Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Amazalibwa Amalungi

It was on this day 22 years ago that I was pulled from my mother’s womb, breathed my first breath, cried my first cry, perked open my eyes, and felt the warmth of unconditional love. Aside from that, the most amazing thing is that God granted me life from then until now of which I have not deserved even a millisecond of. Since my day of birth the Lord has allowed me the opportunity to live in this world which I am completely undeserving of. However, born into sin straight from the womb, Jesus saved me. I am proud to say that for 13 years now I have been living a new life, a life that will bring me eternity with Jesus, a life that allows me to have overflowing JOY!

As I sit here trying to sum up today I am speechless. My eyes are filled with tears as I can’t quite grasp my mind around the love that has been poured upon me. It is a glimpse at the unconditional love that Jesus has lavished upon me. A sweet reminder that Jesus sacrificed his life for me, and in the same way these precious children have sacrificed all they have to pour love into me which I do not deserve.

·         Chapatti Mama Sherry brought to me, cooked with the blessed hands of our cook, Mary.

·         Happy Birthday notes spread throughout the morning from Lydia, the custodian at the school, filled with encouragement and words of wisdom, who has become a dear friend of mine.

·         Birthday notes from Simon Peter who has become like my little pesky brother from school. The boy who snuck into class from the beginning and would pretend to be our student, and has now become the boy who I arm wrestle with everyday. His sweet letter let me know that he “loves me and God loves me.” There is something warming about hearing the word “love” from young boys.

·         Hand-made birthday cards from various children in the school, and the common phrase being “I’m sorry I don’t have a gift for you, but I love you very much.” WHAT? Little do they know that I will cherish these letters for the rest of my life. And seeing them hand me a crafted letter, written in their unique hand writing, will bless me for the years to come.

·         The climax of my day at school was yet to come. I was summoned to the office to be sprinkled with glitter, crowned with my crown, and blindfolded as I stood outside and waited for what was to come. I knew something was about to unfold because there is never silence among the school. I was guided by students to sit in a chair. As my blindfold was taken off I opened my eyes to see all the children in front of me shouting “SURPRISE!” They began singing Happy Birthday and lit the candles from the cake sitting in front of me.

·         The children then danced and I requested they sing “My Redeemer Lives.” That is my favorite song to hear them sing and jump to! I can’t explain how my heart rejoices hearing them shout that our redeemer lives!!

·         It is tradition here to serve the cake, so I cut up the 5 little cakes into tiny pieces so that each child could have a nibble. They then lined the kids up to give me a hug one at a time. This was the most humbling moment. Looking these children straight in the eyes, wrapping my arms around them, and kissing them on the forehead as they said “Happy Birthday Teacher Taylor” was glorious. Wow, they are the most beautiful children, and radiate through all the hardships they go home to each night.

·         At the school today I received various gifts, mostly food…which is very much appreciated with me, and cards written with tender words. How could I not be happy? But you know the most heart-breaking and humbling part of the day to me was that these kids literally gave me all they had. They made a sacrifice to give to me in the same way Jesus did. These children would literally give me the clothes off of their back even if they had no other article of clothing. The passion they have to give to others is like none I have ever seen before. It was so hard for me to accept small gifts and letters from them, however I had to humble myself and think, Taylor they are doing this because they love you. Be grateful and love them, let them know that their sacrifice is appreciated. I still can’t fully because I don’t understand, I never will. They love so much and yet they have near to nothing. And here I am, supposed to be serving these children and all they want to do is serve me? I can’t lie, I don’t get it. They are simply amazing and selfless; there is no other way to describe it.

·         Upon returning home, I hobbled off the boda and pushed open the gate to the home. In a matter of seconds I was greeted with hugs and warm water soaking my clothing. As my pants were falling and my shirt sagging I began to squeeze out my clothes. Ha, I thought too soon. I was then chased with a basin of cold water and a few other buckets to be poured over my head. Going from boiled water to cold water is not a good mix, FYI. I was completely soaked. It is a known tradition here in Uganda that you soak the birthday person in water, and well they succeeded. Kelsey was kind enough to bring me a towel as I shivered into the home to dry off.

·         When I walked in the home Kelsey had organized with the kids to scatter balloons in the living room and have letters hung along the walls with birthday wishes. WOW! Just as soon as I thought the day was winding down it only continued.

