Sunday, September 18, 2011

Where The Heart Is

When I get cranky, my mom will jokingly ask me if I am hungry- most of the time she is right. These days, when I feel myself getting cranky I have to ask myself if I've blogged recently... which I haven't. So here we go!

I've been able to deal with being home in a much better manner. After being reunited with a few of my group members and sharing stories, laughs, and prayers, my heart became calm once more and I am okay with being home. HOW CRAZY.

I guess it's time to share another bit with you about my amazing journey. As usual, I will keep this as short and sweet as I possibly can. 

So there was this boy named Richard. Richard is ten years old, and like Jane, he lives at Canaan Children's Home. Richard was the first child I met at Canaan, literally. In my journal I wrote, "...A half mile away from Canaan's we could hear the children screaming with excitement. When we pulled in the gates the bus was AMBUSHED with extremely happy children. You literally couldn't step off the bus! The first to grab me was Richard, and he didn't let go. He stuck with me the whole night (in the dark) and helped me with my luggage. The only thing I could hear was laughter... pure happiness"

Richard was a prime example of "pure happiness." In America, we bend over backwards just to entertain our children and keep them happy, but all Richard wanted was to hold someone's hand and someone to smile at. He loved to read to me, and he smiled so big when I asked him to show me around his classroom. Everyday when he got home from school he would come find me and just sit... he needed nothing... he asked for nothing... he just held my hand. 

CUTEST MOMENT: One day Richard came and sat by me and sleeping Jane, and he had a very sly, up-to-no-good look on his face. He would hardly talk to me and I couldn't help but laugh because I couldn't figure out what he was up to. Then I noticed that he had a folded piece of paper in is shirt pocket. When I asked what it was, he looked around, glanced at me, then turned his head, "A letter." When I asked who the letter was for, he looked at me with the sternest face I've ever seen in my life, "You!" Needless to say, when I received the letter, he was gone faster than I could show any appreciation.

His bravery, curiosity, love, and smile will always be something I remember. He will always be the boy who needed nothing but a hand to hold and someone to show his love to. I have never felt more love in my entire life. Richard showed me that not only is okay to be quiet, but he also taught me that life isn't just about constant motion, it's enjoying the little things and loving those around you.

Jeremiah 31:3- Long ago the Lord said to Israel: "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Making a Different Difference

I know this blog is set up for my stories and thoughts on Uganda, but I have a request. I have this WONDERFUL friend, Kayla Weeks. She and her family traveled to Honduras looking for a vacation, and ended up falling in love with a family in need. They've returned several times to give as much assistance and love as they possibly can.... the story is incredible. I can't give it away because I want YOU to read it. Take five minutes... that's all. I promise it will be worth it. I don't know how we can help, but I hope that these beautiful families receive all that they need and desire. God has a plan, and as sad as this story may be, there's a reason for it. So please, make a difference... help Kayla, help this family. Prayers are MOST important.
TAKE FIVE MINUTES, read her story... I have her contact information if  you are interested in helping. Thank you!

Our Honduran Family..
Reina- Mother, Kids- Cindy, Brayan, Lester, Imer, Sayda, Darwin and Senia                                                                               How much can a family’s faith be tested?                                                                                                                                                After a vacation to Honduras with a couple I work with (Dustin and Jenny) and their two kids (Alex and Abby) and Jenny’s mom (Nina) I quickly fell in love with this country and its need for missions and help. We stayed in a big house with a family on the property that would take care of any needs we had during our stay. This was definitely done and with a smile. Reina would wash our clothes and clean the house every day. The kids would pick up in the yard, get coconuts and fruits, really anything that their parents would ask them to do. Concho was the father, the worker, the main money supply for the family. Beginning this trip we had no idea how bad it really would be but thought it would be nice to bring them a few toys and a shirt each but boy did they need more than that. These kids were wearing clothes that were way too small and some had holes in them. It was very sad to see but looking at the kids faces you would never know. The smile on their faces is like none other. It could brighten anyone’s day. When given their gifts you would have thought you gave them a million dollars. The smiles and hugs didn’t stop for hours. It was beautiful! 

