Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Who says?

Who says you can't be a blessing to children in Uganda from your living room in America?

A few weeks ago on my blog, I explained how my friend, Lauren, decided to contribute to Dwelling Places. She's been making/selling these purses (<---click there to go to the website and order! :) 100% of the money ($20 per purse) goes to DP. Thank you SO much to everyone who has ordered one so far....when you wear it, don't be shy--please spread the word about the beautiful children at DP and encourage others to get involved (sponsor a child, buy a purse, etc.)

[Lauren and her adorable son.....he doesn't do the sewing, but I'm sure he cheers her on :) ]

The money has been accumulating in my bank account, and I've been waiting for an opportunity to use it...the opportunity came this week!

I found out that some of our kids were unable to go back to school on Monday (here in Uganda, the holiday break lasts until Feb.) Why did they have to stay behind when the rest of their friends went back to school? Because they didn't have sturdy shoes that the school requires of them (they were either lost, stolen, etc over holiday break.)

I checked my bank account and had the PERFECT amount (thanks to everyone who bought purses!) so that was all the confirmation I needed. One of our staff members went into the city that same afternoon and used the money to buy shoes for the kids.

Because of your generosity, those kids were able to start school today instead of sitting around for a number of days wishing they were studying again. The kids were SO happy when I told them about Lauren's purses...I gave them a serious talk about how they MUST be responsible with these shoes because God has provided them (and someone in America spent HOURS making purses to make it possible :) They nodded in agreement and clapped enthusiastically when they found out they'd be starting school today.
[The kiddos!]

Please let this encourage you--you CAN be a blessing to children in Africa even without traveling here. One small, creative idea may spark a way that you can get involved with ministries like DP even from your own home.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Now that I have seen... [Rwanda]

Now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead.

I will tell the world,
I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them,
Brooke Fraser//"Albertine"

Singer/song-writer, Brooke Fraser (you may know her from Hillsong United) traveled to Rwanda and met a young girl named Albertine, who was orphaned by the 1994 genocide.

Brooke was so deeply touched that she wrote a song to share with the world...I am echoing her thoughts: "I will tell the world...." I met a young man who miraculously survived a very violent, bloody event during the genocide. One of the most moving, powerful testimonies I've ever heard. And I've been sharing his story with friends/family back home, co-workers and friends in Uganda, etc. Sharing such stories (especially through the use of media) is a great reminder about the world that exists outside of our bubbles...With his permission, I hope to blog again soon and share his story with you all.

This music video was recorded in Rwanda, and having been there two weeks ago I absolutely loved watching it. I hope you do as well!

(Random side note: 2 minutes and 28 seconds into it, you'll see a bicycle boda. I rode on the back of one through the gorgeous, Rwandan countryside. The hills were a bit scary, but I got some great photos and Flipcam footage! The first two photos below were taken while I was on the back of the bike...)

Two young friends, fetching water in gerry cans...not an easy task, especially in heat.

10,000 people were murdered here at this church during the Genocide.
Today it is a Genocide memorial site.