Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jacaranda Creations Leaders

Linda, Brenda, Sarah, Gertrude, Leslie, Pauline, Lucy (not shown)

Linda assists Sarah with production and in ensuring orders are organized and shipped on time. This is the first time I met Linda and she seems very smart and quick in all she does. She flitted from task to task getting many things done during an open house tea Jacaranda hosted. I look forward to getting to know her more on future visits.

Brenda is the founder and director of Jacaranda Creations. She manages not only the business but also the ministry of Jacaranda...and Jacaranda is a ministry. Brenda spends time getting to know each individual, she prays for them, she finds creative ways to meet unusual needs, and she's always being a wonderful model for all those growing through this ministry. I love learning from her about the realities of business as mission as well as keeping ministry the main thing. 

Sarah is the “one woman” who joined with Brenda to begin helping the people living in the slums of Kenya and I had the opportunity to spend some time learning more about her work. She functions like a production manager for Jacaranda and Sarah taught me about the processes she uses to get orders sewn and prepared for shipping by the various branches throughout the many slums in Kenya. (Sarah also speaks Luganda so I feel a little bit of home when I can great her in this way.) We put a few simple systems in place to help her be more effective.

Gertrude is the office manager and she really has a passion for learning, particularly office skills. Gertrude manages the cash flow, inventory, and a host of other administrative functions. She’s quite proficient on the computer using QuickBooks as well. Yet all of the women need more training to see how the whole system works, what happens when one piece breaks, and how to anticipate the consequences. I love the opportunities God puts in front of me to use my particular skills to help others learn.

Pauline is the women who struggled with me to get access to an online database where child sponsorships are recorded. As soon as we got access the power would go out or the internet would go out and we’d have to start at the very beginning again. We must have done that at least 10 times on Thursday. Pauline picked up on how to use this new system very quickly. For now we’re doing a bit of debugging on the tool created specifically for Jacaranda but I’m very confident that Pauline will have everything ship shape in no time. Pauline also speaks Luganda (yea).

Lucy (Not Shown) works part time for New Song church and Jacaranda Creations. She was only in on Monday this week so I didn’t get to spend much time with her during this visit.