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Meeting Face-to-Face in Uganda

Do you ever wonder if you’re making a tangible difference in the world? I know I do. Due to the nature of a 24/7 news cycle, social media, and a constant state of being “plugged in”, we are faced with information about a groaning world seeking help.  We are presented with daily multiple needs and requests.  It can get pretty overwhelming, even when we give money, labor, time, prayers, or other resources in answer to God’s call.  Sometimes we don’t even answer because of that overwhelmed feeling.  There is something that happens, though, when we obey God.  Matthew 22:34-40 says:

 

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they met together in the same place. One of them, an expert in the Law, tested him by asking, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus told him, “”You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the greatest and most important commandment.  The second is exactly like it: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

 

Amber Thurow is a ROWAN sponsor who recently returned from visiting Uganda with a team of people led by co-founder Kelsey Hargadine.  Amber sponsors a widow she has never met named Rachel.  Amber was looking forward to meeting Rachel in Uganda.

 

A little while ago, before the trip, Rachel became very ill with infected kidneys.  Her condition was serious, and Amber sent some extra money to help cover her medical fees.  Soon after the team’s arrival in Uganda, Amber and Kelsey were helping out in the village clinic. A woman came through the doorway and it was Rachel!  She was there for her check-up—Amber was stunned to see how well she was doing!  Both women were filled with joy.  Rachel couldn’t stop telling them how happy she was that she was feeling better…so she can take care of her children.

Amber found out what happens when we obey God.  We are first to love Him with everything we are and everything we have.  And we are to love our neighbor as ourself.  Amber does that and doesn’t have to worry if she is making a tangible difference.  God gives blessing, joy, and peace to those who love and obey Him.

 

Amber, Kelsey and the team visited Rachel in her home and spent time in fellowship and prayer.  Rachel shared her favorite verse, Luke 14:13:

“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…”

 

Would you like to join us?

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Why Build a Hall?

This week the world watched as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, caught fire. Part of her centuries-old structure was destroyed, and her grand spire burned away. 

Notre Dame Cathedral

Historian Yvonne Seale writes at vox.com:

Notre Dame de Paris was never the preferred cathedral of kings. Notre Dame was instead the cathedral of ordinary Parisians. Since the Middle Ages, it’s been the backdrop against which the city’s inhabitants have lived their lives. The building, which stands on a small island in the Seine River, was a constant amid the upheaval of the French Revolution and the terrors of the Nazi occupation. As one 14th century scholar wrote, the cathedral was “like the sun among stars.”

There’s been a church on the site now occupied by Notre Dame since at least the sixth century. In 1163, Bishop Maurice de Sully launched an ambitious project to build a new cathedral for the city’s growing population.  For centuries, the cathedral has been a tourist draw, a meeting spot, a place of refuge in times of crisis. It fostered both the beginnings of the University of Paris and, quite literally, the city’s abandoned children in the orphan home it ran.

“It’s just a building,” some say. “It can be rebuilt.” This is true. However, people bond with places. And the longer a building exists, the more memories are housed there and in the people who make it part of their lives.  The cathedral has stood for centuries as a symbol of beauty, help, and refuge.  Sometimes a building matters.

ROWAN is building a Hall of Hope.  Why build a hall?  Ten years ago ROWAN began under the Ugandan trees.  Most organizations start up and fairly quickly look for a building.  Widows and orphans began gathering with ROWAN staff under the trees, in harsh weather, rain or shine, with no thoughts of a building.  But God began to bring more women and children to ROWAN and ten years later the family is overflowing!  The Hall of Hope will have two large classrooms for tutoring, literacy, Bible studies, tailoring, jewelry-making, and much more. There will be additional office space; most of us know the value of a desk or table to work from.  What might be most exciting though is that the Hall holds 600 people and will be able to house the entire ROWAN family, at once. The ROWAN family has never had a place where they can all gather together.  In the past, it was difficult to even get people to come on the property, as the word AIDS is in our name. The shame and stigma are high.  But God lovingly brought dignity to those who came, and more came, and it became clear it was time to give them a place, a beautiful building, their “sun among stars”.  They can look at their Hall of Hope now and think, “WOW, that is for me.” People will pass by and see who this beauty is for.

We know that Notre Dame began as a place for ordinary Parisians to worship God.  “If anyone is worth a beautiful building, let it be the widows and orphans. ROWAN is their family and the Hall is our family room.”— Co-founder Kelsey Hargadine

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”—Psalm 91:1-2

The Hall of Hope will be dedicated on May 26, 2019.

 

Help Furnish the Hall

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Tibita’s Successful Surgery

Post Author: Kelsey

Hepatitis Outbreak – Please Help!

DONATE HERE

The Mayo Clinic describes Hepatitis B as “a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). For some people, hepatitis B infection becomes chronic, meaning it lasts more than six months. Having chronic hepatitis B increases your risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis — a condition that permanently scars the liver.” (more…)

Post Author: Micayla

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