·         Kelsey proceeded to tell me to dry off and we were heading to get our nails done. Kelsey, Izzy, Myranda and I set off for a delightful few hours spent being pampered and sipping over coffee and delicious chocolate cake. But oh no, that’s not all.

·         When we returned home, they gathered the kids to the living room. They lit the candles and sang Happy Birthday one more time. When I blew out the candles it was hilarious. They were the re-lit candles and the kids got a kick out of it. They finally dived in and grabbed the candles blowing on them until they wouldn’t light back up.

·         After cutting the cake, reading my cards, and singing “bless the Lord oh my soul” Kelsey grabbed her guitar and they serenaded me with “22.” It was at this moment of me sitting as they sang that I looked upon their sweet faces and my eyes filled with tears. They have not the slightest idea of how they have impacted my life. These kids become family, brothers and sisters, each of which I look into their eyes and see their individuality and the unique moments and memories shared with each one of them.

I can honestly say that today was the BEST birthday I have ever had. I cannot soak in the ways in which I have been loved and how much each and every person has poured into my life. If there is anything I have learned, God has blessed me; yes, each moment of my life he blesses me. And these children have taught me that just as Christ sacrificed his life for me and loved me unconditionally, I should in the same way sacrifice my selfishness to love each person that comes into my path unconditionally. Praise God for letting me spend another day of life in fellowship with angelic spirits.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Father, let your light shine down on me!

The past few days have been absolutely delightful, and I cannot even describe how great God has been. I have had multiple divine appointments, and praise the Lord for raising my spirits through his mighty work. I am sitting upon my bed and cannot stop grinning. Today was one of those days in which I have been overjoyed for no other reason than the fact that God is good, all the time! I am going to do a little flashback to this weekend and then get to today.

This past weekend I went early Friday morning with Mama Grace to take her son to the hospital to have his tonsils taken out. When we were all set up for surgery we were given the bed in which baby Joshua would stay the night in after his surgery. While waiting for the surgery, Mama Grace and I sat on the bed with Joshua and I began to notice the boy in the bed next to us. I guess I should add that hospital “rooms” here are a large room with multiple rolling beds lined through the room. But as I gazed upon his face, it was pressing upon my heart that I had to talk to him about God today. I was automatically drawn to him as I saw him sitting in school uniform; his school sweater and pants draped over his bed, with his backpack sitting at the foot of the bed, and no parent or family member there to take care of him.

 I wish I could remember how I began talking with him but I don’t. I only know that God pushed me right into talking with him about God when I asked if the bracelet on his arm was one in which he made. He proceeded to tell me it was his rosary. I knew then that this was the plunge. I asked if he prayed to God or Mary. He told me he personally prays to God because he knows God can only answer his prayers. We then went into a conversation of how powerful God is through prayer, the power of healing, and how God is the only person that can truly do anything for us. I asked him if he had God in his heart, which I tend to forget is not the common term for here so he said yes. As the day went on I found out his name was Ssemekaaya, he is 14 years old, he has 4 brothers, he was taken at school to be circumcised and in the process they cut his urinary vessel and immediately brought him to the hospital to be cared for. I cannot even explain the peace that Ssemekaaya portrayed. He seriously beamed, as if I were looking upon an angel with the most innocent smile and genuine spirit. Throughout the day, Ssemekaaya and I read books together, colored, went for a walk, I bought him chapatti and soda as I knew that was all he would eat, helped him change his sheets, wrote him a letter, looked through all my pictures, and simply sat in his bed conversing with one another. I prayed throughout the day for Ssemekaaya because I knew God placed him in my path for a reason, and I only hoped for something greater. And well, it happened. At about 10:30 that night I received a call from Mama Grace. She put Ssemekaaya on the phone and he told me that he had ACCEPTED CHRIST INTO HIS HEART. I started screaming as collectively as I could, telling him over and over “Ssemekaaya, I am so happy for you!! Praise the Lord.” I ended the conversation telling him I would be back for sure in the morning, and I had to see my new brother in Christ. Sure enough Ssemekaaya called the next morning to double check I was in fact coming, and yes that certainly warmed my heart! When I arrived to the hospital Ssemekaaya walked up and I pulled him into my arms. The smile on his face had doubled from the previous day. Our time together was limited but it could not have been better. We spent the 30 minutes we had reading the bible together and deciding upon Philippians 1:3-4 to be “our” verse to remember one another by. I now have the verse highlighted in my Bible with “Ssemekaaya” written beside it and in his brand new Bible “Taylor” beside the verse. He was overjoyed when he understood the Bible was his, his to keep, his to have, his to read, and his to share. I wrote Ssemekaaya one last letter and prayed with him as he was discharged and picked up from the hospital to be taken home. My heart is content in knowing that I WILL see Ssemekaaya again one day, and I can’t wait to see him inside of those pearly gates. However it was not easy for me to watch him walk away. If only Ssemekaaya knew the impact he had on my life in just one day. I will never stop praying for my brother and hope more than anything that he becomes a devout warrior of God and sells himself completely each day for the Lord above. Wow, tears are flowing down my face…God is incredible!

