Team 2 arrived and I must say they have had the worst start of any team that I can remember. They were delayed the first 24 hours - having to stay in the airport for hours and then leave the airport, arriving the next day........re-routed to a different city in the U.S.........then added an extended layover in London......causing them to arrive two days later than originally planned......ALL because of a tropical storm that created cancellations in NYC. So......they arrived Monday instead of last Saturday and to make things worst........their luggage was lost. Not some of their luggage......all 18 bags! 16 of the bags arrived Tuesday and the remaining two are supposed to arrive tomorrow.
Most people would be so tired, so jet lagged, full of complaints and ready to point fingers and blame.....but not this group. The leader of the team is so positive and all 10 members have not once complained. They are all well traveled and realize that things happen when one travels. Weather causes problems, delays happen, luggage gets misplaced......BUT...God's plans can not be harmed. No matter what happens along the journey, God still gets the final word on the outcome.
The team has had two full days and have already been so touched and moved by the Lord's work in Uganda. They have fallen in love with Amani Baby Cottage and I might be trying to push "Tina Marie" on to some of them permanently:) They cannot stop talking about how moved they are watching preschool, or the kids clubs in Masese or the women's outreach Bible Study program HEAL has in Masese. They love the children at Canaan Children's Orphanage and the Canaan Primary School. They fell in love with the ministry "Serving His Children". Since Monday, they have experienced a passion so deep and so quickly that can only come from above. Unconditional love. Here, it just seems easier to see people through the eyes of Jesus. Here, the children yearn for attention and and a hug. Here, the women look deeply into your eyes and hang onto every word. And, here, this team is reminded how God created us all to be in relationship with each other. Even across the world, across oceans and with language barriers. Here, we are reminded that even though we don't speak the same languages, that love is universal.
So we will do things together.....(Woody, Molly, Sam, Braxton, Pam, Austin, Patrick, Jenn, Lynley and Graham)....we'll make crafts, we'll pass out shoes and vitamins, we'll serve and play, laugh and cry.......but the one thing that we will all remember is the love learned never leaves our hearts. That God alone stirs up passion for His people. We are a thankful team for learning this so early during the trip! And we are learning to see beauty everywhere....in the slums, the people, in the red beautiful dirt of Uganda, in the hundreds of diapers hanging on a line, in everything.
I see Jesus through the eyes of the children here.....through the laughter and hugs of the members of the team.......through the smiles shared that says "everything is going to be okay"........through praise and worship in two different languages........through a 14 year old girl with a baby that smiles now and when I first met her was void of joy.......through a former Muslim (now Christian) single mother that smiles and hugs me and lives in a mud hut with six children.......through the team playing with hundreds of kids in a slum and giving them a glimpse of hope..........through the team painting a room where a lame new mother lives to give her encouragement and to build her up......through the "i love you's" from the children we serve........and seeing Heaven when we praise the Lord together.
This is going to be a great team experience!
"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." St. Augustine