Joy!

“Joy…and pain
…is like sunshine and rain…”
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

The ebbs and flows of ministry are just like what soul band Frankie Beverly and Maze sang: there’s dualities of life — joy and pain is like sunshine and rain. You can’t have one without the other.

Some days are painful, like the one we experienced yesterday.

Some days are joyful, like the one we had today!

20150318_uganda-outreach-house_0280

We went back to the Outreach House to see how the kids we worked with yesterday were doing.

Joy was bursting out of the Outreach House gates! I was amazed at how the kids seemingly had not experienced something extremely traumatic just 24 hours earlier.

They were laughing.

They were playing.

They were learning.

…and still navigating the world with new shoes.

I watched as four boys were trying to direct each other on how to put on their shoes. I couldn’t understand them, but they were directing one kid to put the shoe on the right foot. The other boy told a smaller child that he had to put his foot under the elastic strap, not over it.

Isn’t that something?

The thing about joy is that it is deeply rooted within you. It is often not contingent on external factors — that would be what we call happiness. Happiness comes and goes. Joy lasts.

These kids have joy. Despite their socioeconomic disadvantages, lack of things we take for granted like running water and clean clothes, they took their pain in stride and found the joy that was deeply rooted within them. Resilience is one hell of a motivator.

Tomorrow we will go to two villages in the rural parts of Jinja to remove Jiggers from the feet of some school-aged children.

The cycle of joy and pain will begin again.

Life is cyclical like that, you know?

There will be more stories of pain and brokenness. More images of wailing children who are in need of healing.

Until then, we will sit with joy for a while.

Many of you have been asking about tangible ways you can give back! Here are THREE ways you can do something right now:

1. Go to www.solehope.com and sign up for the email list. For EVERY person that signs up for the Sole Hope email list, $1 will be donated in your name. No catches. Nothing else to do. Just submit your name and email!

2. Host a shoe cutting party! Your school, class, church, friends, family can do this with little to nothing. Old pairs of jeans. Fabric scissors. Patterns from Sole Hope. EASY!

3. Make a donation to Sole Hope tonight. Everything is tax-deductible!

On the joy chase,

Alisha L.
Photo credits: Gary S. Chapman + Kayla Cervenka

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One thought on “Joy!

  1. lisha epperson says:

    I like the image of a deeply rooted joy. A joy that is grounded in the love of God and is ultimately the only joy there is. The joy we all feel comes from an ancient well that never runs out. Breathing deep and sitting in that joy with you. Travel safe.

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