Overwhelmed Yet Encouraged

So many times I have felt in over my head since we began this project. Today that old familiar feeling was back again. It makes my faith grow by leaps and bounds, as I am very aware that it will not be through any of my expertise that success in this project is achieved. The enormity of delivering on the jewelry order we have received is just plain overwhelming. On the plus side, the order was just increased. On the flip side, we are challenged to be setting up a business in a simple village, with limited access to supplies, and little experience. With poverty overwhelmingly prevalent everywhere we look, the opportunity to help these women, and the school their children attend, is a powerful motivator. I think I am learning as much, or more, than the village women.

Tonight we were encouraged! The upcoming president of Jinja’s Rotary Club has agreed to help with oversite of the school. He will even help bring in another couple of volunteers to make up a team. We will have a pastor, a successful business man, a man managing a supply chain, and an educator. They will work with our headmaster and our accountant/project manager, giving them the accountability we can’t from across the ocean. We love seeing Africans help their own, and feel privileged to have played some small role in providing the stimulus for this to happen. We are honored to have this oversite board.

The women in the bead group from Masese (there are 2 groups, one from Masese and the other from the Kirimajong village) told me their stories today. I took each of their pictures, asked a few leading questions, and then let them tell me their story. As I watched their faces, and listened to their words, I became more and more aware that I can not begin to comprehend their lives. They are just women, like all other women, but their experiences and challenges are very different than anyone I know. Smiles still light up their faces, and the hope they feel from the prospects of money for their jewelry overshadows the reality of the words I am hearing. We simply must make this work! These lovely ladies deserve more than they have been given. I took each one’s photo and plan on telling as many of their stories as possible to as many people at home as I can.

The saga of this jewelry production endeavor is still pretty intense. Can’t find the paper we need, it takes too long to get it cut, and we haven’t enough time. At this point we are still unsure of the final outcome, except that if God got us this far, He must be planning on getting us the rest of the way. Got to count on that, at the same time as we are scrambling to deliver what has been ordered. This is a test we can’t fail, as too many desperate lives depend on us.