Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 4: Opportunity on the Horizon

Today I feel my eyes are starting to become opened to the opportunities within the orphanage, as well as the local community.  I had an amazing conversation with William and Patrick today.  We discussed their vision for the orphanage and their 5 year goal to become 100% self sufficient, I'm optimistic this can be accomplished in much less time than that.  The conversation was filled with excitement and confidence.  We are going to continue discussing ideas together as well as seeking outside council from the others within the community. 

Just outside the orphanage, we met a young single mother of two who was out of food.  She is 22 years old and was abandoned by the father of her two children (2 beautiful little babies, Ayisha 1 and Kirstin 3).  Unfortunately this is not uncommon here in Uganda.  My heart was really touched by this young woman’s situation, and of course we couldn’t let this young family go without.  So we escorted them into the village to purchase them some groceries to sustain them for a few days. Please take notice of the amount food that was purchased for only $7.50 USD for produce, meat, rice, cooking oil, and charcoal. This would probably cost up to $25.00 if purchased in the US.

As we were walking through the village, I started noticing all of the young mothers just like the woman we were with.  Sadly most are uneducated and cannot financially afford to provide for their children.  I asked William if there were currently any programs within Bulenga that offered a hand up for people that were down on hard times, the answer is no.  There are so many people I have come in contact with that you can see great potential in their eyes, and yet they don’t have the life skills or support to help assist them out of poverty.  You can see that most of these single mother’s carry a lot of shame, as it is a reality that people do talk poorly and make accusations about them. Just as mothers in the US, these women want the very best for their children, there is such as sense of failure that comes with not being able to provide food, clothing, and shelter for your child.  This is real life stuff, but I'm confident there are solutions that can be created to help assist these needs.

Out of this observation, I have began thinking about the possibilities of developing various programs to help single mothers get on their feet, along with men that are out of work.  Their dignity and hope needs to be restored, but it takes a willing heart from others to stand in the gap to help serve and reach out to these men and women

How cool would it be to see a local mission being built for women and a separate one for men.  The Bulenga community would greatly benefit from similar models just as the ones we have back in the states.  We have seen and heard the success stories that have emerged through these programs such as Hessed House and Wayside, so why couldn’t we implement the same model here in Bulenga.  Perhaps coming to see this actually being implemented is a far off dream, but it is most definitely an opportunity to consider praying about. 

We are planning to meet with the local Chairman this week to discuss and explore future opportunities that would bring impact to the community of Bulenga.  Please join me in prayer that my eyes continue to be opened to the endless possibilities that surround this community.

Tomorrow I plan to share my heart with you about the children and all of the wonderful progress I am seeing since my last trip two years ago.  I will also share more about sustainable living and how we can help make a difference.  Thank you all of your prayers and love.  Good night from Uganda!

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