In less than two weeks I will board a plane with my son and 18 students from Clemson Univeristy. It’s quite emotional to have so many worlds colliding at once. My love for Uganda, my son’s first international mission trip and my alma-mater. My heart is just falling to pieces as I imagine Elliott’s worldview exploding in front of him. As we’ve talked and prepared for the trip he has shared that his main goals are to play soccer with the kids, buy mosquito nets for malaria prevention and learn more about Uganda. He also has some plans to buy a spear… but we’ll see about that one.
Many have asked if I have any fears about bringing an 8 year old on a trip like this. And honestly my answer is… I’m afraid not to. As parents we all wish to instill certain values in our children. And one of the virtues I wish to see in my children is compassion. A compassion that reaches beyond the borders of home and country. A compassion that is fueled by love and faith. A compassion that leads them to diverse friendships, activism and action. I feel that I’ve done what I can to expose them to the diverse needs within our community and country and this is the next step for a child who has watched me go and come back countless times.
He is ready to face the needs himself this time. He is ready to see with eyes wide open, the struggles and joys of the world. I wait, with great anticipation, to process with him and listen to his questions. And I wait to see how he embraces the people and kids that I love without the pre-conceived ideas adulthood carries.
The wait is almost over. And with great thanks I think of all of you who have allowed Elliott to take this journey with me. You have scheduled family photos, paid Elliott to pick up sticks, purchased a pallet Christmas tree and given funding. You are at the forefront of our minds as we prepare to go. My friend Kim texted me this week, she works in the Children’s ministry at our church. She shared that a question was posed “Has there been a time when God chose you to do something?” Elliott excitedly raised his hand and shared “I was chosen to go to Uganda.”
So friends and family, let your faith take you somewhere for a moment. Your investment in a young life has sparked something. A genuine desire to go where God calls and love who God loves. I can only imagine where an early step in that direction will take him as he grows older. So thank you again for being a part of being chosen.