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Food is Life!

 

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. 

Maize and beans made ready for distribution outside at Mwanga Hall of Hope.
Pastor Paul and Isaac Malinga, ROWAN Board Chair, witness the food distribution process along with police officers.

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.

 

Their faces! Happy beneficiaries of food send thanks and God’s blessing to donors and sponsors.

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.

 

Thank you so much for your help.

Talk to you soon.”

 

Pastor Paul Nyende

 

Being hungry and not being fed takes a toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Thank you for continuing to help us alleviate this most basic need for our Ugandan brothers and sisters in Christ. He is the bread of life and we give Him thanks! 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Planning for the Future

Board and staff learning together


While Uganda fights Covid-19 with a second lockdown, God’s people don’t stop caring for one another.  Just two months ago in April, 2021, the ROWAN board and staff gathered for a two-day leadership workshop in Iganga Town.  Pastor Paul and others led the team in activities based on the theme, “Fulfilling our Role and Calling”.  Pastor encouraged the close-to-20 team members there to see their work as a divine calling which should be honored and observed.

 

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”  1 Peter 4:10 

 

The board and staff created and took ownership of the following FIVE goals:

 

  1. To work in love harmony and unity with colleagues.
  2. To ensure ethical conduct while at place of work
  3. To ensure workplan development and integrity while at work
  4. To ensure timely report development and submission
  5. To ensure team work and time management in work processes

Pastor Paul welcomed four new board members and four new staff members. Their names and roles are as follows:

 

NEW BOARD MEMBERS:

 

Malinga Isaac…Board Chair & in charge of Health Affairs

Sam Davis Kuloba…Organizing Secretary & in charge of Sponsor Affairs

Tom Musira…..Secretary &in charge of Human Resource Affairs Edith Edith Nyende…………Board member & in charge of Entrepreneurship & Farm Management

 

NEW STAFF MEMBERS:

 

Onyango Valiriano…..Farm Manager

Nkonoka Scovia………Sponsor relation staff-1

Rachael Babirye………Sponsor Relation staff-2)

Joy Namuganza………Project Officer

 

Pastor Paul with three new board members who will use their experiences, talents, and skills for transforming the ROWAN organization in even better ways.

 

New ROWAN staff: From left, Onyango Valiriano (Farm Manager), Nkonoka Scovia (Sponsor relation staff-1), Rachael Babirye (Sponsor Relation staff-2), and Joy Namuganza (Project Officer)

All those who participate in ROWAN programs appreciate and are blessed by the hard working board and staff. May God give strength to each of the 20 team members who follow HIM and work together as a team to care for so many widows and orphans.

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

A New LEGACY for ROWAN

“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.”

Isaiah 43:19

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.

 

Program Details

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’d like to partner with us in transforming a widow’s life and making her legacy possible, please meet our adult members and sponsor one of these heroes today!

 

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 legacy that 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.”

Isaiah 40:31

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Sponsoring Cyrus

When our son, Jake, was at Dartmouth College, he spent part of a summer working with ROWAN in Uganda. Read more about that here!  As a result, we began our first sponsor relationship with a young man named Mugabi Cyrus. Jake met Cyrus in the village and said Cyrus was a strong and eager participant in the leadership training sessions. As we prayed about someone to sponsor, God spoke swiftly and clearly that is should be Cyrus.

 

Mugabi Cyrus

And here’s the thing—while we felt good about helping Cyrus, we had no idea that he would give us far more than we could ever give him.  He loves us without reservation and calls us family. As we pray for him he prays for us. He worked hard in school and got an art degree—he is very talented.  He calls our sons, Jake and Jonah, his brothers, and my husband and I, mom and dad. He is our “son” that we’ve never met.  He has taught us uniquely more about the love of God. His faith in the most difficult circumstances has been a light to our family.

Mugabi Cyrus, the artist, in Uganda!

Cyrus graduated out of the sponsorship program but he is still our son, friend, and prayer partner. When co-founder Kelsey Hargadine visited Uganda in May, Cyrus gave her a backpack he made for us—made fully by his hand.  She mailed it to us in Washington state and I cried and smiled at the beautiful stitching, the hand embroidered message, the thoughtfulness of a young man who works hard as an entrepreneur and who is now a volunteer for ROWAN.  We are humbled and proud to know Cyrus and excited to see how God loves and leads him in the days ahead.  

Jonah Casale, in the USA, holds the backpack handmade by his brother-in-Christ, Mugabi Cyrus!

I invite you to consider sponsoring an orphan or widow today. More than one life will be changed!

Post Author: Shelly Casale

What’s In a Name?

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.  

Would you like to join us?

Post Author: Shelly Casale

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!

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Post Author: Shelly Casale

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