Thank you, lord.
Updated: Dec 2, 2019
Gloria ran her fingers down the freshly painted walls of her new bedroom, knowing that she had found refuge at last.
Like many other young ladies in Kampala, Gloria stays in a 10x12 single room. The room is bare, with only a bed and a small area for her clothes. The place is in the thick of Kampala, where seclusion and privacy are words that are desired, but rarely experienced.
Gloria is forced to do her cooking indoors, causing her belongings to smell like smoke. When she washes her clothes and hangs them outdoors to dry, others in the neighborhood sometimes steal them when she is not around. She has a basin for washing, but must wash indoors on the floor of her bedroom. Gloria is not able to practice proper hygiene because of her living situation.
For the time being, this apartment is the best that money can by for Gloria.
This Thanksgiving, the Lord has brought to my attention many blessings that I had never given much thought before moving to Uganda. I have a home. I have food. I have good health. Even in a foreign country, the Lord has put a buffer of safety and protection around me. Because of Him, I shall not fear.
But this is just simply not the case for many of my friends here. Young ladies, especially university students, are exceptionally vulnerable in such a large and corrupted city. I've heard several stories, so different from Gloria's, yet so similar in that none of them ever feel fully safe and secure. Their resilience in clinging to the Lord is inspiring, and they refuse to worry about the days to come.
And I get to help.
When Gloria heard that University Discipleship Movement was intending to open a ladies’ hostel for students, she booked her new room right away. Once she moves in to The Safe Haven, she will have access to a clean, affordable home that is conveniently located just minutes from campus.
Once Gloria moves into The Safe Haven, she will be free to focus on the work that truly matters. She will be free to study and succeed in her academics. She will be free to serve the Kingdom at United Faith Chapel. Gloria will be free to pour out love to the other women who will do life by her side, showing them the hope and the confidence that she has in Christ.
This hostel for young ladies has been in the UDM vision for nearly four years. Today that vision is transforming into a tangible reality. The majority of my work here in Uganda has been to write fundraising literature for this women's hostel, to share the stories that demand a response.
As of October 8, UDM began renting a property with the intentions to one day purchase it. The location is complete with a warehouse for storage and office space, as well as outdoor space for ministry gatherings. The jewel of the property, however, is the abandoned house, The Safe Haven, that will one day hold between 24 and 30 young women.
The Safe Haven still needs major renovations before Gloria can call it her home. It will also need furnishings, including beds, seating, curtains, and kitchenware. These necessities, including the purchase of the land itself, will cost an estimated $183,000. The Lord has already generously provided some of the funding for this undertaking!
UDM has been blessed with a $25,000 matching contribution from an anonymous donor in order to make the first down payment on the property. This funding will not be released until another $25,000 is raised.
This is what I get to do every day. I get to do life with these ladies and hear their stories, and then I get to turn around and find avenues to advocate for them. Thank You, Jesus, for helping me see what my purpose is here. Thank You for giving me the words to share. Thank You for the relationships You have forged that have changed me for the better. Thank You in advance, Lord, for meeting these ladies' needs.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I hope you will pause and reflect today on the precious little love gifts that Jesus has blessed you with. Some of them are much bigger than we realize.
If you are interested in linking arms with these ladies, donations may be made online at: https://www.wgm.org/project/udm
Checks may be mailed to: World Gospel Mission P.O. Box 948 Marion, IN 46952. Please attach a note that reads: UDM Account Number 150-21343.
Please continue to pray not only for the women's hostel but all WGM: Uganda ministries as we close out accounts for the year.
Please pray for the university students who are sitting exams this week and next (and maybe even beyond).
Please pray for my heart. This past week as been massively challenging due to two trips I took, and I am still trying to process it all.
Tomorrow, November 29, will mark three weeks until I depart from Uganda. Oof. Pray for that, please.