So many blessingsRich Stigall
From Stephanie Brown (Vision Trip Leader)
Well our team has now been home from Uganda for 4 days now, and we are slowly crawling back into the land of the living after recovering from the jet lag. This time has allowed me to reflect on the last evening of our trip, when we held our closing meeting with our team.
Our time in Uganda was wonderful, and very different from alot of other “short term missions trip” that we have done. We very much had an opportunity to dive into the local culture and immerse ourselves in it. To really understand what is important to the people and how we can come alongside them. And do you want to know what we discovered? My comment at the end of our meetings was, “Wow, they really don’t need us.”
And this is in one sense true, and in one sense false. It is true, that of course they need us for guidance and support to help them get started in caring for orphans. But I was really blown away at how much once they get a little “boost” how much they are really doing for themselves. For example, in Kabale they are already raising chickens, goats and pigs, which they will breed and then begin to sell as part of becoming self sustaining. And now that the community has a vision for what it looks like to take care of their kids in their community all kinds of other ideas are sprouting up. And in that sense, our support at some point becomes minimal and they really begin to flourish. And it’s not just individuals that are flourishing, it is the entire community. At several of the sites, the entire community is allowed to use the well on site at the homes. And everyone who uses the well comes over to visit. And the whole community benefits and begins to see that caring for orphans is not a burden, it’s a blessing. And furthermore, they really want to take care of these hurting children in their communities.
Which is of course, the whole point. We want to work ourselves out of a job. We do not want to create dependency and hopelessness, but we want to empower the local community and show them the Greatest Hope. It was the most encouraging thing I have been a part of and to actually see it happen was almost mind blowing. We know that we will continue in prayer for our friends and cannot wait for our return trip to see what “new things” are springing up. To everyone who has continued to be a part of and support The Global Orphan Project, let me bring you many thanks and greetings from The Father’s House. They are so thankful to have friends that can walk with them on this journey and that would be impossible without the support you have freely given.
I will leave you with one final thought. The site in Lira is right next to a Compassion International site. A lot of the workers and children were peeking over the fence, curious to see what we “muzungus” (rich people) were doing with the kids at The Father’s House. So they all marched over, and as Rose was talking to one of the staff he commented, “I have never ever seen anything done like this before, and it is really great.”