I could hardly believe it when Robinah, on behalf of the girls, asked if she could allocate some of the Center’s funds for industrial cleaning supplies. “And shirts! We’ll have to have matching Purse of Hope shirts so everyone knows who we are!” This was the girls’ nonnegotiable, Robinah told me smiling, once they’d determined to go outside of their own tidy facility and start cleaning up the surrounding area. Knowing our budget allows very little wiggle room, the girls petitioned for wheel barrows and rubber gloves over new furniture and other necessities for the center.
How is such selflessness possible? The girls are becoming proud of who they are. They are eager to clean their streets because they no longer regard themselves as garbage.
My friend Nancy and her two grown daughters are flying to Uganda next week to spend seven days with the POH girls. We recently met to finalize a few of their travel plans. She asked if there was anything in particular the girls might need or want. So amazed was I by the girls’ request for cleaning supplies, I shared it with Nancy--knowing that seventy-five matching shirts, rubber gloves, and wheel barrows were probably not what she had in mind.
Nancy loved the idea and was as touched by it as I was. She and her daughters, five days before departure, held an impromptu charity dinner at a local pizza place. Donning their “mandatory” uniforms, Nancy, Sara and Jessie told family and friends they’d be working side-by-side the Purse of Hope girls to start cleaning up what’s arguably one of the most squalid, depressed slums in all of East Africa.
They invited their guests to help and ended up raising nearly three thousand dollars!
Three thousand dollars will purchase considerably more than cleaning supplies. The POH Center will also be receiving new beds, mattresses, linens, comfortable seating, finer beading supplies and more teaching materials. We are also pricing a new dining room table and chairs for the Total Impact House in Gulu.
Perhaps this doesn’t exactly parallel the Old Testament story of God appearing to King Solomon in a dream and offering, “Ask, and I will give it to you,” but I believe the principle is the same. He could ask for anything, Solomon, and what did he ask for? Glory? Riches? Longevity? Fame? No, he asked for wisdom so that he may better serve his people. Because his request was made out of humility and service, God did grant him wisdom--as well as wealth, honor, and victory over his enemies. The Purse of Hope girls also chose to forfeit “riches” in order to serve others. In doing so, they captured the hearts of a few fine folks in Illinois. They’ll soon be serving their community in addition to the added bonus of receiving several wonderful amenities for the Center.
Nancy, Sara and Jessie will be embarking on their adventure this Sunday, August 1st. They’ve agreed to document their trip entitled, “We 3 See Bwaise” so we may all celebrate the Purse of Hope milestones together--milestones that could not have happened without them!
Thank you, Ladies! We look forward to your reports.