Sunday, November 27, 2011

What are you thankful for?

This long weekend here in the States, besides being shopping madness, is Thanksgiving. Technically that was Thursday, but sometimes it takes awhile for things to get back to normal and for some retrospection to begin. I was pondering what we in our first world lives should be thankful for that they don't have or can't imagine in Uganda... So here's a quick, partial list.

* Plentiful, stable, electricity for all.
* Clean running water that can be drunk from any faucet anywhere.
* Toilets with sewers or septic.

* Air conditioning and heat.
* Well maintained, open roads where people drive in their own lane, obey stop signs and traffic lights, and stay more than an inch or two from your vehicle.
* Exhaust systems on vehicles, especially those in front of you!

* Police officers who don't stop you for a bribe because they need tea, but who do their sworn duty to protect and defend.

* The best medical care in the world.

My son's hospital room at IHK - they were nice and he got well, but it wasn't at all modern.

* Having more than one pair of shoes, especially when doing sports.

*Trash collection.
* Proper handling of meat for sale.

* Babies not left to die.

Are you feeling like your life is too hard these days? A lot of people are, I know. And compared with what you've been used to, it might be. But take a few minutes, just these few, to get a little perspective. We are so blessed here... Beyond the imagining of the people in these photographs. That is enough to feel thankful for.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mistletoe Market is over - still need Christmas gifts?

Mistletoe Market was yesterday, and we raised $535 for Uganda! Thanks to everyone that came by - it was great to introduce you to Ten Eighteen and our great partners in Uganda.

But that was the last craft fair fundraiser, and if you missed it, you might still want to donate for 2011, and receive some awesome Ugandan handcrafts as a thank you. There are a couple of ways to do that:

* If I'm your friend on FB, I will be posting some photos soon. You can comment on any photos you'd like.

* Go to the website under "contact" and send a message. I'll be posting some photos on there as well, or you can look (but not shop) in the store. Our PayPal link is apparently possessed, and I haven't had time to call their tech support to fix it. But once you contact us, I will email you back and we can go from there.

* After Thanksgiving, if you're in the Triangle area, we can arrange to meet or you can come by.

* If you're at App, my daughter can bring you items.

We're very flexible!

I would also LOVE to speak at your church or small group in 2012. I'm pretty booked up now, with the holidays, but after Jan 7, things are opening up. Just let me know!

Thanks again for all your support in 2011 (and 2010, and 2009...!). We couldn't do what we do without you!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Opportunities to give

It is a fact of life that our tax burden often dictates our end of the year behavior. I'd like to say it's Christmas joy, but in difficult times like these... it's more often Uncle Sam that nudges us over the edge. But anything that encourages you to give works for me, and I'm a firm believer that God will use your generosity to plant even more seeds of generosity in you, and that's a "vicious cycle" I can live with!

So here's what you can do between now and December 31:

Nov 19, Mistletoe Market at Wakefield High School

Arrange an "open house" visit

Arrange a home party

Just write a check!

We really need your help. The economy in Uganda is rife with inflation - over 40% in 2011 alone. Especially while the dollar is quite strong, help us get funds to our partners.  Your $100 donation would have brought 200,000 shillings in 2010. Right now, that same donation will be exchanged for 283,500 shillings. Since the combined total of the rent for the two elderly widows we support is 85,000 shillings a month, you can see that the strong dollar can really help us help them right now.

We are also slowly building the primary school. Building supplies have gone way up, but again, your donation will go almost 1/3 farther than before. Now is the time to help!

People are really hurting. I know you feel less well-off than you did a year ago. But even with a small donation you can make a big difference. Please help us help them...

Help them eat.
Help them have a home.
Help them have shoes.
Help them go to school.
Help them get medicine.
Help them help the dying.

For us, it's rarely a matter of life and death. For them, it almost always is.