As my young, wanna-be-independent self embarked on this ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to Uganda with Simone’s Kids, I had many expectations and fears arouse and somewhat take over my excitement before heading out on this life-altering trip. Of course the physical expectations and fears of going to another country were prominent in my mind since I am what most consider a ‘high maintenance female’ (I would beg to differ). I vividly imagined HUGE spiders, blood-sucking mosquitos carrying all sorts of diseases, terrible living conditions, dying animals, sad individuals who are scared of mzungus (white people), and all the other things many Americans imagine when Africa is mentioned.
As I boarded the flight that would take me to my final destination, I remember asking God to calm my thoughts; to give me his eyes, heart, mouth, and hands; to allow me to do and experience what he wanted; and to help me put all my trust and faith in his hands (which is difficult for me because I am a control freak). The first night in Uganda was overwhelming, and I remember talking with my younger sister who was also experiencing some anxiety and maybe some doubt regarding our decision to partake in this trip. I tried to ease her thoughts while also trying to ease mine. Before I went to bed, I repeatedly prayed to God to calm our minds and to allow us to be open and ready to receive what he has in store for us.
As the next few days passed, all I was sure about was that this was the place God wanted me to be. We interacted with the students of God’s Hope School and with the people who populated Nakaseke for the next 2 weeks as we worked on projects for Simone’s Kids and as we shared Jesus’ love. The Lord continuously revealed himself to me through his creations (those sunsets were magnificent), but most importantly by the people of Nakaseke. The love shown to me by the students was more than my heart could ever imagine. When talking with the secondary students, joy was poured out upon me and I became in awe of how much faith and love for Jesus these students have.
I met so many whose stories were heartbreaking and had every reason to be upset with God; however, they were the ones who were the strongest in their relationships with the Lord and subsequently pushed me to grow in my relationship with him. To say those two weeks spent in Nakaseke taking cold showers and having no cellphone service were the best weeks of my life is an understatement. I gained a new perspective on life, I learned how to love more. I grew closer to Jesus. I made great friendships. I experienced joy that can only come from God. I could go on and on. This trip with Simone’s Kids filled me with so much love for Jesus and so much love for others.
BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE!
p.s. You are probably wondering why I have titled this blog as “Never Enough.” There are several reasons for that.
1. Some of the students were obsessed with the soundtrack from “The Greatest Showman” and the lyrics from the song ‘Never Enough’ were sung repeatedly over those amazing two weeks. So now every time I hear that song, my mind and heart immediately go back to Nakaseke.
2. I mentioned earlier that due to this trip, I gained a new perspective on life. To elaborate some for you, I tend to get caught up in the ways of this world and the things in it which can lead to a broken heart, hurt feelings, unmet expectations, etc. This trip helped remind me that this world and the things of it will NEVER BE ENOUGH for God’s people. We do not receive true joy from the things of the earth. Our joy comes from Christ alone.
3. Last but not least, this trip has taught me that you can NEVER get ENOUGH of Jesus. We need Him so much and we need to seek after him constantly. I’m preaching to the choir here, because I am guilty of not always keeping Jesus as my main priority. I am reminded by this experience that I have to keep after my relationship with God. ‘Good enough’ doesn’t cut it. I can never get enough of Jesus Christ!
By: Mariah Longshore
Simone’s Kids Volunteer
Date: August 21st, 2018