“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” Isaiah 6:8
“Mom, I’ve been doing some research….” Eleven year olds don’t typically begin an email to their mom with those words. But- this 11-year-old has never fit the mold of a typical girl – so it didn’t surprise me. Last Spring, my very eager youngest daughter clearly outlined for me her plan to follow what she believed to be God’s call in her life by participating in a 10-day Mission Trip to Uganda. My immediate response was, “Allie, we will think and pray about it.” Her immediate response was, “Mom, I have thought and prayed about it and the longer I don’t do this, I’m being disobedient to what I know God has called me to do.” Well- what mom can argue with that logic?
In 2014, Allie had read Kisses from Katie, by Katie Davis. Katie had journeyed to Uganda during her Senior year in high school on a mission trip and had dedicated her first year out of high school to teaching in Uganda as a result. Through a series of unfortunate events, Katie was blessed with the opportunity to adopt 13 young girls and as a result began a ministry called Amazima Ministries. All before turning 20! Allie read this book and her heart was burdened for the orphans in Uganda. My sweet 9-year-old, at the time, determined to find a way to make it to Uganda to invest in the lives of the children there. After all, if Katie could make such an impact at such a young age, what was stopping Allie from doing the same?
The reality is that there were A LOT of factors that could have stopped Allie from traveling to Uganda. The expense alone was overwhelming- but we had to trust that if God had guided us to this journey, He would provide. She was only in 7th grade- maybe she was too young? She would have to miss school- a challenge for most middle schoolers. But most alarming was Allie’s health and the potential health concerns that loomed over her at the possibility of a trip to a third world country.
In September of 2006, Allie was diagnosed with a rare auto immune disorder that affects her platelets- her blood’s ability to clot properly. Additionally, in January of 2009, Allie had a surgery to remove her spleen in hopes of correcting the auto immune dysfunction. Allie is a young woman who literally should not get hurt or get sick because either could be life threatening. A trip to a 3rd world country would surely be out of the question. Doctors would most definitely say no. Missions organizations would not even consider the risk. Parents would not be brave enough to put their child in that kind of potential danger, would they?
Much to our surprise, we got green lights from everyone we talked to about the trip! Doctors said, “Why not?” Orphan’s Heart said, “We would love to have her with us!” And we as parents knew that we had taught Allie that when God says, “Go!” – you Go! You don’t wait until it makes perfect sense and falls into place logically! You obey.
So- we obeyed and in March of 2016, Allie and I experienced ten life changing days in the village of Kamonkoli, Uganda. Were there challenges? Most definitely! Was it easy? No way! However, was it exactly what we were supposed to do when we were supposed to do it? Absolutely! Our trip to Uganda left me with a different perspective- I was humbled, honored and hopeful!
Humbled to see the masses of men, women and children along the streets of Uganda- all going about their way of life- a way of life that is foreign to me but comfortable for them. Humbled to recognize that our amazing God not only created each one of those people I saw- but He loves them and sent Jesus for them!
Honored to be in this amazing country with these passionate and hospitable people. Honored to be able to share the love of Jesus with those who may not know of it as well as sharing the love for Jesus that many of these people have. Honored to be in the home of Ms. Katherine and hear her children sing praises to God and cry out to Jesus. Children who without Ms. Katherine would have become another Ugandan statistic about vulnerable children!
Hopeful to see how God works and moves through what Allie and I were able to be a part of in Uganda! We taught the Passion Story- all week – to different segments of the Kamonkoli population. We left hopeful that we would see this amazing people embrace the love of Jesus and gain a deeper understanding of His love for them! We also left hopeful to see the life of a young girl named Alice forever turned around as we were able to help her find her way back to school and ultimately a chance of a future in Uganda. (And grateful for a lifelong friend for Allie in Alice!)
What is God calling you to do today? Don’t allow the worries of this world or the practical lists of do’s and don’t’s interfere with His call on your life today! When he calls, I challenge you to answer, “Here am I. Send me!”