uncomfortableness

it’s been almost a week since I’ve been back on American soil, and I can’t lie,  I’m having a harder time with “re-entry” than normal.  I wrote this post in the Amersterdam airport half way back from Uganda, and it’s fitting.  It’s part of why I feel uncomfortable.  here and there.

africa.

image it has changed me.  it has opened my eyes.  it has gotten into my soul.  it’s given me a peace that I could never have expected.

there’s so much I could say about this great land that I now think of as my second home.  Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, all beautiful countries in the continent of Africa that have my heart.

 

The days leading up to every trip back to East Africa, I start to get nervous.  excited nervous, but also nervous nervous.  I can’t even put words to it.  It doesn’t seem real that this place has captured so much of my heart, and maybe somedays I wish that feeling wasn’t real.  

 

there isn’t really anything that’s comfortable about being in a third world country.  When you step off that plane, you leave the comforts of home behind.

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no starbucks, no target runs, no chick fill drive thru, no fresh produce from HEB, no phones to call home every time you just need to talk to your family for a second.

 

the roads are janky, the food is different, the bed isn’t yours.

 

there’s no YMCA to go workout at and the church service on Sunday is held outside on a front porch with 1 acoustic guitar and a worship leader that sings off key.

 

there’s no air conditioning in the car, and you haven’t washed your bath towel all week.

there’s no dishwasher, and you drink your wine out of a coffee mug.

 

sometimes the power goes out, which means the internet goes out, and all you are left with are your own thoughts.  

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you own thoughts.

I think that’s one of the things I love most about Africa,

un plugged from the busyness of life at home.

Without wifi on your phone when you leave the house.

sitting outside under the twinkle lights talking.

telling stories.  laughing.  crying.  playing games.

ENGAGING with each other.

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although “uncomfortable”,  I’ve come to love this place so much.

I feel comfortable here, despite all the uncomfortableness.  

I like the janky roads, I like the unpolished church service, I like drinking a cold coke out of a bottle, and putting gnut sauce on everything.

I like the simplicity of life a mist the complexities of the problems that abound.

life is about life here.

it’s about family.  it’s about god,  it’s about people.

it’s about serving people, walking with people, loving people.

it’s not about comfort.

it’s not about me.

it’s not about easy.

 I’m still processing these things.  More to come.

McCall Townsend Aldridge - LOVE THIS POST.

Lauren Casper - perfect. love you!!!

Kiersten - This is beautiful. I am so glad you had this opportunity and that you are willing to share it with so many of us who went with you in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being real and honest and used by the wonderful God we serve.

Wynne - love you lauren!

Wynne - thank you so much kiersten for your words!

Becki Goss Shepherd - Love

Micheal Mullen - Wonderful post. I’ve been to Ethiopia three times and still consider each trip a life-changing experience. And I can’t wait to return. Thank you for turning that feeling into poetry.

Tara - Amen sister! Amen.

paige - it’s always a blessing seeing the world through your heart

Chris Denton - Truly love this post. Thank you for sharing.

Ann DeCarlo - Love this!!!!

Regina Erickson - I’m hoping to go to Tanzania and pray that I’m able to appreciate the opportunity to still my thoughts and hear God.

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living water

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters”  Isaiah 55:1

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I come thirsty.  I come to the water.  No matter what city or continent I find myself on, I am drawn to the water.  The water makes me feel peace.  It draws me in, close to Him.  So I say, draw closer Jesus.  I come, I come to the waters.

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You say in Revelation 21:6,  “to the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment

read that again…WITHOUT PAYMENT.

thirsty I come.

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even when my heart feels like this dirty water.  even when my life is filled with sin + selfishness…God calls me to the water.  He calls me to come and drink of the LIVING WATER.

He purifies my heart, and my soul, and makes me clean.

over, and over, and over again.

His mercies are new EVERY morning.

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I come to the water knowing and believing the truth that I have living water on the inside of me.  I carry the water with me, and if you know Jesus, YOU carry the water with YOU too.

The well we have within us will NEVER run dry.

cling to that.
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water.  it’s a part of every day living here in Africa.  and at home in America.

we need it.

without it, we can’t do the daily tasks that keep us clean.  

Jesus, He’s the one.

He’s the living water.

To Him we come thirsty, having faith that day after day, despite our sin, He will make us clean.

He will make us new.  

