Checking In From Chicago

I’m sitting in the floor of O’Hare Airport, jet-lagged and badly in need of a shower.  Our team just parted a few minutes ago.  I miss them.  I miss the people in Uganda.  My word, I miss my family. 

So I’ll use this time to (finally!) download some of the amazing pictures from the week, since I’m back to the land of high-speed internet. 

This is only a handful–I’ll be posting plenty in the weeks to come. 

This is Annette; I posted her story here.  Please, please, please, go watch Shaun’s video of our visit.  I cannot stop thinking of her.  This is courage.


The market just around the corner from Annette’s home:


This little girl followed us around shyly, but eagerly.  Finally I stopped and gestured toward my camera:  "Would you like for me to take your picture?"  She jumped up and ran to this doorway to pose.  She giggled when I showed her the picture on my camera:


Here’s a photo of me showing some other boys the picture I took of them.  The kids–and the moms– LOVED this.


Oh, these faces:




(A few of those photos–can’t remember which ones–were by Keely, our trip photographer.)   

That’s it for now–it’s almost time to board.  I’m going home!

I’m going to go brush my teeth so that I can plant a big sloppy kiss on my husband in a couple of hours (not that morning breath would stop me from kissing that man right now, but I’m thinking he’d appreciate the effort).

Over and out. 

48 thoughts on “Checking In From Chicago

  1. Shannon Miller says:

    I’m sending my baby sister over here. She’s studying to be a missionary and I know she’ll love reading about your trip.
    I can’t tell you how moved I’ve been. Thank you so much for sharing all this!

  2. Fran says:

    Each time I look at these kids my heart either wants to fall apart, or bust with joy and hope. They are truly beautiful.
    I’m glad you are heading home. Praying for you friend.

  3. Jenni says:

    So glad to see some of those beautiful faces! I look forward to a lot more over the coming weeks…
    Have fun with the kissin’ ;o)

  4. Tracy D says:

    I am so glad you are back safe. I have to tell you I am sittinmg here crying. I just read through all of the posts. And I am nursing my son. And crying for these children. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  5. An Iowa Mom says:

    I’ve enjoyed following your visit. Glad you are back in the good ol’ USA safe and sound and I hope you have a lovely reunion with your family.
    Looking forward to hearing more of your experience in the weeks to come.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Glad for you that the weather in Chicago has improved; flights were cancelled yesterday! Enjoy your homecoming and please share more, More, MORE!! One question that I’ve had all week is: is there an organization to send clothes, shoes, etc. through?? Thanks again!
    Elizabeth & Family, NEW sponsor of Irene Nabwire in Uganda

  7. Tricia says:

    I thought you might like to know that I have been following this journey you and BooMama have been on! What an inspiration!
    My kids and I picked a little Haitian girl from Haiti. You can see her here…
    We’re thinking of now picking a boy my boys ages. How can you see those faces and not find a measly $32 extra in the budget?
    (I’m going to pop over and tell BooMama too, we’re just sooooo excited!)

  8. Julie @ A Joyful Life says:

    Thanks for the link to Shaun’s video, it’s very moving. I would LOVE to visit our little girl in Kenya.
    SO glad you’ll be home with your loving family soon. Praise God for safe travels for the team!

  9. Jill S says:

    I’ve loved watching your journey. We are praying about being a sponsor. Which “villages” did you see or which one does you little boy live in? I have so many questions! Glad you are back in the USA!!!

  10. Dawn says:

    Such beauty in the midst of poverty.
    It’s been a blessing to me to follow your trip and I am looking forward to sponsoring a child or two really soon. 🙂
    Welcome back to America!
    God Bless,

  11. CraftandBake says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have followed your posts, as well as the other Compassion Uganda bloggers throughout this past week. We are now, as of last night, sponsoring a 12 year old boy named Denis in Kenya! Thanks for sharing so much of your trip each day!

  12. Linda Sue says:

    Shannon thank you so much for posting – I’ve been haunting the blogs since y’alls last posts in Belgium – this is going to be a hard habit to break – checking every few hours to either laugh, cry or sit in astonishment at the beauty and misery of Uganda. Trust you won’t freeze when you get to Oklahoma – we have had some weather since y’all been gone!

