Two weeks in and I’m at the halfway point of this Uganda trip. Here is what is happening,
Construction on the latrines for the pigmies began last week. The process for finishing this project will take a little longer than originally planned. In fact it probably won’t be finished before I leave. We’re applying for assistance on the project with one of the local banks that offers grants for clean water projects. That way, if accepted, the grant will retroactively cover the money we put into the project so we can focus our funds on building the foundation of what we’re trying to accomplish here in Fort Portal.
Creating unity around what that focus should be has been the most valuable progress we’ve made so far. With all the different things we have been doing since I arrived Robert and I both got the sense that we were spread to thin. We sat down and cut away all the excess of activities and narrowed it down to who we really want to be as an organization.
First, providing a future for the children who live in our home and surrounding areas is a priority. I'm not just talking about making life temporarily easier for them but empowering them to alter the course of their own future as well as the future of their communities. We want to be a part of raising up a generation of children that are going to make Uganda a better place to live.
Second, we want to give hope to women by creating jobs and providing training so they can have their own self-sustaining businesses. We want to turn prostitutes into successful entrepreneurs. This is the next phase. We’ll start with a few women making products that we will sell online. During this time these women will be paid well for their work and trained to start and run their own local businesses. More details about this next step for RUJA will be laid out on March 6th at the Boise International Market. This has been part of the vision since day one and I’m excited to see it on the verge of being realized.
My favorite part of the trip so far has been spending time with the kids. I’m learning the local language thanks to their quizzes and study sessions. We play soccer nearly every day I’m around the house. I think my favorite is that they ask me to pray with them every day, at least once.
In their eyes, everything they have is a result of prayer. Everything. Experience has taught them that all good things come from God. Shelter, food, and shoes are things they have gone without. They prayed. God provided.
It makes me realize that my prayers that God has answered over the last couple of years weren’t just my prayers. They were the prayers of kids I had never even met before. They were the prayers of Robert and Milly. They were the prayers of the prostitutes who will soon be entrepreneurs. God is weaving a web of grace, hope, and redemption. I’m just thankful that somehow I was caught in it.