Fast forwarding to today; this morning started off with me running out the door thinking Bernard (our boda driver) was leaving without taking me to school. As I peered through the window, I saw him drive away  and darted through the garage saying “Bernard wait, wait” to only find out that he was leaving and coming back because I was not yet ready. Had to start the morning out making a bit of a fool of myself, it’s just better that way. When I arrived to school, the children had already begun practice for competition which takes place this Friday. Competition is a huge deal and has resulted in minimal to no teaching at all the past couple of weeks, as they have hired instructors to teach the songs and dances to the children.

This however has meant that I am able to share quality moments with the children, as of course the majority of our delightfully energetic class has been removed from the competition because of their unwillingness to focus and learn. It is nice to just have time to spend time with the kiddos individually. This morning consisted of me writing in my journal, of course writing about the day before because I am such a procrastinator and always think I will remember all things from the previous day. I was then pulled by the hand to help the sopranos with their piece. It is a powerful feeling teaching kids music, you should try it sometime! I then went with Emma to get some chapatti and we talked about different encounters he has had with people trying to harm him, and it apparently has only happened twice because “people fear him.” And I certainly believe it! He is the most genuine kid, with a solid head on his shoulders, who loves the Lord with all his heart. He has friends in every shop and knows guards and random people everywhere you stop on Kiwatule Road. His philosophy is that even if someone does not want to be his friend, he is going to make them his friend, and hey it works towards his advantage.

I spent the afternoon chasing children around the school; doing push-ups, squats, and attempting the splits with some children; playing hide and seek in the dark, which I must add is not fair because even if the lights are off I shine like a beacon in the night, and they obviously are nowhere to be found; we had a serious photo session, with the children wanting individual photos taken of them, some wanted the silly face pose, others sitting on the bench, others the sassy smile, and others the picture holding the various objects - books seemed to be the most popular; and then of course the day ended in the girlies combing through my hair and “plaiting” it in various ways. It is pretty much a given to come home each day with oily and greasy hair. I cannot help but have a smile upon myself with all the individual moments I have each day with these kids and although sometimes “Teacher Taylor, Teacher Taylor, Teacher Taylor” is ringing through my ears I have to pause and think, “Taylor, consider it a blessing from God that these children are literally beckoning to you, and how sweet the voice of these children really are,” so why not be joyous about every time these children call my name, whatever it may be that they desire from me.

Goodness gracious, I have so much more to say! It feels so good to express the wonders of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He truly reveals himself through mysterious and unexpected ways, and I love, love, love it!

“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” -2 Corinthians 3:16-18


Thursday, July 18, 2013

I called, you answered

Came to my Rescue

Falling on my knees in worship

Giving all I am to seek your face

Lord all I am is yours

My whole life

I place in your hands

God of Mercy

Humbled I bow down

In your presence at your throne

I called you answered

And you came to my rescue and I

I wanna be where you are

My whole life

I place in your hands

God of mercy

Humbled I bow down

In your presence at your throne

So I would be lying if I told you the past week has been rainbows and butterflies, because it most definitely has not been. A variety of things have happened in which I have had to sit back and think… okay what is God trying to teach me or what is the devil trying to attack me with? Needless to say, it has resulted in much time of prayer for God to humble me, give me peace, cast away my fears, and to call upon him alone.