  13. Lightening says:

    Wow – you’ll never be the same again after this trip. Thanks for sharing so much with us. What a wonderful idea of Compassion to take a group of bloggers that can then share their experiences with so many. I’m really enjoying reading what you’ve been through and about these people. We have 3 sponsored children through Compassion Australia but it never really feels like enough.
    Enjoy your reunion with your family. It can’t have been easy to be separated for that time.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have so enjoyed reading your account of your trip. My heart has been softened and I am looking forward to how God will choose to implement my willingness to do more. Thanks again.

  15. Mommy Cracked says:

    Wow, what a powerful video. It’s just shocking, yet the ending gives me hope. I’m so glad you are almost home and with your family. Hang in there…almost there!!

  16. Kris says:

    You addressed some of my thoughts in your last post, I have been reading and have been touched but these are some of the honest questions that popped into my head:
    How do you feel standing there with your camera that costs more then these people earn in a year and still feel compassion at the same time? You wrote that the kids and the moms loved seeing the picture, and that’s great, but still, does it feel strange?
    Also, I’m guessin you’re all traveling with laptops, things these people will never own. How does that effect you?
    And one more ‘practical’ question: are all of the kids in say the village or town you were in available for compassion international sponsorship? Do they know who is sponsored and who isn’t? Does it cause hardship amongst the community?
    Please don’t take this to be judgemental, I’m just asking you for some maybe not so pleasant information that you certainly wouldn’t see advertised anywhere, sometimes people don’t like to talk about unpleasant things, so I understand if you don’t address it.
    Thanks for listening anyway.

  17. Gego says:

    Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red, Yellow, Black and White, they are PRECIOUS in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.
    Learned that as a child, and it is true. Even with trials and tribulations for adults, Jesus loves the little children.
    So glad you have your footsies planted in Chitown, back in the USA.
    If absentee hugs work for you, I am sending you bunches. Glad you are home, almost, to receive the real ones. Love ya bunches, Gego

  18. Fiddledeedee (It Coulda Been Worse) says:

    I’ve been following your posts. I’ve been so moved I’ve been speechless. I KNOW! Me. Speechless.
    I’ve never really seen poverty up close before. It’s so far removed from my life. I’m really reflecting on what it means to be “rich.” And by the world’s standards, we are the richest country on earth. And we don’t even have the good sense to know it.
    I can’t even put it into words yet. But, I’m so blessed by you and Sophie, and your account of this trip. My eyes have been opened.
    Welcome home, sweet girl!

  19. David Seruyange says:

    I think I’m the first Ugandan to see this so I’ll quote the Bible on our behalf.
    Matthew 5:3-5 (NIV)
    3″Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    Before you feel too sorry for us know that while the amenities of America may not be within reach, not only has Christ not forgotten us but we are blessed.
    Thanks for the blog posts, and thanks for caring for Uganda.

  20. Erin in Chicago says:

    Oh! Its cold, and the wind is blowing in Chicago tonight and its hard to imagine somewhere where the sun is so bright and the faces shine like these…THANK YOU for your willingness to go and to speak for these people and this mission. I signed up last night as a sponser…thank you for reminding me of how blessed we are & that much is required of those who to whom much is given. I encourage you in your homecoming with these words from Acts 18:9 “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you…” May God continue to give you guidance and direction with your gift of words for his glory and the care of his children…

  21. Dot says:

    Those children are soooooo beautiful! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It’s a privilege to be able to read about your trip.

  22. ukrainiac says:

    (I’m wondering if Kleenex has had a jump in purchases!)
    Shannon, thanks for your beautiful writing — your attempts at sharing what you have seen with your own eyes — so that our hearts might be stirred, our worlds turned upside-down, so that we might see our world, our blessings, our struggles, through His eyes.
    God bless you. And enjoy your family!!

  23. misi says:

    I have never been to a foreign country for a missions trip but I have thoughts on your questions. You can’t feel guilty about your blessings, i.e. money to buy laptops and computers. The Compassion group was not exploiting the people of Uganda they were there to rasie awareness..
    Anyhow if you are not appreciative of your own blessings then you are rejcting Christ because He is who has given them unto you.
    That is like saying how much you hate your body, the body that He gave you. That is being plain out ungrateful and disobedient.

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