ROWAN Category

January 16th, 2018

R&R for ROWAN Staff

Recently, the ROWAN community decided to start 2018 off right:

together.

The local ROWAN Staff Members work tirelessly throughout the year to help others, ensure needs are met, and to fill in any gaps when something needs to get done. They are the hands and feet on the ground with those who grieve, grow, and overcome. Without engaging in healthy self care practices, this life of service can become burdensome. However, we take great care—with a proactive rather than reactive approach—to ensure that our staff is equipped and cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually, so that they can continue to serve selflessly while maintaining their best and healthiest lives.

Over the course of three nights away from the village, our primary goal was to empower and encourage local staff.

We focused on building them up spiritually and as well as with practical skills to help them succeed—involving anything from how to write formal reports to learning more effective communication strategies. We had training that increased their passion for our pillars of focus: education, medical treatment, entrepreneurship, and emergencies—all with the spiritual element to remind them of the bigger reason and core purpose of what they do! Our staff especially enjoyed participating in team bonding activities as well as receiving individual encouragement as they prepare for the big year ahead. Board Member David Wafula commented on the retreat, sharing that his most pressing goal for this sacred time was to “minister HOPE!” How precious and powerful it is that this rest and restoration happens best in the context of community. Our prayer for all of our readers, sponsors, donors, and followers is that you, too, find time to rest and be refreshed within a community that reminds you of your infinite worth, dignity, and purpose.

Please keep our local staff in your prayers this year!

January 8th, 2018

The First 10 Years

Friends of ROWAN,

Can you believe we’ve already been here for TEN YEARS?! We are overflowing with thankfulness, and we certainly could not have accomplished this much without all of your help, prayers, support, and generosity. While we eagerly anticipate the finished construction of the Hall of Hope (which will open just in time for Christmas 2018!), we want to take a moment to rejoice in what the Lord has ALREADY done.

As some of you may know, ROWAN’s theme verse is Romans 5:5—

“Now hope does not disappoint,

because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts

by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

This past decade has been a wild ride, but never ONCE has hope disappointed us. So while we gaze ahead, hoping and dreaming about what the next ten years will look like, we invite you to pause with us, remembering and giving thanks for the first ten.

Stay tuned as we highlight and share with you some of our favorite

TOP TEN MOMENTS OF THE FIRST TEN YEARS!

We love you guys! Check back soon!

Love,

ROWAN

January 5th, 2018

Government Update – What the Amendment Means to Ugandans

At 73 years old, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was only two years away from the constitutional age limit to serve as president. However, he just signed into law a new amendment, which abolishes the age limit, thereby allowing him to extend his presidency.

Since the beginning of his presidency, Uganda has seen many notable improvements. In addition to greater relative stability, his leadership has allowed for increased economic growth decreased HIV/AIDS, as much of his programming has prioritized education and prevention of the disease.

President Museveni came to power through a coup in 1986, and under his government, the democracy was born in 1996. Under the constitution of the new government, presidential term limits were set at two terms of five years each. However, at the start of his second term in office in 2001, strides were taken to do away with the two-term limit, which would allow Museveni to re-run for the presidential election in 2006. These efforts were successful, and Museveni won yet another election by a landslide, repeating his victories in 2011 and 2016.

During his current term, the threat to President Museveni’s power was no longer term limits, but rather the age limit set in the constitution, declaring that citizens under the age of 35 or over the age of 75 cannot hold the presidential office. This would disqualify the 73-year-old president from further re-election. So, on December 27, 2017, he passed a law, amending the constitution to abolish the age cap.

Although President Museveni’s efforts and programs have greatly improved Uganda, he has been Uganda’s only president. His refusal to relinquish his power for a second time highlights a major concern for many Ugandans, as Uganda has never seen a peaceful transfer of power since declaring its independence from Great Britain.

To learn more, follow this link to read an article published by Al Jazeera, a major global news organization, concerning this new development in Ugandan government. According to MP Robert Kyagulanyi (better known by fans of his musical career as “Bobi Wine”), the age amendment and implicit extension of Museveni’s power indicate bigger issues beneath the surface. Among these problems, Kyagulanyi mentions that over 85% of the Ugandan population is under 35 years old, but that most cabinet ministers are over 70; he sees this imbalance as a foundational for a government that is disconnected from the people it serves. Kyagulanyi also indicates that the message being sent by Museveni’s extended presidency is one of exclusivity that undermines the hope, freedom, and process of democracy rather than helping to prepare the next generation to serve their country well.

 

 

*Picture is property of bbc.co.uk

November 28th, 2017

Brick by Brick—Giving Tuesday with a Twist (or TWO!)

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…

slice of great news #2:

…but you may not know that you can ALSO donate a brick in someone else’s name as a gift to them this Christmas!

But wait… It gets better.

slice of great news #3:

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!

Join us on our quest to get to 1,000 bricks!

To those of you who have already donated… Remember, this is about so much more than a building—and we couldn’t have FATHOMED doing this without you!

 

November 21st, 2017

How Revive Fit Studio Is Changing the World!

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.”

 

Interested in working out with Megan at Revive Fit Studio? Learn more about Revive by visiting their website!