Uganda 2014: Love shows up

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The Michelle and Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home. Photo credit to the beautiful Sarah Elbing.

It’s a love story that began long ago.

One that will go on long after I am here to write about it.

Rising from the Ugandan dust. . . 

An orphanage grew.

Seemingly overnight.

That doesn’t just happen.

Orphanages don’t just appear.

But this one did.

Beauty from the ashes. . .

An orphanage born of redemption and grace.

But most of all LOVE.

Because love never fails.

It shows up.

Even in death.

Even when we are brokenhearted.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In a few short days, I will be boarding a plane to Uganda to visit the Michelle and Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home. I will be traveling with some very special people. At the moment, I feel like I am about to burst from pure joy and excitement.

And yet, I can hardly believe it. . . even though I’ve been there before.
I’ve seen it.
I’ve hugged the children.
I’ve touched the red earth.
I’ve felt  joy and grief simultaneously flood my heart. . . until I thought it would explode.

It’s all very real. . .and yet, still so surreal.
I sometimes can’t help but wonder if this all a really long, tragic-yet-beautiful, neverending dream.
Some days I think that maybe this will be the day that I wake up.
I’ll call my mom and sister-in-law and tell them about this crazy dream I had about an orphanage.
And they will listen as I recount every detail.
I’ll chase butterflies with my niece and tell her that I’ve met a whole bunch of her 100 kids.
And she will tilt her head back and laugh wildly!

Then I realize that I am awake. . . and I remember that they already know about this orphanage.
Because, when I was there, I saw their spirit everywhere. . .
In the faces of the beautiful children and in the butterflies that would linger.
I saw them gloriously looking on from above.
Their love reigning over us.

Love is like that.
It shows up.
It builds orphanages.
It transcends death.
It heals the brokenhearted.

Love never fails.

And the story goes on. . .

Uganda 2014

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Some of the children of the Michelle and Julia Hoffman Memorial Children’s Home in Uganda. Thank you Sarah Elbing for this photo!

As I write this, I feel like I should be pinching myself.

I’m going to Uganda for the second time in one year?

What?

I know.

I feel like the luckiest girl alive at the moment.

I could never thank the people that have made this trip possible for me enough. I don’t have the words to describe how truly grateful I am. I don’t know if I ever will. All I do know is that this trip will be incredibly special. I can feel it already.

I failed miserably writing about my last trip. I am not exactly sure why. Yes, I can be terribly lazy about my writing, but that wasn’t what this was. It was something more. I have a feeling much of the experiences of my first trip will come out in the blogs of trip number two, which, by the way, I PROMISE to write!

So in the mean time. . .

Stay tuned.

It’s Uganda or bust!