Monday, September 21, 2009

So Many Options…

I met some people today (Saturday) who welcomed us like Kings! The entire village seemed to come out and welcome us with a song and dance—young and old, men, women and children…we were treated like royalty!

They shared with us the reality of their situation in this remote African town of Nebbi. They have many orphans, not much opportunity for employment, but they have a LOT of natural resources, and some good ideas. One thing they do NOT lack is vision!

As we listened, they explained their plans for making a Mango factory, using the labor around the village and some property which had been donated, along with the natural resources of the Mangos. This area is STUNNINGLY beautiful, and there really are opportunities…

They also shared how many in the village have taken children in because of parent deaths due to AIDS and war. Amazing and staggering!

When we went to see where they were thinking of the Mangos, we saw their goat operation (great idea—they have several goats and give out female goats to widows—to provide for their children—under one condition: the first female that one has, they must give to someone else—in this way, they’ve gone from 4 goats to 18 in just over 1 year, and have blessed many!

Again, they are very resourceful and very dignified people. The fact that many have been forced out of their homes by decades of bloodshed and war causes them, at times, to live in clusters of thatched huts. Educated, skilled farmers who once had land and a profitable farm are now living, eating and sleeping all together in a hut the size of most of our large bathrooms!

Another stop took us to a boarding school, at which dozens of kids among the 100 students are AIDS orphans, and are sponsored. Their building (2 story brick), serves as a High School for these kids. They don’t have walls and windows…yet…but they DO have plans!

There are so many choices. They ALL deserve help! Combining would make sense—and they are open to it…but what is the wisest way to go? How can we get our churches involved in ways that make sense, but are not too lofty—at least for now? Sponsor a child at the school? Sponsor a goat? Buy a mango making machine? Many choices.

We need wisdom, and guidance from the Lord as to how to best do this…but one thing is for sure: We need to do SOMETHING! We cannot simply sit in our part of the world and say “not my problem…I have to make my loan payments!”

I believe the Lord is waking the Church up to the world around, and is calling us to Repent for our self-centered lifestyle, and to get busy helping our neighbor…even the ones in Nebbi!

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