According to Webster’s dictionary, a dreamer is defined as one who has ideas or conceives projects regarded as impractical. Someone whose plans are not based in reality.
Well lets just say that if I had a nickel for every time I have caught myself dreaming up some wild vision for our world or wondering what the future is going to bring, I could completely fund projects for children with disabilities in every country in Africa.
Perhaps, its a virtue and a vice, but I innately set my heart on tomorrow, while there’s a world passing by right in front of me. I envision big things are somewhere off in the distance, but what is happening right here, right now?
Life in Uganda has an indescribable way of grounding me back to the present moment.
It was a hot and exhausting Thursday afternoon and I was working in the village of Gweero. My mind was fixed upon the 12-hour journey to Mbale Hospital we were taking the next day as well as the bigger picture of how to service all of these children in these villages in the most efficient and effective manner.
The leader of the clan in the village was directing us to a new child. His name was Mohammed and he was four years old. Mohammed presented with Cerebral Palsy, coupled with extreme malnourishment.
I literally caught the shivers in the hot, African sun when the Mother told us that her child had survived on glucose and water for the past 4 years. He never developed the muscular strength to breastfeed and the mother had been instructed to drop water and glucose down his throat to nourish her emaciated child.
The Father then explained how in Mohammed’s four years of life he had never seen his child smile. He did not know how to hold his son. He did not know how to stop his constant crying. He was simply waiting for his child to die.
I was at a loss for words. My mind was racing back to how I was skeptical to go visit Mohammed that day because I was caught up in the many things that were going on tomorrow and the following weeks and months. Yet, I was tripping over the present moment in how to adequately help the family right in front of me.
I simply took a deep breath and began to provide education on nutrition and how different foods have various vitamins and nutrients to help children develop and grow. We also provided a demonstration how to feed Mohamed with his numerous muscular and neurological impairments. We provided them with encouragement, dry milk powder, bananas and bottles. We are also transporting Mohammed to Kampala to receive nutritional care this week.
Its so easy to be drowned down by unanswered questions. To fear the dark before dawn. To see the future with a grim outlook. But therein, lies the drastic difference between hope and despair.
Hope. Its finding strength when all the world seems lost or when all of the odds are against you. I searched deep within to be a beacon of hope to this family because their perseverance despite so many obstacles in front of them grounded me back to why I’m over here in Uganda. The gift of hope is the total vision of Imprint Hope in a nutshell.
Yes, I’m a dreamer. I dream far off dreams that might seem impractical, irrational and somewhat crazy. In my blindness, searching and weakness, I see those wild dreams on the move in the village families right in front of me. For through my blindness, I find a vision. In my worry, I find a stillness. Through my searching, I find answers. And in my weakness, I discover freedom.
Yes, Webster’s Dictionary, dreams may be unrealistic and irrational, but with every next step, lets continue on a road to find HOPE amidst the unpredictable course of life’s journey. Hold fast to those dreams. They liberate us to BE hope amidst the storms of this life.