Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Boy Who Cried Su-Su

You see this boy? His name is Moses, even though stinker would suit him better at times.

Every night Moses is put in his crib.

And every night Moses asks to go su-su (potty).

And every night Mommy Morgan gets him out of his crib to su-su.

And he does.

But the problem is that Moses doesn't just ask once.

He asks again and again, and again.

And after about the 4th time of being gotten out and not producing anything, Moses is left in his crib.

Which makes him mad.

He cries, he screams, he whimpers, he pleads, and all to no avail.

Because us Mommies have wised up. We know that Moses doesn't really need to su-su.

He just wants to get out.

The stinker.

I Need Africa More Than Africa Needs Me

Sweet, sweet Lydia.

The Mocha Club has a saying that hit me like a ton of bricks when I first read it...

I need Africa more than Africa needs me.

I had never thought about it that way before, but when I stopped and looked around me I realized it's so true. I realized how much I can learn from the suffering I'm seeing, from the people I'm meeting, and from the children I'm loving. I realized how much I'm going to change.

I need this change. I need this break from all things familiar. I need this displacement of my comfort zone (and I'm praying that I never find it again!). I need this NEED for God!
But guess what? God doesn't need me.
Let me say that once more...
God doesn't need me!
ItalicHis Kingdom is already happening here, and I'm just another tool to build it. He didn't need me to carry out the work He's doing in Uganda, and yet He still chose me.
He. Chose. Me.
ME. A broken, faulty vessel. And He, King of the universe looked down and said I want that one.
Does that give you chills? I know I get 'em every time I think about it!

Matthew 20:28 says "For the Son of Man did not come to BE served, but to SERVE."
If I have Christ as my example, then I should strive for nothing less then the extent of servant-hood He exhibited on earth. I should serve these people of Africa with my WHOLE HEART. Not because I'm a missionary. No, because I have Jesus as my example!
And guess what? I'm BLESSED! God chose me, led me to serve, gave me the resources to serve, gives me the strength to serve, and loves me through it all.
God's good, people! Amen?
And because no post would be complete without my beautiful children, here ya go :)

Moses and Janie.

Small Daphine and Esther.

Ronnie and I!

The babes.



Mommy Pippin

Saturday, October 9, 2010

They call me Mommy

My baby Jane and I

This is a post to let all who want to know know (finally) that I am alive and well here in Uganda. I realize that I’ve been silent for the entire month (!) I’ve lived here, but it’s taken me a while to process things, and honestly, it really doesn’t feel like a month has gone by! My time here is FLYING!

I've been told that the first weeks are the hardest, and that really proved true for me. I missed my family, I missed my friends, I missed my home and my neighborhood and my city. I missed normal. And until I found my *new* normal, it was difficult for me to adjust. During those first few nights I was convinced that either it would take me months to settle, or I would never settle at all and I would be forever longing for home, for Chicago. I knew I had a commitment to Our Own Home, and I fully intended to keep it, but that didn't stop me praying that my time would go really, really fast and I would be able to leave as soon as possible. It probably sounds horrible to you, but rest assured that those thoughts lasted only a few days. There is a great team of volunteers here right now, and my roommates Anna and Morgan totally took me under their wing. They've been a wonderful source of information and support to me, and a complete God send! I’m now soaking in my time here, and although the days do go by pretty quickly, I enjoy each day as much as I can.

I now also feel settled. I know what my days look like, how things work, what I should be doing when, where things are. I know my way around town. I grocery shop, and go to the clinic, and go places on my own. I love the people here, I love the country, and I especially love my children.

And speaking of my children.... they are a delight and a joy and a challenge and an encouragement to me. They make me laugh. They frustrate me. They remind me of just exactly why I’m here. And…. they call me Mommy! If any of you have known me for even a small amount of time, you’ll know that being a Mom is one of the deepest desires of my heart. Having a large family has always been something I’ve looked forward to and wanted. And guess what? I HAVE ONE! I have a large family! I have children! 47 in fact, and they all call me Mommy. My all-time favourite quote is one from Amy Charmichael. She says, “It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire which He creates.” God gave me a desire to care for and nurture and raise children, and that’s exactly what I’m doing with His help! Sure, they might not be *mine*, but I love them as if they are. And God brought me to where I am today. He orchestrated every moment of my journey here, and He is laying my path yet. How amazing is it to have a savior who cares enough about my sinful self to plan my future? Or better yet use me for His glory while giving me the exact thing I‘ve always longed for?!? It‘s so hard for me to comprehend! The song that keeps coming to mind is I Am Yours. The very first words are “Who am I that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt?”. The phrase I dwell on is who am I? Because really, who AM I? I am a sinful, selfish being who would at times prefer to go back to my comfortable, safe life and miss out on helping to shape lives like these….

Daddy William singing with the little girls.

Elijah valiantly trying to make that barrow go somewhere!


Cathy and Shayla


I would sometimes rather look after my own well being as opposed to that of others. I would sometimes rather fill my own belly with food then feed my starving children. Thankfully, God saw how comfortable I was getting and whispered that it was time for me to leave.

Even though life here is relatively comfortable (compared to the rest of Uganda), every day I’m confronted by these children who each have a different, heartbreaking story. Some were unwanted by their earthly families, some watched their parents die, some were abandoned because their parents couldn’t or wouldn’t care for them, some have relatives, some have no one else and were left to fend for themselves. All came here with some level of trauma, and I am blessed to try to drown out that hurt with love.

If you’ve ever been a Mom, you will know that having to constantly give attention and love can become annoying, even when you only have maybe one or two children. I find that too, only times about 10! But every time I hear “MOMMY! MOOOOOMMMMEEEEEEE!!! HUUUUUUG!”, I turn and receive what ever child decided to fling herself into my arms, and give that child all of my attention for that moment. Because guess what? I’m the best they have, me and the other Mommies. If we don’t give love and attention who will? If we don’t pour scripture into their hearts who will? If we don’t tell them they’re wanted here on earth WHO WILL? My children are wanted. By me, by the other Mommies, by the uncles, and best of all by God himself. He placed each and every one of these precious children in this home to be loved by us, and who are we to say “Um, no. I’m too busy today to love you, hon. Sorry”. God NEVER turns us away when we need love or encouragement or an ear to pour our trouble into. Who are we to give our children anything else?

I’m learning so many new things by living here. How to improvise in day to day activities, how to hand wash my clothes (you may think you know but you really don’t), how to be patient with pretty much everyone, how to have boundless energy…. Ok, I haven’t learned that one yet, but I sure wish someone would teach me!!

I want to thank each and every one of you who helped me come here, whether it was through a financial contribution or through prayer. I have been feeling God’s presence SO DEEPLY since being here, and I truly treasure every moment I have with these wonderful children. I can’t imagine missing out on this life I’m living here, and so I thank you for your support. It means SO MUCH to me to know that I have friends and family back at home praying on my behalf and on behalf of my children! THANK YOU!


Mommy Pippin