I’ve been back from Uganda for a little over two weeks now. It was absolutely amazing. I’m currently scheming ways to get back, and to discover a job where I get paid to travel.
One thing I’ve noticed since being back is that life continues full steam. I got back on a Saturday, on Monday I had put in a 13 hour day. And the days go by; there are emails to send, phone calls to return, events to do, staff retreats, church stuff. Whew. In the midst of all of that I have a hard time remembering that I even went.
Sometimes I will just sit still and try and remember what I did each day and play it back in my mind. I’ll try to focus on all of the kids faces. Every house I sat in. Every experience. Sometimes it’s easy, but a lot of times I worry I will forget. And then something like today happens…
We had our annual staff retreat and my boss asked me to share with everyone a little bit about my trip. Of course I was up for it and briefly (very briefly) prepped for some things. The biggest thing that I knew I wanted to do was to show some videos that have been compiled out of the 138 videos I took while I was there. (Praise Jesus for someone that is gifted in video editing)
I had seen bits and pieces of the videos but the most recent one that got finished, I hadn’t seen in it’s entirety and I decided to wait and watch it with the rest of the staff for the first time. Wow. Big mistake.
All of the memories, God’s presence and promises came flooding back in watching the kids faces come across the screen. There was no time to recover. The videos were over and I was crying and now had to share some more stories. I cried my way through the rest of a 10 minute talk on aspects of the trip that meant a lot to me. I’m very used to crying in front of people and I don’t care about crying, but I’ve prided myself recently on the fact that I can cry and yet maintain composure. Sorry my friends but there wasn’t a ton of composure left. I was really struck once again with all of the emotions I felt on the trip. Even though I probably looked like a blubbering fool to most of my co-workers, can I be honest with you? I was really happy that sharing and watching the video moved me so much.
I fear that I will forget. I fear that I will not be eternally changed. I fear that I’ll chose safety and convenience over having my life altered by God’s truth.
But 10 seconds into any video, I remember. God’s affection for those kids, for that country, they overwhelm me.
Thank you Jesus for videos and your Spirit. That can take something that seems distant in thought and make it strikingly alive and real in my heart.