“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
― Corrie ten Boom
In the last six weeks since I've been back home in Uganda, the above quote has never held more truth. I've always been a strong, independent person, who took everything life threw at me and held onto the faith that there is a reason for everything that happens and that good will come of it. When I take in account the hardships of my life last year, and all that I happened, I truly thought I'd never make it through, let alone see God's faithfulness in all of it. But as I look at the progress of my ministry out here in Uganda, the hundreds of lives that have been impacted and the progress of my own walk with God, I can wholeheartedly say that I am thankful and blessed. Each trial has taught me, strengthened me, and given me more perseverance then ever before. Every step helping me love, give and truly impact here in Uganda.
The Women's Ministry is going strong. They were beyond excited to have me back here with them. They were each able to get a larger sum of money from the sales of their products, and each were able to do amazing things with that money. They fixed up their homes (buying cement and sand, since their homes were previously made of mud). They bought solar panels for their homes, beds, bedding, tables, and chairs. Since they come from such poverty, these things were considered and still are, a luxury. They paid off their debts, and also are able to support their families needs. Happy bought a cow and a bike for her children. Alice also bought a bike so that the children can get to school quicker.
The women were able to truly use their own hard earned money to buy things for themselves that they never thought possible, and was only a dream. It has been so rewarding to sit down with them individually, and teach them about financially budgeting, but more importantly recognizing what is a need and what is a want, and learning how to make long term purchases, instead of short term ones. Everyone that has purchased the women's products, and will continue to do so, are a part of each of these women's lives. YOU are impacting even if you are oceans away. We are excited to start working on our 2018 collection, that will be out in the next few months. We still have some product in GA and MI from our 2017 collection, so if you're interested, feel free to contact me. Of the nine different products made last year, we still have some Bead Bags, Clutches, Headbands, 22' Decor Pillow cases, and Drawstring Knapsacks remaining.
The women were also blessed with five more sewing machines and each of them received a goat for sustainability. All a BIG THANKS to Codin Barbu from LA!! The women can't wait for the goat mating season, LOL! Something I do not want to see nor hear about unfortunately, because goats scare me, hahahahah!
The teams were such a critical hand of help in the weekend program I have with kids. They helped with our medical care in two different villages, our Kids Feeding Program and invested and loved on so many children. It was truly such a big impact that will bring about change for years to come. Because of their love and generosity, five more children from these villages were sponsored to be in school for the next two years. For those interested in sponsoring a child to go to a local school here in Kabale, please contact me. There are so many children that deserve an education, and though we are not at the point to give it to them as they truly deserve (I'm hoping to have one build possibly next year), there are a few local schools that can provide that for now. The cost could be anywhere from $10-$20 a month, varying with the age of the child and whether they receive lunch or not. ,
Our Construction project in the village of Bugira is progressing. It's amazing to see God's strength at work through not only me but so many people here locally. I prayed and continue to pray for God to bring along the right people to work with, that are honest and won't try cheating or stealing. Unfortunately, Uganda has a lot of people that will look at my skin color and do anything to take me for a fool. Their conception of white people is that we're loaded with money and every resource under the Sun, and that we owe them all of it. Though most days are hard for me with this, I push through because I know they don't know any better. Lack of education, social skills, poverty and so many more other things, has kept them in this cycle of belief. So I push through because I've experienced first hand that when you educate them and broaden their thinking of what is actual reality, breakthroughs comes through and deep down they have amazing hearts and that just want a better life.
We've been able to provide over 30 jobs as of now, out on this construction project, paying locals more than what they would make if they were even able to find a job. We give them lunch every day, and provide medical care, clothes and shoes as well. They are so proud and happy to be part of our ministry. Last week they were like, we need a shirt or uniform so that people know we work with you', LOL. It melted my heart, that they have such pride in what we are doing, and are willing to work hard to be part of it. (you can check out our FaceBook page for more pictures on the construction progress)
A lot of hard work was poured in but we had a bit of fun in the capital. I got to show the guys how I get around in the most compact and traffic jammed city. It rained on us, but I think it was a great first experience for most of them.
I'm so thankful to each of the volunteers (Sorin, Sam, Daniel, Mario, Dimi, Codin, Daniel and Eddie) and grateful for their giving hearts. I pray God's biggest blessings pour into their lives! I'm excited for all those that will be coming to help us continue our projects out here, and am hoping that each person comes with the right heart and intention to sew seeds of love and give an open helping hand.
The last six weeks have been a blessing, all because people like you, from all over the world, sent financial help. I am daily surprised as to how God provides for our every need. It is not easy living by faith, but it is rewarding. I don't know what it would be like for me to go back to a steady income and a normal life back home in the states, because I wouldn't really know what living by faith meant. I've been so blessed to be on this journey, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, not even when I'm stressed or completely exhausted from the long days of work. God is so great, and merciful and never ending in his love for us, I hope that through this you've been able to see a small glimpse into our lives here and are encouraged to give and come out and serve.