Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Why Show Up? A Life Lesson from a Sister in Uganda

When I, along with four others, flew to Uganda earlier this month, I was more excited than a raccoon at an all-you-can-eat crawfish café. And in spite of the 20-hours spent on two planes, the GSM mission schools I visited were even better than I expected. 

Can you spot me and my cousin, Patty in
this "Welcome to Uganda" parade?
        The teachers, kids, and all other workers treated us like royalty all week long. But my favorite moment took place the final night I was there. Most of the 1,500 students and dozens of teachers had 
repeatedly thanked us for coming. 

        Finally I asked Peace, the lady who served our meals, why it was so important to them that we five Americans visited the schools. "Wouldn't it have made more sense to send you the thousands of dollars it took to travel here? Wouldn't it have gone farther?" 

       Her answer brought tears to my eyes. 

Peace and I as we said "goodbye" on
my final day in Uganda.

       "Mama Jen," she said, "you can't put a price tag on love. The fact that you saved your money for a year and traveled across the globe to visit us in person shows that you love us. Anyone can send money. But the gift of your presence is priceless." 

Aha. The gift of your presence. That says it all. 

      Is there someone in your life who needs,  more than anything, the gift of your presence today? Fill their life with hope simply by showing up for them. 


  1. How precious. I saw a post coming by on FB coming by, a while ago, of you traveling (or going to travel, I don't remember). This is so wonderful and I can so relate. For our non profit organisation we travel a lot to visit projects we support and people are always so happy when we come! Nothing beats a hug and being present :) Hope you had a good time.

  2. Good way to save money and be able to use it to fly where you needed to go. Going to be with people in another country who need encouraged and loved is priceless! I'm glad you had a good time away. God bless you 🙏 ❤️. Becky

  3. This story makes me remember that we sometimes have to get out of our comfort zones and see people who are hurting. Since Covid and my various health issues, I have not really done as I did before and I feel I should get back to doing that visitation. A lot of us here in the USA resort to sending cards, I wonder if it is really what we should do. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Peace and blessings to you and yours.


Oh, it's YOU! I'm so happy to see you here today, and look forward to reading your comments.