Change in plans

by amandamaephotos

What a whirlwind the past two months have been. Not the noticeably busy kind, but an inner working on my heart. It’s amazing how God can change up your plans, just like that.
I finished out 2011 with what I thought was a renewed burst of energy for my photography business. It had been a great year and after a short break through the holidays, I was ready to face 2012 and all it had to offer. Well, what we have in mind and what God has in mind, doesn’t always line up. We get too caught up in our lives to listen to what He really wants for it. I’m the type of person who needs a sign. Who doesn’t though? You know, like a nice huge billboard smacking you right in the face as you drive merrily through your life. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I had a billboard sized sign, but close to it, and there have been several. That’s what created this stirring in my heart. God’s a calling me. Calling me to Africa. It scares me to even write those words. I often wonder if this is a long term or just short term calling. But, it excites me. I fell in love with Africa 5 years ago and haven’t been able to forget it. Sometimes I look around my apartment and long to sell all of my junk and move there. But we shall see what God has for me. Let me tell ya people. Doors are opening.

This summer, I have the opportunity to travel to Gulu Uganda with a team from my church. Here is a little back story of who we are going to go and build a relationship with.

“Like many developing countries, Uganda is a very poor nation. However, what sets Ugandans apart is their poverty is intermingled by severe trauma from a 22-year war.  This reign of terror by the LRA (Lords Resistance Army), ended in 2008.  The LRA kidnapped tens of thousands of children forcing them to become child soldiers; ordering them to carry out beatings, rape, and diabolical torturing. The LRA took over 330,000 precious lives.  Countless numbers of people fled to camps for survival.  These IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps were a blessing and a curse.

The Ugandan people are now being asked to leave the IDP camps to move back to their ancestral properties after years of living in military protected areas that provided some level of relief and protection.  There is now a high degree of dependence on this minimal welfare and little to no ambition to return to rebuild the villages from which they had fled in terror to rebuild.  They have lost a sense of empowerment, ingenuity and hope.  Worst of all they are filled with fear to return for multiple reasons I can’t fully elaborate in this letter.

We have decided to adopt a people group called the Pugwini with over 1000 adults and  3500 children 10 years old or younger.  We are partnering with them for the next 5 years to help them relearn (and many learn for the first time) how to farm and to establish a self-sustaining infrastructure where people can work in community with each other for survival and then steady growth.  We will work with them in building a piggery to enable them to have a small business that will help them learn to manage finances and ultimately subsidize the costs of the other construction projects that the community needs.  A school has been established and a well has been dug which has already given many victims enough reason to return.”

While the trip is only 10 days, I may have the opportunity to stay longer. The very thought gives me cold sweats and tingles all the way down to my toes from nerves and excitement. You have no idea how excited I am to see what God has for me this summer and what I can do for him. He’s rockin’ my world!

I would be honored if you joined me on this journey. If you could keep me in your prayers as I begin this new chapter in life, that God would show me his plan and that I have the clarity to see it.

Much love ,