It's always so humbling to watch a team bond not only with each other but also with the family at the James Place. That family includes hundreds of children and over one hundred women. This team of 13 has once again made me say.......wow and well done! I love it when God calls these young people to serve His people across the world because always they get much, much more than they pay for. They learn about humility, love, hope, faith and what is really important in life. They learn that from the wonderful people of Uganda. The team has served HEAL very well. They have exceeded my expectations in kindness, in sharing, in serving and in projects. They come to me asking "What can I do next?" when they finish a project. There is a rotation of servers at meals and constantly others are asking if they can help when it is not their turn. What a beautiful thing for the HEAL staff to see..........they even pitched in and helped the outdoor kitchen wash dishes; they help childcare in every way. And they do it all because that is what love looks like.
When we have gone to serve other organizations, they have served with a happy heart. They took the children at Ekisa swimming and it is always a favorite activity. I sat at the side of the pool watching these young high school girls with the children in the pool. Children that are not always easy to deal with; but beautiful children of God. And I smiled as I watched how incredibly happy the children were to be in the water - and how happy the children made the team. They did that out of eagerness because that's what love looks like.
They also went to Serving His Children and learned about malnutrition. They spent an hour with the mamas to allow them to forget about their problems and to just have fun by making crafts. Their love and service to Amani Baby Cottage during play time one afternoon was another example of serving orphans that we are called to serve. They loved them well and played and laughed because that's what love looks like.
The team will be leaving their skirts here and they have already asked if they could give them to certain staff members here at the James Place. I look outside and see them laughing and talking to the workers and making friends. They sit and talk and smile and laugh with the ladies in the crafts and sewing program while making rugs. And the funny thing is they could not communicate but they were still laughing and talking and just being....just sitting and enjoying the moment because that's what love looks like.
Masese is a slum area where we meet two different small groups of women in our programs twice a week and have KIDS Club. It is a very hard reality to deal with but this group has fallen in love with not only the people but the place. They learned in just a few short days that it is a special place and poverty does not mean poor, pitiful people. Instead, they have gotten to know the most joyful people in the world and are able to get past the appearance and the prejudices because that's what love looks like.
When it is time to leave the James Place, they always want to know when they will be back because they don't want to leave the children here. They love every place that they go to and they are always thankful once they arrive to the destination, but their hearts are wanting to return to the children they see daily here - just to hold them, just to smile and play because they have bonded with the least of these.......and that's what love looks like.
"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." - Saint Augustine