If you had asked me a year and a half ago if I could have imagined myself traveling to Uganda twice, within the span of a year, I probably would have called you crazy for even asking. But, here I am, three days away from my second trip to beautiful Uganda. That's right, I said beautiful + Uganda in the same sentence. Most people who hear I'm going back, question 'why'? Why would I spend so much money to travel to a third world country? The only answer I can come up with is 'God wants me to'. It is not by my own selfish nature that makes me want to travel to Uganda, but by the grace + love that is in me because of The One who loved me first. I am called to serve and I have been provided a door. A door that opens in a country where clean water is scarce and my beliefs are not the majority. So why go? I could go somewhere comfortable + "pretty" by our first world standards, but let me tell you, I would be doing myself a disservice. This is not to say that traveling to pretty places is a bad thing - trust me those places are on my travel list, as well. But, for now, I feel called to stand alongside sweet friends (old + new) and serve the fatherless. The week I spent in Uganda last year was one of the best weeks of my life and I received more from the sweet children I photographed than I could have ever given them.
But, you're a single woman, you say. Someone who is not in the "right" time of life to adopt or even foster a child. True. But there is so much more to orphan care than just bringing a child into a family. There is support (both monetary + emotional), there is education, and there is discussion with your community about the needs of the fatherless. That is my purpose for this trip - to share the needs of the orphan with my other friends + family and discuss ways to help. I want to do this through storytelling + my photography. This is the mission behind The Archibald Project. After all, story telling changes the world, even if it's one person at a time, viewing one of my pictures or reading the words of my humble little blog. I am not sure what this second trip to Uganda will entail or how my heart will be changed, but there is one thing I do know: I want God to use me for His purposes and for His glory.
So, I'm going. Going to a place where red dirt covers everything, the people are loving, and food is served at least an hour after you order it, and I could not be more excited. Please join me in prayer for the entire March Media Mission team, the sweet kiddos we will be photographing, the country of Uganda, and the rest of the world, that they may come to understand the need for caring for the fatherless.
The picture below is one of my favorites from last year's the media mission in Uganda. It is of the sweet founder of The Archibald Project, Whitney Runyon, and Michelle, a beautiful little girl at the babies home we worked with in Jinja. Michelle was laughing really hard and Whit recorded her, then proceeded to show her the video of her sweet giggle. Michelle laughed even harder watching herself on camera - both Whit + I began to cry, completely overwhelmed with feelings of joy after witnessing the power of media. It was one of my favorite moments of the trip, for sure!