Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I Suck at Transitioning

Since I have gotten home from Uganda I have been asked more times than I can count, “how are you transitioning?”  While this is obviously a valid and important question, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth whenever I attempt to answer it.  This is the third summer in a row that I’ve been able me to go to Africa and each summer has marked me for life in a different and beautiful way.  The first summer that I went to Uganda my worldview was completely wrecked and last summer, Ethiopia showed me how Jesus is not just a part of our lives but is indeed to be our wholes lives when we claim to follow Him.  And this summer had more in store than I could have ever imagined.
The reason I said what I did about trying to answer the transitioning question is because since the first day I stepped foot back in America after my first trip to Africa, I have not been successful in transitioning back into American life.  God broke my heart in a way that it has not healed and I can truly say that I have been haunted by the images I saw in the slums the summer of 2009.  God has risen up mentors and friends in my life who haven’t let me even begin to forget what I saw and have pushed me to be intentional about living a recklessly abandoned life for Christ.   Through those two trips, He also made it very clear to me that I am to pursue overseas missions while I continue to follow the Spirit’s leading as far as my future goes.
This summer my prayer was that God would allow me to see the Nations through His eyes, to feel sorrow with His heart, and to confront evil with His justice.  As you all know we were in Uganda this summer primarily to do ear piercing clinics because of the problem with witchdoctors abducting children.  We started the clinics the day after we arrived in country and I was thrown into the mix as a team leader.  We had two piercers per team and the first day proved to our whole group how much God had put on our plates.  The second day of the piercings Jesus began to answer my prayer.  I remember very specifically one little girl who we knelt down to pierce and the overwhelming love and compassion that engulfed my heart, so much so that I became distractingly emotional and had to hand off my post as a piercer.  What Jesus did was let me begin to see those kids through His eyes and to feel for them just a small portion of the love He loves them with.  For the rest of the trip my role was to intercede for each child that we were blessed to encounter.  When it was all said and done we were able to use 800 pairs of earrings and shared the Gospel with many others while we were in the slums.  It was an incredible experience to watch Micah 6:8 become a true part of all our lives.  He has told us to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with the Lord our God and our whole team got to see that start to make sense to our spoiled and shallow American minds.  It’s humbling that Jesus let us be a small part of his heartbeat for Uganda.
Thank you my brothers and sisters for supporting me both financially and with your constant and faithful prayers.  We felt the Spirit’s protection and guidance in unbelievable ways as we showed the Jesus Film deep into the slums at night and charged hell with every ear that we pierced. 
Being back from this last trip, my answer to every transitioning question has only gotten more disappointing because there is no such thing as transitioning back to normal life any longer.  Any hope I ever had of living that normal life was shattered along with my heart three summers ago.