Rachel Hamilton

Author | Writer | Traveler | Child of God | Kiwi Girl


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Below the surface. 

I have only been in Uganda three weeks yet so much has happened. 

The more I dig below the surface of the Ugandan culture, the more I see how deeply kind, caring and inspirational they are. 

A few days ago I had the privilege of going on a slum awareness tour. I had mixed feelings about going, I didn’t want to go and be the rich westerner that looked down in pity, then went home and forgot about them. 

But as we walked into the slum, I suddenly felt God’s presence, he was here in this place. 

Children ran past us and we greeted them with smiles. Women came out of their homes and waved. As we walked along I was aware a group of young boys were following us, but didn’t think much of it. 

We stoped by a house and a little girl came out with her brother and sister, we took photos. All of a sudden there was a commotion and our tour guide Syrill took off running. One of my fellow volenteers had had her phone stolen from her hand. 

Suddenly people around from everywhere, upset by what had taken place. We were guided to a seat and waited. Finally after a few minutes our tour guide came back and said “you will get your phone back within 30 minutes. This is Zebra and he has told the theif he has 30 minutes to bring your phone back. 

Zebra is a famous boxer who has come back to his country to train and inspire young men to become champion boxers. He had set up a network in the slum to control the violence and crime in the slum. 

While we waited for the phone to be returned we went to Syrills orphanage he had started. We meet the children and he took us to the school he runs for over 58 children. It was no more than a few planks of wood with a roof. He told us that when it rained the children can no longer study so they are unable to study as much as they need too. 

It was in that moment, I knew I wanted to help restore and build the school. 

Then before we knew it,the phone had been returned, safe and sound. 

We returned home feeling inspired and deeply impacted. 

To understand a country we need to look beyond the beauty and touristy parts and look deeply in the vulnerable places. What a great honour it is when we are gifted the opportunity to see the brokenness. 

The slum which I visited is home to over 500,000 people who live in extreme poverty, children raising children, women selling their bodies just to buy food for their children. People dying from HIV and AIDS. Children left alone. But in this darkness there is light, wonderful people like Zebra, Syrill and many more who are using their own painful experiences to do amazing things. Teaching, providing homes for the orphanaed, feeding the hungry, spreading God’s love and light. Though Christ the hopeless are receiving hope. Here stands greatness. They are God’s hands and feet. 

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My New Normal. 

I have been in Uganda just over a week and I am still struggling to put into words how deeply Watoto has already impacted me.

How do I describe how wonderful it is to have a life long dream come true. 

For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of working with children in Africa.

For a week it has been my reality.

Yet I feel so unworthy, why was I chosen to hold, love and help care for theses priceless children. 

I honestly don’t know. 

But when I hold these beautiful babies, look deep into their eyes and see hope from pain. I cry. Tears of hope. I see a God who rescues, redeems and lifts the forgotten to a mountain top.

My days aren’t all hugs and kisses. They are dirty diapers, babies who don’t want to eat, tears, cleaning and aching arms from rocking a tired baby to sleep. But right now there is nothing more fulfilling or wonderful. 

 


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To One Afraid To Stand Out.

To the one who is afraid to stand out. So afraid that you’ll say the wrong thing. Darling, you will say the wrong thing sometimes, and that’s ok. There will always be someone more talented than you, braver than you but no one can ever be you. You can never be replaced. Don’t lose heart.

Growing up I was the girl that was unbelievably shy, I wasn’t adventurous, I struggled to communicate. I couldn’t connect with people on a deep level because I was so afraid to show the real me. I went through most of my childhood feeling disconnected. I felt broken inside, I couldn’t imagine that God could use me in any way. I used to spend hours praying that God would change me, make me anyone but me.

God did not answer that prayer. He said he was going to use me, insecurities and all.

He took the shy girl, the girl who didn’t want to stand out and placed me on a mountain top. He turned my pain into tools to reach those around me.

God continues to teach me to embrace the lonely road, to not be afraid to speak up, stand out.

Life gets better.

Sweet friend, God has wonderful plans for your life.

Please keep being you.

You are brave, destined for greatness.

 

 

 


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This Moment. 

Just over 2 months until I step foot in Uganda Africa. 

So many nights I lie in bed, overwhelmed at the thought my dream is coming true. 

Tonight I am so tired from working a 10 day shift,  work is busy.

I remind myself it will all be worth it. 

Every dollar counts, every dollar means I hug, care for and love a beautiful baby.

Each day I cross one more job off my “Watoto preparation list.” 

I am so blessed to be given this time, this season in my life when I can pack up and go on life changing adventures. 

Singleness can beautiful if we allow God to use it.

I can live in the moment and give 100% of myself to what God has called me to do. 

I must not miss out on this wonderful time by wishing for things I do not have. 

To love and cherish this moment, this stage of life must be my goal. 


