Beyond the Kitchen

This Place We Share

Kampala, Uganda

I think about you a lot.

I think about what you might want to see on your breakfast table… maybe something with cinnamon and oats.

I think about your best friend’s birthday, and what kind of cake you might make her.

I think about how you’re nervous to make a pie crust, and I want to show you how to do it so you can make my dad’s Sweet Potato Pie.

I think about you a lot because you come here looking for sweet and delicious, colorful and fun, and I want to make that for you.  It’s a honor to do that.  We have a deal:  I make biscuits and then you make biscuits.

Then Shaun Groves wrote, inviting me on Compassion’s blogger trip to Uganda.  I’d visit children, families, and church centers every day and learn about how Compassion really works, then I’d blog about it from Uganda everyday for five days.

The answer was easy:  No.

I told myself that I was thinking of you when I declined Shaun’s offer.  I told myself that you only wanted to see cupcakes and cocktails and the occasional picture of my cat.  I told myself that on this little piece of the Internet you wouldn’t want to hear about my faith, about children in poverty, about how you can totally help because I totally help and it feels really rewarding and it’s really important. I didn’t think this was the place for that, though it is, strangely, the place for run-on sentences.

Kampala, Uganda

A year passed.  Shaun came knocking again.  Again I wanted to say no, but my heart wavered because my heart knew.  I knew that I wanted to tell you about how much I love getting letters from one of my sponsor daughters, Stella in Kenya.  I knew that I wanted to tell you that I sent Stella a gift of money for her birthday and every bit of the humble $20 I sent her went straight from Compassion to her.  She bought a dress and six hens and wrote to thank me.  A dress and six hens!! Stella is twelve.  When I was twelve I probably wanted a Caboodles Makeup Case filled with glitter.

So I said yes to Shaun and his trip to Uganda.  I said yes for both of us because we’re in this together.

I recognize that this week on Joy the Baker might be weird for you.  I totally get that.  I thought about you might feel alienated, guilty, downright annoyed.  Listen… that’s ok. I understand that place.

I didn’t want to talk about it.  I didn’t want to talk about the good that Compassion does to cultivate the mind, body, and spirit of each of their children here. But knowing what that really looks like, knowing how Stella thrives, and  how Gloria‘s family rejoices…. now I won’t stop talking about it.

Today we visited the Katwe Slum in the capital city of Kampala.  It’s the toughest places my eyes have ever seen.  Despite the circumstance, these lovely people marched us into their slum and up to their church with a full band praising.  Imagine the best thing ever.  Yes, it was.

Tomorrow I want to tell you about Hajara. Her poise and confidence will change the game.

Kampala Uganda

You can say no at first, too.  I understand that.  I just need you to know about these special humans and the difference you can make in their lives through Compassion.   Just let it rattle around in your heart a bit.  Maybe make some biscuits. When you’re ready (and maybe you’re ready right now) little Reagan and Julius are ready for you.

More from Uganda from Chatting at the SkyThe NesterJeff Goins, and Shaun Groves.

Compassion provided me a link to share with you.  I am in no way compensated for your sponsorship or donation.  I love you and I’m glad you’re here with me on this journey.