Sunday, August 12, 2012

Words do not suffice....

Yesterday was indescribable.

My mom is asking me to update this site for so many of you....but words seem to fail me. I wonder if my choice is between not saying a word because words do not suffice or using more words than you'd ever want to read :-)

We started the day, Abby and I, in our rooms at 5:30. After washing each other's hair by laying in bed, putting a bucket under us and stretching the shower cord :-)  We were cracking up and soaking one another by 6 am. After that, we spent an hour on Ugandan radio. Yes, you read that right! So fun!!!! Anne, Rita (an amazing woman I can't wait to tell you more about) and I spoke for an hour about the conference and about healing and hope. Most of the Teso people listen to the radio in the mornings, so it was an amazing opportunity!

After organizing donations for hours on end, we headed to the villages. But first....a word on donations. I cannot possibly thank you enough for what you have sent. If you could see their faces when we give out your would want to give gifts every day for the rest of your days. They mean the WORLD to these ladies. Thank you doesn't seem adequate.

The village experiences can hardly be described in the 5 minutes I have left before we leave....

Village 1 included groups 10 & 11. We were greeted with flags and shouts and dancing from the moment our bus pulled into the road leading to the village. It was precious. We were all crying before we even got off our bus! At this village, we were able to give out COWS!!!!  These were the cows that my Uncle Barry and Aunt Shannon provided! Such a privilege! To see their faces. To hug their necks. To see their joy. To hear their stories. I wish only that you could have been here to experience it yourselves. The women of the village performed a play for us - acting out the whole cooperative process. It was PRECIOUS!!!  I'll go into more detail later :-)

Village 2 included groups 4 & 5. This one was a tad more somber, but still included dancing, (lots of dancing), singing, presentations from the group and presentations from us :) We all felt the pain of this village in a heavier way than the others....I think a blog post for each village is in order :)  It was SO much fun to give these ladies their presents from you guys! Viviane and Dawn...these girls got your gifts! And they loved them....and I told them all about you girls and your love for them. :)

Village 3 included groups 1, 2, 3 & 9. This place could receive an entire book of blogs and still not explain the joy. We never wanted to leave these people especially. The party we entered was truly a picture of what heaven will be like! We were swept up in the party as soon as we stepped off the bus. This included being surrounded by dancing, singing, beautiful african women. They had bells on their ankles and sticks with flowers and flags attached to them. One woman had a drum and the others used the instruments of their voices....alternating between singing and shouting "aye, yi, yi, yi" (just like you imagine!). They picked me up and held me on their shoulders while we sang and danced. During our presentations, we got to meet each of the cooperatives. Oh my DEAR! These women have already done SOOOOOOO much!!! They are helping one another, focusing on making sure their children stay in school, protecting their girls from early marriage and changing their own communities. They are more than incredible.

When I got up to speak, I just cried. I cried to meet Adeke Loy (I will share her story later). I cried to watch the beauty. I cried to see what these women had done. I cried that I am actually allowed to be a part of this. I am absolutely amazed that God would choose to use me in this way. absolutely amazed.

Then....I got to introduce the team. When I introduced my mom, they immediately surround her in a circle and danced around her in a dance of honor. It was PRECIOUS!!!!  They called her mama and celebrated her to a level that most people never experience. They ended up doing this for each of our ladies!!!! Oh my. There is video and will be pictures....but until them, just know that this experience will remain one of the best experiences of all of our lives.

The joy of these women is overwhelming. We seriously PARTIED!!!!! We danced and danced and danced until our legs hurt. We smiled until our faces hurt. We cannot even speak of the experience without both tears and smiles.

One thing I can say is that we LOVE the Ugandan women. LOVE them. I mean....I already loved them, but it was PRECIOUS to watch all of my team absolutely fall in love with them too.

We debriefed last night and discussed the emotions we, hope, joy, sadness, overwhelmed, faith, amazement. But the greatest emotion was unworthiness. How oh how could WE have been chosen to experience this? We are unworthy to receive and experience such joy. To receive the gifts that we have received. Oh yeah, I didn't tell you about that!!! Each of the villages brought us upon gifts....eggs and chickens and greens and baskets and wood carvings....bounty from their hearts and their villages. Bounty beyond what we deserve. Bounty that brought tears to our eyes every single time. Bounty that showed generosity beyond what any of us had ever experienced. Bounty. And WE were the recipients....and all we know is that we are both humbled and amazed. (I am preaching...PRAY!), visiting the school for the kids we sponsored and helping with registration for the conference!  Love you guys. Sorry we haven't posted much....I've had less internet than ever before. But we are thinking of you guys and SO very thankful for your prayers!

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