Friend of Water to Thrive Rebecca Buell joined executive director Susanne Wilson on the Uganda vision trip that took our travelers to visit projects and partners throughout our service area. She shared these thoughts near the end of the journey.

As we ride down the bumpy Ugandan dirt road clothed in a blanket of stars, I can’t help but think back on the 11 villages we’ve visited visited over the last two days. Visit after visit I am humbled by resilience, strength, and grace. Growing up in an American culture where “abundance” means an excess of material things, I am struck here by this new version of abundance encountered on this trip to Uganda.

Here, I witness people giving thanks for walking 10 minutes for water instead of the four hours they used to walk before the new well. Here I am aware of how I take the gift of clean water and a running faucet for granted. I am stunned and awed by the gratefulness I experience, the man who says “our old women are crawling on their knees happy for the gift of water” and the woman who said “I lost my job four years ago, but I thank God today that I have the gift of life.”

Abundant. What does that mean? Jesus said, “I came to give you life and that more abundantly.” Does that imply the excess of shoes, designer purses, or exclusive zip codes…or does it mean something deeper, something beyond humanity and closer to the spirit? As I drive home among mud huts, warmed by blazing African bonfires with a blanket of stars warming my soul, I am left pondering the meaning of abundance. I think of the celebrations of the gift of water today…and I think perhaps my abundance paradigm has been missing the mark all along.