Deciding on Discomfort
Excerpts taken from an article written for Relevant Magazine in 2010 by Morgan Hansow - Read Full Article

Excerpts taken from an article written for Relevant Magazine in 2010 by Morgan Hansow - Read Full Article

Last night was our third night in Uganda, East Africa. Our bodies seem to finally be adjusting to the nine-hour time change and there wasn’t an all-night bass-bumping dance party at the boarding school down the street, like the previous night. We awoke to the downpour of rain—the loud African rainstorms that make you feel really small—and then our children climbed into bed with us.

This is going to be an interesting month. It’s our first time bringing our children back to Uganda since we moved here in 2007 to adopt our daughter and launch Light Gives Heat (LGH). Our son, Asher, was 2½ then and now he is 5½ and experiencing Africa from a whole new (and memorable) viewpoint. At 3½, Jadyn is seeing her homeland for the first time since she was a baby and I don’t know if she’ll even retain any of the memories from this trip. We’re excited to see how she takes everything in and if she feels any different being a part of the majority as opposed to the minority (or if she even notices).

To be honest we were pretty hesitant to take this trip. Aside from feeling like LGH would fall apart without our leadership and presence, the truth is that we wanted to stay and spend the summer in our new home. Our flesh wanted to play it safe, find comfort in our stuff and just be normal—everything that’s opposite of what LGH stands for (how ironic, huh?).

But like in everything, we realized we had a choice—a choice to either anticipate with hope the adventure before us or live in despair, complain and drag our heels. Letting go, holding things loosely, surrendering, handing things over … no matter how you say it, there always seems to be that underlying tone of weakness. It’s so un-American and yet so human. In a world of busyness, control and productivity, it’s so easy to become numb to our own hearts. Even if we have had our eyes and hearts opened and chiseled on before in this area, the question still remains: How do we, as followers of Jesus, lovers of people and advocates for justice, continue to reject the apathy to remain unchanged ourselves? A hard lesson to learn (and relearn) and the refining process is exposing, tiring and painful at times, but it is worth the cost, right? I mean, in the end we have a better perspective on the things that matter and we realize that maybe it is better to be out of control and let the One who is supposed to be in control actually control!

So Dave and I stopped fighting the approaching packing, the four-hour drive to Denver, the 24 hours of traveling with two kids, and the five weeks away from LGH and our home. We realized we had an incredible opportunity to slow down, spend time with our children, embrace the people and culture we love, and share it all with our Asher and Jadyn. Traveling went smoothly (the kids were rock stars) and we arrived early in the morning to Pearl of Africa. The two-hour drive to Jinja allowed us the opportunity to take it all in and explain to our children along the way. Jadyn was entranced—staring out the window at the kiosks on the street, women carrying things on their heads and children walking. And when we passed children carrying yellow jerry cans and I explained that’s how they get their water, Asher exclaimed, “Wow, that’s hard work!” In those moments, we knew it is all worth it and this month is going to be exactly what it needs to be…more to come.

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