“The day was filled with miracle after miracle.”
That’s what my friend Tabitha told me on the phone the other day. She was calling from Uganda, where she’s doing some prep and planning for the work we’ll do when she and I – along with several others – go back in a few months.
For those who aren’t familiar with my work or my story, Tabitha and I have been on a mission ever since she read an article in a Ugandan newspaper about a slum where young women are trapped in a cycle of poverty and prostitution, selling themselves for the equivalent of 30 or 40 cents.
At the time she read the article, we were already planning a trip to Uganda – her native country – for a series of leadership encounters. We made arrangements to visit with some of these young women while we were there, and our hearts broke to see the kind of life they – and their children – were living. We have been working ever since to get them out of there and into a place where they can live and work with dignity and respect, in jobs that will pay them a decent wage and allow them to provide for themselves and their children.
Among our first projects are a poultry farm and a sewing center, and these are what we will be focusing our time and resources on during this next trip. Some things are already in place and ready, but many more are still needed. Quite often, as soon as we take one step forward, new problems and obstacles come up that knock us more than a few steps back. It can be disappointing and discouraging, but we keep on going because, well, how can we not? These girls are counting on us. Not only are we unwilling to let them down, but we are inspired by their trust, determination, and all the work they have already done to help us get these projects up and running.
We are also inspired by the concern they have for each other, and the way they look out for one another. On more than one occasion, we have seen them give up opportunities for themselves in order to help someone else who was more in need. And when Tabitha had to tell a group of them recently that we didn’t yet have enough money to purchase chickens for everyone in the group to get started on the poultry farm, they immediately started brainstorming ways to make it work, even if it meant less income for each of them individually.
That same day, several other roadblocks and obstacles, which seemed insurmountable at the time, got resolved in unexpected ways. That’s what prompted Tabitha to talk about a day full of miracles. It doesn’t mean all our problems are solved, or that we’ll have smooth sailing from here on out. But it’s enough to nourish our faith, replenish our hope, and reignite the love we have for the work we’re doing and the people we are helping.
And isn’t that what miracles are made of?
February 23, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018
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