Hey Hoots! So...I'm not sure if you know, BUT I use Young Living Essential Oils. I kid, I kid. Of course you know that. I make sure to NOT keep it a secret because, frankly, EVERYONE needs to know about them and use them. ANYWHOOOO...what you really may not know is that Young Living has and AH-MAYYYY-ZING foundation called the Young Living Foundation (YLF...what else would it be...duh). They partner with different organizations around the world and YOUR donations are used in the most life changing ways. Seeing videos and hearing about who we partner with is one thing, but seeing it live and in color is a whole different ball game.
So many members have a heart for service and want to help. So the YLF listened to the hearts of the members and opened up service trips this year. When they announced that we could apply to go to work with our partner organizations in Uganda my heart immediately fluttered, and I applied the first day we were allowed to. You see...I have always had a heart for missions. ALWAYS. I don't, however, have the wallet for them. But my BIG God's timing is perfect. He, and He alone, placed this BIG dream in my heart. To not only serve others, but to help others who want to serve. Oh Hoots, when God places a dream in your heart it is a promise. A promise He WILL fulfill. This trip would be the beginning of that promise being fulfilled. The funding for the trip is an entire God story that you will most definitely hear. Soon...
More on that BIG dream later. But for now, I want to start at the end. The end of the trip only 2 groups of 20 got picked to go on out of 1,000 applicants. The trip that FOREVER changed my life and path.
It was our last service day and our last organization to visit. Our week had been filled with so many glimpses of hurt, hunger, hope, and healing that as it was coming to a close I was left physically and emotionally drained and raw. In the best way. As soon as I walked off of the bus I was enveloped in hugs. LOTS of hugs. We played. We colored with the kiddos. We sang songs and danced. We prayed. We loved on those kiddos and they loved on us.
Toward the end of our visit we were seated inside and basins of water were brought into the room. As I realize what is happening I am overwhelmed with the feeling of pure love as my feet are gently put in the water by Rita.
Rita, a beautiful girl with eyes full of wonder, curiosity, and hope.
Rita, who had NO CLUE the impact that her washing my feet with a servant heart had on me.
Rita, who didn't know that washing the feet of others was what fueled the dream that was this service trip. And SHE was serving ME.
It's the ultimate act of servitude. It literally brings you to your knees to serve others as Jesus did. As Jesus commanded us to do. John 13:14-17 says "14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." These verses. They are the verses I continually shared from the moment I was selected to this very moment as I write this blog. These are the verses that were read aloud at Wind of Victory right before the children began to wash our feet. These verses. God is pouring them into my heart.
As I washed Rita's feet I was overcome with the weight of the moment. The people of Uganda are a beautiful, loving, industrious, caring, hopeful people that served ME.
During the performance they had practiced for us Rita looked at me the entire time. Like MY child at a recital. Like MY child at a 2nd grade school play. Like MY child proud to show me what she had practiced and practiced. And I took pictures like she was MY child. I wanted her to feel the pride I had watching her. For her to know that she is loved. For her to know she is special. For her to know that although she isn't MY child, she's God's child. Always God's child. Loved. Adored. Cherished.
It hit me hard that YLF is impacting not only big groups of people by providing funding for schools, food, mosquito nets, education, and shoes (tip of the YLF iceberg), but we are impacting one life at a time. One soul in need at a time. And each cent given is truly changing lives. Wind of Victory and my sweet Rita will forever have a piece of my heart.
So now that you know the end, the perfect end, let me take it back to the beginning. And oh what a beginning it was....