Friday, August 2, 2013

Uganda - How did this happen?


This is my verse for Uganda. And it actually could not be more perfect, because we will literally be working with people in exile. We'll be spending time with Batwa people who have been relocated to Kisoro, Uganda in order to provide refuge for the mountain gorillas. 

So how in the world did I get myself signed up for a mission trip to Kisoro, Uganda, you ask? 

Well, allow me to tell you. 

***

It all started way back towards the beginning of this year. I had just joined the Influence Network, and was diving into the discussion forum. My eye caught a thread that was looking for 20-something bloggers who were interested in guest posting. Ding, ding, ding!

An e-mail here, and an e-mail there, and I find myself quickly realizing just how much in common I have with this girl looking for guest bloggers. Our conversations effortlessly flowed from family, to running, to relationships, always coming back to the reoccurring theme of how amazing our God is.  Yupp, Diana was destined to become one of my great friends from the get go. 

We made plans to swap blogs for the day, and both shared all about the post-college lessons that we have learned. Things could have stopped there, but lucky for me, they did not. 

You know those friends that can give the best advice, never get tired of hearing about what's going on in your life, and don't think you're crazy for overanalyzing every detail until it can't possibly be analyzed any more? And you know the kind of friends who do all of those things, and point you back to Christ while doing it? 

Well, that's Diana in my life. Whether I am messaging her on gchat, or shooting her a text message for advice and prayer, she has quickly become one of my go-to friends for any and all situations that come my way. 

And now that you understand the extent of the epic-ness of this blog-indused friendship, cue to a few weeks ago. Diana and I were doing our typical gchat routine, when she mentioned that she was applying to go on her first mission trip to Uganda. The Lord had already put Africa on my heart, so this immediately grabbed my interest. I asked her if this was with her church, or an outside organization, and when she said that it was the later of the two, I knew exactly what my next question would be. 

I asked if I could apply, too. 

She said of course! And the two of us immediately got goose bumps (sounding like a proposal story, huh?) realizing that the first time we'd meet could very well be on a plane to Uganda. Uganda!

I asked her how much the trip cost. You see, I knew that I wanted to go on a mission trip in the near future. But, I expected to pay for it myself. The idea of fundraising was downright frightening to me. 

So when she replied $3,700, I figured that my dreams of the most epic blogger date/mission trip of all time were flying out the window. That was just way more than my measly savings account could afford right now. 

I went for a walk outside, and thought to myself. Why am I so afraid of fundraising? I love supporting others when they are on mission for Christ, so why do I have a hard time playing the reverse role? 

The only things that came to mind were pride, difficulty asking for help, and the fear of what others would think of me. What would they think when I ask for support? Would they think I'm worthy? Would my non-Christian friends think I'm crazy? 

I suddenly realized that I had to do this, I had to face this fear. Because none of those items listed above are valid reasons for turning down an opportunity to raise money 
to bring glory to God's name. 

The fact of the matter is, if God puts something on my heart, who am I to say no? I want to say yes! No matter how scary or daunting it might be. 

And I quickly became very aware that not only does God want to change me on this trip, He wants to change me before it even begins. He's ready to teach me how to accept support and blessings from others, and it's time for Him to help me let go of my fear of what others think. 

So I did the craziest thing I could think of, and I applied. 

Let the journey of Amy in Uganda begin. 

The fundraising has officially started. Check out my support page here!

14 comments:

Caitlin said...

You are SUCH an inspiration! You always face your fears head on. I am too scared to even share my blog with people I know in real life, but look at you go with your fundraising! Praying for you love. Happy Friday!

Diana said...

Amy!

You are the sweetest most loving girl I know! Thank you for your kind words :)

I 100% CANNOT WAIT to see what the Lord does in and through us in Uganda... and I certainly cannot wait to see the way He grows our friendship.

So much love for you and your heart! You bless me DAILY!

xoxo
Diana

Megan Westmoreland said...

i am SO excited for you! this is such an awesome story and such a testament of how incredibly awesome God is! i can't wait to see you in september to pray for you!!

Leah said...

oh amy, your posts never fail to inspire me. i absolutely love what God has done and how He is moving for this to be realized!

Kiki said...

That is so cool! I'm so excited that you've not only made a great friend through blogging but are also going to get to serve together in Uganda! Your faith and trust in Him is always so inspiring for me, girl--especially when it comes to things like your finances and relationships. :)

Tabitha Carnes said...

Soooooo insanely excited for you!!

Susannah said...

What an amazing story of another special blogger and you connecting enough to go on a missions trip together! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear what God does in and through you during the preparation for the trip and the time in Uganda!

Kerrie Williams said...

you got it right girl. the reason raising support is so difficult is because of pride. It's not easy to humble ourselves in that way, but every single time, God shows himself in it. Love you and am SO excited for you!!

erin m. said...

I've had to raise funds for a handful of missions trips over the years and it is honestly such a BIG part of the missions process. Trusting God to bring in the funds is such an area of faith! I love seeing the Lord move in people's lives as they release control and see God bring in money in amazing ways. So excited for your trip!

Gina Alyse said...

you got this girl! and wow, such an awesome story! And a powerful realization that God wants to change you before the trip as well as during. I'm so excited for you and your team! I wish you all the luck in your preparations! I was a little scared about fundraising for my mission trip to Guatemala, but God had that all under control as He does for you as well!

And that first verse you posted, spoke right to my heart. Thanks for sharing this!!

xo, gina

katie_shannon said...

I am just so excited for you!!!

Annie said...

i'm still just really excited for you.

and i totally get what you've said about fundraising. i HATE asking people for money. i would rather eat glue. i was actually planning on paying most of my trip to kenya myself before our team leader told us we had to send out support letters.

and i realized, after some internal groaning and reluctant acquiescence, that this is the way God had designed missions to work. this is how paul funded his trips all around the mediterranean. and if i choose not to send out support letters - yes, i'm making that sacrifice - but i am standing in the way of someone else obeying the Lord's call to sacrifice financially for missions.

also it blessed me like holy fire to hear your story and others' on how they were gifted with extra monies that they chose to pass on to me to make my trip possible. and that i think was the Lord heaping burning coals on my head for being stubborn.

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Amy, I am SO excited that this has all worked out! You are going to be SUCH a blessing to the people you meet there and I know this trip will impact you in huge ways! Also, the two scriptures you shared... I love them both. Especially the "here am I" one... that's been a favorite of mine since I was a teen (hence why I have it as an email address, haha). Good stuff! :)

Linnea said...

How exciting. I know that you have been wanting to go on a mission trip!