Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More than interns

When we say 'yes' to visitors, we never know what we're going to get. It's like a birthday present yet to be unwrapped. I said 'yes' to our summer interns almost a year ago when the emailed reached my inbox about having college students come. How can I possibly say 'no' when I was once a college student living overseas in someone else's house? I knew I needed to pass on the blessing. 

Don't get me wrong...I've said 'no' to possible interns before. But these girls who were coming had been vetted by Wycliffe and had good references. I was not disappointed. Not only were they pleasant and helpful visitors, but they challenged me and promoted growth in my own life....never a bad thing. After hosting visitors like them, I can only turn to God in thanks for the season of life that we shared together. 

Emily & Mary arrived in Uganda at the end of May and stayed with us through the end of July. They both come from Liberty University where Emily is a nursing student and Mary is a health education student. They both have hearts softened towards the peoples of East Africa. They both are the type of women who could very well end up in ministry overseas, pursuing the fulfillment of the gospel of Christ through love and service to others. 

Just a few photos of their involvement with us and the Ik this summer:

 We visited many villages in an effort to assess the jigger situation, and visit the elderly. This often required hiking through tall grass and picking ticks off our legs.
 How wonderful it was to have three cooks in the kitchen! And we got to experiment with a bunch of new recipes because we had six hands (ten with the girls) between us. Here they're making cinnamon rolls.
 The endless and mundane task of cutting pills down to a dosage appropriate for children. I do it with a frown and sigh. Emily just smiled. Taking this task from me was a true show of love.
 Mary was the only white face in a sea of brown faces on this Sunday...and she was perfectly at home. She amazed me with the level of comfort she felt in getting out into the community and befriending the Ik so quickly and lovingly. This included hoeing with them in their gardens.
 Mary & Emily ministered to the school children several times a week through Bible stories and health lessons. The children will miss them dearly. Afterwards, they'd stay to play soccer, bubbles, or a variety of other American games taught by the interns to the kids.
 For a few weeks in June, we held ladies meetings in the local Pentecostal church. We each took a turn sharing our testimonies, followed by a health lesson and time of fellowship. The women of Timu LOVED it. It was their meeting and they were being served....very unusual in this culture.
 Countless, countless hours were spent loving on our little girls. Mary & Emily became big sisters who could be counted on for hugs and reading books. Just yesterday, Janet had a breakdown and sobbed about missing her big sisters. They definitely left their mark on our girls.
 In July, we all went to an organizational conference in Tanzania. I don't have the photo proof of the work they did at the conference itself. Emily donated hours to the babies room so that parents could sit in the worship and teaching sessions. Mary spent her time hanging out with and mentoring the young women of the youth class. After the conference was over, we had some fun. We took a short trip to Zanzibar (an island off the coast of Tanzania) where we explored Stone Town and soaked up the beautiful beach atmosphere.
 There was sand, water and lots of sun. We recovered from two very busy months in Timu. And we thanked God that such a place as Zanzibar exists on this earth.
 By the end of our time together, Emily & Mary weren't just the interns anymore. They were friends and sisters-in-Christ. They were family. That's what happens to people when they go through tough times together...bonding occurs. They were God's provision to me of friendship and fellowship for this past summer. Kind of like a really good birthday present that keeps on giving after you unwrap it and find out how cool it is.
 Emily...Mary...we love you both and are SO GLAD you were led to Timu this summer. Thank you for gifting us with your lives.

1 comment:

The Reeds said...

I laughed and cried tears of joys when I read this. What a gift.... How beautiful. I'm so happy for you Amba.