The song “Came to my Rescue” has been the melody playing through my head the past few days and I often find myself humming and singing it throughout the day. I really think God sometimes places songs in my head without me even realizing, and it goes right along with what I am struggling with or what God is revealing to me. God is so sneaky; he truly knows how to work his way in without me even realizing. I love it!


During the past few days I have had more emotions than I have the entire time. I am very aware that I am an emotional person in general, but the tears I have shed the past few days have been from shock, disappointment, and discouragement. However, God has been glorified. I have chosen to seek God and to fall on my knees, humbled, crying before the Lord. And wow, of course God has prevailed! Although pieces are still being put back together, God has by ALL means poured out his many blessings.

There is this complete satisfaction in knowing whole-heartedly that no matter what, seriously no matter what happens…God is always protecting me and he will come through. I know before I came to Uganda, God was really working within me to not worry and to let him be in complete control. And it is safe to say that God has completed that work since my time here began. I am so much more at ease than I have ever been, and to some it might come across that I am just like “oh, whatever” but it is not the case. It is the fact that I serve a mighty God who is my healer, protector, comforter, forgiver, savior, redeemer, father, conqueror, lover, strength, friend, king of kings, firm foundation; my everything! Praise the Lord, my God is on my side and I can rest in his promise.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! I praise God for what he has promised; Yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” – Psalm 56: 8-11

I apologize for this not being as “uplifting” but I believe it is important for others to see that although it might sometimes seem things are always glorious when you are fulfilling what God has called you to, there needs to be truth in what also goes on underlying the surface…and it is not always B-E-A-U-tiful. But hey, God said he would never put us through anything we can’t handle; but he also said he will test us to see how much faith we have in him!



Saturday, July 6, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things

These are a few of my favorite things…

·         Coming home each day and the kids running to your arms saying “Welcome Auntie.”


·         Pulling pranks on the boys and rough housing in their room.

·         When the electricity goes out…and life just goes on.

·         Worshipping each night with the children; God never speaks more.

·         Playing football every Sunday afternoon with all the kids.

·         Popcorn on Saturday’s.

·         Church on Sunday and praising the Lord African style.

·         Walking down the road with Lydia (the custodian from school) for cassava and chapatti.

·         Sitting with the kids each evening and working on homework.

·         Holding baby Joshua and Nicole when they fall asleep in my arms.

·         Doing chores with the kids, it is truly empowering to see all they do.

·         Eating dinner together each night as a family.

·         Tucking the girls in on random nights and telling them I love them.

·         Bucket baths once a week.

·         Seeing the kids smile, laugh, and play together. They are 17 kids running around acting just like brother and sister. Sometimes I just have to sit back and laugh.

·         Move nights on Friday and Saturday means special bonding.

·         Riding the boda to school each morning taking in the freshness God unfolds each day.

·         Going out to eat with Kelsey and sharing life together.

·         Walking into the gates of school each morning, anxious to find out what the day is going to bring.

·         The kids at school teaching Kelsey and I Lugandan.

·         Reading stories to the class-the one time they are the most engaged.

·         Seeing the kids faces light up when they get a hi-five and pound.

·         How quickly the kids will do anything for a sticker.

·         Walking down the street having encounters with people, and them just laughing when I say  “Olyotya nyabo/sebo”

·         Walking out each morning and hearing “Auntie, smart”…oh that means you look nice.

·         Having late night talks with Mama Grace about God and how I should confide in Christ.

·         Having literally the most random conversations with the kids from sad, to funny, to inspiring, to completely unrealistic.

·         Seeing goats and cows grazing on the side of the highway.

·         Seeing the same people each day and them waving on the roads; never fails to put a smile on my face.

·         Talking with the teachers and getting to know them on a deeper level each day.

·         Lying down each night under my mosquito night going to sleep with no worries.

·         Waking up each morning thanking God for a brand new day to do what He has called me to do.

·         Being taught how to do things by the kids, even if I already know how. They love to teach us!

·         Seeing children smile at you is so heart-warming. There is something so enlightening about a smile of innocence spread across their face, and their feelings speak right through their eyes.

·         Receiving letters from the children and having our wall in our room completely covered in letters of inspiration and encouragement from the kids.

·         Constantly being called to come and children knocking within two minutes of shutting the bedroom door.

·         Reading my bible each day and loving what God has for me to learn. He never fails.

·         Learning how to braid their hair.

