“Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliot
You don’t have to get on a plane and fly halfway across the world. You don’t have to set a minimum support goal of $1,000. You don’t have to witness to a woman, completely hopeless, and with nothing but plastic chairs and crates to sit on. You don’t have to break a man of his alcoholism and put up with his daily dealings. Or give an IV to a child dying in your arms.
Serving God is being faithful in the little. Committing to pray for one another day to day, doing the dishes, sitting with a friend who has a language barrier and smiling at them.
Oh he’s in the big too. He is in the miracles, and the impossible. But it’s the little that is so often overlooked. The simple. The small. The monotonous.
I absolutely love it here. The way the power goes out and you have to find your way through the dark with candles and headlamps makes me laugh. The dirt that gets in your teeth when you’re riding the bota. Sweet bananas and avocados. The cranky old men and annoying pestering of “Mzungu! Mzungu!” (white person). The way the sidewalk squares don’t quite fit, and how annoying but sometimes painful it is when street kids watch you eat dinner. The stifling heat under my mosquito net. Children that tug on your clothing from every possible angle. Tasting herbs in the market until you think one seems to be Cilantro. Wandering. The vast sky. The normalcy in everyday life.
I’ve been here just shy of a week and although learning to embrace and enjoy the simplicity of life, what I have most learned is the little. WHEREVER you are, Uganda, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nashville, TN, Auburn, AL, your hands are His. They are always His, they don’t become His when you cross a country border line, or when you touch someone sick or when you bring or give something to fulfill a need. You are loaded. Ready. And prepared. At anytime your hands can glorify Him.
To say that what I’ve learned from my first 5 days here is not from how little, in comparison to the states, everyone has. But how what they have is enough. Not because I need less clothes and less “stuff”, even though that is true also. But because He is enough and He satisfies. To sit on a wooden plank for 5 hours and eat hard boiled eggs with kids and worship Jesus in the Ugandan climate is sweltering and beautiful all at the same time. To hear a woman’s story of separation and displacement from her children and realize that to her, this is not uncommon, and is normal. Perhaps even less severe than some, but still she says “God is good, God is faithful, and God is in control.” And I can’t help but agree with her. It’s life.
“I will praise you, God, with ALL my heart. I will GLORIFY your name forever.” Psalm 86:12