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Redirection Not Rejection

Do you have a dream to reach people online, be part of a ministry, write a book, blog.

I want to talk to you.

4 years ago I wanted to be part of a ministry. I wanted to write articles, blog and be part of amazing organizations I saw on social media. So I contacted ministries who were looking for people and writers.

I sent wrote and sent articles. But I always fell short. I received emails saying my writing did not meet their guidelines.

Then there was my spelling and grammar, I’m that annoying person who struggles with knowing the difference between your and you’re.

Sometimes I didn’t even get an email back.

I was so disheartened.

But God was speaking to my heart, create your own platform, reach people from where you are.

Ummm but God…..

“Step out in faith”

Ok.

So August 2012 I created an online ministry, to encourage those waiting on God.

4 years on, God has given me the amazing privilege of reaching over 30,000 people a day, through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and my blog.

My posts may not be the most polished, well-written words, but God is using me, incorrect grammar, shortcomings and all.

Maybe God is asking you to step out in faith, maybe those rejections are pointing you to do something you never dreamed of.

God sees your willing heart and he WILL use you!!

He honors the willing heart.

 


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Next Stop Africa

As I prepare to move to Uganda in December this song holds so much meaning.
So many moments in my life are adding up to the moment I step foot in Africa.
Years of nannying and childcare will help me care for these darling babies.
Years of dreaming about Africa and feeling God’s quiet voice say “I’m sending you to Africa just not yet.”
I can’t believe this desire of my heart is coming true.
Even the smallest details God has taken care of.
Everything is falling into place, God is providing for all my needs.
A chance meeting on Instagram connected me to a girl who is going to volunteer at Watoto the same time as me.
Did God do that? I know he did.
Airfares cheaper than I thought they would be.
God at work again.
Truly overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness.
Friend, God sees the desires of your heart and he is faithful.
He cares about the smallest details.
Even the sparrow knows, He holds tomorrow.


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Uniquness

 

I pray you are not ashamed of the real you.

I love genuine people comfortable with their own crazy.

Daily I am falling deeper in love with my crazy.

Some people are not going to get you, but darling trust me, someone is praying for someone like you.

The older I get, the more I am embracing the things that make me, me.

We dont have to justify who we are to anyone.

God has made you to stand out and shine, and darling you do it so well.

Keep shining, your uniquness is wonderful.

Please dont believe the lies that you have to change to loved, wanted, chossen.

Christ created you as a one off work of art with such a great price.

Darling your crazy makes me me smile, I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Online Friendships

For the past three years I have run an online ministry. I have had the huge honour of reaching 1000s of people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Receiving hundreds of emails, becoming  friends with people all over the world.

The friendships I have made through my social media ministry are not random. God has handpicked each one of you to be my friend.

So much kindness you have shown to me.

All the love and support I recived from you all, when I published my first book.

The year I was very sick and found out I have Rheumatoid arthritis, you lifted my head and give me strength through your kind words and support.

When I share  personal things from my heart, I receive such wonderful messages saying how much my honesty meant to you.

So thank you, with all my heart for your kindness and support theses past years.

Maybe you are reading this and you haven’t been friends with me very long.

I am so thankful we have become friends and I look forward to the years to come.

My friends, I treasure you. ❤️


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Empty.

Empty.

That’s how I feel. Unable to give encouragement and support to those around who I love so dearly.

Unworthy to be thought of as someone great. I am no woman of faith. I want to strengthen those around me but I feel I have nothing to give.

So I hide away, keep the struggle to myself.

God can’t use me in my broken place, people want to hear words of comfort, words of hope, they can’t see me like this.

I have so many beautiful hurting friends they need me, I can’t be fragile like this.

I hate how my pain has overwhelmed me.

I hear people tell me to be a witness, do my part to bring God’s hope.

I have failed.

I am a wretched mess on the ground.

Jesus, help me see that in this broken place you can use me.

Lift my heavy shoulders and help me see the light.

Hold those who I can not hold right now with your love.

Let me understand that in my weakness you shine brightest.


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Trust Issues

Jesus.

I blame you for not stepping in. I shouldn’t but I hold you responsible for my pain.

I’m sorry.

Deep down I know that you are the one that holds me in the darkest hours.

You helped me up when the abuse left me a shaking mess on the floor.

You held me when the shame of my kindness and love was rejected by the one not worthy of it.

Please understand I don’t like this  chasm my trust issues have created between us.

I’m trying to build a bridge.

This darkness holds me apart from your loving arms.

I read my bible but the  words can’t penetrate the wall I have built.

But thank you, Jesus my hope and peace is that you understand how I feel, you felt rejected you when you hung on the cross.

You understand that pain makes us hurt the ones that love us the most because we know they will care enough to come after us.

I see you destroying chains of pain that hold me back.

Words can’t describe how thankful I am for a God who understands my feelings when I can’t understand myself.