Changing the World

Nobody has ever mistaken me for Indiana Jones. I am not a thrill-seeker, an adventurer, a risk-taker, or a storm-chaser. I’m a normal, everyday person who’s lived a pretty normal, everyday life.

But for 2-1/2 weeks in October of 2011, I found myself in Uganda, where I spoke to business leaders, teachers, and church groups about believing in their dreams and being fearless in pursuing them. I assisted in presenting leadership encounters to students, church leaders, and members of different communities. And I visited with a group of young women who are trapped in a cycle of poverty and prostitution, living and working in a muddy slum not far from Uganda’s capital city, selling themselves for the equivalent of 30 or 40 cents.

I returned from Uganda determined to do something to help these young women build a better life for themselves and their children. Along with organizations and individuals from both the U.S. and Uganda, I am working to develop a safe and sustainable environment where they can live and work, providing for themselves and their families and contributing to the surrounding communities.

I also continue to visit and speak with adults and students throughout Uganda about finding the gifts and talents they have been given, and about ways to use these gifts to improve their own lives and the lives of others.

When people ask me how I ended up going to Uganda, I don’t really know what to say, as there was nothing in my background, my education, my training, or my bucket list that was pointing me toward the continent of Africa. Yet I felt a calling, and I discovered in myself gifts of determination, compassion, faith and fortitude that compelled me to do what I knew had to be done.

Along the way, I realized that one determined person really can make a difference in the lives of others. And a small group of people working together on a common goal can, indeed, change the world. You can, too.