3 Months

Hello friends!

I thought it was high time to give you guys an update. This is probably going to be a lengthy one. So, here goes. 🙂

This is something I shared on my Instagram last week, and I thought it would be fitting to share here as well. The words are just as real and true in my life this week as they were last.

“Confession: Sometimes I am tired of the dust and the dirt and the heat. Sometimes I miss my family so much it feels as though my heart is being squeezed. Sometimes I’m just plain tired.

You know, moving to Uganda was a pretty easy decision to make. You see, it’s the staying that’s the hard part. It’s in the remaining when the honeymoon phase has ended, when things get tough that it really matters. Living in Uganda has been one of the best decisions of my life. It’s brought 33 little people that I love so much I sometimes think my heart will burst. It’s included countless dance parties and deep belly laughs. But there are teary moments, too. It’s taught me how to deny my flesh. It’s revealed a whole lot of selfishness and pride that I didn’t even realize was quietly lurking under the surface, unnoticed and overlooked. It’s brought to light just how dependent I can be on things other than the Lord. Mostly it’s shown me afresh that true, everlasting JOY is found in Jesus. It’s not in my circumstances or my location or my relationships. It’s found by abiding in Him, by looking to Him, and by spending time in His presence. He’s given me such a deep, full joy that I’ve never quite experienced in this way before.

Here’s to another 9 months — a lifetime, really — of being refined and pressed and challenged and learning to hate my comfort zone and coming to more fully know the joy that is found in Christ alone. To learn to still smile big when tears are threatening to fall. To learn to look outward at the needs of others when I’m tempted to only look inward at my wants and desires. To learn to see beauty when all I see is brokenness. To love with Christ’s love, unreservedly even when it hurts and I’m not loved back in that same way. To rejoice even when it doesn’t make sense. To speak up when it’s easier to be quiet, and to learn to sit in silence when it’s needed more than whatever words I want to say.

All that to say, Three months in and I can say wholeheartedly, He is still abundantly good & He is still abundantly worthy. And through the high and the lows, I’m abundantly thankful to be here, right here.”

 

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Other Things of Note

  1. We’ve gotten 4 new girls since I last posted about our 5 new babies! Our girl cottage is growing rapidly. Thankfully, all of these girlies are adjusting very well and learning to love life at Amani.
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    Grace was abandoned. She is estimated to be 11 months. From day one, she has been all smiles and spunk. She’s one of the happiest little girls that I’ve ever met!
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    Sweet Martha is kind and shy. She loves to play peekaboo. We believe she is around 14 months old.

    These two beautiful sisters, Esther and Maria, joined us just the other day. Esther is the one on the bottom lefthand corner. She is two years old. Little Maria is the one on the top lefthand corner. Although she is old 4 years old and older than Esther, she is much smaller. We are working on getting her heavier, healthier, and happier!  With the care of her mamas and aunties, I’m confident she’ll be a chunky monkey in no time!

  2. We had a big birthday party for the kids. I love birthdays and I love planning parties. And I love the fact that my job involves both of those. I had such fun making the party hats, decorations, and chocolate cake. The kids had an absolute blast! And it was so special to be able to celebrate these precious lives.
  3. Speaking of birthdays, I celebrated my 21st birthday. So, I was a little sad way back when I realized that I was going to spend this birthday in Uganda. I’d always pictured doing something really fun for my 21st with my sisters and closest friends. But it was a really special, memorable birthday. I went paddle boarding on the NILE RIVER, which was just incredible. It was such a surreal moment. Afterwards, we ate dinner on the Nile and drank homemade kombucha. It was a lovely 21st. (And then a day later, I got pink eye. But, hey, we won’t go there. 😉

     

  4. A friend of mine (Hannah) came with her friend (Lydia). They are going to be volunteering at Amani for the next two months! It’s so sweet to have a familiar face here. But in addition to that, they brought me all sorts of goodies from my family and several friends. It was like Christmas — Autumn scented candles! Reeses! Essential oils! Chocolate chips! Conditioner! It’s funny how you appreciate these little things so much more when they’re not readily available at your fingertips. They also brought several bags packed full of donations for Amani, which was just beautiful and overwhelming. I was almost moved to tears by it all.

 

And a Whole Host of Photos

 

As always, I’m incredibly thankful for the continued encouragement, prayers, and support that I’ve received from all of you during these past months. I can’t tell you how much it means. Thank you so much for following along on this wild journey!

Until next time,

Joy

“This God—His way is perfect, the Word of the Lord proves true;
    He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
Psalm 18:30 

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