48 Reminders of Eternity

February 15, 2014 - Jinja, Uganda

The Hoffman Home is great.  I am loving and growing more attached to each beautiful child here every day.  I have seen God's hand and reminders of his presence so many times in this place.  Not only that, but I see and feel Michelle and Julia's presence in this place.  This morning as I was doing my laundry, I saw a beautiful white butterfly flying through the compound.  Since my last blog, many people have told me about Julia's love for butterflies, so naturally when I saw this butterfly, in my mind I said, "Hi Julia."

Nicole and I have been so busy with school.  We had to take an unexpected trip to Kampala this week because I guess I needed to extend my visa.  We went there on Wednesday where upon explaining my need for an extension I had mentioned the word "volunteer", (which nobody told me I wasn't supposed to say), and the lady working at internal affairs freaked out at me telling me I had the wrong visa, that I needed to fill out x,y,z forms, as well as get letters of intent from all of the organizations I was working with, as well and bring my confirmed flight tickets back with me. That's kind of hard since Jinja is about a 2 hour taxi ride away from Kampala.  Literally thinking that I was going to get booted out of the country, I called my mommy in Mityana, whereby she said to me, "Daddy (Patrick Walusimbi) is getting in the car right now, he's coming to help you.  And Sarah, remember to give thanks."  Mind you, Kampala is about an hour and a half drive away from Mityana.  My Daddy was on his way to save the day.  I was just blown away at that.  Fortunately someone was actually nice at the office and told us to try again in the morning tomorrow (Thursday).  So I called Daddy and expressed my gratitude for being willing to drive all the way to Kampala to help me whereby he responded, "Comon girl, you are my daughter….and what concerns my daughter concerns me!!! Comon!"  Although I was half crying from disappointment and fear, hearing daddy say that still put a smile on my face.  (Remember when I mentioned previously that he was the perfect person to be with in the midst of a horrible situation?  It's still true.)  So Nicole and I stayed the night in Kampala and the next morning went over to internal affairs.

Take two.  Shaking from nerves, I approached the counter, pleaded my case (to a different officer than the day before), and he took my visa for a couple of minutes.  He handed it back to us and I opened it and there was a huge stamp right there extending my visa for another 2 months!!! I was so overly excited and happy and grateful and thankful and above all praising God for how amazing his timing is.  Not only that, but how blessed I have been with a parents here who remind me to give thanks in every situation, who remind me that God is in control, and who love me to an extent where they would cancel all of their plans to come and help me in a time of need.  I have been blessed with parents in the US who have done that my whole life but now I get to say I have TWO pairs of parents like that.  He has given me so much joy and love through those four people.

Being away from the Hoffman Home kids that night was tough.  One of my favorite things about staying here with the kids involves our evening activities.  Usually I'll bring my guitar outside, where we will sing and dance and praise and pray together.  When it's time for bed, Nicole and I walk outside and wait at the entrance to the dining hall as the caretaker dismisses each child one by one.  Smiling bigger each night, every child comes to both Nicole and me as God's grace pours out on us, wrapping them in our arms and telling each one of them how much they are loved.  It's been a month since being here and we have grown to know that each one of these children have a very specific touch and a very specific type of hug.  It's been so amazing to see the ministry that God is putting into place through the act of a simple hug.  The children get more and more excited for their special turn each night, as they start walking faster and faster night by night and start squeezing tighter and tighter and holding the hug longer and longer each night.  I have felt the spirit a lot in this adventure so far, but I honestly have not felt the spirit encircling me and so many beautiful children as much as I do every night before I go to bed.  I envision each of these hugs as a reminder:  a reminder of the love that God has for not only me, but all of these once helpless and hopeless children who are transformed into bundles of joy; a reminder of the incredible ways of the Lord working through the most horrific and depressing situations; a reminder of how much giving Christ allows us to receive Christ that much more; and above all, a reminder of the tremendous and inexplicable excitement, joy, and jubilation that is waiting for me and all of us in our eternal home.  Each night, no matter how undeserving I am, no matter what mistakes I've made that day, I have the blessing of encountering 48 reminders of Heaven and eternity with my Godly Father who is going to give us all so much more than we can possibly ask or imagine.  Wow.

 

"…that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of Christ, in whom are hidden all treasures…." --Colossians 2:2

 

My prayer is that I can be used to remind these children of that.  That God will work through Nicole and my presence to give the slightest glimpse to these children of the glorious treasures that await them, and of the nonmaterialistic eternal riches that can only be found in a life devoted to Christ.

May you all be blessed to see the reminders of eternity in your day to day living.  Whether through hugs, or through the thousands of other blessings poured out on each of us daily.

Mukama akuwe omukisa! (God bless you!)


4 Comments

Jon Buss:
February 15, 2014
Wow is God at work in you. I knew they would learn to love you over there. We all love you here as well. I love how you write. You have such a way of putting it into words. Make sure you save your writings and later on write a book. God will want you to share your experience with others. God Bless you and Nicole and all the others who went to Africa to help others. With our love and encouragement. Go girl!!!!!!!
Susan Johnson:
February 15, 2014
Oh, Sarah--I wish everyone could read you blogs and know how God, in his mysterious ways, works thru you. Your love of God and his children is so special--not only are you getting so much out of you Uganda experience--think what you are giving to those children, who by now know more of God's love, and your love! We love you--God bless you, dear.
vi:
February 15, 2014
Hi Dear… I am so moved by each entry that I want to copy them and send them on to everyone I know… However…I have not. I am waiting for YOU to write the book that will change many peoples lives after sharing your life with these children.. It it "YOUR SHARE"…that will happen one day when it is meant to be. It is amazing to hear each "God Wink" that happens to you.. You are keeping my heart smiling! Much love, Vi
Tasha:
March 21, 2014
Thank you for continuing to share these your adventures while serving Jesus!
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