‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.’ – John 15:12-17
On this, my final day in Uganda, I couldn’t help put wake up this morning for the last time in my shared room with Siima, in our little intern house, with a bit of a surreal feeling. It’s very odd to think that the next time I wake up in a bed, it will be in my bed in my parent’s house, halfway across the world. This term has been too much, too impactful, too transformative, too full to try and do justice to in the very limited time I have today. So instead, I’ve included a bunch of photos below, until I can write a longer reflection once I’m home.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the past couple of weeks, trying to process all that’s happened, and is going to happen, as we transition back into life in North America. There have been some really deep and meaningful conversations in the last little while with people here who have become such good friends, and really a family here in Uganda, and I’m so grateful for the ways God is using every last minute I have here to continue teaching me and growing me. Goodbyes are hard, especially when we don’t know when we will see the person, if ever, again. However, as a colleague and friend wisely said to me the other day, in this kind of work, among Christians, goodbyes here are never truly goodbyes. We are part of a larger family, a Body, universally linked, and because of that we have hope. Whether in this life or the next, we will see each other again.
The single greatest thing I hope to take away from this entire experience is how to love better, how to love others visibly, through everyday actions. I want to love with abandon, lavishing the love of Christ on those I come in contact with. The people here love so well. Because many Ugandans don’t often express their feelings in words, they seem to express them through actions instead, and it is powerful. I have learned so much from observing and living in community with these people. They have really given me a better understanding of the verse I quoted above from John 15. I pray that their ways, in this regard, have rubbed off on me while I’ve been here, and that as I return home to Canada, I won’t lose that new way of being, continuing to improve as time goes on.
I will truly miss the family I am leaving behind here, but I know you go with me in spirit no matter where in the world we each may be. Thank you Engineering Ministries International, for the experience of a lifetime, and for giving me the opportunity to witness and be a part of the hands and feet of Jesus at work through others. I am excited to see what the future will bring, both immediate and distant. This coming season will be one of new beginnings.
To my family and friends back home… I love you! I’m coming for you!
** Support update… I still have $800 CAD left before my support is complete. If you are willing to contribute, and to be a part of the incredible work EMI is doing in Uganda, please click here, or click the “support my mission” link at the top of my main blog page. Please don’t forget to fill out my name (Andrea Quinn) in the “Purpose” field, so it is counted as part of my support. No amount is too small. Thank you so much to all who have already supported me financially through this. You are in my prayers!