In Entebbe

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Uganda right now; our flight home leaves in about four hours, and truth be told I am ready to see my family. Thanks to the internet, we’ve been able to keep in touch, but I need to see my people. I can’t wait to sleep in my bed.

And OHMYWORD I’m ready for some diet Coke ON ICE and some fried chicken.

Not to mention lots of cheese.

We’ve had super-limited internet access for the last couple of days, but yesterday afternoon I had a chance to log into my WordPress account and read your comments for the last few posts.

I wish you could have seen Brian, Shaun, Carlos and me packed into the business-center-that-was-actually-a-cubicle. I read lots of your comments out loud, and we had the best time celebrating the all the new sponsorships. It’s been a really cool thing.

I still have so much to tell you about this past week, a week that has stretched me and challenged me and pretty much left me wrecked in ways I could have never imagined. I will never look at my life the same way again, and I am beyond grateful for that. In fact, for the last three days I have been a fountain of tears, and there is so much that I want to say. SO much.

Last night the sixteen of us who have spent pretty much every waking hour together for the last eight days sat around a table and talked about our reactions to this past week. Normally I like to chime in during any sort of feedback session, but last night I couldn’t even talk. I’d open my mouth, and the tears would just pour out of my eyes. It’s happening again right now. I am deeply, profoundly grateful for the privilege of this experience. I will never be able to tell you how much.

Every single thing we did with Compassion absolutely blew me away: every project we visited, every testimony we heard, every Throw The Ball And Run game we played, every child we hugged, every prayer we offered on behalf of the sweet families who were gracious enough to let us into their homes.

But in addition to the Compassion stuff, I would be absolutely, totally remiss if I didn’t tell you how much this phenomenal group of Compassion bloggers has come to mean to me. They are extraordinary, each and every one. My consistent prayer for this trip has been Philippians 2:1-7, and OH, was it ever the case. I don’t know when I’ve ever been a part of a more unified group. God used each person here to minister to me in such a specific way, and I have been humbled and changed as a result.

So to all my Uganda buddies, thank you inspiring me every single day – through your faith, your actions, your words, and your laughter. I just love y’all to pieces, even if you do make fun of my accent every single time I say “Shaun.”

But I don’t even care because “SHAW-AWN” sounds way better than “Shon” or however you people say it and by the way, “OH MY LANDS” is ABSOLUTELY an appropriate response in just about any situation.

Y’all are the best.

And guess what, everybody?

OH MY LANDS – I’m heading home.

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  1. I just came across your site recently, but can’t remember from where – and what a treasure! I am so excited to hear about how the Lord has moved in your life through this experience. I read in the previous post about your struggle with “going out”. It struck me because it is a struggle I have – mostly based on fear… international travel, the unknown, among other things…

    I pray your trip home was a good one, and pray your adjustment back home goes smoothly…

  2. I left a message on Bigmama today saying I kept thinking she should be there with you!!! I am praying for your safe return. I am wondering how awesome it must feel to know that in addition to your child you support, you are also responsible for changing the lives of at LEAST 220 more???

  3. I’m sure you’re family is eagerly awaiting for your return to give you the most awesome “welcome home” hugs and kisses!

  4. I’m so happy you guys had such a successful trip, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it.

    When you were talking about how you were made fun of for your accent, it made me laugh because of something my little girl said the other day. She said, “Oh, my heavenly days!” I didn’t even realize that that phrase was part of my vocabulary anymore, but it evidently is. It made me happy because I realized that it’s something that my precious Granny would’ve said. The Old South stil lives on in some ways. :) Have you heard of this one: “Oh, my stars and garters!” My Mom used to say that, and I always wondered if other southerners said it or if her family just invented it.

    Oh, by the way, our DAWGS beat the Hogs yesterday (sorry Shannon!)! GO STATE!

  5. You are right. . . nothing beats a southern accent. And, where the heck does Shaun think he is from, anyways????

    I am praying for your safe arrival home and look forward to hearing everyone’s stories upon return!

    Thanks for your heart for Christ!

  6. So… haggling for some funky earrings??


    Do tell!

    (ahem, I meant show)

  7. I came to visit after I read a line about you on Big Mama’s blog. I don’t know much about this blog, but what I read really touched me. Missions touches me. I’m more and more realizing that I cannot face my Creator having not done more for missions. I know that is a tortured sentence, but I mean it. It’s not that I have not supported missions all my life. I have. It’s just that I have so much….so much junk that I don’t need…and they have so little. For the past three years it has been my goal to give more, and leave more because I care. Sorry for being so long-winded.

