It's true that helping a woman helps a lot of people.
Here are five examples:
Prossy-- the woman I shared about yesterday. Changing her world means changing that of eight children also.
And this is Hilder:
Hilder is 67. She had her first child at 14-- the result of being raped on the way to get water at the well. Now Hilder cares for grandchildren and great-grandchildren in her two room home. She also sells traditional African clothing and makes woven purses. She believes in Jesus 100%, and shared with us a couple of stories about trusting him to heal her children and grandchildren. She even preached to us about having faith!
Then there is Jane-- the complete rockstar.
Jane's leg is in a brace-- the effects of polio. She also is HIV+ and has skin cancer on the affected leg. Jane has 3 children and is a widow. Jane has every reason to let other people serve her, but instead, she works to support her family:
Raising chickens and selling eggs, making and selling beads and dolls, selling spices and other food products in her home store. Jane is also in a savings group, so she takes some savings there each month, and earns interest (5%!) on her money. Money is then available if she needs it for medical care, etc. Jane was in a group for people with disabilities, but then realized that there were separate groups for lame people and people with HIV, so she started her own group for people who are HIV+ and have disabilities. She is the founder and chairwoman of this group. The group goes out in the community, drumming and singing to draw a crowd. You might expect that then they are hoping to get money to help themselves, but instead, they serve. They take drs with them on these visits, and offer to test everyone in the crowd for HIV. If someone turns up positive, they are invited into the group, counseled, and encouraged to get on the medicines that can help. Oh, and did I mention that Jane is also working this hard to see that her oldest daughter, Innocent, is able to continue at the university ($1,000/semester)?! No pity parties here. Jane is changing zthe world for so many people!!!
This is Peruth:
Peruth owns a three room house and cares for her children (those still at home), a couple of infant grandchildren, and her mother-in-law. It is rare in Uganda for a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law to have a good relationship, and yet here is Peruth - not simply tolerating the mother of the man who left them, but loving her, and letting her live in her home. Peruth has a restaurant near the road.
She cooks three meals a day, and people come in, buy the food, sit at the table, and eat. Her business has suffered this month because it was Ramadan, so the Muslims were fasting, but she didn't give up. She began also selling charcoal and veggies to make up the difference. Peruth is a worker. She's proud of her store, and excited about the support she's gotten to expand the offerings at her restaurant.
Lastly, this is Sarah:
Sarah has a husband who only stops in occasionally. She also has a very sick 88 year old mother, who she cares for during the day at her sister's home. Sarah is the women's leader for her church, and she is the one who first helped Prossy when her troubles began. Sarah owns her own refrigerator (no small thing!) and sells bags of cold water and juice from her home.
These women made me ask myself this: What are you pushing yourself beyond excuses to do for your family and for others today???