We see the hope and potential in every young person

The Sun is Always Shining

This next rapid is a grade 4.5 rapid. I’ll yell ‘hard forward! Hard forward! GET DOWN!’ When I do that you take a deep breath and crouch in the boat and hold on for dear life. We might flip. We might not. But if we do, relax. Don’t fight and you will float right to the top and the safety kayaks will come get you.”


The past week has been up and down – much like our boat while white water rafting on the Nile this weekend.


Let me back up just a bit.


Tuesday was our typical ministry day. I was SO excited because our team was going back to Wamukisa (the pregnancy center that I wrote about some time back) for the second time and we were going to do a movie day with popcorn and games. But, upon arriving at church, just moments before the bus leaves, one by one things started to fall apart. First, the guy who was supposed to bring the games forgot. No games. Second the guy who was supposed to get the movie in their language didn’t find it and didn’t get it even in English.


To say I was frustrated is the understatement of the year! We were already running late because devotions went over time and now we had to wait for the movie to burn off of someone’s lap top on my USB. It was still in English but at least we had something because what we didn’t have was a plan B!


I used the long bus ride to try and calm down but then as we were driving I took out my camera to take a picture of something and it refused to turn on. Gave up the ghost completely. My brand new camera that I bought specifically to come here – no longer works…and I am only 4 months into this two year trek.


More panic and frustration.


When we arrived it took forever to get power to where we needed it for the movie and even longer to figure out how to play it off the USB so while we waited we gave the girls opportunities to share. Because they feel comfortable doing so now – which is why I think this ministry is one of the best because we can SEE the progression, the difference that it is making in their lives as we come every week and try to touch them with the love of Jesus.


One girl in particular shared part of her very upsetting story with tears in her eyes – another sign that God is moving among these precious young women – and we had the unique opportunity to pray with and for her as I held her tight. That was one high moment.

IMG_0437 IMG_0441 (my buddy Joel – one of the children born at Wamukisa)



To say the day went off without a hitch would be a lie. We didn’t get to play any games with them because of time, and we have no idea if they REALLY understood the movie because it was in English, and because of time we couldn’t break up into smaller groups to discuss it. The movie is called Unconditional Love. A touching movie with the message that no matter how bad the storm looks from down here, the sun is ALWAYS shining.


I tried my best to focus on that thought and let the frustration slide, but it was not working. By the time we left there my daily migraine was back and I could hardly function.


And it spiraled out of control from there.


I ended up missing the next day because of my headaches and by the time day 10 of headaches came I was 110% done with it! I was done with taking Advil every day to survive. Done with trying to get a hold of doctors and decide what I should do if they persist. Just done – and nearly ready to come home.


Panic and frustration.


But then Thursday night was the Easter Praise Rally at church. Three and a half hours of probably the best praise and worship you have ever heard! It was such a beautiful time of worship (and my Advil had kicked in) – I was on a high! It was just so good to have a time to think about and celebrate what God has done in my life and speak healing and life into the dry areas of struggle.


Because it is endless.

Because when I start to list the things, I cannot stop.

Because there is a high that comes with the power of gratitude.

And as Ann Voscamp says, “thanksgiving always precedes the miracle”.

Because no matter how bad the storm gets… the sun is ALWAYS shining.


The next morning we left for Jinja, a beautiful village in Uganda. Where the plants seem greener and the dirt seems just a little more red and the sky, when it’s not raining, is a brilliant blue.

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We had two days off for Easter so our house of Internationals took it as an opportunity to explore. And so we did!


I still had my headaches and was still struggling to keep myself out of a dark place in my spirit while dealing with heart issues that continue to pop up uninvited! And that first night as we sat on the dock, staring out over the Nile River and up at the huge expanse of stars – it hit me.

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The sun is ALWAYS shining. But I must CHOOSE to believe it even when I cannot see it or feel it’s warmth.


Even when I am stricken with panic and frustration in any situation – I must CHOOSE!


And if you haven’t noticed – or spent 5 minutes with me ever – you will know this is extremely hard for me. I’m the girl who can easily forget that it’s just a bad day, not a bad life!


Then Saturday happened. White water rafting.


I had never done it before and not being a confident swimmer I was nearly crapping my pants, until our guide eased my fears with this;


So our first rapid is an 8′ waterfall.”


Excuse me?! What part of ‘I’m too young to die’ did you not understand!

But I did survive – and I actually remember saying “that was not as bad as the horror I had played in my head”!


This next rapid is a grade 4.5 rapid. I’ll yell ‘hard forward! Hard forward! GET DOWN!’ When I do that you take a deep breath and crouch in the boat and hold on for dear life. We might flip. We might not. But if we do relax. Don’t fight and you will float right to the top and the safety kayaks will come get you.”


We hit our second rapid and as soon as we hit the 3 meter wave I knew we were finished. Our boat flipped and I kicked and flailed trying to find the surface – forgetting completely his command to relax. Every time my head would come above water another wave would come and I thought I would never get my breathe!

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But I did, every time. And every time I relaxed, I simply floated to the top and the kayaks saved me – just as they said they would. Even when the sky darkened and we got hit by the hardest rainfall I have physically experienced – the same principle applied.


Take a deep breath. hold on for dear life. We might flip. We might not. But if we do, RELAX. Don’t fight and you will float right to the top.


And for all I knew it might as well have been Jesus shouting at me from the back of the raft.


Twila, relax. The storms will come. Some are already here and you are fighting to use your own strength to float. But I tell you, relax into the wave. Let it, let ME, carry you to the top. Stop fighting. There may be chaos for a moment and that moment may feel like a lifetime, but it is not. It is only a moment to me. Relax. There is no need to panic. In your panic you will surely trust in yourself and you will be overtaken. Rest in me. Relax. Take a deep breathe and ride it out.


Because the sun is ALWAYS, always shining.”

This song says it perfectly – check it out!
(the Sun is Rising by Britt Nicole) click here

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