J and R

There are a lot of people out here on the interwebz, and it’s pretty hard to know who’s who and why we should listen to them. I have that problem myself – information overload.

Let’s take today’s news. Just today’s.

* Grim search for remains in debris of jetliner shot down over Ukraine* Leak reveals “aggressively Islamist” agenda in schools
* Thursday night’s fireball was probably a small meteor
* Microsoft to slash 18,000 jobs
* Scientists name water mite species after J-Lo

Yeah, that last one hung me up for a minute, too. Is that supposed to be a compliment? Wow, first world problems, huh?

So the fact that you’re reading this and wanting to know more about Ten Eighteen leads me to assume that you want to know something about the who, why, and how of the whole thing. I would.

I’m a wife, retired homeschool mom, writer, business owner, 5th generation Floridian, North Carolina resident, lover of all things water and boat related, gardener who enjoys finding fun ways to be self-sufficient (like making my own yogurt and shower scrub), and most importantly, a Kingdom oriented Christ follower.

That last is why I founded Ten Eighteen, and why it doesn’t look anything like I thought it would. We can have our own ideas, but we should make sure to be open to HIS, since it’s His ideas that will both satisfy our hearts and advance His Kingdom. So while my idea was that we’d probably work with missionary friends in Zambia and Thailand, God took me to Uganda in 2009 and we’ve never looked back.

Why Uganda? Well, there are the obvious answers.

* 3 million orphans in a country of 33 million people
* A median family income of about $500 a year for most of the country
* Only half of children attend school* Disease, parasites and HIV/AIDS sicken kill many
* Street kids without family roam all over the cities.

Clearly, it’s a nation that needs all kinds of help. Jobs. Health care. Education. Mosquito nets. God.

And we do a lot of those things. Every day.

In the 5 years we’ve been privileged to work in Uganda, I’ve had more people than I can count say things like:

Why don’t you just help people here?
Don’t you know there are poor people here?
I’m going to give MY money to kids (or cats – true story) HERE.

To which I say, “Great!” Because it is! I mean, you have a limited amount of money (if yours isn’t limited, please give me a call!). You need to put it where your heart is. For a Christian, it’s where God leads you. And my only answer to those questions (well, not my only one, because there really isn’t a comparison as far as depth of need) is that God led me to Uganda. It was basically a fluke that I ended up there – but there are no flukes, coincidences, or accidents with God.

Bottom line, He sent me there. And then he proceeded to knit my heart to the people in such a way that separation is physically painful when I think about it. It was My Place. It always will be, no matter where else I go or what else He calls me to.

So why should YOU care? Well, all of the needs above are real, true, urgent needs. I work in the slums; trust me, the need is great. It’s so great that it can overwhelm you with your inability to address it. You could move there, work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from now until death takes you, and there will still be overwhelming need.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t start. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Is Uganda the place where your something is? I don’t know. Some people look at our website or blog, visit me at a booth or fundraiser and hear my stories, even go with me to Uganda and walk the slums, and leave untouched. Uganda isn’t their something. But some people…

I got this text this week: I found [your blog] after lunch. Spent at least an hour reading and praying and crying. LOVE it! My heart has been so touched. The blog adds so much to the experience on the site. God has really touched my heart for these people and I am as excited for the Bible translation as well!!

Uganda is her something. It’s my something. It’s all of our donors’ and staff’s something.

Is it yours? Please check out this site and let the Spirit have His way. If Ten Eighteen isn’t your something, that’s ok! It’s out there, and God will lead you to it.

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