Know Think Act

Webale Y’all

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!

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TIA Friday: Baby Ana

I’ve been on a love does kick for a while now. As my friend John Mayer says it, love is a verb. The idea is so simple but so true. Love is an action. Love does things. It shows people Jesus. Love doesn’t just talk about it. It doesn’t just blog about it. It doesn’t just think about it. It doesn’t just pray about it. Love does.

There is something called Know Think Act (KTA) that we came back from Uganda really excited about. I like to think about KTA as the connection piece between Bringing Hope to the Family (the organization we worked with in Uganda), Uganda and everywhere else. The idea is pretty simple. A need arises in Uganda. That need is put on the Know Think Act website. People give towards that need until it is fulfilled. Once it is fulfilled it can happen in Uganda and change lives. To me, Know Think Act is the love does piece of the organization. You see a need and do something about it. Simple enough, right?

My sweet baby Ana is almost a year old. Last November, a local hospital contacted the Bringing Hope orphanage. A baby had been born a few days prior and the mom had not survived the childbirth. The father was unknown and the mother had no other family. The hospital knew of the work that was being done by Bringing Hope to the Family and asked if they would take the baby in. The orphanage was not equipped at the time to care for newborns but they took in baby Ana without hesitation. The orphanage took in Ana but had no baby formula for her. They contacted Know Think Act and baby formula was immediately put up on the website. Within 4 hours, baby Ana had enough formula to last her 5 months. She is now healthy, growing, wanting to crawl, and ready for us to adopt her… kidding, sort of.  Ana’s life is now full of hope all because love does.

Love is what drives Know Think Act. Without love it wouldn’t exist or be doing anything. But because love does exist and love does things, Jesus is all over Uganda. The lives of my friends are eternally being changed because that’s what love does. Love changes the lives of people like baby Ana. Love gives hope to the hopeless orphans. Love shows people Jesus through something as simple as baby formula. Love does these things because love is a verb.

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We would love for you to check out the Know Think Act website, here. Look around, learn more about it, and see some of the current needs in Uganda. You can find us on there, too and see what projects we’re working on. Our action group is called “This is Africa in America” and you can check it out here. Thank you to those who have given to our Christmas shoes project, those who are talking about KTA, and those who are asking questions. You are changing lives whether you know it or not. Thank you for proving that love really is a verb.