Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Last night Jesus woke me up and we had a conversation that went like this:
He said "stop it - you can't do this anymore."
"what can't I do anymore? All this burden and hurt can't be me - I thought it was from YOU I thought you wanted me to carry this load for YOU."
"you are mistaken - didn't I tell you that my burden is light and my yoke is easy? you put your hand to the plow but turned around to look for me - when all along I was right in front of you. I already gave everything just to be with you and you did not have to continue to look - just be with me."

Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

He's been pursuing me like crazy and I made it my goal to pursue these things (ideas) for Him. At the end of the day when my husband and family aren't here, when tukula is done, when my hopes for people and my future aren't there - He is. It's just me and Him - "Just to be with you, I've done everything. There's no price I did not pay. Just to be with you, I gave everything - Yes, I gave my life away. Just to be with you."

He wants us - ALL OF US - Not just what we do for him but He wants our every thought, our every relationship, our every deed, our families. He wants to meet us everywhere...even when we run hardcore against the wind - He IS the wind.

"but Lord, what about my happiness? You said Your burden is light but this is going to HURT."
"It IS light - even when you are carrying a heavy cross I am there to carry it with you. I told you that if you search for happiness in the world you are missing the point - you will never be able to be WITH Me if you are still looking behind."

James 4:3-5
And even when you do ask, you don't get it because your whole motive is wrong. you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can't be a friend of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the Holy Spirit, whom God has placed within us, jealously longs for us to be faithful?

All this is still sinking in and I have been crying out a lot and just praying and wondering and we're still leaving our apartment in 4 days and we're still leaving the country in 11 days. Somewhere during all this I think God called me to be a disciple and I said yes...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

on earth as it is in heaven...

Friday, February 19, 2010

"The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world.. all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them." -Muhammad Yunus

In the past few weeks we have been learning a lot about africa and the west and how they connect.

I read a comment by an african that said "Thanks for your help Bono, but you could help us better in getting us industry and income generation. We don't need the aid. It's killing us and enslaving us instead of helping us. $610 billion in 30 years didn't work. Why do we need more? It's time for plan B."

Now, I definitely don't think Bono should be the only one blamed because seriously who in the public eye is really giving africa a chance instead of pumping money into them? I have thought several times about the old saying if you give a man a fish vs. if you teach them how to fish...and I've thought about the whole hand up instead of hand out and have been very vocal about how I think we can better africa but I am learning more and more that we just need to LISTEN.

I think we so often forget that most african countries are young. Uganda became independent on October 9th, 1962. It is 48 years young - I think we need to let africa discover things on there own...but I think we need to encourage and inspire - giving opportunities and knowledge...just like our parents and leaders give us.

I so often think about hand outs - now I believe the intentions are good - but how does that help the family? how does that not leave them with dependency and thoughts of "the white people will take care of it". I believe we have allowed a lot of people to abandon their responsibility as a parent and as leaders. we are the outsiders coming in and LEAVING them with dependency and broken ideas. I would like to think of us as all equals..but how is that even possible when we have the ability to come and go as we please throwing around ideas and money and getting more out of it all than the people we intend to help. Oh if only we had Christ's eyes. oh if only we were more aware that people aren't puppets and toys...If only I knew that Africa isn't my playground.

Let's remember that our actions are extremely important, our intentions although good are not always right and let's continue to question charity and also lets continue to pour into people through one on one relationships - not just through pity. Let's give love not guilt money. We have spent 30 years failing africa not helping...something's got to change.

These are just my thoughts and opinions though.
I don't know what's best...I'm just going to try and listen better.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"It's not personal, it's business." - Joe Fox
"Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal. " Kathleen Kelly
(you've got mail)

I think it's weird how the corporate world has gotten so big and impersonal that we had to create a different movement called "fair trade" or "social business". Why can't all businesses see the importance of bettering the lives of not just consumers and buyers but also the betterment of whole communities of people who need an opportunity such as the "western market". Shouldn't that be what it's all about - bettering the lives of everyone around the world...around your office? To me..that equals success..not the amount of money in your bank account. But should we just be buying things from "social businesses" because they have a story behind them? Should we really just buy more crap so that we can feel good about our purchases and the people behind them? Sometimes I wonder what in the world am I trying to accomplish with Tukula? Nobody needs new clothes. I don't want to be a part of the consumer world, really. I just want to create beautiful garments (because I really love fashion) and inspire my friends on the other side of the world to create their own opportunities along with allowing them to see that they are WORTH my time and are respectable young ladies. But for all this to work I need consumer to buy the garments that my friends will tailor. It's like a circle that I don't know how to get out of. How can I help people without having to rely on the western consumer world and it possible? Joe and I were really excited when we thought about selling our clothes in Uganda as well as the US and UK. We thought - we did it...we figured out a way to do this. But in all reality we will be making the most money in Uganda but Western Tourists. At the end of the day we were back at square one. And I can't help but wonder if there is any way to do this better. Can I be a better steward of my time, resources, and ideas?

Maybe I will just end up giving in to this consumer world just for the betterment of the young women I hope to serve effectively. Maybe I just need to swallow my pride and do this for them and them alone...because after all they are my ultimate priority. But rest assured friends I am still striving to find answers and new ideas. please continue to question the standards with me and let me know what you come up with. : )