Y'all. I woke up this morning feeling unbelievably CONVICTED. GUILTY. ASHAMED.
Mission trips will do that to you. They change you. It's a good thing.
This morning, as I was praying, I realized that I was thanking God for all of these THINGS - these things that I have. "Thank you for my home, for heat, for a dry place to be protected from the rain, a warm bed, warm clothes, a safe car, hot coffee, clean water, clean clothes..." As I was thanking God for all of those THINGS, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Everything I was thanking Him for were things that so many don't have.
The rainy season is beginning in Uganda. In the Katanga slum, rain floods their tiny shacks. Along with the rain washing into their homes is trash...and raw sewage. I don't have to stand all night because I don't have a dry, clean place to rest my head. I don't have to poop (sorry) in a bag and dump it outside in a "creek". I don't have to prostitute myself to be able to feed my son. But why not? Why not me?
As most of you know, my husband and some of my dearest friends and church family just got back from Uganda on Saturday. A friend of mine was walking through Katanga when a lady handed my friend a brand new baby. "Take her", she said. This mother was trying to give her baby away because she knew she could not feed the baby. She didn't want that baby to grow up in a place like Katanga. Can you imagine having to make that choice? Some other friends were offered children too. They wanted to sell their children to the "rich Americans" to be able to survive.
Y'all, we are SO very fortunate. SO FORTUNATE. I hate when people say, "I am so blessed" because they have so many things and homes and cars, etc. It's true, you ARE blessed but so are the people in Uganda and all the other places in the world. God blesses us all, we just happen to have been born in a country that has much more opportunity than they do. It could have been me growing up in Katanga. It could have been you. Your children. Think about that for a while. Why wasn't it me??
My heart is absolutely broken for those people. I cannot wait to go back. I want to love them. I want to tell them about Jesus and how much hope He can give. I want to help educate the young girls so maybe, just maybe they can find jobs and not have to resort to prostitution. Maybe help keep them from HIV and help their future babies from being born with HIV. I am just broken for them.
I am thankful to have seen the filth. Smelled it. Lived it for a few hours. Now I can't just pretend like I haven't seen it. I can't go back to living like everything is fine in the world. I have to do something. Once you see it, you HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. Please pray for me, Ryan, and Colt as we pray for guidance and direction in this situation. We have to do something because...
It could have been me, God. Why wasn't it me??