Monday, January 31, 2011


The Lord has blessed me immensely through child sponsorship. My girls, Mariam and Sophie, have brought so much joy to my life. I've been sponsoring them for about 3 years now and have been able to watch them as they grow.

Mariam is so much like me. At first she appears quiet, but after some time she starts to open up. And she loves to please others. She's still very young (about 7 or 8 years old) and is just really starting to understand English. So we're starting to be able to communicate a little easier. Here is how a typical conversation with Mariam might go:

Me: Hello Mariam. How are you?
Mariam: I am fine, thank you.
Me: Did you eat today?
Mariam: Yes.
Me: Did you have a nice time at school?
Mariam: Yes.
Me: It is hot out today. Are you warm?
Mariam: Yes
Me (starting to catch on): Are you cold?
Mariam (not wanting to disappoint): Yes.
Me (starting to giggle): Would you like to sit down?
Mariam: Yes.
Me: Would you like to sit in this chair?
Mariam: Yes
Me: Would you like to sit on the roof?
Mariam (bless her heart): Yes.

Anything I ask her, the answer is yes.

You know it makes me think about our conversations with God. How open are we to saying "Yes" to anything He asks? Especially when we're not even sure we understand what's being asked of us?

This Scripture has caught my eye this week:

Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. - Luke 18:16-17

Jesus wants followers who come to Him like a child. He's not saying we need to behave like children, but that we should have the same sincerity as a child coming to someone they love.

I was recently reading a book titled Experiencing God by Henry T. Blackaby, and he was saying that in the Christian language, two words can never go together: "No, Lord." He goes on to say that if you say, "No," He is not Lord of your life. Now that's not to say that we can never say no to anything (just because an opportunity arises does not necessarily mean it is something God wants us to do). But what it is saying is that when the Lord truly calls us to do something, then we must always answer "Yes."

Just as Mariam came to me and to every question I asked her the answer was yes, the Lord longs for us to come to Him in the same manner.

What will your reply be?

- Aly

Monday, January 17, 2011

Words of Inspiration

Today is Martin Luther King Day. I didn't think much of it today. It's just another day, one that I could be certain I wouldn't be wakened at the crack of dawn to go sub at school for. And that struck me as odd. There is a reason we have this day off, so I decided to look into it a bit more. All I know about Martin Luther King Jr is the little bio I learned each year in school, and little clips from the media.

You might be surprised to know that his birth name was actually Michael Luther King Jr. His father, also named Michael, changed his own name to Martin Luther King when he became a minister, and his son followed suit. He was a vegetarian. One site even named him a Trekkie (which is a little funny, this serious man loved him some Star Trek). While he worked for racial equality, he also spoke out against poverty and the war in Vietnam.

Martin Luther King Jr. is probably most remembered for his work to attain racial equality. When we hear that name we automatically think of his famous I Have a Dream speech, so we might find it surprising that he said actually said anything else in his life. Looking through some of the things he said, I stumbled upon this quote:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Wow. Such powerful words. And it made me think of this blog and the reason it was started. We want people to know that we love the work we do both in Uganda and here at home. But it's not actually the work that matters, it's the people. And these people need to know that they matter to others and most importantly to God. And that's why we're here. That's why I write this blog. So that other people will know the names, see the faces, and hear the stories of these people, and so something can be done. Our lives cease to have a true purpose when we stop speaking up for the things that matter in life. At the end of my life I want to be remembered as someone who worked on behalf of the poor, spoke up for the sick and orphaned, and inspired others into action.

Here are a few other quotes that stood out to me. I invite you to take a minute to read and think about each one.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Life's most persistent and urging question is: What are you doing for others?

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

Do you have a favorite quote? How do you want to be remembered?

- Aly

Facts and quotes came from and respectively.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I was reading through a journal I kept last year while I was sick. Exactly a year ago I chronicled what my days were like. I'm so amazed by what the Lord has done in my life. This time last year I was completely unable to spend any more than 4 hours out of bed. I was in terrible amounts of pain, which I described like this:

My body aches terribly. I feel like I'm trembling on the inside. The aches in my muscles are like the worst aches from a high fever. The joint pain is a cross between being crushed by a steamroller and being squeezed by the Hulk. The muscle pain is like doing the most intesnse workout ever for the first time (P90x?). I can't sit in one position for very long without needing to move around.

This time last year, I was sleeping 3 hours in the middle of the day. I could barely take a shower without needing to lay down. And I had improved somewhat since the beginning of the illness in September. It was tough. Having to lay in bed all day doesn't really give you a sense of accomplishment in life. It didn't seem like I was doing anything that mattered. But I was determined to take it one day at a time.

And it's certainly paid off. Though I'm not yet 100%, I'm getting there. I can finally put in a full day of teaching. I'm still on the no fun diet, but my tastes are changing and what was once no fun is now putting a lot of fun into my life (meaning eating healthy makes me feel good so I can do things I love to do).

And I've realized that the last year and a half has served a purpose. The Lord has brought me out of this with stronger faith and a better understanding of His love for me. And I truly believe it's all been training for what He has in store for me in the future.

Thank you to all who have spent countless hours praying for me. The Lord has done a mighty thing through your prayers. And thank you for walking this road with our family. There's certainly more to come.

- Aly