Lifting my Eyes

Hello once again, friends!

Thanks for keeping up with me, even when I’m not the best at keeping up with you. 🙂

These past few weeks have been a bit hectic, and if I’m honest they’ve left me feeling a bit weak and drained. Volunteers are leaving and major transition for Amani is looming just on the horizon. And then just this past weak my computer permanently crashed, I was diagnosed with the parasite giardiasis, the kids have gotten mumps, bedbugs, and several other physical ailments, and I’ve been hit with huge waves of homesickness as the holiday season (my favorite season) approaches and I’m thousands of miles away from my family.

The other day, I felt burden after burden that I was never meant to carry added on my shoulders until I felt so helpless. But that helplessness drove me to Jesus. I went in my bedroom, closed my door, tried my best to picture the Almighty God on His throne, lifted my hands up to the ceiling and audibly surrendered all of the weights I had been carrying to the Lord: my computer crashing, financial concerns, health concerns, and even my frustration and self-pity. As I cast them at His feet and proclaimed the truth that He is sovereign and in control, that I choose to trust Him with everything, that He is a good God who only does good things, and that these problems are minuscule to Him, I felt a physical weight lift from my shoulders. I’ll admit I felt a bit weird doing it and it would have been awkward if someone walked through the door just then, but it was actually very effective! 😉

I was again reminded of a phrase that has been floating through my mind lately, “Is anything too hard for the Lord (Gen 18:14)?”

Of course, the answer is an emphatic no.

“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” (Jer. 32:17)

All of the things that we’ve been dealing with at Amani are teeny tiny problems to Him. If I believe He is who He says He is, then I have no need to worry or be anxious. This is the same God who made something out of nothing. The same God who caused walls to crumble, mountains to move, and giants to fall. He’s defeated the fiercest of armies. He’s healed the lame and given sight to the blind. He still listens to the cries and prayers of His people. He guides and He provides. He’s still moving and doing miracles, big and small. He’s still fighting our battles. I believe that the most gargantuan problem in this created world fails to faze the Creator of the world.

The words of a worship song my dear friend shared with me this past summer have resonated so deeply with me, “It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You. This is how I fight my battles.”

Today I am freshly choosing to take my eyes off of all my earthy situations and circumstances, and lift my eyes up to my God who has a perfect view of all that’s happening from His heavenly throne. He knows precisely what He’s doing. And I believe Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Even through all of this, I have the peace that comes from knowing I am where the Lord wants me to be. And although I miss home, I’m not ready to come back. Even with its challenges, I love Uganda and Amani. And I am genuinely excited about the next 8 months. There are good things in the works, especially for Christmas. I’m heading up a couple of super special things for the children and mamas, and I’m so excited I can hardly wait! I’ll have to blog about them after they happen. This is going to be a special Christmas, a very special Christmas indeed.

For those of you who have asked for specific prayer requests, here are some:

  1. Health for all of the kids and staff
  2. Unity and peace during big transitions happening soon with new directors coming
  3. Comfort & Peace as homesickness hits  during the Holiday season
  4. For this to be a special Christmas for all of the kiddos and Ugandan staff as we celebrate the birth of Christ

Also, after a weird misunderstanding, I finally figured out that I actually can get mail. Whoops. If you’re interested in sending a little snail mail (and I promise to write back), here is the address:

Amani Baby Cottage
Joy Torres
Po Box 1799
Jinja, Uganda, East Africa

Join me in remembering, friends. Let’s remember who our God is. Let’s remember what He has already done. And let’s praise Him not only for that, but for what He is going to do!

Until Next Time,

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice…The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Water Wednesday is always a hit, especially on a hot November day. And all of the kids look so stinking’ adorable in their in their little swimsuits.

This cheeky monkey climbed THROUGH OUR WINDOW and stole one of our eggs from the counter. It was both hilarious and disturbing. Looks like we might have to keep our windows closed from now on.

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Maria and Joseph. Be still my heart. 

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