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and let the one who is thirsty come, let the one who desires take the water of life without price” revelation 22:17
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Mo | Logan | Cara | Melissa | Erika | Carey

be sure to follow all the other amazing gals on our trip by clicking this link: ‪#‎bloghope‬

Brandi Compton Mendenhall - you already know how much I love this!!! <3

Amy Berry - I am remembering your post about water a few days ago. In contrast, how different these pictures are from the ones you included last time. I am praying for you as you travel and I am blessed by today’s post!

Lyndsay - WITHOUT PRICE! Thank you, Jesus. I’m so glad you shared this, Wynn. It was like a cool dink of water for my thirsty soul today. :)

… cancer really sucks - […] friends whose babies are waiting for them in orphanages. Women are battling infertility. I have a friend who went on a trip to Uganda with a team who removed jiggers (little mama bugs that furrow in […]

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dry every tear

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“Behold, I am making all things new”  Revelation 21: 5

 

I spent most of my morning at the Sole Hope outreach house eyes closed, arms tightly wrapped around the small body of this sweet 4 year old Ali.  Then around sweet 10 year old Daniel.

 

As they were crying out because of the pain the jiggers have caused in their feet, I was  crying out to Jesus, asking him to COME.

 

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

draw us near.  hold us close.  dry every tear.

 

The image that played over and over in my mind, was Jesus, coming and wrapping his arms around every single one of us that is hurting + broken and whispering in our ears, “it’s going to be ok, I am here

 

What a beautiful promise in scripture….the hope of the new heaven and new earth…

 

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”  Revelation 21: 4

 

Jesus whispered these words in my spirit, “I am making all things new”.

 

I long for heaven to come on earth.  I long for Jesus to return, and make ALL things new. I will cling to the promise that He WILL come back for us.  Until then, I press on and believe that when I’m feeling broken, hurt, or in pain, He will wrap me in his arms and speak softly into my ear of His great love for me.

 

God himself will be with them as their God”  Revelation 21:3

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Jesus called to them and said, what do you want me to do for you?  They said to him, Lord let our eyes be opened”.  Matthew 20:32-33

 

Yes, Lord.  Open our blind eyes that we might truly see.  

 

My eyes were opened and my heart was broken yet again.  Opened to see these beautiful yet broken children of God, restored and redeemed only because of the blood of their savior.

 

It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment  Revelation 21:6

 

My heart was broken over the pain, over the injustice, over the severity of the filth and fleas that has burrowed in these beautiful children’s feet.  Through that brokenness, God showed me His great love for them.  His great love for me.  His great love for you.

 

I long for Jesus to come back, and for the new heaven and new earth.   Until this promise of His second coming is fulfilled, I will wrap my arms around my daddy God and trust that until then, everything will be ok.

 

Surely, I am coming soon.  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!”  Revelation 22:20

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Will you pray for my friends that will be spending the week at the Sole Hope Outreach House?  This part of Sole Hope’s ministry is so needed for the kids who have the worst of the worst cases of jiggers.  These 7 kids from today came from deep in the village and will be staying this week to receive intense healing.  God IS making all things new, and we all get to be a part of that.  Will you pray for healing, for rest, for the pain to slow, and for them to feel their pappa daddy God wrapping his arms around them and whispering in their ears, “it’s going to be ok, I’m here”.  If you would like to learn more about the Sole Hope Outreach house and how YOU can get involved, check out our Pure Charity campaign here.

 

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Mo | Logan | Cara | Melissa | Erika | Carey

be sure to follow all the other amazing gals on our trip by clicking this link: ‪#‎bloghope‬

Brandi Compton Mendenhall - oh Wynne… what a heart wrenching day. Continuing to pray for you girls, that your hearts will be pliable in the great Potter’s hands. That He will mold them and shape them so that they are maximized to be filled by Him, but also shaped so that they pour out His love and grace easily… effortlessly. I pray that you are ministered to and through minute by minute. I trust that He is making all things new. Not only in the lives of those kids and families there, but in you all and in the hearts of the Collie’s. Thank you so much for sharing, even though I know it’s hard to relive it in the writing. LOVE Y’ALL!!!! XO

Tara Provence - Impossible to read and not physically ache for these kids. Praying for the rest of your week with Sole Hope and for these kids …

Jamie Ivey - Oh Wynne this brought tears to my eyes … gosh I can’t even imagine. I know I have missed some of your posts, but did you ever explain what jiggers are and how they get them and if there’s prevention. I’m so curious now from your posts.

