An Update From Maggie and Friends
Here is a message from one of our great partners in Uganda!
CHANGE. – It’s a word I fear. It’s a word I yearn for. I am learning much about resting in the mystery of God. I am learning about my need for self-care, compassion as well as unconditional acceptance of myself and others.
I am learning about saying “Yes to life from the belly of sorrow”.
At this season of my life I stand at a ‘Threshold’. Thresholds require a ‘crossing over’ into the unknown; demanding vulnerability, surrender and an ‘opening to receive new life’. As I live a mindful and contemplative life, I want more of God and “to step into who I was meant to be”. Thresholds separate 2 distinct places of space – the familiar and the unfamiliar. Crossing a Threshold can enlarge life and open spaces for new thoughts and behaviors – for deeper introspection into what creates life and what’s life destroying; a ‘Place of Possibility’.
I recently heard that the ancient desert Fathers and Mothers had a saying for their way of life’ “Ultimi Habitatores Mundi’ – not sure if I got the spelling right, but it means to be “Inhabitants of the World’s Edge”. I want to be an Edge Dweller – to live as close to “the beyond that is in our midst”.
My goal for years has been to grow into a ‘Crone’ – a graceful, wrinkled old woman, a bit scary, very eccentric, someone who has few needs, is not rushing about ‘doing’, has time for people, a wise healer who is not ‘responsible’ but lives ‘responsive’. I’ve got the scary, the wrinkled and eccentric down well, working on the rest.
As I cross this threshold into wise Crone, I take AHI with me, even as I take leave. It’s time for me to ‘decrease’ and allow others with new eyes, fresh ideas, better systems and more energy take over the day to day running of AHI. I dream of sitting on my porch finally getting to know my neighbors, mentoring, painting and writing. God willing, I will live out the rest of my life at Ekitangaala Ranch and be buried near the headmasters of Cornerstone Leadership Academy so they can never get away from my agitating and confronting need to face truth no matter the cost!
AHI is actively seeking others called to the mission field to make a 2-4 year commitment to live out in the bush and work in areas of discipleship, vocational and culinary training. As more friends cross this threshold with me, I want you to hear their voices in our blog.
Today, I introduce Tracy Davis, from Chico, CA. Tracy is on our Board of Directors and has been visiting for 2-month stays for several years. She spent 4 months helping to run AHI this year. We are praying that she will stay even longer next year. An amazing woman: criminal lawyer, public defender, seminary Masters program, disciple-maker, mother and close friend. Enjoy!
Greetings from Uganda –
What a pleasure and a privilege it has been to be here at AHI for the last four months. As usual, I will be leaving with more than I have given. Let me introduce myself, my name is Tracy Davis and I am married and live in Chico, California. My daughter Willa (age 2) is here with me; this is her second extended visit. I am on the board of directors for AHI and have been coming yearly since 2012 when I first stopped by with Bob Goff’s group, “Love Does”. I sat next to Maggie that night for dinner and knew I wanted to come back. Thank God she said yes. I am in love with the students and staff of AHI and I share the dream of a better world made possible in small, beloved communities of broken people. I spent 22 years as a criminal defense attorney and public defender, raised three wonderful children before closing my practice, so I could focus on AHI and go to seminary. Now, my husband and I have one more beautiful child to walk with. This is me in a nutshell.
It took about a month this trip for me to realize my purpose in being here. I was called here to pray for this community, the people surrounding us and other people that God placed in my path. This is not intended to sound disrespectful, but I really struggled with this at first. “Praying? – is that all? – God, I think I can do more.” (FYI-I do see my arrogance and pride) I am something of a doer and I feel such satisfaction in getting things done and crossing them off the list, that I was sure God wanted me to do something more (like praying isn’t one of his top callings). NO – my primary purpose here was and is to pray.
Did you know that when you really pay attention to people you can see their pain, fear and joy? All of a sudden, I could see the struggles that I might have missed. For example, I knew there was something going on with a first year female student. I went to her twice, asked if she was ok and she said she wanted to talk and then she avoided me. The last time she said she wanted to talk, I took her by the hand and we went and sat down. She was pregnant and was so afraid. I believe that God sent her to me and this time I was able and willing to hear him and see her pain and fear. Maggie was able to get her placed at a girl’s home. I wish this had a happy ending, but she left the home and I do not know where she is now. I do know that God saw her pain and fear and did not abandon her. I also know if she reaches out again God will provide for her.
My heart has been broken and filled here time after time. I am brought to my knees when I see how grateful the Ugandans are for their lives and the opportunities they have been given. I am humbled when I see how hard working, loyal and “yearning to learn” they are. Because of AHI, Maggie and the supporters of AHI, every staff member and student is impacting and changing the lives of their families and communities. God is working in wondrous and mysterious ways and I am overwhelmed that I get to be a thread in this beautiful tapestry.
With Much Love and Gratitude,
Tracy and Willa