Being able to see old friends is a blessing! Being able to see old friends half a world away feels like a miracle!
On our way to Jinja from the airport, we met Patrick, from the lacrosse team-- he left this week to play in Israel for a month! So exciting for Uganda lacrosse!! The first full day I was here, I ran into Pastor Zach! It was so great to see him again, and to have the chance to catch up!
Every year, Robert and I look forward to catching up with Joshua. He's got one semester left after this current semester, and will graduate from nursing school in May, and be ready to get a job!! He is so proud of himself, and we are proud of him, and grateful to get to continue to be in his life!!
Probably one part of the trip that is the most unbelievable to me, still, is the fact that I got to see Ms Agnes!! We haven't seen each other in 3 years, and I have missed her and prayed for her so often. We have been back in touch in the past year, and I can't thank God enough for allowing that to happen! Getting to see her was icing on the cake!! Even better, her granddaughter, Betty, still lives with her, and she sat with Diamond and me and showed us her schoolwork, while we showed her pictures on our phones from when she was a little kiddo!!! I met Betty when she was 18 months old, and now she's in third grade! God has been so faithful to restore this relationship and connection. I am overwhelmed just thinking about it! Agnes is doing really well, and we even got to see some of her children (the ones who told her they would disown her if she passed the orphanage on to us). Relationships restored, and God proving that His plan is always bigger, and that he sees more than we do-- best thing ever!
Speaking of Agnes, we are so blessed to have 9 of the children who used to live at her house living at Ddembe now. We often wonder, though, about the other ones. We wonder how they are, and what they are doing, and if they are in school. Today, we were at Good Shepherd Primary School, the school our Ddembe kids attend, and a child walked into the room, and I knew it was Pamela! We worked with Pamela at Agnes' school, and I have pictures of her doing art there when she was only about 3-4. Today she was in the P3 class (third grade!).
When we got to the 4th grade class, we saw two more faces we recognized-- Grace and Rachel-- sisters who were at Ms Agnes' three years ago!
God knows where all of his people are all the time. We have to trust him as he brings people in and out of our lives. When he chooses to let us know where people who we have lost touch with are, it feels like a gift.
Over the past nine years, God has done some pretty incredible things in my life through Africa. I am overwhelmed and grateful.