  8. your words have been so powerful this week.

  9. I love when people make fun of my southern accent – so I’m glad they have been teasing you! Be proud – southern girl!
    I knew this trip would change you! It has changed me some through you! Thanks so much for going and sharing!

  10. Hallelujah, and pour the diet Coke. . .I’m so glad you went and so glad you are on your way home.

  11. P.S. Your bulldogs beat my hogs last night. So I owe you a bell ringing! :-)
    P.P.S. I adore you!

  12. I really don’t know what is left for me to say after this week of reading your entries…..I’m truly just wanting to come sit with you and talk and pray and laugh and continue this work you all did in my heart.

    We are all changed because of this trip.

    I’m praying for your safe return home. I pray that the “re-entry” that Shannon called it is ok. Don’t you know that our Awesome God is just tickled pink with you right now?! I bet He’s saying….”Oh my Lands, she did it. I knew she could.”

    Love you~

  13. I’d say this calls for some REAL Coke. Coca Cola Classico, BABY! (I’ll drink some for you.)

    I’ll be praying for you as you transition home. It won’t be easy. Hugs and smooches!

  14. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but as I read your posts the past few days all I could think about was this video…


    Blessings, friend!

    P.S. You can get to this video also by just going to my blog and clicking on the page at the top called “Worship.”

  15. Safe travels, Boo Mama. I am so proud you got to experience this and I can’t wait to hear more!

  16. I know your men are gonna be so happy to have you home, and I bet they’ll have the diet coke (with ice) and Popeye’s friend chicken waiting on you! You deserve it, sister! Love you!
    Oh, and I hope they tivo-ed that game yesterday…you’re gonna love it!!

  17. {clap-clap-clap-clap} Yaaaay!

    That’s for *you* and this trip and your faithfulness. Thank you for living it for us, when we couldn’t be there ourselves.

    Thanks for taking us there.

    For making us think.

    And weep.

    Thanks for making consider our lives…and theirs…

    Makes me want to do some more clapping! Yaaaay! {clap-clap-clap-clap-clap}

  18. You’ll have to read my last post on my blog to understand this. But you got your feet dirty, dear bride of Christ. Yes ma’am. Your feet are truly dirty and they have never been more beautiful to your Groom, Jesus Christ. Blessings are being prayed for you and hurry home.

  19. Your trip has changed my life.

    I think that deserves an OH MY LANDS. Don’t you?

  20. Oh My Lands is a perfectly acceptable response to most of life… That’s just crazy talk for them to make fun of it!

    Blessings on you all as you travel back to the land of Diet Coke and fried chicken. My guess is that you’ll find them tasting great, but with the lusciousness of its goodness, you’ll probably decide that they’ll never taste the same again. Your tastes for many things will probably be forever altered… and it’s a good thing.

  21. Lori Leigh says:

    I just wanted to let you know that we signed up yesterday to sponser a child through Compassion. Thank you for opening our eyes and making us aware of other ways we can help make a difference in this world.

  22. Praying for safe travels! Thanks again for sharing with us. Your words have touched our hearts. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip. Enjoy your Diet Coke my friend!

    Southern accents are awesome! People make fun of mine all the time.
    Lori in AL

  23. Oh my little Boomamita…

    I hope your family greets you at the airport with hugs, screaming and tears.

    If you read between the lines of that last statement, you should see:

    I hope your family greets you at the airport with Diet Coke, fried chicken and tears.

    Grateful tears, of course.

  24. You Go Girl – I have just LOVED reading about your adventures to Uganda. I had similar experiences in Africa. I just praise God that he is using you to change the lives of so many people – and at the same time he is transforming your heart to see the world differently. It’s exciting when God gives us a little better glimpse of His perspective of the world. Thank you for your candidness and willingness to share your experiences.
    Detroit, Michigan

  25. wow! thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am overwhelmed, and thankful that God has used something as simple as a blog to teach me so much. Thank you for your words and stories, I plan to sponsor a child.

    Have a safe trip home! and may God Bless you!!!

  26. Travel safely, Boo… And thank you.

  27. Awesome. Just found your blog in time to read about your trip. God bless you.

  28. Praying for safe flights, that perhaps you all can find some rest on the long flights, and for your health once you get home.

