Saturday, April 9, 2011

runaways...

I love “God things”—the type of situation that He undeniably orchestrated. Recently, I went to the post office here in the city to pick up a package that my friend, Janine, sent me (mail from America is the best!!) When I arrived, it was two minutes before closing time. Yet I was told to go home; the staff had already locked up and were heading out the door. I wish I could say I had a good attitude. Instead, I was grumpy and thought to myself, “It figures—the post office staff are as slow as snails when they’re helping their customers. But how convenient that at closing time, they lock up early and rush out the door.”

So I’m admitting to you that I had a crummy attitude. But in my defense, you have to understand that picking up a package at the post office here is not convenient. First, I have to pay my boda driver several dollars to take me to the post office. And it’s an hour round-trip from my house. If you know me well, you know that those are two things I don’t like to waste: time and money. : )

I had no choice but to turn around and go home. The next day, I was determined to get to the post office and pick up the package. I need to explain what happened that morning at work: two of our girls (recently rescued from the streets) escaped and ran away. No one knew where they were. We alerted the police, but that doesn’t help very much here. We lifted them up in prayer at our staff morning devotions, trusting God would protect them. (Nevertheless, we were worried because one of the girls has mental disabilities because of her drug use while living on the street.)

That’s an important piece to this story, so bear with me.

So after work, I went into the city to try for the SECOND time to pick up my package.

I was sick and also exhausted, so I was riding on the boda not paying attention to the thousands of people we passed by. As we got closer to the city, I looked up suddenly and saw two girls walking towards us. I still can’t believe that I recognized our girls after a quick second as we zoomed by them….(especially because I had only met them a few times briefly, since they were new additions.)

I asked my boda driver to pull over onto the side of the road, and I called my boss to double-check that the girls were still lost (at this point I was thinking “surely that wasn’t them….”). She encouraged me to go look for them. By this time, the girls had walked onto a different road, but we thankfully found them.

I brought them back to the office, thanking God that He had been watching over the girls (they had been wandering around with no food or water for nearly 12 hours in the hot sun…and had walked MILES!)

(No package for Ashley that day either ;) But I didn’t care….I couldn’t help but smile, realizing that God had a reason for me being sent home from the post office the previous day. He wanted me to head into the city and find the girls the next day!)

Quick update on the girl with the mental disorder: she refused to stay at the organization, and we can’t force her to stay. So that same evening, she packed up her things and went back to living on the streets. The next day when I was in the city, I heard a voice say “auntie…..!” and it was her. So crazy. I told her we were praying for her, and she should consider returning since it’s a safe environment.

A few days later, she realized she had made a mistake. She is now back with us at DP! Please pray that she decides to stay and get an education, receive the love we want to give her, etc.

On a completely different note, 4 weeks from tomorrow I will be waking up in my family’s home in Pennsylvania. That’s a lot to process, and I have incredibly mixed emotions—but that’s a post for another day. I’m excited to see my friends and family after nearly a year! But my heart begins to ache when I think about leaving my dear friends and kiddos here in Uganda. This truly feels like home in many ways.

I selfishly would love your prayers during this transition phase and that I get everything done that I need to in my remaining 4 weeks.

The goodbyes have already begun. Yesterday, I got to spend some time with this dear Rwandan girl who I met my first week in Uganda. She’s going to her father’s house for a holiday break, so I doubt I’ll see her again. Isn’t her smile endearing?

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4 comments:

Aimee said...

Such a neat story, Ashley! I will be praying for you!!

amdar said...

Ashley - thanks for sharing - perfect reminder that God knows what we all need so much better than we do, even (especially) when it disrupts our own agendas :) love you, praying you through this final (for now) month... also loving that beautiful bag in your photo.. ;)

Ann said...

What a blessing! It isn't every day we see how God truly does order our ways. So amazing! Love you, dear. Mom

Gregory said...

My grandparents would say, "Providential!" I'd have to agree. Amazing how He gives those little reminders when we need them most. Many prayers for you and your two newest friends at DP. Greg