“This Internship is far beyond what I could have imagined or even asked for. It is my passion lived out. I find ROWAN to be in line with what Christ’s calling is for His people. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 This is the verse the Holy Spirit laid on my heart in 2008 to live by, and now the Lord has blessed me with an internship exactly with the same goal in mind. ROWAN staff are living out the gospel in word, deed, and the result is witnessing miraculous movings of the Holy Spirit. I have experienced these things first hand in my visit to Mawanga, the village ROWAN is based out of.
I find ROWAN unique to other organizations in many ways. The organization functions and runs because of local Ugandans who have voluntarily been working with orphans and widows to build relationships, help with education, health care, raising awareness and comfort with those infected or affected by AIDS, provide income generating projects, and most importantly, lead people to salvation in Jesus Christ. These locals are dedicated, motivated, passionate, and serving these people out of their own free will. Their mission statement says it well, they use holistic approaches, partnering with other organizations, and their goal is to make each person self reliant. I am very impressed with the integrity and passion Pastor Paul, the founder, has. He began this organization with one orphan who was in critical condition in desperate need of help and through gathering widows to encourage them under a mango tree. There was an obvious need, so he started acting on that need. These orphans and widows are building friendships and having fellowship, some for the first time in their life! Imagine what it would be like to work and dig in the garden all day long, go home to cook, go to sleep and wake up to do the very same thing the next day with no interpersonal interaction practically all day long. The women are now able to come together, after a devastating loss of the family provider, the husband, to learn how to earn an income, together. They have friendships that they have lacked since the time they were in school, that is if they even had the school fees to be able to have gone to school. When visiting them at their house in the village some of these people explained how they were hopeless, many ready to give up on life, but now they have a whole new reason to live.
I am convinced their is no program quite like this one: the integrity and love of the leaders, the heart change and lifestyle change of the people, hope being brought to the hopeless, and a holistic networking approach that is progressing forward at an astonishing rate. To have met these people, serve along side of them, encourage them, and learn from them has been a gift that is simply priceless.” -Christine Elsas