Last month I was asked by my team to assist TECDEFO (Teso Children's Development Foundation) in finding sponsorship or funding in Soroti town. Why? Because Soroti is my town and I know lots of people there. Of course I wanted to assist some wonderful/passionate Ugandan men, so that they could continue to run a program that looks after vulnerable children and teens. In particular - Street Boys. My only problem... I am not a fan of fundraising. I was scared out of my mind to ask my own friends, churches, and family members to support me on the mission field. Now I had to go to businesses and churches in Soroti town. And I was nervous.
Seriously, I prayed. Lord, is this the task you are calling me to? Yes.
I met with the TECDEFO leaders and we decided that the churches were the best place to start. The need was/is 300,000 UGX/month - for food, soap, tutoring costs, etc. That's not so much in western standards - $120/month, but we were finding that western funding comes and goes and it would be so much more beautiful if the churches in Soroti pulled together to love the least of these.
So, a few days ago, we started journeying to churches... and today I am coming home in shock. The money is not yet completely raised, but churches are excited. They want the street boys to come and share in their churches. Two churches already offered monthly pledges and one put cash in the hands of TECDEFO. I am so proud of God's church. There were no denominational walls.
What amazes me the most is how God divinely set up each appointment at the various churches! One pastor I met at youth camp the week before - so he was happy to have me come in and share with him and his church leaders. Yesterday we went to one of the big churches in town, and the vicar asked a ton of questions. Little did we know that the visitor sitting in the office, listening to us describe the ministry to the street boys, was a pastor of another church in town and he was just waiting for us to drop by his church so he could support us too. God is so good.
It will be a delightful thing to see all the money raised through the local churches here. The Teso people sharing and caring for the kids on the streets. I was so stretched, and I just thank God for each step of the journey.
It also reminds me once again how humbled I am to be serving in Africa because of my church family and friends back home. The Lord reigns!
What remains is to follow up with the churches. But also, almost every church suggested that we get some time on the radio - to make the community aware of the need and also inform the people as to why these boys are even living on the street in the first place. Please, together let's pray that these boys will come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ and have their lives transformed. May they truly find freedom!