Back Again

About 4 years ago, I had NO desire to see the world, leave my hometown, or get out of my comfort zone.

The world seemed scary, home was cozy, and it seemed like I had everything I could ever need.

Once college hit and most of my friends started to leave the place we all called home for so long, I started to question my decision to stay in my little bubble.

Over time, doors opened and new opportunities came. I soon found myself committed to going to Uganda for a few weeks over the summer and figured it would be a one time thing (HA, nice try).

While on the ground in Uganda, my heart was changed. For the first time ever, I saw poverty like I had never seen it before. I saw malnourished children, and a whole lot of brokeness. But more than all of that, I saw beauty in the eyes of kids who were filled with joy.

This place SHATTERED my heart for the world we live in and the brokenness that exists, yet all at once it renewed my hope in what joy could really be found in. Seeing children across the globe putting their hope in something far greater than themselves was life changing.

On the other hand, I quickly realized that what matters most about trips like these are relationships. Without connecting with individuals and being their real life friend and companion, there isn’t much of a way to truly do life with them.

Last year, an opportunity came up to go teach English for a little while during the summer in South East Asia. This place challenged me more than anywhere I have ever been. Learning all about a new culture and seeing that same need for friendship in a place filled with so much beauty and brokenness simultaneously was all the more evident.

This summer, I have the chance to go back and I know that I gotta’ take it.

In the US, this need is just as important. We need people who invest in us and hold our hand in the good and bad. Getting to do that across the globe is something I will forever be thankful for.

I’m not a pro. On paper, I am probably super unqualified to join in what is happening all the way across the globe.

Today, I am choosing to believe that this trip, though challenging, will form lasting relationships with people. I am choosing to believe that there is hope for all nations and that though I’m just one girl, I could be used for a plan that holds a much bigger purpose.

I don’t fully know why I am sharing this other than to encourage you to say yes when you feel less than qualified.

4 years ago, I wish I knew the importance of doing things and investing in people and then doing it all over again. In order to actually do life by someone’s side it takes time, rather than meeting people once and never coming back, let’s remind them that they are worth investing in.

So here’s to going back to one of the most beautiful places. Here’s to being grateful that joy is evident in the midst of a broken world. Here’s to jumping into brokenness in the country that I was born in and beyond.

Thanks for reading my rambling of words and coming alongside me on this crazy thing we call life!

Shannon HaupertComment