Saturday, November 29, 2008

though there are some tribal conflicts here in uganda, there’s still a very strong bond of community. i see it in the way that neighbors care for one anothers children. it’s evident in the way that if a friend is sick, they pick up the slack. there’s proof in the way they sit together, talk together, laugh together, mourn together. i feel as though they have a much firmer grip on what it means to be in community with one another than many of us in the West do.

as i was reading this morning, i came across this verse that really caught my attention. as soon as i read it, two things came to mind. one was a conviction that i need to be serving and caring for others more than i do now and the other was the thought that many people in uganda have got this down. i feel as though many of them understand more about sacrifice and surrender than i may ever know.

“we know love by this; that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

1 John 3.16

just before this verse in 1 john, there is this verse…

“the Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

1 john 3:8

maybe it’s a stretch but here..

if we are Believers and the truth lives in us, then the Son of God resides in us also. and if that’s the case then that means that [to an extent] we bear the weight and responsibility to destroy the works of the devil. if we are to be holy like He is holy, then i can’t help but believe that we were placed here to bring truth and shed light in the dark places…to edge out the evil in circumstances.

what a pleasure it is for me to be around the Suubi women because if nothing else, i can gain an infinite amount of knowledge about destroying the works of the devil from them. the works of the devil definitely include famine, drought, disease, lack of education and depression…all things that are common here in uganda [and the rest of the developing world].

the women of suubi are taking a resounding stand against the devil by working hard on their necklaces on behalf of their families and the futures of their children. through this job, they have an income. because of their income and hard work, they are able to fight against the evil that the Evil One has so slyly put around them. they are able to provide food and shelter for their families and school fees for their children. the have hope that change can come to their lives. i see it in their faces whenever we buy from them.

[buying from irene - a new suubi lady]

hoping that all of this makes sense, i thank you for reading. i pray that you’re able to find your ‘suubi women’…that you’d find an inspiration for selflessness and hope. may your days be filled with the same kind of hope that these women are filled with.

Monday, November 24, 2008

i want your voice.

“poverty is so hard to see when it’s only on your tv or
twenty miles across town where we’re living so good.”

when we walk out our front door in america, we may see a car and green grass and smooth roads and smell fresh air but lets not forget that not everyone in the world is so fortunate. it’s a hard reality to face but in America, even with our messed up economy, we really do hold the potential to do so many good things in the world

being in the presence of one of the women in Suubi is always an adventure. their senses of humor…their facial expressions…their odd phrases…their gratitude…their gentleness…their perseverance…their example…it’s all priceless. over and over again, i’m humbled by their hospitality and kindness. hearing stories about their past, their families, their struggles, their hopes and their desires is such an encouragement to me. it’s my hope and honest prayer that when i am back in America, they will stay with me. not for the sake of having memories to keep in my head and heart but so that God may use the stories of these women to challenge and encourage the hearts around me. these women work harder than you could ever imagine for Suubi and their families and every necklaces sold in America really does make a difference in their lives. it’s a joy and blessing to be here with them in uganda.

“more than just your cash and coin,
i want your time, i want your voice.”