If you had asked me a year and a half ago if I could have imagined myself traveling to Uganda twice within the span of a year, I probably would have called you crazy for even asking. But, here I am, a few weeks away from my second trip to beautiful Uganda. That's right, I said beautiful + Uganda in the same sentence. Most people who hear I'm going back, question why? Why would I spend so much money to travel to a third world country? The only answer I can come up with is God. It is not by my own selfish nature that makes me want to travel to Uganda, but by the grace + love that is in me because of The One who loved me first. I am called to serve and I have been provided a door. A door that opens in a country where clean water is scarce and my beliefs are not the majority. So why go? I could go somewhere comfortable + "pretty" by our first world standards, but let me tell you, I would be doing myself a disservice. This is not to say that traveling to pretty places is a bad thing - trust me those places are on my travel list, as well. But, for now, I feel called to stand alongside sweet friends (old + new) and serve the fatherless. The week I spent in Uganda last year was one of the best weeks of my life and I got more from the sweet children I photographed than I could have ever given them. But, you're a single woman, you say; someone who is not in the "right" time of life to adopt or even foster a child. True. But there is so much more to orphan care than just bringing a child into your family. There is support (both monetary + emotional), there's education, there's discussion with your community about the needs of the fatherless. That is my purpose for this trip - to share with my other friends the needs of the orphan and show ways to help. I was to do this through storytelling + my photography. This is the mission behind The Archibald Project. After all, storytelling changes the world, even if it's one person at a time, viewing one of my pictures or reading the humble words of my blog. I am not sure what this second trip to Uganda will entail or how my heart will be changed, but there is one thing I do know: I want God to use me for His purposes and for His glory.
So, I'm going. Going to a place where red dirt covers everything, the people are loving, and food is served at least an hour after you order it, and I could not be more excited. Please join me in prayer for the entire March Media Mission team, the sweet kiddos we will be photographing, and the country of Uganda, and the rest of the world, that they may come to understand the need for caring for the fatherless.
(photos by Keary Cheney from our March 2014 Media Mission!)