Back in June, I had an opportunity to travel to Uganda with an incredible non profit, Beauty for Ashes Uganda, that works toward long-term sustainable development and deep healing for single moms and widows in the Teso Region of Uganda.
Everyone on the trip helped sponsor a village in that region. For one of our days in Uganda, we had an opportunity to visit our villages and spend a whole day with our mamas.
I’ll be the first to say I was incredibly nervous.
I was flooded with questions and anxieties as we prepared to head out to our villages that morning.
How am I going to communicate?
What am I going to do all day?
What if they don’t accept me?
All those anxieties retreated as we pulled up to the village and I saw all my mamas singing, dancing, and welcoming me with open arms.
In my American mind, it’s easy to think I have more than they do so I must give and do. But that day, I learned a valuable lesson: sometimes the best thing I can do is just receive and be.
And receive I did.
That day, I received a new name — Okiru (bringer of rain).
I received a fabric wall hanging with my name sewn on it.
My mamas fed me chicken, taught me how to fetch water, and gave me a few language lessons too.
And that night, around the dinner table, I received an opportunity to lay my head on one of my teammates’ shoulders and cry uncontrollably.
It’s okay to be. By letting go of always doing, you free yourself to receive.
And receiving is healing.