Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday: Grace

It’s 9:00 am when I arrive, and Oliver’s family is rushing to eat breakfast and dress up before the move. The government is expanding the railroad that runs through Namuwongo slum, and they’ve knocked down homes and displaced masses of people. Our rental truck pulls up, and my ministry partner, Eve, along with Oliver’s mama and the kids squish in the cab and head off to their family’s village, all their belongings in tow. We get a phone call a few minutes later that they’ve forgotten the chicken. I love Uganda.

After seeing the family off, Silvester and I have a mission. Both Sarah and Oliver’s homes have been demolished, so today we’re house-hunting. Sometimes people ask me what a typical day looks like for me in Uganda…I never know what to say, and maybe now you’ll see why. Yesterday I celebrated Eid and feasted with the Mufti, today I'll ride on boda after boda, walking dusty road after dusty road, trying to provide a fresh start for these mamas, tomorrow…who knows?

It’s on days like this when I remember the only thing good in me is Jesus. Boda guys and taxi drivers constantly overcharge us because of me. It’s not fun to look like walking shillings. I get so frustrated sometimes, but I thank God for Silvester and his calm and gentle spirit.

Uniquely Woven: Powered by Novida 

We praise God because we found a house for our mamas! (Rent is just $100 a month! To donate, go to www.uniquelywoven.org) The area is safe, and it’s within walking distance of my church. I pray that these mamas and babies will experience Jesus’ love in this home. Who are we that we get to be a part of all of this?

Next on the list is buying some mattresses so our mamas can sleep in their new home tonight! We’ll go to the downtown market to buy the rest of the furniture and home essentials as donations come in.

I will go to sleep tonight more Ugandan than I was when woke up this morning…we fit two mattresses and three humans on one boda. Go us!

Silvester takes the mamas and their few belongings to the new home, and I hop on a boda to go pick up a few things for our Bible study in Namuwongo. This picture brings joy to my heart! God is making all things new.

It’s 3:50 and I'm zooming to Namuwongo carrying bags of muffins to serve to our pregnant mamas. As we weave in and out of traffic, all I can think is I’m frustrated because of the countless people who have been rude to us and overcharged us today, I am super tired and I think I’m getting a cold, I’m stressed out because we have so much to do and so little time, I’m late for Bible study, and nothing is going according to my plans! And God must be thinking “For real?” He is not surprised by today. I should be rejoicing that everything must be working according to HIS will, because it’s definitely not working according to mine. I try to pray, but my mind is just racing with lists and worries. And so I take a deep breath and exhale the words “Grace. Grace.” Over and over I pray this one word. Give me grace for my shortcomings, teach me to be gracious in this mess, help me see the grace in today. Grace. Grace.

I’m standing behind twenty pregnant mamas, listening to my friend Isabelle teach Bible study. How can I miss the grace in a woman, who just a month ago tragically lost her baby, and is now standing here sharing the love of Christ with other pregnant women?

How can I miss the grace in Jesus, who is the reason I’m here? The grace that He has chosen US, imperfect, stressed out, crazy humans to proclaim His love to the ends of the earth?

Grace. Lesson learned. Some days will be stressful and overwhelming. I will be tired and I will miss lunch and there will be a never-ending flow of red dirt rinsing out of my hair in the shower. But there is always grace.

Jesus, I’m sorry for missing the grace. I’m sorry for being blinded by stress, and for being caught up in tasks. Teach me to keep my eyes fixed on You, my mind stayed on you, my hand in Yours. May I be more like You tomorrow than I was today. That is my never-ending prayer.

1 comment:

  1. My Natalie. I'm praying that God will give you peace and calm and strength to endure all the hassles you encounter as you go about His business. You've chosen a "hard row to hoe", but God has you right where he wants you and He will see you through. I love you, Gammy