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shattered pieces of my heart

"break my heart for what breaks yours.." 

A song we sing at church. Are we crazy to sing a song that literally asks God to break our hearts for what breaks His? 

I've been on a lot of trips before, visiting the poverty, seeing the starving eyes, and holding the sickest of babies. Each trip opens my eyes more and more, and breaks my heart even on a greater scale. 

Today was a hard day for me. So many times during the day I wanted to burst into tears, I felt helpless, I felt and overwhelming wave of so much heartbreak, I think I actually heard my heart shatter to pieces. 

During worship, having a baby tied to my back the Ugandan style, I stood in front of the crowd and watched these kids barefoot, dirty clothes, teared t-shirts jump up and down praising God. In my mind I think "what do you have to praise them for?" Then Janet's words resonated "If you're alive, that is a reason in itself to be praising God." I had tears rolling down my face as I closed my eyes and simply thanked God for being alive, being here with these kids who are filled with so much joy. 

All through out the day, I'd see these young kids carrying their siblings on their back. As we would play games, they would just stare, they couldn't just play with a baby on their hip. Soon they learnedthat we are trustworthy people and today they would pass their siblings to us. Each baby I had, and I had about ten babies all through out the day, each one of them was sick. Either from such hunger, or had infections on their skin, or so sick and lethargic that they just lay on me with no movement. I couldn't help but kiss on their little cheeks and pray over each and everyone of them. 

Feeding time came, we fed about 550 kids today, for most of them it will be their one and only meal that day. I witnessed two things. First, kids are so hungry, after they finish they are supposed to pass their plates to us and walk out to wait till everyone else is done to walk back in. Well, they learned to hide their empty plates as if they haven't eaten. I caught on pretty quick and I couldn't say no. I fed them their second portions. I cried. Kids should not have to lie and cheat just to get a meal. 
Second thing reminded me of my precious godsons who are very young. This little boy about two or three was eating his rice and beans, he looked over to his friend who had an empty bowl and was eating off the floor, the little boy, grabbed a hand full of his food and placed it into his friends bowl. Talk about sharing is caring- that was the purest of definition to that saying. 

Moving on the day, with holding babies all in between, the women came to hear the word of God. Their energy, their smiles, and their enthusiasm is very contagious. It was so powerful hearing them sing in their own language and praise the same God I believe in. 

Then, three chayah kids come up sing a song that just brought me to unstoppable tears. "All in all" the phrase..."Seeking You as a precious jewel, Lord to give up I'd be a fool.." hit me so hard. That moment I became so weak, so vulnerable, as I was holding a young child in my arms I heard my heart break. I have been a fool. I've given up the jewel. These kids and women having nothing but the Jewel and being completely satisfied, just blew my mind. I have become a fool. I've lost it. 

They also sing a song that goes "I know who I am, I know who He says I am." With such broken and tragic pasts they know their identity, they are confident in who they are. They didn't need to go on a journey to "find themselves." God told them they are beautiful, they are worthy, they are righteous, they are powerful, they are loved, and they are precious- and they take that and with such assurance sing loud and proud about how they know who they are because God told them who they are. 

For so many years, I've used the line of "finding myself" and let me tell you, that is so foolish. Looking back I'm so ashamed. Why did I need to discover myself and go through basically self destruction to "find myself" when God who created me already told me who I was?! I honestly just can't even. 

But this isn't about me, it's about the people I'm meeting here, the relationships I'm building with the women who teach me so much about life and about God then I ever could teach anyone else. 

Janet said to the women yesterday 
"These people gave up their time, money and came from far away, and we don't have anything to give back to them..." FALSE. 
I told Janet today that she was way wrong. This culture and the people are giving us so much to take home. Being in their presence is a blessing in itself. I didn't come here to fix anyone, or to solve any problems, I came here to serve outcast, I came here to love, I came here to not do anything big an glamorous, I came here to learn and have the privilege of being blessed by these people of this red dirt Uganda. 

So, God did not only break my heart for what breaks His, He shattered it.Today was rough on my weak heart. 


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