We were making a “flying” road trip to the capital, along the roadside there was a very elderly gentlemen, his clothes threadbare hanging on an even more frail body. He hobbled along barely managing to carry the heavy jug of water... My heart broke for him and I wondered: Does he have any family? Then God spoke to my heart, as He has numerous times over the last few months: "Laura, I see. I am the God who sees.” ... Click to read more
Some of you read my blog update from last week on the paradoxes of going and returning... On the mix of the joys and burdens of holding two very different lives and countries in your hands and hearts. It has been sweet to see how my old Ugandan friends are also recognizing and processing this-one of them said to me earlier this week: "how do the people at home ever let you go? How do they do it? ... I don't know how to describe it, but when you left us, we had a big gap... We suffer a wound from which we shall never recover." This brought joy to my heart because of the sweet friendship and connection that God had blessed me with from my old Ugandan village; and it also brings tears because I and they still miss our friendship so very much. Pray that God would bring the same friendship and connection with the new people I will be living among here in Bundibugyo... Click to read more
She looked at me with her sweet blue eyes and asked this question, “but do you still want to go?” The question surprised me in the moment, and yet I understand why she asked the question. My little sister was seeing me off at the airport and I had tears shamelessly flowing down my cheeks. Seeing me cry, I guess she began to wonder if I had somehow at the last minute changed my mind. I wanted to return, I know the sweet joy and peace that comes from being right where God wants you-and I didn’t doubt for one minute that I was about to head to the place where God wanted me. A place that I knew from previous experience would hold BOTH joy and pain, peace and tension, adventure and drudgery, excitement and frustration, deep friendships and isolation… Click to read more
I was reminiscing recently on this memory and I realized that for me God has given me this sort of thing in the sky numerous times in my life. I don't base my faith on it, but I guess God just decided I needed little extra reminders of Him?! It might be because I can so easily forget that He's got everything under control, I can forget His love and all that He has already done, and the hope He's secured for us in heaven. He "needs" the whole huge sky to open my eyes and remember Him... Click to read more
For some time I have felt uneasy with the general North American response to the Ebola fiasco. For me this aggravation started last spring when the mainstream media finally began covering the Ebola epidemic-months after the outbreak had begun. It didn’t sit well with me because it seemed to me that we ignored the intense suffering until two Americans were infected. Having recently returned to North America from living in a third-world country, I see my native culture in new ways. Anyone who has spent time living in a culture much different than their own will tell you that once you return to your native culture you suddenly see it differently. I would describe it as the view from a huge panoramic photo (rather than the perspective “zoom in lenses” afford.) One gains a new perspective observing patterns, themes, & mindsets... Click to read more
This week as I was praying (and perhaps wrestling with God about my future location!) :) He reminded me of the quote I wrote in the front of my bible almost 10 years ago:
"God does His most stunning work where things seem hopeless. Wherever there is pain, suffering, & desperation Jesus is. And that's where His people belong among those who are vulnerable who think nobody cares. What a place for the brilliance of Christ to shine." -Jim Cymbala.
It's been a full busy week-packed with lots of travel. Dads been a real trooper as we travelled far and wide (to the western border near Congo, to the northern border only a few Kilometers from South Sudan, to the eastern border not too far from Kenya!). I was so blessed and encouraged spending time with friends who are serving and loving Jesus throughout the country-many of them in unpopular and dangerous areas; but seeing Christ use them to spread the gospel and love people!… Click to read more
Over the last 6 months I've turned again and again to 2 Corinthians 4. I don't usually just put the "cut and dry" facts up on my blog, but this chapter has impacted my life and thoughts through these months of change-I hope it will encourage your heart as it has mine. This week while I was reading it once again I noticed how many phrases are repeated throughout the chapter: "We Do Not": -Loose Heart -Preach (or promote) ourselves, but Christ... Click to read more
I’m sitting here in the London airport on my way home for Christmas reflecting on God’s grace and goodness throughout this last year! Living in a third-world country I’ve come to realize and be thankful for the many things I used to so often take for granted—health, safety, provision, etc! And tomorrow I will hug my Mom back on Canadian soil-healthy and well!
When I left for Uganda my Dad wrote this verse in the front of my Bible: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) I have so often referred back to that verse during this last year. There have been times when I felt weak, and there have been other times where I needed courage-but each and every time our all-sufficient God has provided the grace for every moment...
Life is made up of little moments, and ministry is made up of faithfully doing the “small things.” Psalm 37 tells us to “befriend faithfulness” commit our way to the Lord and trust Him to work out the bigger things. It seems that so often the things that make the most impact are the things we consider to be unimportant—but suddenly we realize that it is those “little” unplanned things that the Lord is using in a bigger way for His purposes. I've seen this happen multiple times over the last couple months. In His gentle gracious way the Lord leads us in his path and then surprises us with seeing Him working through the things we least expect and in a way we didn’t plan... Click to read more
"I want normal conveniences and experiences for you… but don't ever forget that this is a privilege and an experience that must be cherished beyond measure … it is never too high a price to pay." -From "The West Wing", Warner Brothers (President Bartlett to his daughter Zoe regarding her loosing "normal" life)
Some of you are likely smiling to yourselves and thinking "I thought Laura left her political life behind? What is she doing quoting a political drama? Since leaving Ottawa and moving to Uganda my life has changed dramatically! Although my surroundings have changed, there are many lessons I learned while working on the Hill that I've carried with me to living in Uganda... Click to read more
Merry Christmas Friends! This has always been my favourite time of the year-and what a beautiful time it is! This year I determined to make the most of this "last" snowy Christmas holiday with my family here in Canada. Realizing that next year my surroundings would be very different from the falling snow, decorations, lights, family, Red Starbucks Christmas cups, evergreen Christmas trees, hay rides, skating, and sledding parties!
At first thinking about this "last" Christmas brought a sad tinge in my heart, but as I started to listen to carols and read through the book of Acts I suddenly realized that Christmas is all about missions! In fact, Christmas could be viewed not only as the celebration of Christ's birth, but the birth of missions!… Click to read more
Those who know me well, know that I love Christmas. Being a super aesthetic person, I love all the extra care and attention to details this time of the year—from the Starbucks red cups to the warm glow of the candles and lights. But, it’s really not just the aesthetics of Christmas that I love—every year something new fascinates me about the Christmas story.
Being at the “trying to figure out what’s next” stage of my life makes me think about some of the harder questions of life. How does your will fit into Gods will; how man can/or cannot mess up Gods will; how much does Gods will depend on your effort; how can free will, sin, and a Sovereign God all co-exist? You know, the questions that keep you awake at night—and not just in a theoretical sense like some abstract problem in college math; but some small and yet very real circumstance in your life that makes you grapple with these questions. However, I am coming to the conclusion that perhaps we don’t really have to figure these out—as humans we have a tendency to place far too much weight and importance on the actions and decisions of humans... Click to read more