Dates!

Now I’m not talking tall and handsome. (Although I do have one of those too! But that kind of thing isn’t for this blog.) We’re talking “pull out your calendar and mark them with a big red pen” kind of dates (Or grab your iPad and click on your googleCalendar if you’re Linda Darphin).

We’ve got dates for Uganda! It’s official. No turning back now. The plane tickets have been purchased. September 7th to December 8th, this southern girl will be facing a different south (more east than south, but you get the picture). Uganda. I’ll be loving on sweet precious children at the Rafiki Training Village outside of Kampala, and [tentatively at the moment] my mom will be joining me for the first two weeks!

The other day I was asked by someone I don’t talk to often how I felt about leaving my friends and family and how they felt about me going to Africa. It’s obviously a decision/trip/adventure/majorGodthing that affects more than just me even though I’m the only one who will be leaving…(well and my mom too.. for a little while.)

And honestly, I’ve had the most incredible and supportive responses as I’ve shared my heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, over the past couple of weeks and months with some of the people I love most. I’ve been able to share a little bit about what God is doing in Uganda and across Africa through Rafiki and organizations like Rafiki, and with each person that become more aware, I get more excited to be a part of the work that He is doing with “the least of these” that Matthew talks about in chapter 25 verse 40.

For the first time in my life, I don’t want glory or accolades for what I’m doing. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what God has planned for me, for this season of my life, and that’s more of a reward than anything else in the world. I’m not sure what I will be doing once I get to Uganda. I’ll be living in the guest house of the Rafiki Village outside of Kampala, the capital, and serving as the ROS (Rafiki Overseas Staff) have needs. I could be organizing a library, watching kids on the playground, organizing  summer-camp-like activities during the kids’ two week break in October, or any number of other exciting or mundane things that are needed to make village life happen effectively.

I’m sure once there I’ll have days where I will feel differently. Days when I would rather go to a movie with my friends than organize the library or play with kids on the playground. I’ll miss my church family, both in Ocean Springs at First Pres and Clinton at Pinelake. I’ll miss my family, mom’s cooking, my birthday, Parker’s birthday, and Thanksgiving. I’ll probably have to stay off Facebook during rush skits, homecoming, follies, formals, and all the other fun that encompasses the fall semester at MC. (Actually, I think I’ll probably be avoiding Facebook altogether. One of the things the training focused on was not trying to live in both worlds [America and Uganda] but I’ll talk more about that later.) But none of that compares to the joy I know that comes only from running hard after what God has set before me… and at this point, at this moment, that’s Uganda.

Sorry that this post is jumbled. There’s about a million things running through my mind at the moment, and it’s hard to decide which ones to share with the world wide web!

In Him Always,
Hallie

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