After spending a week with the kids it was apparent how much we loved them. We weren’t sure if they had ever been to the city before much less a restaurant. Well they hadn’t. We took them to Wendy’s for their first time and they had the time of their life. Its funny how we take things for granted, like something as small as going to Wendy’s.After departing from this trip we knew that we would keep up with this family throughout the year until we could get back to see them again. We sent them a few packages for Christmas which I believe only one was received. Not such a great Honduran mail system but we were going to try. Communication is tough because they speak Spanish and we know very little. Thank God for Google translate. We would hear from them when they would have access to internet connection or a friend’s phone for text messaging. 

One day we got a text message saying Reina was pregnant with child number eight. It was an accident to say the least. Throughout her pregnancy Dustin, Jenny and Nina wired her money for doctor visits and vitamins that she was not able to obtain by herself. As far as we knew all was going good until we received a text saying they found cancer in Reina. She was diagnosed with colon cancer while pregnant with her child. Wondering how in the world they were going to pay for cancer treatments she still held faith and kept her family together the best she could. Talk about a strong woman. The pregnancy was quite painful for Reina but she makes it through. Reina has child number eight, named Jenny after our Jenny. She is healthy at the beginning and Reina begins cancer treatment. This treatment was four hours away in a hospital in the city Tegucigalpa. Three months after Jenny is born she passes away from pneumonia. What else could go wrong right? Mother with cancer and losing a baby, I’d say my faith would be a little testy. Not Reina’s, she stayed strong. What other choice did she have? She would stay for weeks at this hospital for treatment. Concho would have to manage staying with her, working and going back home to see the kids. Seven kids having to fend for themselves without parents, they’re extremely strong kids. Cindy, the oldest daughter was even put in the position of calling a family member and saying we have no food. A 15 year old girl was having to be mommy and had no food to feed her siblings. We can’t even imagine a position like that.

Jenny’s death was our spark to go back to Honduras. We knew we would eventually but after the death we left the next week. We arrived Saturday in Honduras and first thing on our agenda was to see the kids who jumped and screamed and smiled when they saw us. They haven’t seen their parents in over a month because of the hospital being so far away. We once again brought them all new things that they desperately needed including bibles and medicines this time. Overwhelmed with thankfulness they gave us hugs and kisses continuously. They are so appreciative for the littlest things. 

We returned home and about two weeks after we got word that Concho had passed away from a heart attack. Just keeping you up on things, Reina lost her three month old baby, has cancer and lost her husband. It makes you wonder why such bad things happen to such amazing people. Questions like those cannot be answered though, everything happens for a reason. As far as we know Reina is home with them but we are not sure for how long. Communication has been weak lately. We pray that they are somehow getting the help, food and love that they deserve and desperately need. Without money coming in I am not sure how they are doing. This is why I am having a garage sale and all proceeds will be going to them. I don’t think there could be a more deserving family. Even if you are not able to contribute, prayers go a long way!! I hope you have enjoyed this and it wasn’t too long. Thanks SO much for your time and for reading this. I know our Honduran family is appreciative as well. Prayers are greatly needed so keep them going. Thanks again

Sunday, August 21, 2011


She lit up my world, that girl. She came no higher than my hip, and eyes that begged for just a simple smile. I met Jane the second day we were at Canaan. To be honest, I was scared to grow fond of any child there because of the heart ache I knew would come when we were to say goodbye. Richard and I had already formed a relationship and I was terrified to find myself falling in love.
One day Brooke (my roomate) was standing outside holding her precious Liti showing that baby more love than I've ever seen anyone express- and then- I saw her. Her big eyes and perfect smile, and I couldnt fight the urge I had to pick her up. As soon as we touched, I felt that in my arms is where she was always meant to be. Twenty minutes after that wonderful connection, the girl was knocked out, drooling on me. I loved it. That baby slept more than any child I came into contact with!
That week my heart grew fonder of Jane. She would wait outside the house for me to pick her up, she would press her cheeks against my lips to feel my kisses, she sang to me, laughed with me, and comPierrot took over my world.
Never angry, nor sad, and she had malaria the whole time I was there. Her cough broke me in half, but her spirit built me back up. I love that child more than most people I've ever known. We will be together again

