THIS IS MY 200th POST!
In honor of that, I'm highlighting a new friend.
I read something the other day that was something like "We need to stop acting like we've signed up for something. We need to act like we're called to something."
I want you to meet someone.
Her name is Alicia McCauley. I'm just getting to know her, but wanted to share an email with you that was forwarded to me recently. It has sparked a friendship between us that I'm super excited about.
Just read. And if you can support her, please do.
And thanks, Dad, for introducing me to your friend.
Dear family and friends,In June I’ll be spending a month in Gulu, Uganda volunteering with Restore International at the Restore Leadership Academy, a school populated largely by war orphans. In case you’re not yet familiar with the work of Restore International here’s their mission statement, “Our goal is simple: to fight injustice. Restore International seeks to find daring and audacious ways to combat human rights violations, including forced prostitution and slave labor. Instead of just talking about it, we want to be actively seeking ways to bring hope, justice, and restoration.”Here’s the thing, while I may very well be audacious, I’m not the least bit daring, but back in December, I felt God stirring me to make use of my upcoming summer in a powerful way. After watching a video about two regular guys from the Pacific Northwest who built an entire school campus for the academy out of nothing but dirt, I knew I wanted to be part of the work Restore International is doing.But what did I have to offer? I’m not a foreman or an architect who can create a school. I’m not a lawyer who can help change laws to end human trafficking. I’ve got three skills. I teach. I write. I ride my bike really far, albeit very slowly. So really, I’ve only got two and a half skills. Apparently that’s enough because an idea began to take form in my mind and heart.What if I ventured to Uganda and helped the students write their stories? What if I published their stories in a book, with all of the proceeds going back to the school? It felt like all my summers with the Northern California Writing Project learning to teach children to write were coming to a pinnacle at that very moment. I could use my heart for writing with kids to help orphaned and children rescued from trafficking write their own stories. With a pounding heart and trembling fingers, I emailed my idea to Restore International’s founder.Then I waited to hear back from them. I waited to feel confirmation from God that this was what I was meant to do. I waited for weeks. I didn’t hear a thing. Then it struck me, chances are if I wasn’t hearing God, it wasn’t because he wasn’t speaking-it was because I wasn’t listening. So I did a daring thing, I turned off my television for 10 days. I know it doesn’t sound very daring, but for me it was. I decided that for 10 days, I would actively pray and listen for direction. In the third day of my fast from television, the founder of Restore International emailed me back. He loved my project idea and specifically wanted me to work with students at their academy in Gulu, the very same academy that had been built from just dirt. I was thrilled and we began to plan the details of my project and trip.Since that time, Northern Uganda and the Ugandan children have received a lot of press about the oppression inflicted by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. In a time where many people are voicing opinions about the turmoil in Uganda, I know that now is the right time for me to go and help give voice to the stories of the students of Restore Leadership Academy, to let their stories speak for themselves.If you’d like to support my trip, please make a donation here. Your donations will pay for writing supplies for the students, travel accommodations, and most importantly your donations will allow me to publish the stories of the students and give each student author a copy of their book.Thank you so much for your generosity and support. I look forward to sharing stories from Uganda with you.Fondly,Alicia