Ashley Nicole Photography | Columbia SC Newborn and Family Photographer » Ashley Nicole Photography is an on location, natural light photography studio specializing in family, child and newborn photography based in Columbia South Carolina.

uganda was the change in me | the archibald project {media mission photography}

I’ve been thinking about this first post about my recent media mission trip for the entire three and a half weeks since I left Christ School Bundibugyo in Western Uganda.  It has not been easy transferring back into normal life and the thought of writing about my time in Africa always overwhelms me to the point of putting it off another day.  There is just so much to share and I’ve struggled with what parts to share first… I don’t want to come off selfish or puffed up, but I feel that to do justice to what God did there I must first tell of what He did in me.  It has not been easy to wrap my mind around His love and faithfulness, but as I finally sit here to write my first thoughts on that time, all the fear is fading away….

God has been good.  So good… not just in that time in Uganda, but in my whole life.  If you know me, you know I’ve been desiring to return to Africa since I was there in 1995 as a wide-eyed and naive 17-year-old.  Now, having been given the opportunity to return and having to wait 20 years, I see that God had such a plan in that… I could NEVER have gone and been able to interact and love the precious teens at CSB at any other time in my life. God knew that.  He had been molding and shaping me for such a time as this.  And I am profoundly grateful for the waiting.  I have experienced so much in those 20 years that has equipped me to be the woman God needed me to be in my time there.  What’s funny is that I didn’t even see the ME I was in Uganda until my team spoke truth into my heart about what THEY saw.   I was given so much hope for the woman God had made me into and the truth from these new and dear friends encouraged me so much.  They spoke of an undivided heart that serves the Lord and my family and those I am with in that moment (psalm 86:11), of a God that has filled my heart with a greater joy than I could imagine (psalm 4:7-8), and that I am the Lord’s delight (psalm 37:4-7a)… these words spoke such a truth to my heart that God had been speaking to me all my life and I could not hear until that time.  It wrecked me in the most amazing way.

I think my heart had to be wrecked by being there with the teens of that school to hear that He loves me and to believe it.  I was learning so much about love and joy and grace through the stories of these children. They had stories of tragedy and loss and pain and yet they were so full of joy and love.  They were not sitting in their circumstances paralyzed, like I would have been, but instead seeing all the grace and love and support the Lord had placed them in… it was such an amazing perspective of God’s love and it softened in me a place to allow that love to reach my darkest corners of self-doubt.  I started to see everything differently… everything was sweeter… everything had His hand in it… I could see that He is moving in and around me in amazing ways.

In the coming weeks I’ll be posting more stories from my time in Bundibugyo, but I felt that first I needed to tell the story of my own heart so you could taste and see how wonderful and transformative is our God in this world.  I’m so thankful that I found this amazing ministry of The Archibald Project (click to read more about who they are and what they do) and I KNOW it was a divine appointment that I found them when I did.  I will forever be grateful.

 

here are just a few images from my time… so many many more to share in the weeks ahead… (below pic of me taken by one of the co-founders of TAP, Whitney Runyon {instagram: @whitrunyon} and edited by me.)

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  • Tiffanie Easter - Hi Ashley! I loved these photos and my heart lept while reading your story about your visit to Uguanda. My husband and I are new to Columbia and we are looking for a family photographer! I would love to have you photograph our family.ReplyCancel

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