This is Courtney. I’ve been quiet for a while but I’m back.
In Kaihura, the word for “thank you” is “Webale” (weh-BAH-leh). It was one of the few words we learned before we went to Uganda. Dustin and I have been meaning to write a “Webale” post for a while now but just haven’t. Sometimes stupid things get in the way. But today is the day and we want to take a minute to say “webale” to y’all.
A couple of weeks ago we had a fundraiser at a local ice cream shop where proceeds from the day went to our Know Think Act project that is getting new clothes for Christmas for the kids at the orphanage. The day exceeded my expectations and kind of let me down all at the same time. It was a day that we felt God nudge us to do. It was a day that we constantly prayed about. It was a day that outside of inviting people and talking about it was completely out of our control. It was a day that we were excited and anxious about. It was a day that we poured our hearts into because it was helping kids we love and a place we are homesick for. It was a day that was completely up to God to do his thing and show up in whatever way he wanted.
Over the last few weeks I’ve felt a lot of things about that day. I’ve been sad that we didn’t raise more money than we did. I’ve been frustrated that people got all excited about it and then didn’t come. I’ve judged people at how easy this was to do. My heart and sometimes my mouth have said, “All you had to do was come eat ice cream. How much easier does it get!?” I’ve been mad that God didn’t show up bigger. I’ve felt defeated. I’ve been focused on all of the things that didn’t happen.
I’ve been forgetting that Dustin and I (with the help of Adam and Karen) got to do something really cool that day. We got to see our “yes” to God play out. We got to tell people all about Know Think Act, what they do, where and why they do it. We got to see random strangers give money to a cause they just learned about. We got to see parents telling their kids about other kids who don’t have parents. We got to tell kids what an orphanage is and why we were doing this. We got to watch as kids tell their parents they wanted to help and give money. We got to spend the evening with sweet friends and family who took the time out of their week to come and support Know Think Act, not because it’s necessarily something they are passionate about but because it’s something we are passionate about.
We got to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves for one day. As I’ve been processing why I feel the way I do about the fundraiser, I have felt God nudge me towards the fact that saying “yes” to God doesn’t always mean we are going to get what we want. If I had gotten what I wanted all of Nashville and especially all of our friends would have been there that night. If I had gotten what I wanted we would have exceeded the money amount and had to pick a new project. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what I wanted. It matters that my “yes” is still “yes” no matter what the outcome is. That when I am involved in something bigger than myself there isn’t any room for judgement or negativity because it wasn’t about me in the first place. Saying “yes” to God isn’t about God moving the same way in other people’s lives as he is in mine. What is important is that I am faithful to the call he has placed on mine (and Dustin’s) hearts no matter what.
So, I first want to say sorry. Sorry that this post is so long overdue. Sorry that we had some stuff to work out in our hearts before we could even say a simple thank you. Sometimes life is silly like that.
Now we can say… THANK YOU. Thank you to the people who came to the fundraiser. Thank you to the people who didn’t come but still gave money. Thank you to the random strangers who filled up a jar full of dolla dolla bills y’all. (No? Okay.) Thank you to Know Think Act for being an organization worth doing a fundraiser for. Thank you for being a part of our story.
We’re still trying to finish up the Christmas clothes project. If you’d like to help, here is the link. We’re half way there!