Mission Monday: the generosity

I leave for Uganda in roughly 36 hours. EXCUSE ME WHILE I FREAK THE EFF OUT.

In 36 hours, I'll be walking into the Indianapolis airport. One flight to New York, one takeoff, one landing. Eight hour layover, in which I hopefully get to see Chelsea. Meet up with my teammates, those of whom are flying through JFK.

In roughly 48 hours, I'll be boarding a plane to Dubai. An Airbus A380, to be exact, which my dad tells me is one of the world's biggest airplanes. Double decker. Uh, giant gulp. One takeoff, one landing. A twelve hour layover in Dubai, in which I hope to be brave and adventurous and explore the city with my camera, but will realistically probably spend 11.5 hours of which sleeping in my free hotel room provided by Emirates airline.

In roughly...I don't even know how many hours at this point, I'll be boarding a plane to Uganda. Entebbe airport will be my destination. One takeoff, one landing. U G A N D A.

I'm still pretty scared at this point, but I just keep repeating to myself that I'm moving against the fear. Sometimes it's not about the fear subsiding. It's about jumping in with the fear right at hand, whooshing in your ears, clutching at your chest. You choose to do it afraid. And someday, you realize, the things that scared you don't anymore. Hopefully someday I feel that way about planes!

Tonight I unpacked all the boxes and bags of donations people have given me to take to the babies home. I cried real tears as I unpacked these things. Bottles and bottles of medicine. Piles of clothing. Coloring books and stickers and stuffed animals. You did this. All of you, you wonderful, generous, gracious people who fill my life. I posted one Facebook status, thinking maybe I'd collect a few onesies, some wipes, a bottle or two of fever reducer. One status. And then God and you, my dear friends, rained down blessings on me. Actually, on the children and staff of the babies home, but you blessed me in the process too. Do you want to know what you collected? Do you want some numerical data? Here. I counted everything for you.

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19 little girls' dresses

13 little girls' t-shirts

13 little boys' shorts and pants

19 little boys' t-shirts

9 little girls' shorts and pants

32 onesies. thirty-two!!

2 swaddle wraps

1 sleep sack

7 bibs

3 pairs of socks

2 baby towels

13 baby washcloths

6 pairs of shoes

10 baby blankets

16 bottles of adult acetaminophen

23 bottles kids' acetaminophen (do you KNOW how many feverish children this will help?! I'm speechless.)

4 giant bottles of gummy vitamins

12 toothbrushes

2 tubes toothpaste

1 package of baby wipes

3 tubes of diaper rash cream

1 jar baby powder

2 pacifiers

10 baby utensils

1 brush

2 combs

1 nasal aspirator

1 package of q-tips

10 puppets

14 coloring books

6 marker sets

12 glue sticks

5 pairs of scissors

8 packages of stickers

8 packages of construction paper

6 headbands

20 pencils

12 pencil sharpeners

1 pencil case

1 story book

68 toys

28 bracelets

:::

That's 552 items I'll be packing with me to distribute at the babies home. FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-TWO.

I don't even have words for this kind of generosity. YOU are the hands and feet of Jesus. YOU will be bringing smiles to these littles' faces and relief to their caretakers. YOU are loving the least of these, the ones with no voice, the 147 million forgotten orphans of this world. YOU did this. I am so very, incredibly, loss-of-words grateful for you.

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40

In endless gratitude,

Val