I am participating today in “Thankful Thursday,” hosted by Sonya at Truth for the Journey.
Recently, I have begun collecting what I need for my trip to Uganda in June, and planning how I will pack it all. I won’t need so much in the way of clothing, but we will have a lot of exposure to the elements, so I need to take things like hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and plastic bags. We also have to take a lot of our food. In many ways it is like packing for the trips we often make to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota/Canada.
Most of my cargo, however, will be things for the Ugandans we will be ministering to. Many wonderful friends have helped me collect toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, and eye glasses. I am also taking some teaching tools...a puppet, and some Bible story big books from a Sunday school curriculum, as well as a large bag of candy. As I prepare for this trip I am filled with gratefulness. Here are some things that come to my mind in the way of praise today:
• I am thankful for the generosity so many have shown in helping me fund my trip. In the beginning I was a bit uncomfortable asking for help, but God has provided so amazingly through the generosity of some great friends and family members. He also provided us with a surprise tax refund this year. What a blessing!
• I am thankful for a few ladies who took it upon themselves to ask dentists and eye clinics for donations. I am amazed and overwhelmed by the result! Of course I’m also thankful for the dentists and doctors that donated.
• I am thankful for all of those who have promised to pray for me and the rest of the team. I am specifically thankful for a couple of friends who are my designated prayer partners.
• I am thankful that I live in a country with a stable and relatively honest government. It is so easy to complain about how things are going here, but we have it good! I am reading a book about Idi Amin and the severe injustices that occurred under his reign in Uganda. Many of today’s problems in Uganda resulted from his abuse of power.
• I am thankful that I always have plenty of good food and fresh water, and that I don’t normally have to worry about contracting diseases through what I ingest.
• I am extremely thankful for this opportunity I have to minister to and encourage the people I meet in Uganda –to share God’s love and message of hope and salvation with them. Even though my suitcases will be overflowing with items to give them, I am pretty sure I will receive much more than I give. My life will be changed forever.
• I am thankful that God is stretching me, but also allowing me to use the specific gifts and abilities He has given me. He is so good! His faithfulness and grace are evident in both big ways and small.