  29. I know you’re ready to be home and, if your people missed you as much as I missed Shannon (and I know they did and more), they’re ready for you to be home too!

  30. ChristyCate says:

    God so made you as you are so He could use you as He planned. Thanks for letting Him.

  31. Thanks for your obedience, BooMama…. it’s been great to read about how God is molding your heart and what He is doing in Africa. Thanks for the fresh perspective. Travel safe!

  32. Boomama – Thank you for all you shared this past week. I can truly say that I am a changed person just from reading all of the posts from the bloggers. Your words conveyed more than any pictures of poverty that I have seen in my entire life.
    Praying for safe travels and for your re-entry into your life.

  33. And you thought you wouldn’t have words, Sweet Girl. Your words have been beautiful. I think you can take your quotes (air and all) off writer now.

  34. And I have loved reading about every moment – look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  35. BooMama, what a week you’ve had. I’d love to sit in a room with you and Shannon and hear all about it, first hand.
    I do believe it will be time for show & tell when you get home. I want to see (and hear about) the earrings!
    And, Oh my lands, enjoy your DC on ice, fried chicken, bed & family upon your safe return!

  36. Sophie & Shannon,
    Add “Wakuma” to list of children that have been sponsored thanks to your trip to Uganda. My family has sponsored another child through Compassion for several years, but decided to sponsor another child as my heart became burdened for the children of Africa.

    I have been following your trip and will be thinking of you this week as you “re-enter” your lives. After my first trip (a medical mission trip to Guatemala during which we experienced MANY of the feelings you have both described) the weeks and months afterwards were very bittersweet. On one hand, I felt so guilty…and very disgusted by the EXCESS of my life. On the other hand, I felt so incredibly blessed….and burdened to share it.

    I pray right now that God will USE all of these emotions as only He is able to do. That not a single one of your tears would be in vain!! And I am CERTAIN that He will bless you both for your willingness to serve Him in this way.

    I will be waiting and watching for all the stories and details that I know you will be sharing in the near future!

  37. Beautiful post.

    Safe journey.

    Sarah x

  38. strawberry rose says:

    I’m glad that Christ has been poured into y’all this trip. We’ve all lived vicariously through the blogging of it. BTW, my e-mail doesn’t work when I click on your “E-mail me” button. Could you send me your e-mail address? I promise I won’t send you an e-mail that you’ve won the UK lottery.

  39. Godspeed y’all on your way home! I cannot thank you enough for being willing to GO on this life-changing trip…AND for sharing it with us back home. Seeing how the majority of the world lives with your own eyes will forever change your outlook on things for good!

    Today my husband and I signed up to sponsor, Bwire Syrus Noel from Uganda…he is my son’s age.

    With tears in my eyes, I thank you…
    God bless you!

  40. Well, done my faithful servant

    Do you here Him saying that?

    Ya’lls trip has rocked my world too. Thanks for letting God use you in such a mighty way. Welcome, home!

  41. It is wonderful to read a first-hand testimony of what Compassion does. The experiences documented by you and the other bloggers have just underscored the importance of this ministry, and made me realize how much we need to pray for every one of the workers who do this in Jesus’ name.

  42. Thank you so much for posting about your experiences this week! I have SO enjoyed reading about it and look forward to reading more as you process everything you have experienced. Blessings on you as you travel.

  43. Any idea on the exact numbers of children sponsored this week? Just curious. Can’t wait to read more – after you’ve had that Diet Coke, fried chicken and been loved on by your men.

  44. travel safely boomama, I am sure your people will be glad to have you back!!!

  45. Praying y’all home safely.

    Thanks for the scripture today that you’ve been praying…I needed it just.this.moment. and I receive it. Yes, I do.
    O my lands! you are a blessing!

  46. I’m really looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say as you get home, return to “normal life” with your not-so-normal frame of reference, and figure out how to deal with what you’ve just experienced.

    I wasn’t even there and I’m having trouble processing all this. I stood in a church full of relatively well-off people this morning, all singing, “Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold,” and I thought to myself, REALLY? Do any of these people really mean that? Do *I* really mean that? Think of what God could do in a country like Uganda with all the excess money in this one church alone, if we really DID believe and act upon what we sang.

