While the pandemic has brought hardship and struggle to the world, some of us have fared better than others. Many of us have been able to shop online for food and other things, with front door deliveries. We have made use of curbside pickup and Instacart shoppers. And most of us have been able to shop inside grocery and other stores as needed. I am grateful to God for the relative ease of feeding my family during such a hard time.
Our friends in Uganda are facing something wholly different. Due to rising cases of Covid-19 in country, Uganda began a 42 day lockdown on June 19. People may not leave their homes unless for medical emergencies. This has put people in the ROWAN villages in a dangerous situation as they have no way to get food to sustain themselves for this long period. ROWAN asked for your help and you came through! Last week, Paster Paul and our ROWAN team (under the watchful eye of Security officers) were able to distribute food to our widows and orphans.
Without the generosity of donors this would not have been possible. And we’re not done yet! To sustain each person through the lockdown we need to purchase and deliver more food. Please consider giving, anything you can, to our Food to Families campaign, and help us be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to our faithful widows and orphans in the villages who need to eat. All of the money raised from this campaign is going toward the purchase of food supplies during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Pastor Paul just sent this message:
“Good evening to you all,
Thank you for your prayers, we made it. Everyone was excited with the food given to them—God Bless you all abundantly.
You may wonder why we didn’t use the Bus. The first point was that the Kilos were too many for the Bus, secondly the roads are too bad for the Bus when packed with food, thirdly the police we had didn’t allow us because when you carry people in a Bus it can easily spread the virus, so that is why we had to use the truck.
But the most important thing we thank God is that we were allowed to buy food and we were able to distribute it to them.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
A new program called The Legacy Program is beginning for widows and adult members of ROWAN! An enormous amount of prayer and planning has gone into this brand new program for Adults; these Adults are the sponsored Widows, Widowers, and Caregivers of ROWAN.
The Legacy Program is a 4-year intensive certificate program for sponsored ROWAN widows and other adult members.
ROWAN leaders have partnered with other reputable professionals to create a comprehensive curriculum that will encompass all aspects of education, training, care, and follow-up.
Each year, the Legacy adults will attend specific trainings to help them become successful and independent in many different areas of life. Our new program will focus on these key areas:
— Entrepreneurship & Financial Training
— Health & Wellness Training
— Literacy and Educational Training
— Family Needs & Healthy Relationships
— Life Skills Training
— Spiritual Development & Discipleship
— Social Training (addressing local issues such as women’s rights and land rights)
How does The Legacy Program relate to adult sponsorship?
88 adults in the first round will move through The Legacy Program together, and a new group will enroll in four years as these incredible members graduate from the program with a well-earned certificate as well as many new life and business skills.
LEGACY will replace our earlier adult sponsorship model. Previously, adult members of ROWAN would enter programs as beneficiaries with no end date. As co-founders Pastor Paul and Kelsey Hargadine evaluated ROWAN programs and plans during his time in the U.S. in 2020, they found that this wasn’t completely accomplishing the vision they set out for.
Sponsorship with no end date placed a lot of pressure on sponsors of adults in contrast with sponsors of orphans, who can see when the projected graduation date will be of the child they sponsor. It also wasn’t as effective at empowering widows toward independence and self-sufficiency as this highly structured, goal-oriented Legacy Program will be.
The budget needed to facilitate The Legacy Program is already covered by Sponsorship fees! The sponsor’s financial giving also covers medical care and regular, nutritious meals throughout the 4-year program. When you support a widow, widower, or caregiver… you make Legacy a possibility in more ways than one.
At the end of the program, these women and men will attend a ROWAN graduation ceremony where they will be presented with their program certificate and get to celebrate all of their hard work and development. We will celebrate them as a community: our newest ROWAN Alumni adult members!
The Legacy Program will prepare the enrolled members extensively for this day and the ones that follow, as the certificate symbolizes thee official beginning of a self-sufficient, sustainable future. It marks the journey toward building a Legacy through entrepreneurship and a healthy lifestyle.
If you currently sponsor a widow, widower, or caregiver, please send them a note to encourage them on the 4-year journey ahead!
If you sponsor a Jajja (grandma), thank you for supporting one of the elderly women cared for by ROWAN in their final chapter of life. While they are too old to go through the entire 4-year intensive program, they will join in different aspects and experiences of The Legacy Program as much as they can!
Join us in the coming months!
Please watch this space as we follow some Legacy members throughout their journey to see how God moves in their lives and in the ROWAN community. Thank you for praying for these women and men as they battle to care for the young ones they are raising and the generations that will come after them.
With your help, they are well on their way to establishing a legacythat will impact their family and community for many years to come!
“Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.”
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.
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
The Hall of Hope will be dedicated on May 26, 2019.
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.
What is a Village?
ROWAN partners with over 30 villages in Uganda, with their main office at the village in Mawanga. Everyone knows the word “village”. We’ve all heard, “It takes a village to raise a child…”. Many a town in England boast a village green; a pleasant, common green space in the town center. There’s the East Village in New York City, a hip, happening neighborhood—the Village People probably started there!