams on projects that we are working on at Amani Baby Cottage.”

And of course, you better believe, I’ll also be loving on those precious babies, as well as participating in outreach to the nearby community. If you’re super curious and wish to see a full job description, click here.

Get involved!

I would love if you would partner with me. Would you prayerfully consider it? You can do this in three ways:

  1. The first and most important way is through prayer. I would covet your prayers. (Seriously, I need ’em!) As I am still a full time student in college and working two jobs, almost every spare moment leading up to my departure will be quite full. I’d love it if you would pray for the Lord to prepare me physically, emotionally, financially and especially spiritually. I’ve already been lovingly told in my interview to expect difficulties, challenges, and hard days. Pray that I would be made strong to be joyfully poured out on His behalf. This isn’t just about cute kiddos and adventure. This is ultimately about Jesus, His glory, and advancing His Kingdom.
  2. Buy a t-shirt! Click here. (Available until March 12th.)
  3. I’d love if you would consider partnering with me financially. While I have some saved and am continuing to save, and my parents are also generously supporting me, the costs of traveling and living overseas certainly add up. As an intern, this is not a paid position. Anything you generously give will go to help cover my airfare, room and board, insurance, and other living expenses. Find out more about this here.

Thanks for joining in. I can’t tell you how excited and expectant I am to see what the Lord is going to do!

To God be the Glory,

Joy

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27

See Amani’s Facebook here and their Instagram here.

 

 

 

 

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