Lindsey Nobles - Beautiful Wynne.

#bloghope outreach house | Blog Hope - […] Wynne- I long for heaven to come on earth. I long for Jesus to return, and make ALL things new. I will cling to the promise that He WILL come back for us. Until then, I press on and believe that when I’m feeling broken, hurt, or in pain, He will wrap me in his arms and speak softly into my ear of His great love for me. […]

Eva Marie Reed - Precious Heart for Jesus, Wynne….wow! I truly drank in every word you wrote and scripture you shared!! The pain that I feel in my chest is for those precious children!! As a momma and now granny, I always want to take the hurt and pain away and makes things okay…and oh my….in this case I can’t!! WE CAN’ T, BUT GOD CAN!! I praise our Holy and Loving Father of Redemption for you and the other ladies serving our Lord for your faithfulness and continued obedience!! I will pray from here in Midland!! Keep your eyes looking to the Lord and may His word continue to remind you all of His unending love for us…His children…! I truly love and respect you all!!!

Abra Clampitt - praying for the Sole Hope Outreach House and for you all. God’s love is so evident for the broken. He restores and is surely the Bread of Life. XO

Shelley Hageman - I’m praying for all of the Sole Hope ministry and Eveyone who is serving the Lord by helping these children and their families!May His light shine through you for them to see How Great and Glorious our Lord can be:-) May His Peace and Grace fill you up til it overflows:-) He promises to never leave us nor forsake us.May His LoVe surround all of you and protect you:-) He is everything we need! God Bless you all

Sarah Scheenstra - I have no words. Just holding back tears. I will be praying for those precious children & all of the Sole Hope team.

Kendra House - prayers for those precious children and for the team who is serving at the Outreach House. I’m thankful for your heart, for your transparency. God is teaching me so much about freedom, among other things and tonight he used your words to provide clarity and understanding. So thank you sister. love and prayers!

Breena - Wynne,

You have my heart! I commented on Instagram but had to again, after reading this post. My heart is right with you…I “amen”ed many times and it is SO lovely ‘hearing’ from a like-minded woman of God.

My once typical 2 year old son is now at the final stages of a disease that has basically ‘uncreated’ him until his dying day. His suffering has opened my eyes to the suffering of many like you have shared with us. My heart cries for our redeemer to come back and make things right.

I don’t know what else to say except I hope to go on one of these trips someday.

Blessings, sister!

Thank you for ushering more into His Kingdom

Bree

paige - love you girl. loved praying for you.
love your heart & your passion.
this is so heartbreaking but so powerful to see the impact & the change SOLEHOPE is bringing.

Links for your Weekend | The Fullest Joy - […] He is making all things new. For all of […]

Wynne - love you paige, thank for all of your prayers. and following along and supporting sole hope!!

Wynne - Brenna, thank you so much for your comment! oh i can’t even imagine what you are going through. prayers for you and your son, and for god to stay close to you as you cling to him! I hope you get to go on a trip one day too :)

Wynne - marie! I loved reading this comment from you. that’s right, GOD CAN! we have to trust in him to go and be with all the children that are hurting. thank you for praying for these precious souls! love to you and your family!

Weekend Reading - […] Dry Every Tear – Wynne Elder […]

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speak life

Across the room from where I’m sitting, my friend Melissa is encouraging and speaking life into young Quinn Collie.  They are talking about her passion for making jewelry and bar soap, and Melissa is quite literally helping her with her business plan.  Bars + Beads she calls it.  I can see Quinn’s demeanor change as Melissa takes genuine interest in the things that interest Quinn.   

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we all have dreams don’t we?

or at least we used to dream, when we were kids.

we dreamed of being lawyers, doctors, teachers, or if you were like me at one point you dreamed of driving a red jeep around in Montana by night +  environmental lawyer by day {what??}.

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when did we stop dreaming?

why did we stop?

Today as I sat next to my new friend Barbara overlooking the beautiful Ugandan hills, I listened to her share her dream of being an engineer.  We talked about the way God had wired her mind to be an engineer and it gave me great joy to encourage her in her dream.  I talked about my passion for photography and how God had wired my mind for my dream too.

