I’m currently in London, en route to Uganda, via Kenya.

My primary purpose is to assist a dear friend, David Ochoa, who asked me to come and help pack up his family’s home in Jinja. You may recall that David lost his sixteen year-old daughter, Talitha, to cerebral malaria earlier this year while serving vocationally with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) to minister to children in the region. As part of the family’s continued healing process, they are now staying ‘home’ in the USA and are seeking the Lord’s will for their next steps.

David left Texas and traveled to Uganda one week ago…alone. I can’t imagine all the emotions that he has grappled with over the past seven days as he has spent times of solitude in the home in which his dear daughter laughed, wept, and prayed.

There’s a mish-mash of feelings swirling around in me now also. I’m excited about seeing one of my best friends, of being present to show him support and love. But I have a certain amount of trepidation about being in the house again, devoid of the activities of a family whose love burst from its walls. A home full of boxes instead of dreams for Africa. A cold stove instead of brown rice steaming on one of its burners. A place of stillness instead of children running around to kick balls to one other.

…An empty sofa where Talitha would snuggle with her mama to read God’s word.

I’ve been there three times before, twice after Talitha’s passing.

This time will be the hardest.