As someone who loves to read and write, I love words. A perfectly-turned phrase can make my heart go zing. String those phrases and sentences together and we can read or listen to something that makes us laugh, cry, fume, gasp, and absorb.
In 2019, there are A LOT of words out there. Because they are available to us 24/7/365, they can overwhelm and cause us to turn away. Or cause us to only turn to memes about dog, cats, and Marvel movies.
We can get desensitized to what we read and hear and it’s understandable. This can cause us to take in diluted meaning and truth, or put a hand up to say, “Stop”. Sometimes a break is good. And sometimes forcing ourselves to slow down and ponder the truth of what we are reading is also good. We’ve known for a long time now what AIDS is, but have you read the definition lately? I looked at the meaning of each word in the name ROWAN and it stopped me short. Please read what each of the words in the ROWAN title means. From Webster’s Dictionary:
RURAL: of or relating to the country, country people or life, or agriculture
ORPHANS: a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents
WIDOWS: a woman who has lost her spouse or partner by death and usually has not remarried, or whose spouse or partner leaves her alone
AIDS: a disease of the human immune system that is characterized cytologically especially by reduction in the numbers of CD4-bearing helper T cells to 20 percent or less of normal thereby rendering the subject highly vulnerable to life-threatening conditions (such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) and to some (such as Kaposi’s sarcoma) that become life-threatening and that is caused by infection with HIV commonly transmitted in infected blood especially during illicit intravenous drug use and in bodily secretions during sexual intercourse
NETWORK: a usually informally interconnected group or association of persons; a fabric or structure of cords or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings
Whether you are part of the ROWAN family or just learning about Eastern Uganda, to pause and understand what ROWAN is, what each word in the name means, is a good thing. It helps us remember in the 21st century glut of words that we can look clearly at the people in the village, at their pain and their hope, at their knotted and secure relationships with God and each other, and know the truth. The words of ROWAN allow us to learn and help and not turn away.
People are often motivated by good intentions. Christians can be doubly-motivated by good intentions and a nudge or call from God. Wonderful things can happen when intentions are good.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”—Peter Drucker, world-renowned author, educator and management consult who was driven by a desire to build effective and responsible institutions
Whoa. Read again, what Peter Drucker said:
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
What happens when we rush to do good and the result is not so great? ROWAN co-founder Kelsey Hargadine tells a story about something that happened in Haiti and has happened in many mission settings. Kelsey shared that, when westerners travel to areas of need, we step out of the van into the village and immediately see the torn clothes, no shoes, poor housing, etc. We quickly want to bring tons of clothes, shoes, and material things that can help that tangible image of poverty. That is exactly what we shouldn’t do. One time a group of people brought hundreds and hundreds of shoes to Haiti. They gave all the shoes out and felt so good for doing that. What they didn’t think about was the shoe seller in the village trying to make a living, and just putting him out of a job. They didn’t think about how a small child having a new pair of shoes puts them at risk of theft and abuse. We don’t like thinking about those things, but they are what we need to remember above all.
This is why the ministry of ROWAN works, because they don’t rush in. Rushing in with good intentions is perfectly understandable, but it may not be the best way to make lasting change. This doesn’t mean we don’t do anything, and sometimes needs are immediate. But in all those situations, ROWAN works because ROWAN IS:
~Widows and orphans as leaders in their own communities, creating and sustaining their lives with support from the village leaders
~Pastor Paul and ROWAN leaders discussing, listening, and deciding what to do. They are the drivers.
While we as supporters may be bursting with ideas and heartfelt emotion, it is our job to work alongside and empower those whose home is the village. It is our job to trust God and seek His patient, faithful guidance in partnership on their behalf. Peter Drucker says:
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
ROWAN does this so well. They aren’t perfect at it and they make mistakes, but there is grace and forgiveness and learning during those times. And for the most part there is effective action when Pastor Paul and Kelsey and you and I trust God together and commit to see people’s lives changed for good. And in the village there is so much happening that is good.
Peter Drucker was an Austrian-born American author and educator who Business Week called, “the man who invented management”, right before his death at 95 years old in 2005. Drucker, motivated by
Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action. Peter Drucker
Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation.
Shortly before he died in 2005, Peter Drucker was celebrated by BusinessWeek magazine as “the man who invented management.” Naturally, when most people hear that description, they think of corporate management. And Drucker did, in fact, advise a host of giant companies (along with nonprofits and government agencies). But he came to his life’s work not because he was interested in business per se. What drove him was trying to create what he termed “a functioning society.”
Drucker had, after all, seen firsthand what happens when society stops functioning. This was the central theme of the first of the 39 major books that he would publish over the course of his extraordinarily long and productive career. The End of Economic Man traced the rise of the Nazis in the aftermath of the Great War and Depression.
“These catastrophes broke through the everyday routine which makes men accept existing forms, institutions and tenets as unalterable laws,” Drucker wrote. “They suddenly exposed the vacuum behind the façade of society.” Looking for a miracle, he added, the masses turned toward the “abracadabra of fascism.”
Drucker was determined never to let things break down like that again. And the only way to do that was to build effective and responsible institutions, including those that by the 1940s were emerging to be the most powerful in the world: big American corporations. Management, practiced well, was Drucker’s bulwark against evil.
As our readers know, we rely on donations & the kindness of others to keep ROWAN providing value in Uganda. We realize that it can be difficult to decide where to donate your time or money. Obviously you want your donation to go where it can do the most good & actually benefit those who need it. We can appreciate that & want to provide those who love Uganda a guide to some amazing charities here. Continue reading “10 Great Charities Operating in Uganda”