·         Kelsey playing the guitar with the kids and us all singing together.

·         One on one moments with the kids are the BEST!

·         Taking walks with the kids through the roads.

·         Riding on the bodas at night and looking up at the beautiful stars shining bright.

·         The amazing friends that Kelsey and I have made from church, and having the opportunity to spend time in fellowship with other people our age.

·         I LOVE the culture.

·         I LOVE Uganda, absolutely LOVE Uganda!

It is safe to say that I a part of my heart will always be in Uganda. I have truly learned how to live such a simplistic, worry free life full of peace and faith in God alone. I cannot begin to express how happy I am each day here; a happiness I don’t think I have experienced before. Happiness I believe God has prepared for me to experience while here in Uganda. It is crazy how when you do what God has called you to do He comforts you and captivates your whole being. I am truly blessed that He calls me BELOVED and that I…yes I am a friend of God!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Uganda Uganda Uganda, Uganda the Pearl of Africa

Hmm… let’s see here. I think I will start with talking about school. I believe I prompted last time about how different school is here in Uganda. Well let me just take the time to say that it has been very stressful teaching the class Kelsey and I have. I have quite a bit of patience, and it has definitely been acquired through the years, but whew I feel when I go back home teaching is going to be a piece of cake…well at least managing the class and discipline. This has led to me really equipping that teacher voice. It is safe to say that Kelsey and I would really enjoy your prayers for these children to see all that God has in store for them, that God would give them the desire to come each day and develop more knowledge and grow an understanding of what it is like to respect their authority…more or less muzungus (white people.) I will say, aside it is the most rewarding thing to see these children learn and beam with happiness when they get a hi-five and pound from Kelsey and me.

The most empowering thing is entering the gates of the home each day and hearing the children scattered about doing chores saying “welcome auntie.” Kelsey put it well when she said, if you have ever wondered what it is like to be a princess, we’ve got it. We are greeted by everyone with hellos, hugs, hands grabbing our bags for us, leading us to our room, asking about our day. It really is royalty. The children here at the home are so unique. They are selfless and so confided in Christ. I so look forward to what each evening brings with each of these children. Each day brings about brand new memories and brand new “funnies” that the kids create through their silliness.

This weekend was definitely the greatest I have had so far here in Kampala. It was very eventful and enjoyable. It started off with Kelsey and me meeting her friend Lisa for pedicures. Can I just say, my mom always tries to drag me to the nail salons and I always refuse, but wow a pedicure has never felt so good or been so appreciated!! After our pedicures we went to a little restaurant and I had a chocolate chip muffin and a “mokka frost”…it hit the spot and was very refreshing to have some sweet instead of salty rice for the day. Kelsey and I then quickly left on the boda and prepared our scavenger hunt for the boys at the home. The clues led to them finding a Uganda Cranes football jersey for each of them and tickets to the football game. Oh my goodness, they were so excited, we were so excited, there was screaming going on everywhere in the home. We quickly left for the game…talk about the craziest experience of my life. People were amongst the streets screaming, shouting, dancing, singing, painted up and decked out in Crane attire. We arrived to the game to find that we had left our tickets in all the excitement. They were able to get our tickets in time, but oh no it gets better, the excitement only escapades. We reached the gate area to go in; purses secured in one hand, ticket in the other and literally were shoved into a mob of thousands of people. This consisted of being shoved into the gate, seeing a fight happen right in front of us and Kelsey protecting one of the boys who kept getting knocked in the head from the fight, to holding on for dear life to the other little boys who were shoved underneath in the crowd.

Once we finally entered we ran to find seats. In the process of finding seats we realized we lost Lawrence. Yes, one of the boys was lost the ENTIRE game. Umm their culture is not to freak out, cry and scream for your child. It is more or less he’s fine he knows the way home. You bet your bottom dollar I was praying my heart away in the process of shouting with excitement at the game. Uganda won 2-1 after an intense match. Boy oh boy, I have never seen such a packed place with constant horns blowing and people shouting/dancing the entire game. These people are dedicated fans! The game was over, and still no Lawrence. We stayed in the stadium and searched for quite some time. We then decided to go to the bodas. I was standing there praying “God please bring Lawrence into our presence” repeatedly. Not seconds later, I look over and say “Is that Lawrence? LAWRENCE!!” I ran up to him screaming and grabbed him…his response: “I was looking for you. How are you?” Not a worry in the world, he enjoyed the game himself and had no fear of finding home. My heart could finally beat again after the excitement of the game and the lost being found. My advice to a man who interviewd me was that “all Americans should come to a Ugandan Cranes football game!” So come J Kelsey, Claire and I all slept in our jerseys last night…talk about some newly dedicated fans.

