Thursday, February 2, 2017

So I'm taking my daughter to Africa....

As you may have heard by now, 
Libby and I (and our dear friend Erin) are headed to Uganda in May....
and I absolutely can't wait. 

But while I'm over the moon excited and counting the sleeps until we leave, 
I'm sure that a few of you will raise an eyebrow at this news. 

In the six years since I fell in love with a land far, far away, 
I've pretty much heard it all. 

Why would you ever want to go back? 
How can it possibly be safe? 
Why don't you just serve here? 

( I won't even begin to talk about the things people have said in regards to our adoption; 
that's a post for another day.)

While I don't hear remarks like these as often any more, 
(Pretty sure people gave up on trying to convince me not to go back after the second, third, fourth, or fifth times....)
I don't doubt that there are people out there
(maybe even someone reading this now?)
who simply can't understand why I would take my twelve year old daughter across the world. 

Where do I even begin? 
I'm pretty sure I could talk about this for days on end, 
but for your sake,
I'll try to keep it simple. 


Yes, Jesus. 

God has called us to serve. 
He's told us to love our neighbors. 
He's told us to treat others as we would want to be treated.
And I am certain that the word 'neighbors' is limited to the people living next door. 

I want my children to know more than their own towns. 
I want them to see the ways other people live. 
Yes, materially many people we will meet will have less than us. 
But do material things equate happiness? Joy? Quality of life? 
I'm  pretty sure you know my answer. 

By seeing where and how other people live, 
we can better understand and empathize and relate to others. 
We become more aware of what matters. 
Our perspective shifts.
Our hearts stretch just a little bit bigger. 

I mean with all of my heart when I say I fully believe the greatest joy we can experience on this Earth comes from serving others, and if my daughters learn only one lesson from me as their mother, this is the one I hope they learn. 

God has called us to love. 
We are never too young to do that. 
As long as we are capable and able, 
we should serve others whenever and wherever possible.
It's our responsibility as Christians, 
as families, 
and as people. 

I can't wait for my daughter to experience the beauty that is Uganda. 
I can't wait for her to see more of this world that God has created. 
I can't wait for her to step foot in the land I love so dearly. 
I can't wait for to step outside of her comfort zone in the name of serving others. 

So yes, I'm taking my daughter to Africa....
and I absolutely cannot wait. 

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