It’s hard to believe I moved to Uganda over 5 years ago. The past 5 years I’ve experienced incredible highs and the lowest lows. Through it all, God has sustained us. That much is certain.
I moved here as a single man with 12 bags of dental supplies and a vision for transforming lives through quality, compassionate dental care in an area of the world it was missing. 5 years later, I’m married to the woman of my dreams; have 3 strong, healthy sons; and am blessed to work alongside 22 talented Ugandans in transforming lives through quality, compassionate dental care.
Our team at Hope Smiles is not perfect. But we do come together each morning with a common purpose: Transforming lives through quality, compassionate dental care in an area of the world It otherwise would not be available. Daily we point each team member at Hope Smiles to a vision larger than any of us. Collectively, we have a simple (but not easy) goal each day…use our gifts to bring hope to a world desperately in need of it by staying faithful to our calling each day. Dentistry is a vehicle to bring desperately needed hope to the world.
It’s funny. I used to think I was a good leader before I moved over here. Now I realize that was not true. Each passing day teaches me more, yet the more I learn I become more aware of all I don’t know. That’s scary, but also freeing. It reminds me we are just getting started on this path. There is so much need, and In spite of my big dumb ego, Hope Smiles is better than ever. Our path is long, but it’s also true.
Somehow, God has sustained us to this point. 22 dynamic Ugandan team members and 1 guy from the United States. 12,263 lives transformed by Hope Smiles Uganda teams in 2017. Most of all, bonds have formed that can only be forged while trying to create a new path in the world. A better path. We work shoulder to shoulder and learn from each other. We have seen lives transformed as we commit wholeheartedly to a better world.
Today, more than ever, through Hope Smiles you are developing teams led by locals that provide high-quality dental care creating generational transformation. It’s really happened here in Uganda, and it’s an incredible testament to God’s grace.
It’s time I share what we are learning with you. Our team here at Hope Smiles is committed to sharing the stories you help create here in this space. We hope they encourage you wherever you find yourself in the world!
Our path is narrow, as it takes discipline and humility to come together in spite of our different backgrounds…but it leads to a broad life. We have seen God come through so many times, and you should know how He’s sustained us. Our faith is stronger than ever, and we truly believe we are just getting started!
It is my hope what I share here will encourage you in your daily life. What sustains us here in Uganda at Hope Smiles can only be attributed to God and the love he has defined for us through Jesus. Certainly there are lots of technical skills, policies, protocol and procedures involved. But all of that is united under a united theme: Loving God and loving others with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This defines our lives. As we makes this journey together, we strive to learn about God’s faithfulness as we make our way along the narrow path.
This narrow path we speak of is simple, but not easy. Hang around us for a day and you will hear that a lot! Journeying along this narrow path means simply keeping our heart focused on the only thing that eternally matters to us: God’s love as revealed to us through Jesus. We have to resist the temptations to make it about us – how I look, my reputation, my comfort. God has defined love along this path as sacrificial. Do it for Him. He has done it for us.
This is a path we will never completely understand, yet we know we must stay faithful to it. As we commit all that we are on this journey, we have found we will be AMAZED at how GOD comes through. The narrow path means losing our life and finding it in Him. We rely on his faithfulness each day. Simple, but not easy.
Each day, we begin again. What God is doing in us on this journey is more important than the destination. As we allow God to shape us daily, the results take care of themselves. So we push on.