I am currently in Uganda! This summer has been amazing and nonstop. It is so awesome to see people who are so deeply in love with Jesus from around the world.
So my time in India started off pretty rough. While in India our team stayed at an orphanage home. Our living conditions at the orphanage home we’re really rough. We slept on air mattresses, we took bucket baths, hand washed our clothes, most of the time we drank hot water, we had no A/C, and the temperature was easily over 100 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time! The only time we were not sweating is when we took our bucket baths. So when we went to sleep we were sweating, and when we woke up we were still sweating. In fact, it was cooler to sleep outside in that 100 degree weather than sleeping inside the orphanage. Also the first few days in India I had a pretty bad stomach problem where my stomach did not want to have anything in it, which is extremely bad since I’m in this weather and my body does not want to drink water.
In saying all that, that “suffering” we experienced at the orphanage home was nothing compared to hanging out with these orphans. During my time in India I truly got to see what it looks like to have joy in the Lord. These orphans are blessed just to have a couple pairs of clothing. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner these orphans ate with their hands and the food they were eating was certainly not finger food. During the school year most of these kids don’t even have their own bed. Also when I say bed, I mean a mattress that is 2 inches thick that is lying on a slate of wood.
Spending time with these children has definitely taught me a lot of things. The biggest thing that I learned was, having joy and being content in the Lord even when you have nothing. When having nothing you truly have to lean on God for your strength and comfort. One of the verses I ran across in my quiet in India was, “But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me.” Hosea 13:4-6. When Israel got full, with possessions or anything that hinders you from Jesus, they forgot who their savior was, who led them out of Egypt. And this is what I think is so beautiful about these Indian orphans; they will never be full in anything because all they have is God. God is their only source of strength, hope, joy, and love. They love God so dearly. Every single morning the kids wake up at 5:30 in the morning to pray! Also to hear about some of the testimonies of these orphans was incredible. Like this one orphan, after hearing about who Jesus is, went back home and destroyed all of his grandparents’ Hindu statues and pictures. He was only 5 years old when that happened.
Leaving these orphans was extremely hard. On the last few days of the trip I started getting pretty close to this one orphan named Saed. He was the coolest 6 years old in the world! The only English words I heard him speak was yes, no, and monkeys. Saed and I would just sit in the tree for an hour and just be monkeys. I would have full conversations with him and he would not understand a word I was saying. But honestly, those times in tree will be times I would never forget. Saed would say “yes” to anything you asked him. I would ask him where one of his friends was and his response would be “yes”. It was definitely one of the cutest things to experience. The only time I heard him say no was when I asked him, “Is there ever a time that God does not love you?” And he would say no! It was the only time I heard him say no! Before I asked him that question, I would ask, “Does God love you?” Of course he says yes, but it blew my mind away that he knows that God will never ever stop loving him. It was almost like that was the only thing he knows, and the best part is that is one of the most important things, if not the only thing, we need to know! In saying all this about Saed, he reminds me of me. He likes to cry, just like me… That whole last day we were at the orphanage he was crying in my arms and did everything he could to stay there. Setting Saed down to get on the bus was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. God truly started showing even more what it means to love, and I fell so in love with Saed. Leaving somebody I love like that was miserable. But knowing that our great God is watching over and protecting these orphans was so comforting!
Hopefully soon I will be able to get another blog up soon to tell you about my time in Uganda. I will be heading to Slovenia in 3 more days! I love and miss everybody!