It has been 9 months since I returned to Uganda as Sole Hope’s International Coordinator. While in some ways it feels like I just arrived in Jinja, it more so feels like Uganda & Sole Hope have been my home for so much longer than just 9 months. So much has happened in that time frame. Sole Hope has developed the Sole Hope Outreach program (hirings staff, putting education in place, expanding, and the opening of the Sole Hope Outreach Clinic), hosted many teams and visitors at the Sole Hope Guest House, have gone on countless jigger removals & have given thousands of shoes. Each of these things were a leap of faith, but made up of many many small steps, focusing on the next two feet.
To say I’m honored to work alongside Sole Hope would be insufficient – possibly the understatement of the year. I have grown more, and learned more in the last year than I could have ever imagined. I’ve washed feet while looking into those bright eyes – trying to get their ebony faces to crack a smile, I’ve sat with crying kiddos while their jiggers have been removed, laughed uncontrollably playing with so many of the little souls staying at the Outreach House/Clinic, & I’ve seen love displayed in ways that have taught me more about Christ’s love for us.
Photo by @wanderingwithmary.
I’m excited to be back stateside for a few weeks, seeing family & friends, sharing all that Sole Hope has done and is doing in Jinja and the surrounding areas. I love seeing people get excited about what’s happening on the ground – whether they’ve been there or not. There is something so encouraging about others seeing the vision and possibilities, even from thousands of miles away.
While I’m looking forward to my next weeks spent in America, I miss Uganda already. I’ve only been gone for two days, but it feels like a lifetime. I miss walking into the Sole Hope Outreach Clinic compound to smiles and giggles and tickle fights. I miss the morning greetings as I walk through the Sole Hope Guest House each and every day. But I am so thankful for everyone on the ground who keeps Sole Hope moving forward day in and day out. Our employees teach and love so well, and it’s not until you’re removed from it that you realize just how thankful you are for them.
Sometimes life in Uganda is hard, it’s challenging, and you feel discouraged. But the minute you see a smiling face, happy feet, or a family who has journeyed to #ZEROjiggers – everything else fades away. Suddenly, all that matters are the next two feet.
Lis Steckle – International Coordinator