One year ago, I was at a place in my life where I knew that God was calling me to Africa.  It was one of the strangest feelings I have ever felt.  I had no idea where, with who, or how, but I knew that I knew that I knew that I would be back where I left my heart in 2009.

Around this very same time, a mutual friend at the time asked me to design a website for his photography as he fundraised to go to Uganda.  As I learned more about the ministry he was going with and what they would be doing there, it was as if God was whispering to me through this person.  Something about this situation and ministry seemed like it was meant to be.  I remember asking God to make it clear to me if this was the ministry I was supposed to go with one day.

Fast forward a few weeks, where I'm reading about this ministry, and I lose my breath for a second.

The founders live in Phoenix, Arizona.  In the same city that I live in.  This was "it" for me.  This was the Lord saying, this is exactly where you will go, this is exactly who you will go with.  It was one of the strangest, most surreal and beautiful moments I have experienced.

Friends, God works in amazing ways.  

For a whole year this was planted in my mind.  I absolutelywithoutadoubtinmymind knew that I was going to go with them, that this was where I would serve.  I didn't even need to continue looking.  However, I had no plans to go, no conversations with anyone about it... it just was set in my mind by God.

Fast forward once more to last week, when I went to Moore, OK (a whole other blog post:) ) with the very same person who God used to introduce me to IVO.  Little did I know that this "mutual friend" from a yearish ago would become a best friend while serving those effected by the tornado... and even better, one I'd go to Uganda with :)

That's right, in January 2014 I am flying across the world to Uganda, Africa with International Voice of the Orphan to serve the fatherless.

This has been a long time coming for me.  I went to Africa as a 12 year old girl, knowing I was a believer and knowing I loved God but having no concept of His love for me... simply because I was not mature enough.  I saw things that I still remember to this day and it changed my life from the moment I stepped foot back on US soil.  A year after Africa my family started foster care, the start of doing ministry as a family.  We switched to adoption and my whole world changed.  The seed that was planted in me about orphans and adoption and Jesus' Love bloomed in my heart when I realized that I had been chosen, died for and adopted into my own Savior's family.  He worked in my heart in these years since Africa in June of 2009 in such a major way that overwhelms me completely.

Since being back from Africa I have always known that I left my heart in this place, that I would be back.  I have saved money for about a year knowing that this date would come soon.  It was an unknown date that I knew I was called to.  Today, though, I have a date.  Today, the desire the Lord grew in my heart slow for the past four years has a name and a time and a clear calling.  Even so, the amount I have is not enough to cover what I need to serve in Uganda.  So, I am asking for the body of Christ to consider helping to allow me to serve the orphans of Uganda (while also getting something out of it ;))

If you live in/around Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, I would love to take your photographs... you name it, couple/family/portraits... whatever.  Every penny will go towards Uganda.  You will bless His name by helping to send me where God has called me.  If you don't want pictures but still feel led to donate, you can do so here.  Know that I am thankful for every penny God provides.  This trip came up so fast that I have just three months to get all the funds.  Big God Little Problem... Little God Big Problem... I know He's got it :)

Thank you for every penny and every prayer that you give for my trip to Uganda.  Only God could have brought me this far, and only God will continue to mold my heart in all of this.   I love every single one of you, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being part of my journey for so long.  It only goes up from here :)

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Kiley Marissa  – (October 18, 2013 at 1:21 PM)  

EMMA. This makes me so happy. If I lived near you, you'd be taking my pictures for sureeee. :) You're amazing. I cannot wait to hear about this!!

Grandpa Steve and Rita –   – (October 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM)  

"Nudges from God" as your Grandma Lyn used to call them, are an everyday part of our lives. The big question always is - Do you listen to & act on those nudges? Clearly, you have listened and are acting. We would be very honored to support you & God's calling.

Olivia  – (October 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM)  

oh my goodness emma. :) :) :) it's happening!!! <3

Emilie  – (October 19, 2013 at 10:15 AM)  

That is so exciting! I will be praying for you. :)

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