There are lots of exciting things going on in the Patterson household and I wanted to take time to share with you some updates!
1 week from today, I will be headed back to Uganda. Oh, how I wish it was to get our sweet boy but not quite yet. This trip is very much a "business" trip with 2 distinct purposes. You've probably seen me post on facebook the jewelry from the Women of Destiny. The Women of Destiny are part of a ministry in Mukono, Uganda under True Vine Christian Ministries. True Vine was started in 1999 by Stephen Kibriango and his wife Jesca. When it began, it was just 9 people....one of them being an HIV+ widow. When she passed, she left her children to Pastor Kibriango and his wife. A ministry was born. Fast forward 13 years and True Vine has grown tremendously. They now operate Victor Christian school in Mukono which is home to 1100 students. Through this program, the ministry has relocated children from Northen Uganda and brought them to the School and home. The ministry meets their educational needs as well as clothing and feeding. During holidays, the children do not go back to Gulu but they stay with foster parents who support them and love them. Since these children have been emotionally hurt due the LRA atrocities, the ministry has social workers who counsel them and pray with them. These children also have a myriad of medical needs and the ministry has a small clinic with one nurse to treat the children. The ministry intends to support some more 100 children from northern Uganda. There is an immediate need of a medical centre that will serve and meet the many medical needs of the Northern Uganda Children that will be supported through this program in future.
This is where part 1 of my trip comes in. Mukono district is home to approximately 500,000 people with only 1 government funded health center which is not adequately staffed. True Vine is currently working to build a children's clinic in Mukono that will provide an emphasis on HIV, malaria and other common childhood illnesses. I will be meeting with church leadership and visiting the land where the clinic is to be built to see how best we could partner with their ministry.
True Vine is partnered with an organization right here in the states called Childrens Heritage Foundation. They are a licensed 501c3 so all donations are tax deductible. 100% of the donations go to the intended purpose. I KNOW THIS FIRST HAND. I have sent thousands of dollars to the Women of Destiny through jewelry sales and when I visit, the women have a detailed account of the funds they've received and it's to the penny! I encourage you to visit the website and prayerfully consider making a contribution to this amazing ministry. When I return, I will have much more information to share! In the mean time, if you would like to read more about the work True Vine has done, please visit this page.
Part 2. This is where I get downright giddy. Collaborating with Noonday Collection! I LOVE to design, I DO NOT love to reproduce....LOL. This is why Noonday has been such a tremendous blessing to me. I can not wait to be with this amazing group of artisans again and be able to pour into them. I'm infinitely grateful to Jessica (the founder) for giving me this opportunity. It has been such a gift to grow in our friendship as we work together, pray together and dream together. Lord willing, I will be guest blogging for Noonday about my time with the artisans....provided the Internet cooperates :o)
As I type out the above, I sit here in disbelief. I will never comprehend the adventure God has allowed me to experience. I feel unworthy, incompetent, completely unqualified and ridiculously blessed...all at the same time. But I believe this is what He has called me to. For this time. And when this time ends, I'm sure I will cry and struggle and grieve and wrestle with God and beg Him to let me continue. But we will cross that bridge when it comes. Ephesians 2:10 says "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do". I'm believing God. And when satan creeps in....and he does....a lot, I have to continually remind myself of Romans 8:1 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". And Jesus gives me the strength to just keep pressing on.
To God be the Glory.......always,