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Looking in every beautiful bright eyed pre-teen I encountered at Amazima today, I heard all sorts of dreams.  I love seeing the connection between their favorite subject in school and the dream they have for themselves.   Every single time I speak life into their dreams, they respond confidently.

 lawyer

airline pilot

doctor

teacher

driver

accountant

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry Thoreau

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How easy would it be for us to think their dreams either aren’t adequate, or are too far reaching, and to decide instead of building up, to tear down?  how easy would it be hear the dream but not see a connection to a career and again, decide to shoot it down?

why do we do this?

I have to believe it starts with us not living our dream, not dreaming our own dreams, or not have reached for the dreams we dreamed as a child.

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when did we just decide we had to “grow up”?

why can’t we dream dreams for ourselves, and encourage the next generation to do the same?  this trip, for me?  living. my. dream.

  I want to challenge us with this.

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let’s speak life and encouragement into the next generation.

let’s dream with them.

let’s dream ourselves.

let us never forget that NOTHING is impossible with god

God is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine. [Ephesians 3:20]

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we were created for a purpose.

let’s realize how unique, valuable, and one-of-a-kind we are to God.

let’s know it AND believe it

let’s speak it over the next generation.

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With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

1 Corinthians 15:58, the Message

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Mo | Logan | Cara | Melissa | Erika | Carey

be sure to follow all the other amazing gals on our trip by clicking this link: ‪#‎bloghope‬

thank you Katie + team at Amazima for allowing us to come love on + play with your beautiful children today!  We pray that God continues to bless your ministry and give you vision for what’s to come!

Melinda Adams - Dreaming BIG for myself, and for you all as you love Big for God! Keep it up, sounds like it’s been a good time of refreshment for you. Remember that circumcision of the heart is messy, bloody and painful, but when we’ve healed and rested God will move us into our next place of promise! ! He did it with Moses and the Israelites before they could enter the land, every male had to be circumcised because it was the sign of the covenant He made with Abraham! He has done circumcision of the heart with everyone who he has called as his chosen servants. Often requiring a painful time of preparation. We shouldn’t think it will be any different with us. We lose our focus on the Lord, allowing the ways and things of this world to embed in our lives, and so often the only way to remove it, is to get his needle and start gently digging through the layers to get the infestation out. Just like the jiggers you are removing from their feet. Painful yes! But so worth being freed from the things that weigh us down, causing us pain, and keeping us from being fully used by God, in the places of promise he has for each of us!

Alison Holcomb - beautiful!!! wholeheartedly agree.

grace - yes!! speaking it into the next generation!! my heart is all excited just reading this! love you!

Abra Clampitt - reading Restless right now. this hits home. with dreaming. oh, i’m dreaming so big right now. but also scared. but God has conquered fear and death, and with Him, I can too. yes, let’s encourage the next generation to dream! [i'm thinking a shirt design about dreaming needs to happen for Little Loves Clothing!]

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join the story

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We journeyed down the road to Bibbo today and I couldn’t help but think of the journey God has me on.  The amazing truth that He loves me and He loves you.  He loves all of his children all over the world.  Just like He has me on a journey down this red dirt road, He has YOU on a journey too.

Today, let my pictures take you on a journey.

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“And why are you anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”  Matthew 6: 28-30
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Believing that God will clothe sweet ones like these new friends of mine, I urge you to join in the story.   You too can be a part of a child [like my new friend Mark here] life by hosting a shoe cutting party in your living room.  Gather your girlfriends, some old blue jeans + save your milk jugs and order a shoe cutting party kit and trace and cut out the “upper” part of the shoe you see.    Easy + fun as that!
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what are you waiting for?   come on, and join the story!
Click HERE if you are interested in hosting a shoe cutting party!

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Mo | Logan | Cara | Melissa | Erika | Carey

be sure to follow all the other amazing gals on our trip by clicking this link: ‪#‎bloghope‬

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pretty amazing + humbling to have Stephen and I’s boy, Henry, ride a bota down a muddy road to serve with us today.  so proud of him!

Sarah - Thanks so much for sharing! These images are beautiful! I love seeing what others are doing and how they are serving – it’s so inspiring to me! I hope and pray that you, your team, and those you are serving will continue to be blessed from this experience. Also, thanks for sharing about Sole Hope – I had not heard of the organization before.

our day in bibbo #blogHope | Blog Hope - […] Wynne: A day through the lens of Sole Hope. Read more. […]

Wynne - yay sarah! you should totally host a shoe cutting party!!! http://solehopeparty.org

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