Today was Sunday. We went to Victory Church today to see Sarah and George be introduced for their wedding in July. I am so excited that Kelsey and I will be here, because it is going to be amazing. This church is more like what I was expecting from the “African experience.” It was a lot more contemporary; jumping, singing, clapping, praising the Lord, my kind of church if I might say so. Afterwards I was able to meet some wonderful people from the church and have some delightful conversations. It is so nice to be welcomed into the culture and get a taste of what life is like for Ugandans close to my age. It is an understatement to say we are truly blessed in the United States. Sundays are also so much fun at the home because it pretty much means football the entire afternoon and sloppy-joes and cookies at night. Today I finally got a little sun on my shoulders, I have been wondering when this sun would reach to me because I feel like a ghost each day. Or maybe it is just because I am surrounding by much darker people.

God has been stirring in my heart a lot about peace lately. Prayers for peace in my heart as well as peace in this country, peace in this world of hurt and sorrow, peace in the children that are so underprivileged, peace for men to rise up and be men of God, women to have peace in their families and that they are not alone, peace for all to understand there is a Savior greater than anyone could know!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Appreciation to the culture shock

When I thought of what I should title this, appreciation was what came to mind. Appreciation of what I have learned so far in Uganda. This is going to be somewhat humorous, but let’s just be honest this whole adjusting to the Ugandan culture has brought nothing but laughs.

-          Ugandans literally would be able to survive in any situation. People work from sun up past sun down planting, plowing, building, selling, washing, cooking, cutting, crafting, and so on. So far the kids have taught Kelsey and I how to wash clothes outside by hand and let them dry, how to peel potatoes with a knife, make posho, put grounds in hot water and stir for a fresh cup of java, form charcoal from bark on a tree, heal a wound with ashes, burn holes by a magnifying glass reflecting the sun, umm ya you get the point. Oh and did I mention these 17 children prepare and cook EVERY meal? Ya, they are pretty much little Betty Crocker’s running all around each doing their own job.

-          The children can play outside all day. Never once do you hear a child say they are bored. The simplest thing, rolling a tire with a stick can entertain the youngest child for hours. Playing “futbol” doesn’t stop just when you get sweaty or when your team starts to lose, it would continue all day if allowed. Chores are entertaining, and these children are always smiling about whatever task is at hand.

-          Worship here at the home is simply heart-warming. The first few nights spent here, I had tears falling down my face as Kelsey and I sat and learned what the nightly worship looks just like here at the home. Let me just give you a glimpse. Imagine for a second 17 children gathered in a small living area, the boys are playing the drums and guitar; the girls are dancing in two straight lines. The house echoes with the rejoicing of children’s voices genuinely praising the Lord. No they don’t just stand there; they dance, they shout, they sing, they raise their hands, they bow before the King; they WORSHIP the Lord. A child then speaks each night, standing before the rest of us reciting scripture and prompting with questions. Let me tell you, I feel guilty each night when I see how these children truly have a passion to know the word, love the Lord, worship him, and live each moment of their day for him. They actually have time, to sit down as a family each night and worship together and eat dinner together. Now that is something unheard of for us, but it is possible and the part of my day I look forward to most.

-          Individuality is acceptable. Although there are so many little chickadees running around here they all have their individual personalities and somehow they magically all go together. It is hilarious to watch these children interact. You have the children who keep to themselves, the ones who are definite leaders, the girls who steal the show, the boys who are absolutely hilarious and love to pull pranks on Kelsey and I, the lovey-dovey girlies who want to do your hair and lay in your arms, the leaders of each the boys and girls, the loud and rambunctious, and those who simply appreciate every aspect of all circumstances. To be a part of this controlled chaos, and praise the Lord they are so willing to let Kelsey and I bring in our own personalities and crash their oh so delightful family.

To be continued….

