I have been quiet for a few days as I have been trying to sort out some questions in my heart. Let me share a bit ….
The Lulu Tree is an organization which has become dear to my heart this past year. They work to clear the path for Mamas and their children in Uganda so they may overcome obstacles and thrive as people – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They partner with families and individuals in their own towns from around the world who share their resources, in small or large amounts. They desire to “Prevent tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers.”
Starting July 1st, and throughout the summer, we ran the Change for Katwe Campaign, by which we hoped to collect change in order raise funds to go towards opening a halfway house in the slums of Katwe. You can read about it here. The campaign came to a close August 31st.
I had my mason jar set out for us to deposit our loose change and recycling money over the summer months. We filled it and even had to roll coins to make room for yet more coins. As the summer continued on, I suddenly became aware that while it was a campaign to raise money for the impoverished, perhaps it was me who was the one in need.
These sweet Mamas, many of whom live on one meal a day for themselves and their children, were also participating in this campaign. Seriously. The very ones we thought we were going to help, also wanted to give to raise funds for a home. They desired to come alongside of us here, in order to help other women and families in Katwe.
Pictures were shared of the Mamas, collecting their change, praying and celebrating what God would accomplish through the giving in unity. I took in the photos and their faces ….
Their beautiful faces spoke not only of joy but of their contentment and grateful spirits. Their expressions displayed a trust in God, Who they knew had provided for them and would continue to provide. The photos reminded me of a Scripture which I had been reading for several days:
“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16, NLT)
It was I, who needed what they had – complete trust in the provision of their God. Humbling to think about, actually.
Their good deed was shining out for me to see and brought me to my knees, humbling myself before God.
I felt a deep conviction as I thought about the sheer disparity between them and myself. And I was so grateful that author Kelly Minter put words to what I was feeling:
It was the kind of rebuke that leads you someplace higher than the dead end of guilt and shame. I could feel some of my selfishness and pride withering up like a lit match, disintegrating in the presence of such humble and gracious spirits. By merely sharing their stories, they’d given me a new standard to live by, an even deeper intimacy with Christ that I’d hoped possible but had maybe stopped expecting. (from “Wherever the River Runs” by Kelly Minter, page 130)
They gave unbeknownst to anyone. They gave in obedience. They brought their change in the hopes of helping others who had greater needs than their own.
Their obedience changed me.
Their light did shine out.
To the praise of our heavenly Father!