Real Worth

struggling with blogging

 

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.

bead making

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”.

happy Growing Tree kids

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.

cooking class

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.

A recent bride in WOW fashion

Sometimes we equate worth with wealth; a Ugandan woman might respond to “worth” with reference to her bride price of so many cows or acreage in banana trees. Learning new skills and setting up businesses may bring income to the lives of the women but has it brought more worth? An incident occurred this past week to have me ponder what true “worth” is. A parent came to the nursery school to register his child for school. He pulled out the only bill he had, a large 50,000 shilling note, took the 40,000/= change and said he would be back the next day with the child. The child never showed up and repeated attempts to call him proved futile. Later I took took the crisp new note for change at the the bank, feeling good along the way that I had enough in my pocket to do the days businesss (50,000/= UGS is about $25 USD). Imagine my dismay when the teller told me the bill was a fake. It was worth nothing, yet it looked so real! (I can think of four other incidences in the past 2 years where I have received fake money.)
 

A real 50,000 Ugandan shilling note is worth about $25. Unfortunately fake bulls, like this one, are common and only add to peoples misery and poverty.

 

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

 

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About womenofworthinuganda

Established in Kmpala, Uganda, Women or Worth (WOW) networks women in urban poor communities to develop skills they can use to enhance their home life or to generate needed income. In the process supportive friendships, hope and faith are planted and nurtured.
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7 Responses to Real Worth

  1. B says:

    Oh mom, I love you. I just got a huuuge swell of homesickness as I read all that. I’m so proud of you to take up yet ANOTHER selfless endevor.
    You’re awesome, mom.
    I can’t wait to see you in three weeks.

    • Your words touch my heart. I am speechless.
      I want these 2 weeks to sped by quickly (a week has gone by while I figured how to comment back to you!) so you can work the quirks out for me in blogging. Hope you’ll be up for writing a post!

  2. Geri B Carey says:

    Beautiful and informative !!!!!!

    Blessings on you all daily.

  3. Michaela says:

    What a heartwarming introduction to your everyday life with WOW, Uganda.
    Doesn’t it say “black am I but lovely”! And its HIS love, in that we women find our own loveliness and discover the true beauty He has gifted us with. Greetings to you this way from your European friend, kind-of-daughter & sister Michaela.

    PS: I’m excited to read, that a class in soap making is about to start!
    Makes me smile …

  4. I read this weeks ago and thought I had posted a comment! Your first entry is beautifully and lovingly written and I hope you can get to the point where you enjoy posting because you are a wonderful writer! Let people know that the first months of postings can be found at

    http://www.womenofworthuganda.wordpress.com

    so they can read the back entries about your work with WOW. Love to you!!!!

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