    There’s a teenager in Uganda I’ve been watching all week. Such a hopeful pleasant smile on his face despite what I now know must be his circumstances… he shares a first name with my grandfather, who died two years ago this month. I can’t afford to sponsor a 5th child. I’ve been arguing with myself all week over this boy. I keep thinking someone else will sponsor him. But so far, nobody has.

    I guess a gift isn’t really a gift until it becomes sacrificial. I’m trying to think of something I buy on a regular basis that I can do without. There must be so many things, but our greed clings to things we don’t need even in the face of such dire poverty.

    I’ll let you know if I end up sponsoring him. But even if I do, what do you do with the information you and the other bloggers have shared all week? How do I live day after day in the house I live in, in the LIFE I live in, knowing there are kids packed like sardines in closet-sized cardboard shacks all over the world?

    Very interested in seeing how you and the other bloggers address this as you try to fit back into your “typical” life…

  47. This has been such a gift to be able to “come” along this journey with you!! I’ve enjoyed reading this SOOO much!! My heart hurts for these people so much!!! What a blessing this has been for you and for all of us.

    Get you some diet coke girl as soon as you get home!! I’ve thought of you everytime I’ve drank one this week!! Poor Boo. And I’m so sure your man will have you some GOOD fried Chicken!! =) hee hee.

  48. Just wanted to let you know that as a result of the blogs, photos and videos my heart has been touched and my family decided to sponsor Monica from El Salvador. Thank you for all you’ve done this past week! Have a safe trip home!

  49. Lea Margaret says:

    Welcome HOME!! The MSU game was a good one yesterday. I know that your boys will be glad to see you! I am so proud of you and what you have just done. You ROCK!

  50. Have safe travel. I’ll be praying for y’all and wishing I could be a fly on the wall at those airports as your families greet you. How precious your return!

    I am so thrilled with the way God has reached out and grabbed so many hearts via your trip — mine included.

    I pray too that one day God will allow me the privilege of going to see firsthand what you’ve experienced.

  51. Yippee you are coming home!!
    I will pray for a wonderful flight home for you and all the compassion gang!
    Thank you for allowing us to “journey” with you. It has truly meant so much to me and my family!
    WE have been changed through it all!
    Much love,

  52. praying for a safe return to your familiess!

  53. I’m not usually a crier. But something has been in my eye for awhile ever since you left for Uganda. Blessings and traveling mercies. Welcome to the land of Diet Coke on ice, Boomama. xxxooogretchen

  54. oh, Boomama, I am sitting here reading with tears streaming down my cheeks. You have BEEN CHRIST to these people this week. You have been Christ to me. And they have been Christ to you. I am so glad that I got to read your words, and am the proud sponsor of Robert from Uganda thanks to you and Shannon. Your words have been my sustaining grace this week. I have had a rough week, and reading your updates have been my highlight. And His strengths have been made perfect in you this week! Being a Southern gal myself, I know you’ll understand when I say I love ya! Praying ya’ll home safely!!

  55. Thanks so much for taking us all with you on this trip. I can’t wait to read more as you get home about life after Uganda… I know that I, for one, will never get tired of you talking about your trip and the things you are processing when you get home. I’ll be praying for you as you find what will almost certainly be a new version of “normal” back home. : )

  56. I am scared and happy for you all at once; you seem to have “learned” a lot, but you’re returning with joy and lots of lessons. I pray that you find why all of this means something to you.


  57. Praying for you guys! Thanks for taking us on your journey. What a blessing it’s been to read about your trip!!

  58. all of these posts, these words describing your journey, stay with me throughout the day. I think of the pictures like you holdng your child and the faces of all the others…and I am reminded to be very very grateful for all that I have.
    Thank you for opening my eyes and my heart.

  59. While it’s certainly not the same as being there, living through your experience thus far from your posts, and then sponsoring our own boy because of it, has changed me and our family forever. I’m so thankful you all bonded and are heading home. Safe travels!

  60. Hugs and prayers for your journey home.

    Your journey has moved so many of us to tears and action (our wee girl in Uganda is called Fiona). Looking forward to reading/hearing more. Will there be a podcast about your trip? I really hope so :)

  61. Oh sophia…I can tell you and everyone will be profoundly changed by this whole experience. I have been following your journey. Can’t wait to hear more. Safe travel on the way home.

    Hugs and love to you :)

  62. um, I meant to say Sophie. My fingers aren’t working today. Don’t you like your new name? Sophia! ha – sorry about that.

  63. you did it!!!