Ugandans, Archery, Long Island, and the In-Laws

With Harriett, Javura, and Millie from the Ugandan Children's Choir

With Harriett, Javura, and Millie from the Ugandan Children’s Choir

Rachel with a perfect 50.

Rachel with a perfect 50.

The beautiful tea at Island Christian for Mother's Day

The beautiful tea at Island Christian for Mother’s Day

Some of the worship dancers with me leading worship at Island Christian

Some of the worship dancers with me leading worship at Island Christian

What a very interesting and strange week I’ve been having. Never thought that would be the collection in a title!

A little over a week ago, our family went to a special welcoming party for a traveling choir of Ugandan orphans. We were housing some of them during their time in Columbus, and we got to meet and take home our three teen girls, Millie, Javura, and Harriett. We weren’t at all sure what to expect from the time, but it was such a blessing. There were definitely uncomfortable moments, like when all three of the girls at different times got lost in our house (they’d never been in a multi-story house and could not find the rec-room in the basement where they were sleeping), or when they didn’t know why anyone would keep a dog in the house on purpose and our schnauzers just kept barking at them, or when we had a hard time understanding them (even though their English was great), but we were shocked by how quickly they made their way into our hearts. They were with us about 5 days, and we had a good bit of family time together, visiting the zoo and eating dinner together, and going to several gatherings at different host homes between their concert events. Their concerts were amazing too!

Their last morning was absolutely wrenching. I had no idea I could fall in love so quickly. They all started crying at breakfast and had written us letters to thank us for our hospitality, and all expressed that they wished they could stay with our family forever. I wish they could too, and I’m not just saying that. Only about 2% of the world’s orphans are actually legally free for adoption – the system is so complicated. And none of these girls were. But I can say honestly, we would have welcomed any of them into our family. The have touched my heart, and I will be praying for them!

After they left for their next stop in Michigan, my daughter Rachel and I also left along with my mom and drove to Louisville, KY, about 4 hours from our home so Rachel could compete in the Nationals for archery. We sort of stumbled onto archery as a sport several years ago (it’s not common in our hometown!) and Rachel has a serious knack for it. She is not remotely phased by the huge crowds of watchers or archers. Last year she placed 8th in the country for her division! This year was not as good, she was in the 20s, but she still shot well, and her team did great, placing in the top 5. I watched her shoot and then I ran across the street to the airport and flew to NY and my mom drove her home.

The next morning I was at Island Christian Church for a Mother’s Day brunch and also stayed with them to do the worship services on Sunday morning. This is such a dear church! The first time I was with them was right after Hurricane Sandy and I went out to do a disabilities conference. They have a huge heart and I just love the lead pastor and his wife! There is a huge disabilities ministry there which says so much about the heart of their church, and we had a beautiful tea with several hundred women. The next day I sang at all of their services, and had the fun surprise that there was a team of teen girls who did worship dance during my worship leading as a special thing for Mother’s Day, so that was fun to coordinate with all of them! Wish I’d gotten to watch more – it was hard for me to see around the piano!

I also got to visit with some of my dear friends while I was there (we used to live in NY when Nathan and I were in graduate school and afterwards) and then I flew home that night. My in-laws had come to visit while I was gone and were staying a few more days, so we had a great visit too. And NOW, sigh, it’s all over and I can return to a little bit more of the normal. Whatever that is!

Leave a Reply