Monday, May 20, 2013

Community Care

Red clay fills the gaps between tree branches that form the structure called Juliette’s home. The hot sun bakes that clay until it cracks and eventually returns to the earth. She and her two young daughters stay in this home, both of whom were too fearful of the muzungu to appear in the photo. Juliette uses a modified bicycle/wheelchair to navigate the hard clay earth. She is just one of many individuals Christ Fellowship International and Pastor Moses cares for. I was introduced to Juliette and asked for advice about how best to help her without creating dependencies.

Pastor Moses quickly caught on to applying what he learned in the workshops to offering Juliette aid. What skills does Juliette have? (tailoring) What can Juliette and her girls contribute to society as a way of “earning” gifts of food from the church? (sweeping, setting up chairs before service) How can the church assist Juliette in setting up a small business or working for someone in a small way so that she is actually earning what she is given (tailoring, grinding maze, storefront attendant). I look forward to seeing how Juliette’s life and the lives of those in the church are changed because of the way they see God in work.

Can you guess what this is? New Hope Nursery & Primary School operates in this “building” and its leader is a member of Christ Fellowship International church in Kamuli. During our lunch break, Pastor Moses showed me to this building and we met with the school director to discuss some advice on how to grow and develop the school. I’m constantly impressed by the big dreams people have for their children. So many people – Americans – wouldn’t even bother starting something if this was all they had. Instead passionate families come together to do at least SOMEthing for their children. Focus tends to be the main feedback offered in such situations as when spread too thin it’s hard to do everything well. An hour or so later, we returned to the church with a director who was energized about how to develop the school using the little resources he has. I look forward to seeing of any of the advice offered comes to fruition and actually impacts the school in a positive way.