I’m one of those people who still makes New Year’s Resolutions, and they’ve always been the subject of one of my columns each year – a practice I plan to continue with my blog. When I sat down to write this morning, I was all set to write about my resolution to deal with “unfinished business” – projects started but not completed, unanswered email, and some boxes and bins that still haven’t been unpacked from our move. But then I got a phone call from Tabitha.

Tabitha is my friend from Uganda, with whom I have traveled there four times so far. We are working to provide a better life for women who are now trapped in a cycle of poverty and prostitution in a slum near Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Our plans and projects include poultry, vegetable, and fish farms, where the women can earn an income while providing nourishing meals for their children and themselves, and a sewing center where they will be making personal care items, diapers, and clothing, as well as school uniforms and book bags for children in the surrounding communities.

When we first started working on this Miracle Village, as we were calling it at the time, we knew we didn’t have the knowledge or experience necessary to make this dream a reality, nor even a fraction of the funding we would need. But we didn’t let any of that stop us. We stepped out in faith more often than we ever stood on solid ground, and our plans moved forward. “Slowly by slowly,” as Tabitha likes to say.

We’ll be going to Uganda again soon, and our call this morning had to do with many of the details that are still to be worked out. As usual, we had more questions than answers, but we know that answers will come by the time we get there.

“Our goal for next year will be to raise our faith,” Tabitha said shortly before we hung up. And by the time we did, I knew I had a new New Year’s Resolution: To raise my faith.

I should mention that Tabitha is probably the most faith-filled person I have ever met. I have learned much about faith from her, and I know my own has increased greatly thanks to her. I also know that faith is not just the religion we practice, and it’s not simply something that we believe. Faith requires action, and – like our muscles – we need to actively exercise our faith in order to strengthen it. Faith means trusting that God is at work, and then moving ahead with what we know we have to do. Even if we don’t know exactly how to do it. Or how it’s going to end up. Or how we’re going to pay for it.

That’s where we are now as we prepare for our next trip, during which we’ll see several hundred donated sewing machines, as well as fabric, yarn, and other supplies delivered to the sewing center, and 3,000 egg-laying hens arriving at the poultry farm. It’s pretty exciting, but with a lot of work still needed, as well as a lot of money. And a lot of faith.

So that’s what I’m going to be working on in the New Year – although I still plan to get to all those unfinished projects at home, too. In the meantime, I am working to raise awareness and interest in our projects in Uganda, a country I have come to love. I am working to raise some desperately-needed funds so that we can complete those projects. And I am working to raise my faith – enough to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that when I’ve done all I can, God will do the rest.

December 29, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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