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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just another life changed!!

Guest post by random honorary member of the Oatsvall team.. :)

Bear (bare?) with me all you avid-bloggers/Gwen-admirers.. I'm not too sure how to start this out so I guess I'll just GO!

Grace here.. And I'm a little new to the scene. I came rolling into the Oatsvall's lives (and haven't wanted to leave!!) about a year and a half ago. I have spent the past 2 summers volunteering at the orphanage where Joseph and Daisy grew up in Uganda. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with it.. The people, the culture, but mostly the KIDDOS. Loving on those sweet little ones completely rocked my world and I've never been the same since. God turned my world upside down once I set foot on that red dirt. (And thank goodness He did!!)

Lucky for me.. That eventually led to me visiting and getting to know Gwen and her team. God has used her and her entire family to push me towards Christ. To show me what it means to be a family. To love blindly, to love like crazy, and to pour out the love of Christ on as many people as possible.

I was able to come and help Gwen get ready for her first trip to Uganda.. I spent my spring break running around like crazy, getting papers together (6 copies of everything!), packing, (and then repacking), running errands, doing everything we could think of to be as ready as possible. And then I had the awesome opportunity to be in Africa when Gwen came to get them to bring them HOME. I got to walk the dirt roads with them and see Jeremiah's heart grow while serving the children of Amazima. I got to watch Joseph and Daisy fall in love with their family. And now I get to come visit and see ALL the kids together.. Knowing and seeing kids in an orphanage but then getting to see them HOME with their FOREVER families.. I can't even explain it. It is a HUGE blessing. 

I can honestly tell you that having the opportunity to spend so much time with her family has changed my life. They are FOR REAL. Do the kids fight sometimes? Of course. Is the house spotless? With 6 kids?? I'll just let you guess. ;) Do they put on the appearance of "knowing it all" or "having it all together" ? Nope. But do you know what they do? They love God and know the importance of what Jesus did for us. They love each other. They look out for each other. And while I'm here, I'm family. I mean, they are obviously awesome. How many college kids do you know that choose to use any break they get to come play with kids, do laundry, cook meals, wash dishes, run errands, wake up early, go to bed late, bathe kids, break up fights, and just BE with a family just to help out?? You know there's gotta be something special about THIS crew!

So, that's it. :) Just wanted everyone to know what a huge blessing that Gwen and the rest of the Oatsvall team have been to my life. I'm beyond blessed to be an honorary member of their family. I LOVE it. God is using this family to change lives, and I'm just blessed to be one of them!!

XOXO~Grace





9 kind words.:

KT said...

how fun! good for you girl
I don't remember if I have gotten to meet you yet, I know I will at some point:)

Sarah said...

Grace!!! Love it! love you! i better get to see your face tomorrow!!!

Tracy said...

Precious! Blessing begets blessing!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

what an amazing gift for both of you grace! praying God continues to bless you both richly in your relationship with HIM!

love,
jill

Polly said...

They are so blessed to have you in their lives. As a mama I know you must be a lifesaver for them. God bless you!!

Leigh Ann said...

Gwen...it's so hard to read your posts...do you think you could make the font bold? I love keeping up...maybe I should put on my glasses...lol!

Kathy said...

Thanks, Grace, for the "inside scoop" on the Oatsvalls - but it's pretty much what I suspected all along! You can SEE how much they love Jesus and want to follow Him, you can SEE their works, and you get an idea of just who they really are.

You sound like a pretty amazing young woman yourself. I know you are a blessing to the Oatsvalls and ABC. I would love to meet you someday, this side of heaven. Maybe I will get to - our small orphanage, Redeemer House, is moving to Jinja in December. I have a feeling you will be back in Uganda again! There's just something about that red dirt, and those kids . . .

Joe and Melissa said...

aw grace, love you! wish you were sitting at our kitchen table here in bukaya! thank you for being the hands and feet!

Erin said...

It was so great to meet you the other week at T4A, Gwen! I just LOVE all that you do for us, for your family, and for God's Kingdom! You make me want to take a deep breath...look to my Savior...and face everything in life head on!