Tuesday, January 26, 2010

All day long I think about Africa. I wake up and see my cat and immediately think "aw I'm going to miss you when I'm in Uganda". I make coffee "I can't wait to make coffee and sit outside in the morning when I'm in Uganda" I take a shower "Hot showers and pretty rare in Uganda." I put on my shoes "so excited to go barefoot or slip on flip flops in a little over a month" I walk outside "It's so cold...It's warm in Africa" My favorite is when I see an african american and my first instinct is to say "olyotia" or "kopengo".

all this to say... I AM REALLY EXCITED.
I have been learning some really good lessons lately though and thought I would share.

lesson #1: Is it just me or is Jesus extremely radical?

"A certain ruler asked him,
'Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'
'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered.
'No one is good—except God alone.
You know the commandments:
Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal,
do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'
'All these I have kept since I was a boy,' he said.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him,
'You still lack one thing.
Sell everything you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.
(Luke 18:18-22)

I can't get over the whole "then come follow me"...Sometimes I deny myself of a lot of things or give a lot of myself but forget that last part. I believe that giving all you have and following Jesus are two different things but we can't follow Jesus unless we give all we have...once this happens we are totally separated from this world and
taking up the identity of Christ (broken bread and poured out wine..as oswald chambers would say) to do exceedingly MORE than what Jesus did on earth.

I know this because of this verse: (also lesson #2)
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." -- Jesus
(John 14:12-14)

We are called to do MORE (we have HUGE shoes to not only fill but to burst out of). BUT we have to take the WE out of it all. oswald chambers says (lesson #3):
"most of us live on the borders of consciousness -- consciously serving, consciously devoted to God. all this is immature, it is not the real life yet. the mature stage is the life of a child which is never conscious; we become so abandoned to God that the consciousness of being used never enters in. when we are consciously being used as broken bread and poured out wine, there is another stage to be reached, where all consciousness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint; a saint is consciously dependent on God."

This is all truth, friends. We have to be willing to live out this truth..or to at least try...to at least question and make radical moves towards something other than ourselves. I pray you (myself included) are extremely uncomfortable until you actually DO something.

much love, melissa

ps: www.tukula.org is up...It's not quite official yet but were working on it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

this weekend Joe and I watched a documentary about the Lost boys of Sudan called "God Grew Tired of Us" and at the end one of the boys was leaving America and Going back to his friends and family in Africa, and he said, "This is the BEST - I am going to Africa!"
I haven't been able to get it out of my head. When I feel a little bit stressed about finances or plans in general - I just whisper to myself "this is the best..."
It's such a sweet reminder of how I actually feel when things are crazy around me.

We leave on March 8th!
Excited doesn't even begin to describe how I feel!
We still need to raise $1,300 in consistent monthly support for 2010. Please let me know if you want to donate towards Tukula! e-mail: melissasuecarter@gmail.com

Also, we are on twitter now! So weird, but somewhat fun! www.twitter.com/tukulawegrow
Thank you for reading this blog thing! Our official website will be up before March, hopefully. : )

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God - the rest will be given." - Mother Teresa

Joe and I are constantly on edge when it come to Tukula funds - to say the least they are non-existent. I don't know what we could do different. we are really trying to cut down on everything now that we know we are leaving. We are getting rid of cable this month. something we really don't need especially when we went a whole year without a tv. I would definitely encourage you to get rid of your cable if you have it. It's extremely relieving and makes you more productive. We are currently trying our best to not buy as many groceries as we once were. just because it's there and it looks good does not mean we need it. last night I started a rule in our apartment (mostly with myself) that I can only have one thing on at a time. for example: if the computer is plugged in no light can be on. weird I know but this helps me to be more aware of the electricity I am using. I do feel pretty silly sometimes sitting in the dark.

I often think that if people could see our bank accounts they would laugh and call us foolish for starting a business. sometimes I think we are.

but then God reminds me that I need faith as tiny as a mustard seed and He can move mountains. Honestly, I never asked for Tukula. I never wanted to move back to Uganda. That wasn't what I wanted. of course I always knew I would go back and visit but to do business and live in uganda again? no way not in the picture..tried it and it didnt work out God brought us back here. I remember when Tukula first came to my mind I asked God to immediately take it away. "seriously. God? Did you not see us when we were DROWNING while working in Uganda?" I didn't want it, but then all of a sudden I remembered my dear friends agatha and haman and so many other young people who have SO MUCH potential but not outlet. God wants to use us to do this. It had to be him..HAD TO. because no piece of me or Joe wanted to go back and do this. But here we are so completely and helplessly longing for this to work out. to be the change we want to see in uganda.

so we're asking God for love, kindess, understanding, and peace. We believe along with mother teresa that the rest will come.

Let's seek first His kingdom, friends, even if it looks foolish and crazy.
the rest will come - money will fall from the sky just as He has planned it before I even thought it.

Be encouraged.

(ps: we have a TON more necklaces/bags and random things from africa that we still have and are selling if you are at all interested please let me know melissasuecarter@gmail.com)