Here is a glimpse into our trip to Chicago. I’m so thankful for this trip and the people I was able to share it with. On 5 AM on June 8, seven of us loaded up in a van and headed to Chicago, not knowing much more than we were headed to Good Hope Baptist Church to serve however we could. We did a little sight seeing the day we arrived and the day we left Chicago, but the majority of our week was spent loving on a sweet lady named Mrs. Clark and the Englewood community. Mrs. Clark is *so* precious. She had lost her husband and pastor of Good Hope six months ago. We were able to encourage her and love on her and she sure did the same for us. There were lots of laughs and late nights at her home, where she so graciously welcomed us. Eight of us and one bathroom couldn’t have worked out any better.
There were lots of different aspects of our week: gardening, painting, a ladies spa night, a community block party, and putting together basketball goals, but the thing we all looked forward every day was working with teenagers who came to Good Hope for an after school program. Our week was filled with lots of minute to win it games, an insane amount of sugar, tie dye, a photo booth (photographed by my brother in law, the teenagers loved it), water balloons, lots of pantyhose, Andy’s Frozen Custard (that is a crazy story that we give all glory to God for), but mostly lots of love. We fell in love with these teenagers, many who have been through more at the age of 13 than most of us had in our entire lives. For a week we had the amazing opportunity to love on these kids and to share with them the reason for that love.
As I shared in a post about Strawberry Pie and changed plans, Chicago wasn’t exactly our plan for this year, but I thankful it was His.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! – Ephesians 3:20
This past month has been a blur. We have been INSANELY busy. It seems this week we were able to catch our breath just a little. Here is a quick look at the past few weeks via Instagram:
About a month ago, we had two of our friends from Uganda come and stay with us. I can not tell you how precious this was. Ruth & Innocent live on the Islands of Lake Victoria in Uganda. This was their first time out of Africa and this happened to be Ruth’s first time trying pizza. She loved it. I can not begin to tell you how different life in America is from that in Uganda. We had so much fun together, but I also found myself asking a lot of hard questions. Embarrassment doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt as I brought them to my home, where my kids have rooms filled with toys and where I have every kitchen gadget ever created.
I am so selfish. But I am thankful for the time with my friends and I am thankful that God is using their stay to change me.
I learned something else about my sweet friend. She bakes all of the cakes for birthdays and celebrations on the islands. So we did a little baking together. Ruth tasted and made her first cupcake while she was here too. She will be heading back to Uganda with some new cake decorating supplies, which she is thrilled about.
Easter Dessert. Carrot cake with a cheesecake layer in the center. Not the best picture ever…however it is the only picture.
It got good reviews from my favorite critics.
The first half got eaten, the second made a huge mess on the way home.
Last weekend was the 3rd Annual Uganda Living Water Run. This is one of my largest events of the year. This year (thanks to an amazing anonymous donor and our wonderful community) we raised over $4,000. We have funded one well for Uganda and are on our way to our second.
We had a great weekend in St. Louis with our friends Rich, Courtney and Clara. There was lots of laughing, good food, a crazy storm, a baseball game and lots of other extremely random stories. I will have a few more images of the weekend for you in the next couple days! Hope you had a great Labor Day!
I found this image while looking at a It’s the Little Things in Life…it makes me so happy. Hope you have a great weekend!
We are back…well Ean and I are. Matt is actually off on another adventure back in Pensacola. The three of us spent last week at Pensacola Beach Florida and I will tell you, I still wish we were there. It was beautiful, relaxing and the quality time with just the three of us was perfect. Here are a few (of the 500) images from our week. I hope you enjoy them…and I am happy to be back with you friend!