Monday, January 23, 2012

A new life is calling and I owe it all to grace.

My name is Arielle and I am preparing to embark on a journey I've long awaited.  In a week I will be returning to a land full of conflicting scenes and emotions.  A land far away from Lakeland, Florida.  A country full of old friends and new friendships yet to be made. To the one place I've felt most fulfilled in my life.  This place was once named the "Pearl of Africa" and no longer shines brightly; but I believe it will shine again with vengence someday soon.  Not by anything of my doing, but from someone much bigger than I.  And I have been invited to take a front row seat!

I first traveled to Uganda in the fall of 2009, four months after graduating high school at the naive age of 18.  I volunteered at Amani Baby Cottage in a town called Jinja. (Amani's website: if you are looking for a trust worthy and safe place to volunteer and love on babies, THIS IS THE PLACE!) This experience opened my eyes wider than I thought was possible.  After traveling on missions work out of the country numerous times before, I really didn't think much of a three month stay in Africa.  Well let's just say I learned bunches! I am sure most of those stories will be told here in time. I made some of my best friends on that adventure, learned how to 'do life' in a hard place, and let love pour out on so many sweet babies and children of God. But perhaps the most important lesson I learned was quite elementary, at least for those that have grown up in church; craving to read my bible everyday.  This is not something that is learned. Or maybe it is...the hard way.  This is an innermost desire that wells up from within us. I hope that everybody that roams this earth will feel this feeling one day.  When I said that Uganda was the place I felt most fulfilled in my life, I believe it was more than the life-altering experiences I had.  I was filled by someone much bigger and grander than I.   I believe that I was being 'transformed by the renewal of my mind' (see romans 12:2).  And THAT has the power to fulfill someone! 

This trip will be much different than my last.  I will be living among a group of people in Bulabakulu village.  I will be teaching in a local school come mid-February.  But more than all this, I will love unconditionally.  Be a living definition of a tangible love.  Afterall, how can someone comprehend a 'Fatherly love' if they themselves have never experienced love?  There are 120+ children and 7 surviving mothers from this people group.  All the rest have died or sought-out another life.  These people need to be transformed my the renewal of their minds!  And only through the Father's work, will this desolate country again shine as the "Pearl of Africa".

thanks for reading,
Arielle :)!/profile.php?id=1388382206


  1. My dear friend!! You did it!! It looks amazing and I can not wait to read all about your adventures, and God-moments here on your blog! I've been praying for you so much. Write often, and skype often!! :) Here's to an unforgettable going away party!!!! I'll help plan;)

    I LOVE YOU!!

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  3. It was great to meet you last night at Moe's! Drew sent over your link and I look forward to reading about your journey. I have a HUGE heart for Uganda and can't wait for a little piece of that beautiful country to be a part of our family.

  4. Beautiful blog, Arielle! Thank you for sharing your experiences in Africa. What a beautiful picture!!

  5. Dearest Arielle, I have just read your entire blog, and I am sobbing. I did not know you were back there, but it seems, you have again followed the call of our Lord to serve him "on far away shores,and distant lands".I cannot tell you how you have touched my heart today, just to know a young beautiful "white" girl would give up everything the world offers, to go to a place with so little, so you can "tell them the stories of Jesus", and that he loves them. I just found out today that Alyssa will be going to missionary school in Costa Rica in September. She told me God has given her such a heart for missions, and like you, she wants to bring light to a dark world. My heart was heavy today, but tonight I rejoice because of 2 precious girls that are following Gods leading in their lives. I speak peace to your life and those you are ministering to, and I am praying that Mother will return to her child. Thank you and may God richly bless you for your obedience and love for him.We will pray for you everyday sweet girl, and I will continue to look for all your messages.Love and Prayers, Memaw(and Papaw too)

  6. Arielle,
    I don't know you personally, but have met you briefly, quite briefly at a meet for Lakeland Cross Country. But your mother has spoke much about you, and she seems very proud and excited about everything you have done and are doing. I think what you're doing it AMAZING, and INSPIRING. Keep doing great in the world and it will pay off.

    a viewer of great things in the world