UG 2019 Trip and Big Announcement!
I just got back from leading a trip to Uganda in late July-August. What an incredible trip it was! God did so much on this trip and I am so excited to share with you all about it!
Our first few days we were working close to the capital. First, we partnered with Pamoja Health Initiatives and joined them for a health camp they were hosting.
I was personally blown away and humbled to have partnered with them. I love that we were able to partner with an organization that is educating local communities on reproductive health within their own capacity and making a difference. We were able to just come alongside their initiative and help what they already had in place. That day, we taught students on reproductive health, shared with women on how to use pads, and handed out disposable pads to girls at a local school. It was such a great day.
Next, we visited Lasting Smiles, an organization that runs a school out in a small village in Mokono district. It took us about 2 hrs to get there and the school is actually surrounded by sugar cane fields! We drove through them to get there! We spent the day having so much fun with the kids.
Our team spent the day dancing like crazy with the beautiful kids, listening to them sing, and playing soccer! We also got to teach a health seminar and give away 100 reusable cloth pad kits to the young girls there! It was such a memorable day.
From there, we traveled up to Gulu, where Sew Mukwano is partnered with Pastor Peter King and his wife Christine, alongside their church, Revival Worship Centre. We arrived just as they were beginning their 4 day girls conference. This conference was hosted by the Noble Girls, the women’s group in the church comprised of ladies of all different ages. During this conference, a few of us team members were able to share with the group, teach and be apart of what was happening. It was such a delight to worship with these ladies, get to know them, laugh with them and hear from the Lord alongside them at this conference. It was a great time! We saw the Lord move in mighty ways. What a privilege it was to be there!
During one of the days at the conference, we had the opportunity to hold a Sew Mukwano health seminar with the attendees. We separated the ladies by age; the younger ladies in one group and the mature ladies in another. Half of our team led one group and the other half led the other. What an impactful and fruitful time it was! We were able to answer their questions that were geared toward their age groups in a more intimate setting. I love how even though I’ve been going to Uganda for 9 years now, I keep learning new and better ways on how to do things. I love how God just keeps opening my eyes!
This day was awesome, however what made it even more special was that it was the first ever Sew Mukwano kit give-away! Yes, we gave away about 150 Sew Mukwano kits for the first time that day. And there is more...ALL, yes ALL of the pads that were given away that day had been made by our Ugandan tailors from the Noble Girls group from their church!
The ladies within their church had been the ones to make the pads that would make a difference for a girl within their community. And that is the reason Sew Mukwano exists; to facilitate Ugandans reaching Ugandans! You can only imagine how much pride was beaming from my heart that day for our tailors.
As you might remember, last October, myself and my partner Lindy went to Gulu to teach our Noble Girl tailors how to sew the Sew Mukwano pads along with other sewing skills. Since then, they are not only sewing the pads (as you just read), they are also sewing other items that are bringing in an income for themselves.
I want to tell you about Lucy. Lucy was one of the ladies we taught in October of 2018. She has 2 small children and her husband recently left her. When we had met her back her in October, she was considering leaving Gulu and going back to her family in the village. However, after going through our sewing training, she decided to stay.
Now, she is selling her quilts and sewn products and has been able to purchase two small farms that yield crops, and from her work she can pay for rent, food for her family and school fees for her children, all on her own. Come on, somebody! Praise the Lord!!! And, Lucy is a leader in the Noble Girls group, discipling others and developing in her walk with the Lord.
Lucy’s story is just one of many reasons as to why I am doing what I do. Why I won’t stop. We have to keep believing and praying and working to see more stories like Lucy’s. She is the change she wants to see in her world, her community. She is now empowered, and she is now empowering other women.
Lastly, the Noble girls had lost the place they were working out of since October. When we arrived in August, their Sew Mukwano sewing initiative was operating out of the small church office. You can imagine how tight it was-Pastor King needing room to operate and run the church from, while graciously sharing it with a group of women and their sewing machines!
So, we were able to find the perfect shop location for the girls. It’s close to the church so the girls can walk to and from, it is spacious and has just enough room for the machines, it’s in a safe part of town and it has a front room where they can sell their handmade products, including the Sew Mukwano pads! God was absolutely in that plan and made a way! While we are working towards sustainability, we are trying to fundraise $100/ month for the rent. Please pray with us that we can make this happen.
Overall, while this trip was absolutely incredible, it was tough personally. I came home very reflective and definitely saw a lot of areas for growth. I am so thankful for the Lord and His good grace for me. I am so thankful for His faithfulness, His timing and all He’s done with Sew Mukwano. So humbled that even when I fail, He still chooses to use me. He never gives up on us! What great love.
Big Announcement for Sew Mukwano!
One of my next steps and goals for Sew Mukwano is to step into another African nation. I have been fervently praying for the opportunity and waiting for God to open the door, trusting that when it happens, I’ll know it’s right.
About a week after getting home from Uganda in August, I got a phone call, and it was God opening the door.
I have been invited by Truth Unleashed Ministries, partnered with a missionary in Benin, to start a Sew Mukwano Sewing Initiative, like we did in Uganda.
Benin is in west Africa, is in the 10/40 window, is one of the poorest nations in Africa and about 45% of the population is under the age of 14. There are huge opportunities in Benin for reproductive health education and the Gospel!
We will be traveling to Benin to teach a group of tailors how to sew, help with their sewing skills, teach how to sew the Sew Mukwano pad, train them on teaching reproductive health education, holding reproductive health seminars, Sew Mukwano kit give-aways and preaching the Gospel with the girls in the most rural parts of Benin.
I am also hoping to pursue some credible leads in sourcing flannel on the continent of Africa. This is vital in helping to get our initatives to the point of full sustainability. So, it may include travel to another African country, so long as I have a legit contact.
We believe this will be such a fruitful trip! What an incredible opportunity this is for Sew Mukwano. I am so humbled and excited!
How YOU can get involved and help!
With prayer and intention, here is what I believe the Lord has put on my heart to accomplish with Sew Mukwano in 2020:
-Give away 1,500 Sew Mukwano kits! (each kit costs $10)
-Travel to Benin and start a Sew Mukwano Sewing Initiative, and possibly travel in Africa to source flannel for initiatives (trip costs $2,500-$3,500)
-Lead a team to Uganda in July, traveling all over the country preaching the Gospel (trip costs $3000)
-Partnering with another organization in Uganda to Start another Sew Mukwano Sewing Initiative, empowering more women to have ‘Lucy stories’! (total costs to start an initiative $4500)
-Bringing in regular monthly support ($1000 a month)
These are some big things that I know the Lord has put on my heart to do this year to reach more girls with the Gospel and reproductive health education. I’d love for you to partner with me prayerfully and financially, should you choose to do so. Would you consider partnering with Sew Mukwano financially to help make these things a reality? The pressing need is the trip to Benin, as we need to purchase tickets as soon as possible. I truly believe this is a door that the Lord has opened and He will provide the funds to go.
Would you consider being an instrument He uses to reach the women and girls in Benin and help fund this trip?
Any donation can be sent via check to:
P.O. Box 3130
Centennial, CO 80126
*Please write Sew Mukwano in the memo line
If you can’t give, please pray! Your support means the world to me. Knowing I have people in the world who care about my call to care for, educate and reach these young women gives me the courage to do what I do. So, thank you, thank you!
n. \moo-kwa-no\: Luganda for ‘friend’