make a difference
July 2, 2018

Change of Plans

By: Virginia St. Clair [Boone, NC]

I was excited about the year ahead. My friends and I had lots of plans.

I also trained horses, and this year I would finally be able to race. Then during New Year’s dinner, my parents told my brother, Stefan, and me that we were all going on a mission trip to Uganda for four and a half months.

“What? Why?” I demanded. My parents tried to explain that many people in Uganda needed help, but I stormed out of the room.

“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”
Jonah 3:2 (NRSV)

As I lay on my bed crying, Stefan tried to console me: “I’m upset too, but we’ll be doing a good thing and helping lots of people.” Feeling a little better, I prayed that night for the people in Uganda and for my family to have a fun and meaningful mission experience.

While in Uganda, we gave people seeds to plant and helped them harvest their crops. We also led worship services. I wrote letters to my friends back home and kept a daily diary. I also made many new friends. Sometimes I even forgot about what I was missing because I was having so much fun helping others.

Now that we are home, I miss my friends in Uganda. I read my diary often to remind me of them and of our trip of a lifetime.

REFLECT: When have you been pleasantly surprised by a change of plans that you had resisted? Thank God for that experience.

Keep it Simple

I remember the people who have offered a hug when I needed one, who have smiled at me or spoken kind words that made me feel valued. Perhaps their kindnesses felt insignificant to them, but they have meant the world to me. In the same way, we can be generous with our time and our gifts. We can bless others with something as simple as a tissue or a listening ear. We can write a note or speak words of encouragement. Who needs your help today?

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