There is a saying amongst those ex-pats who live and work in Africa (doesn’t matter where, either!): TIA. This is Africa.
This is used to explain, well, just about everything, because what you realize quite early on is that virtually nothing goes how you think it will, when you think it will, where you think it will. Flexibility is key, because without it, you are going to be more frustrated than you’ve ever been in your life. (Even with it, you will face those days when you just want to smack your head into the homemade brick wall nearby.)
As you know from previous posts here and here, I was invited to go to a refugee camp on the border of the Congo. With that came a trip to Arua, and the likelihood of setting up a second Ndoto co-op there. Well………. That’s not happening now. Just a couple of days ago, we had to cancel because of some unexpected things that came up on my friend’s end. I was very disappointed, and spent some time trying to decide if I should go to Arua on my own, at least for the co-op. In the end, I was leaning against it, because it would be 3 days (2 full days of travel for 1 day there) and way out of my way.
Meanwhile, God was working. Isn’t He always?!
I started following an organization on Instagram called Rowan (Rural Orphans & Widows AIDS Network). On Thursday, they posted to see if anyone was going to Uganda in October or November who could bring some Christmas ornaments back for them for their sponsors. I said I could, and started emailing with Kelsey, who is in Colorado. On Friday, as I was having my quiet time, I had one of those God-inspired moments, and emailed to see if they would be interested in an Ndoto co-op. We emailed back and forth a bit, and set a phone meeting for last night.
It was amazing! They’re doing amazing stuff, and it has grown very similarly to Ten Eighteen: organically, seeing needs and meeting them, with no agenda other than God’s purposes. I’m going to go to the village, Bugiri, which is about halfway between Jinja and Tororo (what a “coincidence,” huh?) and stay a night, meet Pastor Paul, and figure out a co-op for 3-4 ladies. Who already sew. On recently donated sewing machines. Yeah.
Rowan has recently started partnering with Sole Hope, who works to eradicate jiggers. I have been following them for a short while on Facebook, but when Kelsey mentioned that they had recently partnered with them, I went to their Facebook page and asked where they are. Guess where? Jinja. Yep. So I’ll go visit them, as well.
In short, *our* plans may change, but God is still working to connect His people to further His Kingdom. We just need to go where he’s already working and plug into what He’s doing!