I've grown up my whole life dreaming and expecting to be a missionary. In the beginning it was much more like a dream, full of dark jungles, strange people just waiting to be converted, me in a prairie dress with my arms full of orphaned children, etc. But as I grew, the dream took on more and more of reality. I researched high and low. I pestered other missionaries with many questions, and I began to form a more accurate picture of what life as a missionary really looks like. I remember many things people would say trying to scare some sense into me.....
But it's not safe. Aren't there terrorists over there? But you'll be so far from your family. But don't you actually want get married? Don't you know that missionaries are poor for the rest of their life?
And to be honest, some of the things did scare me a bit. Being so far from the family I so adored was a really hard thought. But I was still determined. I knew God wanted me in Africa, and I just knew He would enable me and equip me in everything. So in the fashion of a true idealist, I waved away any thought of the difficulties and dove head into this wonderfully difficult life.
But one thing I never dreamed would be hard is the issue of money. I just knew completely that whatever financial needs I had, God would provide. No question. And so He has. In humbling ways. In unexpected ways. In miraculous ways. That's the fun part: watching God provide. The hard bit comes in the asking. Because as you all know, most of the time God uses His people to provide for His children, and asking for money from people is no easy thing. Well... at least if you're an American like I am. Ugandans have absolutely no qualms or hesitations about asking for money, but that's another topic for another day.... The point is that asking other people to finance my life is hard. It's one of the most humbling things I've ever had to do. And it's a bit scary. But I do believe it's something God has given me to do.
I do have wonderful people who tell me how glad they are for the chance to partake in the ministry here by giving. And how it blesses them just as much as it blesses me. And they thank me for the opportunity to have an impact here. Their words are precious to me. I am so honored that they would feel that way, but the truth is that each time I need to ask for money, I still feel a bit of dread. I still wonder if I'm doing it the 'right' way. I still wonder what people will think.
But the truth is, I cannot do this work alone. Even if I fall into deceiving myself about my own abilities and skills, the truth is that I am not able. Practically speaking, I am truely not capable of living, working, or accomplishing any good thing here in Uganda without the wonderfully generous people that give sacraficially each month.
And at the moment, the truth is that I can not continue driving to work on my old tires for too much longer. The past few months I've been dealing with flat tires constantly, and have been driving without a spare for a week now since one tire blew out completely.
So I'm here with a request. Would you consider a special gift to help with my tires? Each tire will be about $175, for a total of $700. If you would be willing to provide a tire, or really any amount that could go towards tires, here's how you can give:
1. Write a check to Hines Ugandan Ministries and include a sticky note with the check that says 'Melanie's Tires' (please don't write it anywhere on the check, but include it on a separate note)
2. Follow the instructions at this link (here) to give online, and in the box for comments/special instructions, write 'Melanie's Tires'.
And thank you again to all the wonderful people who enable me to live out this dream God gave me. I am so blessed by your sacrifice! I love you all dearly!