So you know what happens when you decide to quit your job?
You get $2000 in car repairs.
Your vacuum breaks.
Your well pump bites the dust.
Your washing machine just ups and leaves you.
It’s almost as if someone is saying: “Are you sure about this faith thing? Are you REALLY sure?”
I’d be lying if I told you the thought of contacting my former boss didn’t cross my mind. That money would surely come in handy. I was even made aware of two part-time music teaching jobs. I could easily do that. And earn some extra money while having a few days off.
But you know how I know this faith thing is real? Those opportunities weren’t a “hell yes!” And remember: If it’s not a “hell yes!”, than it’s a “no.” So off to Africa I go, and I know God will help me work it out…
Can I just tell you how encouraged I was by all of your “likes” and responses to my last blog post?! I have really been flying under the radar for some time, and it’s so wonderful to know that you’re still here cheering me on! Thank you, thank you! Some people have asked what I’ll be doing in Africa. (No, I’m not moving there.) This question is always so hard to answer, because I never really know. There’s a certain amount of flexibility required when you go. I will be going with a team who are coming from all parts of the States, and we will be working with a group called Sole Hope. Sole Hope offers hope, healthier lives and freedom from foot-related diseases through education, jobs and medical relief.
Jiggers (a parasite) are a huge problem in this part of Africa. Many children do not have shoes. Jiggers burrow into feet and lay an egg. One egg turns into many eggs and egg sacks. Over time, the eggs mulitply and destroy the soft tissue; the resulting wounds are prone to infection and disease. They’re also quite painful, so children can evenutally lose their ability to walk and play. Children with jiggers are often shunned by their community.
I first heard of Sole Hope a few years ago through Jaime Ivey’s Happy Hour podcast. I was intrigued, so I hosted a shoe cutting party at my church and we cut denim uppers for shoes from old jeans. We sponsored each pair at $7 each. This pays for the soles of the shoes, which are made out of recycled tires. And it pays Ugandan men and women a fair wage to make the shoes. When I saw that they were accepting applications for the 2017 “experience trip,” I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring.
We will be staying at the Sole Hope guest house in Jinja, Uganda. At this point, we’re meeting online as a team monthly. We’re assessing the skills of the group and working with those strengths. Children with severe cases of jiggers, or those who live in far away villages stay at the Sole Hope Outreach House. We’ll be hosting a VBS camp for those kids while we’re there. Hopefully I’ll be able to utilize my general music skills there. We have lots of other fun things planned! We have a few nurses on our team, so we’ll be participating in a jigger removal clinic. We’ll have some down time too, where we can explore the town of Jinja and the Nile River. Jinja is a hub for various ministries, so I hope to see more of what God is doing there. I’d especially love to see the Amazima School, led by Katie Davis.
I’m leaving in October (6th through the 17th) and so many of you have asked how you can help.
I have a large container that I’ll be bringing with me and I need to fill it! Items could include: deflated soccer balls, ball pumps, jump ropes (especially the longer ones for playing double-dutch), frisbees, chalk, board books, TALL BLACK SOCKS – all sizes, nail polish, art supplies, crayons, coloring books, face paint, tie-dye kits, etc. If other needs are discovered, I will let you know. And if you have other great ideas, please let me know!
One of the greatest needs we have are Care Kits. Each child who is treated for jiggers goes home with a new pair of shoes and a Care Kit – these kits include items such as gauze, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, etc. – all of the things they’ll need to care for their feet at home. You can purchase a Care Kit for $20, which will give you all of the information you need to host your own Care Kit party. It also includes sponsorship for 10 kits. If you make kits beyond the 10, sponsorship is $2 for each additional kit. Sponsorship allows Sole Hope to include other items that would be cheaper to buy in Uganda, like soap and buckets.
I haven’t done a whole lot of fundraising for this trip yet, but I do have a small amount that still needs to be funded. If you feel like supporting me in that way, I would certainly appreciate it. All donations to Sole Hope are tax deductible, and don’t forget that you’re helping local Ugandans by providing them a fair wage for their work – look at these beautiful faces! You can find my support page here.
And lastly, I covet your prayers. For protection, and for eyes to see what He sees.
If you have any questions about Sole Hope or this trip, please feel free to comment in the comments section.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17