LollipopandPearls Theme Song

"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Saturday, August 4, 2012

MY WORD update...and Processing!

"Flexibility"...the word I declared for 2012 as my word!   Here it is, 8 months later, and time for a check-up.  "How's that working for me" (in Dr. Phil style)?  

It's been quite a stretch since I've blogged...and a couple of dear followers have sent facebook messages inquiring on my whereabouts. THANK-YOU for missing me...and I have missed sharing.  Much has taken place this summer, and I am, in fact, still attempting to process it all.  In a nutshell I led a mission team to Africa for 18 days, followed by a brief respite at home; then my annual mission trip to the Dominican Republic.  I will leave again soon for a much-needed vaca of pure rest and relaxation with a dear friend to Cabo San Lucas.  Being a travel junkie it's been an amazing summer~ amazing vistas, some amazingly difficult circumstances, amazing love being shown and received, amazingly long plane rides, amazing revelations from the Lord (good and bad), and amazingly awesome and lifetime relationships formed.  It was simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  Enough word play!

Years ago I felt God calling me to go to Africa.   I didn't know why, when, how, with whom...but I knew I was being called.  For the last couple of years my husband and I have served on the Board of Directors of H.E.A.L. Ministries .  HEAL's initial mission focus was primarily Latin America, with an occasional team to Jinja, Uganda.  The Lord clarified the vision for our Missions Director on one of those trips that we were to solely focus on ministry in Uganda.  We have been working prayerfully and diligently to refine our vision and mission.  Part of that process this summer included taking 3 teams to Jinja, Uganda to work, explore, investigate, and to experience life in a 3rd world country.  So my 8 fellow team members and I boarded a plane on June 7, bound for Jinja via a 13 1/2 hour layover in London, then a short stop in Nairobi, Kenya with a final landing in Entebbe, Uganda.  
Our team consisted of 4 adults, a high school student, 2 college students and 2 recent high school graduates...all girls except one adult male (poor Brian!  Or, perhaps we should say lucky Brian)!   Most of our time was spent loving on widows, and abandoned women and children while working alongside several ministries (which I will feature over the next little bit) while brainstorming ideas for our own ministry center there.  I will allow many photos to tell the story; words are not always needed or helpful...nor are they adequate to describe the smells, sounds, sights and emotions that run the gamut!  
(Please allow me a little PR here:  I hope to lead another team in June 2013 and would love to have you consider being a part of that team.  Please check often  for exact dates of our 2013 trips.  Your life will be forever changed; and you will be a significant part in changing the lives of others, I promise you)!

A major theme for me on this trip was "wonder"..."I wonder what is going on in the mind of this little one...or that teen Mom...or that elderly lady sitting alone with so many fine lines an wrinkles, a tattered dress barely clinging to her emaciated frame...or that toothless man in tattered and torn clothing, begging for a morsel of food or just a few shillings..."  "I wonder what their stories are"  "I wonder how life has treated them and what, if any, hope they have for the future"...I wonder...I wonder...

I left Jinja 18 days late feeling hopeful, because my Jesus loves those people.  He has a plan and purpose for each of their lives just as He has for my life.  I don't know what that plan looks like, and will possibly never know, this side of Heaven.  But THIS I DO know:  I have the privilege of participating in that plan!  I also have a response-ability TO that plan, and I will do everything I can to fulfill that response-ability.  I hope you will join me in any way you it participating in a trip with me, covering my team members, fellow Board Members and our Mission Director in prayer, or with financial support.  It is all needed and it is all welcomed!

Please join me over the next weeks, maybe even month,s as I try to share what I a processing, through the written word and through photographs.  Feel free to either leave a comment or email me personally at (please note there are 2 a's in the email address).

Blessings on your weekend,
Lisa/aka Lolli