Does more struggle for something give it more worth? If so, this blog will be very valuable to me. I have ranted and raved, said things I shouldn’t have said, given up and walked away, prayed for electricity and inspiration, tried until I swore I would not try again . .. until at last I actually have a post! In the process my admiration for Cate Frazier-Neely has soared. She generously gave of her time and energy to initiate and run the blog for the past year (past posts can be which can be veiwed under a slightly different username womenofworthuganda.worpress.com)
Has the struggle been been worth it? I hope that we can journey together in a give and take of thought, observations, opinions and even crafts as we explore and discover what brings real worth to our lives. Most of my examples will be taken from everyday life of Ugandan women that I live and work with in Kampala, Uganda.
WOW (Women of Worth) evolved in response to urgent requests I so frequently got from women convinced that the chance to earn some income would be the answer to all their problems. I had no employment to give them but together we explored income generating possibilities and became fairly successful with a few. What I discovered was that jobs and income were not the most important contribution to these women. Instead what was most uplifting to them were the relationships built and the hope instilled by sharing faith together. A sense of identity and value was added to their perception of themselves.
To review some of the activities of of WOW I’ll begiin with the morning hours when The Growing Tree (the name we gave the house we rent to meet in) is a buzz with 18+ pre-school children noisily playing and persuing their “studies”.
By 2:30 pm women are arriving for training in either sewing, computers, or bead making with an additional class in soap making about to start. Life Skills/Business is a helpful supplement to all the the other classes. Friday is a particularily fun day with inspirational Bible teaching and a cooking class using our own homemade oven.
In my home, a couple minutes walk from Growing Tree, WOW has a bridal shop filled with gorgeous wedding dresses donated by women in the UK, Sicily and USA. The hope is that as the bridal shop takes off it will create other job opportunities – cake baking, catering, decorating, gown tailoring, videography, tent rentals . . . possibilities are really limitless given hopes and dreams. A major step will be to move from my house to a real shop location.
In WOW we emphasize that as much as we struggle for skills, education, wealth, positions, occupations . . . they can give a false illusion of what is truly valuable. True “worth” is a trusting relationship with Jesus Christ that opens up a whole new way of living life.
“Turn my heart towards your statutes and not towards selfish gain. Turn my heart away from worthless things; perserve my life according to your word.” Psalm 119:36-37
“You are the stabiility of our time, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. Fearing you is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:6