Now for a little tid-bit of what I have learned:

-Riding a boda is definitely something I should have had on my bucket list; we will pretend it was and say it is now checked off. Each day Kelsey and I ride the boda, which is like a smaller version of a motorcycle and risk our lives in Kampala traffic.

-It is true that pedestrians do not have the right of way; you have the right to get out of the way. The other day a car was reversing in to me and would have hit me if it wasn’t for Kelsey coming to the rescue and pulling me out of the way.

- If you ask the kids to run with you, expect to get a cut in your arm from them pushing you in the fence to do whatever to make you lose the race.

- With the boys, be sure to always be on guard because you never know when they are fibbing, pulling a prank, or being mischievous. And when it comes to Kelsey and I who constantly laugh at all they do, we definitely play the part of the fool perfectly.

- Shaving your legs can be done outside in a tub of water. Bathing can be accomplished by standing in a bucket and attempting to keep the most water possible in the bucket. Washing hair is easiest to be done in the sink.

- Having to flush the toilet by pouring in a bucket of water is not always…actually is never an appealing smell.

- Mosquito nets block out all air, especially when AC is not in the home. It is perfectly normal to wake up in a sweat each morning.

- Dinner is the time to devour as much food as possible. And let me tell you these kids know how to ration their food. Have you ever seen a child cram as much food possible in an easter egg, a wipe container, a jar, a plastic bag, or a water bottle? Well they are pros. And if the “aunties,” being Kelsey and I do not finish our food, you can bet those kids lick our plates clean. No food is wasted in this house.

- Letters from the girls are the most genuine and sincere. They brighten my day and cover the wall in Kelsey and I’s room. And the boys tonight…to catch a glimpse of their humor, gave the “aunties” a letter, we opened them and they were blank letters. Don’t worry Kelsey and I were feeling the love.

- Discipline is hard to come by at the school. And let’s just say, when it comes to teaching, if you think you have the hardest class in the US, you should have a taste of the classroom here. Whew, exhausting yet absolutely rewarding.


Ok enough of the jabbering. I am LOVING it here. Kelsey has become the greatest friend I could ask for, and we share so many laughs each day. We are the dynamic duo! God is teaching me so much, and I am learning to appreciate all parts of each day. I will try harder to keep up with this blog thing so it is not as long. But I will say, when you love the kids this much you can’t help but spend all your time with them!


What a mighty God we serve!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Preparing my Heart

So I have never done the whole blogging thing, but thought what better time than now as I prepare for my Summer Mission Trip to Kampala, Uganda. I have had this great excitement come over me the past few weeks. It is so satisfying to know my heart is fully confident in what the Lord has called me to do. If you have not heard, this Summer I will be leaving May 28th for Uganda. During this time I will be teaching sweet second graders alongside Miss Kelsey. Kelsey and I will be living together in the Children's Home, as well as teaching together, and each of us will have the opportunity to partake in two week missions throughout our time in Uganda. I will be reporting back to the states August 10th. I have had the privilege of talking with Kelsey over email and Facebook, and am thrilled to have a companion while we are stretching our comfort together. I am pumped to see all that God is going to do in each of our lives. I know God is going to move in mighty ways, and this will be what I will use to keep others updated in my time spent in Uganda.

Just today, my devotional was all about how God is leading me, step by step, through my life. I was broken because I am guilty of each and every day trying to take control of aspects throughout my day when it doesn't go just how I planned. I mean really, it seems so simple to let God take my hand and guide me through every step of the day, however my stubbornness steps in and takes the lead. I realized that I personally need to take some modifications to my days, waking up each day saying "God today is your day, and you are in control." And when something doesn't go my way, well I can simply stop and pray. After all prayer is talking to God, and why should I not ache to talk to my Creator? Anyway, I stumbled across the verse "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." -Deuteronomy 29:29 I became giddy as soon as I read this verse. The secret things are of God, and I can sit back and relax and enjoy the journey he has destined for me?! If I were to allow God complete control of each day of my life, I could lay down at the end of the day and see the secret he had for me each and every day.

The big secret God has declared most recently is me going to Uganda. Now, this is something I would have never expected! But wow, God is good!! I finally reached a point in my relationship with God where I declared that I was no longer saying NO to God. If he is leading me to something I am doing it! And that is how this delightful adventure has come about! I cannot wait to share what God is doing in my life and stirring in my heart.

Taylor Wallace