Sunday, August 14, 2011

Prisoners Do Have Skills

We greeted the O/C (still don’t know what those initials stand for) and described the vision John and I worked on together for developing a self-sustaining training program. The O/C was thrilled, and then he asked me for a computer so his workers don’t have to walk to town to create the required government reports. If I had a shilling, a single shilling for every request…

Gathered in the tiny chapel, the prisoners began shouting out their trade skills once they caught on to the vision. They didn’t even wait for us to ask. They just started shouting (in very quiet Luganda): carpenter, cobra (shoeshine), and on the list went. Then someone shouted tailor. John almost jumped up in the air when he heard that…he was shocked. God is so good. I just knew someone was there and that what John was feeling was a bit of hopelessness…why bother asking. Our work together has been giving him new ideas and new passion for teaching trades to these people and it’s been giving me blessing beyond imagine. To see these people excited and hopeful about training and skill development…yea God!

As we exited the doors of that cement building, John lifted a fist in triumph! He is so excited about his revelation today. He said, “That was quite a surprise!” We’ll work together to create a program and then launch that program during next week’s visit. The program will include a variety of different skill development activities and the prisoners will choose their area of interest.

On the way home (to Robert’s house) from the prison, I challenged John to think about developing a formal vision and mission statement along with long- and short-term goals just like what we did with Ibanda. He asked me to think about what that would be and bring some ideas next week… “Oh, no you don’t,” I thought and said, “This is your project, John and I know you will be the best person to create and fulfill that vision.” He began feeling a bit scared that it would not succeed but I have every confidence that this project is God-designed and that he will make a big difference for these people.