The turkey is gone, the shopping madness has subsided (slightly?), and today, we slow down and zoom out to refocus on giving even when it hurts, empowering others when we’re out of energy, and generating hope when all we want is to take a nap.
slice of great news #1:
Giving Tuesday isn’t a one day sprint for us at ROWAN… we’re marathon-ing this Giving Tuesday for a 17-day stretch, ending on December 15th. Our hope and prayer is that we will receive 1,000 bricks by then. Why? So that we can START BUILDING by early 2018!
Most of our tribe know that Phase Two of building the Hall of Hope, our first ever community center, is well underway and that we’ve asked you to consider donating a brick toward getting this beautiful building up and running…
Giving Tuesday isn’t just a “Make America Feel Better About How Much Money We Just Spent on ourselves on Black Friday and Cyber Monday” holiday anymore. In fact, this whole “Giving Tuesday” thing is about to play out in an INCREDIBLE way for our friends in Uganda, unlike anything you’ve seen before. Stay tuned to learn about the secret second twist—Giving Tuesday, UGANDA STYLE—at their CHRISTMAS PARTY!
Revive Fit Studio approaches fitness holistically by addressing the body, mind, AND spirit of every participant. Not only do they invest deeply in those attending their classes, Revive is also very involved in expanding ROWAN’s ministry to orphans and widows in Uganda!
Founder Megan Prentice visited the village—and returned home with a dream and the passion to make it happen.
She recalls, “Seeing a Ugandan widow come running up to Kelsey and me in tears with the land title in her hand—a long-sought-after process and her lifelong dream to own her own land—makes anything and everything about our efforts ‘worth it.'”
With 20% of Revive’s proceeds going to ROWAN, Megan joyfully uses her business both to care for her community here and to empower her friends in Uganda to live better lives.
Megan admits, “Starting an American mission-based fitness studio has been anything but easy … but I wouldn’t change a thing. Seeing what Pastor Paul and Kelsey are doing to restore the people of Uganda—the vision is contagious. The sustainability is what lights a fire in my soul as they emphasize entrepreneurship, education, and savings groups. Imagine a world where every single business gave back to the community so that no one was in lack or need!
“My desire is to grow enough that our 20% giveback makes ROWAN Ugandans so successful and that they learn so many sustainable skills that ROWAN goes “out of business.” Imagine a world like that! Imagine a world where we all knew the love of Jesus and lived it out, where we helped a brother and sister in need, no matter where they lived or their background, and where we taught each other the skills we needed to live well…
“I call that heaven on earth, and I do think it’s possible.”
How the Kenyan Re-Election Affects Our Student, Eddy
Eddy (pictured above on the right) is currently finishing law school in Nairobi. During Kenya’s recent presidential re-election, which was scheduled after the annulled results from the questionable one in August, Eddy shared with us that he was feeling very nervous about the political climate and fearful about the implications of this re-election.
Despite our own tumultuous stateside election last fall, our election-related fears seem insignificant and even petty when compared with political situations elsewhere, including Kenya. As they seek to implement democracy, free and fair elections come at a price—often including inevitable violence between opposing parties, polling stations enduring attacks of various sorts, barricaded roads, and the deaths of targeted victims as well as innocent civilian bystanders.
This re-election was no exception, and the validity of Eddy’s fears has been confirmed in many heartbreaking stories since then. Despite his fears, Eddy will continue to study hard, preparing for the selfless career he’s long pursued: as a lawyer, he plans to offer his expertise as a source of hope, becoming a legal voice for the voiceless.
What can you do?
Join us in praying for Kenya and other African governments that are desperately taking strides towards stability in their courts and safety in their neighborhoods.
Join us in praying for Eddy—that he would remain brave and determined to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Join us in praying for our other sponsored students and those yet to join our program, who also have big dreams that may take them into scary places, just like Eddy’s. In fact, if you’re interested in helping other ambitious but underprivileged kids like Eddy pursue their dreams, please follow this linkto read the stories of the kiddos who are waiting for your help!
And finally, join us in praying for our world—that we would all be a bit more relentless in hope, more resilient in adversity, and more committed to compassion for one another.
Break out the party hats—we have an exciting update!
Co-founders Kelsey and Pastor Paul have enjoyed 30 beautiful, busy days together in America, but it’s time for Pastor Paul to head back to Uganda with some incredible news:
By God’s grace and your generosity, Phase One of the Hall of Hope is
Phase 1 focuses on building a proper foundation, which includes the 7,750 square-foot cement slab for the building. This aspect is absolutely essential in order to get the best, safest, and longest-term use out of the community center!
This means we are one phase closer to having a place to call our own, where we will host all weekly activities and provide office space for our 20 local staff. Your contributions will enable even more programming, which will include classes and sessions on literacy, business and savings, HIV training, kids’ programs, counseling, and worship and holiday programs, just to name a handful!
Together, with your help and local partnership, this project will take place in four phases. We are overflowing with thankfulness to know that funding for Phase One is DONE!
Stay tuned for more updates on upcoming phases and invitations!
A movement with all of you people, who have different skills and ideas—all to improve the lives of widows and orphans affected by HIV and AIDS,
so that they may be powerful agents of change in their communities.”
— Pastor Paul
Traveling from the east coast to the west with several stops between, Pastor Paul made the trip to America to share about our biggest need: a building. After serving faithfully under the trees for over a decade, we’ve finally agreed that it is TIME to build a community center!
For those of you who were able to join us for a night of free ice cream and loads of laughter at Little Man Ice Cream, GUESS WHAT? $14,545 came in toward Phase 1: the Foundation! Since that night, our donations have been climbing… We have officially raised $17,145!
That means we only need about $33,000 to finish Phase 1. Despite the temptation to call this number daunting or disheartening, we are determined to do everything we can to get it done…but we can’t do it without you!
To learn more about what the Hall of Hope is all about, take 4 minutes and check out our latest video, filmed by the incredible Kairos Media!
Please prayerfully consider helping us finish Phase 1 of the Hall by September 30—we need you on our team!