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Sure You've Heard

Basically I am starting this blog because I've seen only a million people on my Visiting Orphans team do it. I think it would be a great way for me to get all of my thoughts and emotions out. It has been about two weeks that I've been home from Uganda and I feel absolutely lost sometimes. My eyes have been opened in so many ways, and I can't wait to get back. I'm horrible at telling people stories about what I saw and felt, and it becomes an overwhelming frustration that no one "gets it." 

Here is my LAST journal entry from my trip to Uganda. I hope you find whatever you are looking for when you read this, and I hope I do to. 

Here we are again. Some of us anxious, excited, or sad. Here we are again on a plane but this time our direction is home. I don't know what home is anymore. Is home a place where you just feel like a number, or just another face on the street? Because that's exactly where we're heading. To a place full of lustful, selfish, and judgmental humans who could care less about your story or how you really feel. There will be some people who want to know how my trip was, but they really don't CARE. If they cared, they'd be saving $3,500 to hop on a plane and see for themselves. An experience like this isn't a story to be told. It's a journey to travel down, pain and healing to feel, poverty and hope to see, hands and heritage to touch, and faces to kiss. 

I've never known what to do with my life. I haven't found any specific goals to reach or careers to dive into. The only thing I know for certain is that Uganda isn't a place I can visit just once. It's a place I need to breathe, a place I need to digest, a place I need to just be. I'm broken. I still live with all that I have and I'm still patient as I an get, but my heart is ripped to shreds. Yes, I am overwhelmed with happiness that I was able to see what I saw and meet who I met. Yet I am drowning in the pain of being ripped from the one place I consider a safe haven. The real, raw Morgan was exposed in Uganda and my curiosity and adventure grew so much larger than I'd expected. I became authentic, I became new, I became silent. I slowed down and enjoyed sitting in a coffee shop alone in the city of Jinja watching people walk by. I became content in not knowing and relying on God to carry me through. I've never been as high in my life as I was sitting in that coffee shop. No drug, piece of technology, bad romance, food, or any amount of money could make me feel the way I did that day in Jinja. I was myself for the first time in a while, enjoying an iced mocha with no one but God. Here I am, nineteen years old, and for the first time I know who I am. My heart is broken but I am not lost. I've found myself and I'm okay with who that person is. I don't want to be anyone else. I don't care about my body image or perfect liquid eyeliner (though I've missed it just a little). Those things don't matter, in fact, papa Isaac told me I need to gain some weight!! What it comes down to is that I am happy with myself and it doesn't matter hat anyone else thinks about it. I've met so many people on this trip who will always have a special place in my heart ... Forever. I will never forge the laughs, tears, and conversations shared. I'm so thankful to be placed with the people I've grown close to. I watched them transform as I'm sure they did with me Swayla, Owen, John George, Jessica, mourn, Richard, and Jane will always have my heart. Those children are really going to be something someday. Every single one of their smiles melted my heart and if it were legal and I were to be financially able, I'd bring every one of them home. I hope they could feel how much I really do love them. I wish I could kiss them at least one hundred more times and say "knwagala nyo" until they became annoyed. I want to tickle their necks and blow raspberries on their little brown tummies. I want to see them twenty years from now and see how beautiful they've remained. Motherly? Maybe. I've never loved anyone the way I loved them. I guess I should come to some kind of conclusion, but it's not time to conclude this journey. It's not over. Was it the best experience of my life? Yes. What do I regret? Leaving. Farewell Uganda, for now!