Recently I was asked if I had a blog post that was entirely devoted to my story. As I replied "no", I started to dream of this blog. Personally, I don't blog about something unless I have thought over it for a while. So today I give you, "My Story". I'm going to take you from the first day I heard about this far away country named Uganda, to the day that I hopped on a plane to visit this place, to now; sitting in my room and typing out my story for all to hear. Before I start, know that none of this could have happened without a faithful God who answers prayers and hears the calls of his children. My story is full of adventure, highs and lows, and just plain silliness, but mostly it's full of God's grace. It's a long one though- buckle in.
It was in 2014. That was the year I first heard about this far away country named Uganda. I was reading a book (Kisses from Katie), something I did very often, and the author began to tell about her adventures in this seemingly hopeless country. As Katie, the author, told about her adventure of leaving her usual and traveling to this country to help children be able to eat, and learn, and play like any kid should, my heart began to hurt for these people. It hurt because these children she was going to help were just like me. They were kids, but instead of being clothed- they were naked, instead of eating their second helping of dinner- they couldn't remember the last ti
me they were fed, instead of going to the faucet and filling up a cup- they walked miles. After I read this book, I began to do everything I could think of to help these children. I emptied my closet in hopes that I could send them all of my clothes, I went to the store to find school supplies to try and send to them, I was desperate to help them. While I couldn't mail all of my belongings to Africa, I could pray for them; praying for them is exactly what I started to do.
In 2014 I started praying over these people. I began to love these people, even though I had never seen their face. I began to fall in love with a culture that I'd only read articles about on Wikipedia. This prayer continued to develop, and I started to feel God calling me to go and finally meet the country I had fallen in love with. 2015 rolled around the corner, and I continued to pray that a door would be opened so that I could go. By that fall, I had a plane ticket with my name on it "destination "Entebbe International Airport" (pronounced in-tah-bay) . I excitedly sat at my computer on October 30, 2015 and filled out my application.
Soon after, I realized the cost of going on a trip halfway around the world- and it wasn't cheap. So I started an itty bitty blog called allie loves uganda. I started to blog about how much I loved this country and used it to "advertise" the canvases and ornaments I was trying to sell along with my gift wrapping services.
It quickly turned into 2016, the year that I would travel thousands of miles and experience more than I ever thought I would imagine. With the excitement, also came the warfare. Spiritual warfare plagued me for the 4 months before I left. What started as a cough became an asthma attack that lasted for two weeks. During that time I was given a steroid that caused a three week migraine that landed me in the hospital for a night. I was out of school for more days than I was at school. When I was at school, I ended up either drowning in school work or social issues. Those couple of months were easily some of the hardest months I have ever been through. During another health concern, I remember sitting on my couch and telling my family that I knew I was called to Uganda, and the Lord wanted me to go- even if the trip ended up taking my life. Thankfully, I healed from most of my health issues and was able to go on the trip.
On March 9, 2016, I boarded a plane with the intention of coming back changed. We arrived late that next night in Kampala (the capital city) and began ministry that Saturday. Through my time there I met so many amazing people. I won't tell you about each of them, because we would be here forever. I will tell you about my most special friend there, her name is Alice. I met Alice on Monday when we were visiting her home. It was strange to us that she was home, she was student aged- yet not at school. We quickly found out that she had been kicked out of her school because her dress no longer fit and had a tear in it. It broke my heart, literally shattered it. It wasn't fair that I got to live in America and go to school like a normal girl- and she got kicked out because she couldn't buy a dress that was less than 10$. Fortunately, she didn't stay out of school long. Our team put together our tourist money to send her to school. She was going to be able to go back to school that Wednesday. I was thrilled for her! I became even more excited when, on Tuesday, she came to me and asked me to "escort" her to school. I made it a priority to change my schedule and wake up at the crack of dawn to walk her to her classes. By that Friday, our family had decided to sponsor her. So, we invited her to lunch at our mission house to tell her that we were her family. She has a family that cares about her and loves her so much, she has a family that will never leave her (even if they are thousands of miles away), and she will always have the capability to go to school.
When I came home, I knew I needed to do more. So allielovesuganda tuned into letters4luv at my dining room table. Now, when you purchase anything from Letters4Luv, 50% of your purchase goes directly towards sponsoring two kids just like Alice, their names are Niko and Gertrude.
And, if you've read this far, I'd like to thank you for believing in me and in my story. One of my favorite things that I sell is my "Lead Me" sticker. It is in the shape of Africa, and I love having that simple reminder of my trip. Because you have read this far, take this coupon code as a token of my affection, use the code UGANDA for 15% off of your Africa sticker from today until Friday.