What I Didn’t Know About Uganda

You’re not supposed to live in American abundance and miss a third-world country, are you?

But oh, Uganda–how I miss you.


If you followed our 2014 journey there to adopt our daughter, Violet, you’re probably snickering because you still remember all my whining and bellyaching over how homesick I was.

No doubt, I experienced moments of pure misery in Africa, including a nasty case of food poisoning and a fall that left me with a lingering knee injury that’s nagged me every day since.


I’m quite certain I sweated enough to fill a pool during those weeks, and my one experience driving in a hurricane doesn’t trump the fear I felt hugging myself through a spectacular Ugandan thunderstorm one terrifying night.


But the moments of pure grace, of quiet contentment, of simplicity and the nearness of God far outweighed any adversity we experienced there.


I’m in touch with a few people on Facebook who are in Uganda now and their daily posts make my heart ache for those simple days.

There’s something so precious about disconnecting. Sure, we had Internet access…in theory. It, and the electricity needed for our devices, functioned sporadically at best.


So we sat on porches and talked, and took long naps, and read books and ate fruit so fresh, I gained a whole new sympathy for Eve in the garden.


The birds were so loud, and so abundant, the clouds so cottony huge and shape-shifting as they drifted lazily by.


The best vegetarian lasagna I’ve ever eaten, anywhere, wasn’t something I expected to find in Uganda.


I didn’t expect a lot of things I found in Uganda.

I didn’t know how incredible it would be to taste a bit of heaven at Watoto Church, worshiping with people from around the globe. I longed for heaven as we lifted up our voices to God.


I didn’t know that a driver could be a better minister than any I’d ever encountered inside the four walls of a church.


I didn’t know what it meant to radiate joy no matter your circumstances.


I didn’t realize how much I had. Or how many important things I so sorely lacked.

Things like contentment, and trust, and living by the heart instead of by the clock.

People thought we were there to bless a little girl, but none of us could know how much she would end up blessing us.

Mama Daughter Collage

I used to hear missionaries talk about places like Uganda, and not really understand what would make a person want to give up everything they have in America and go there.

But I get it now. I do.

Thank you, God, for Uganda. And for using it to show me You.