About a week and a half ago we wrapped up the annual ‘Your Worth’ Summit as we traveled to one last village to share with a newer group of mothers; many we were all meeting for the first time. There were about 19 mothers in total, and it was beautiful to witness the formation of new community as the summit came to an end this year. Meeting so many new teenage mothers also helped to reinforce in my mind the fact that there are still so many to be reached. The harvest is abundant; sometimes overwhelmingly so. Thankfully, it is a harvest that is held in hands much greater than any of ours.
The theme of daughterhood has been coming up again and again in my thoughts and prayer. The Father is continually reminding me that each and every woman we encounter is His beloved- chosen and created for a greater purpose and to love Him above all else. There is not a single one whom He forgets or overlooks for even a second. Our Lord has partly entrusted these daughters to Smile Again, and we must do our best to make sure that, with the help of His grace, we do not overlook them either.
The greater purpose of these women heavily stood out to me with this group in particular as they were each sharing their dreams with us. Each woman is so unique- some want to be tailors, others hair dressers, farmers, teachers, doctors… the list goes on. I wish you could have seen them as they were sharing their dreams with us; so many of them were so excited and hopeful for the future! Many of these women are younger than my 22 years; they have so much time left to pursue their dreams, many just need help getting started. We so greatly desire to share with them that the Father sees and knows their dreams and that He greatly wants to make them a reality. With His help, it is our dream to see these mothers begin to accomplish theirs. Lofty? Maybe. Possible? Check Mark 10:27
This past Monday Fred, Stella, and I sat down together to thank God for His great providence in guiding this summit and to discuss how we will continue on in future meetings with the mothers. It was so beautiful to be able to realize all of the ways our Father provided and continues to provide for the needs of the organization and for our personal needs as well! We also want to thank you all for your support, whether through prayer or donation- you helped make this summit possible and we are so grateful J The Lord is never outdone in generosity, and I assure you that He sees all that you have done!
As for future meetings with the mothers, these next few weeks we plan to visit each village and re-emphasize the importance of planning instead of simply sitting idle as well as find creative ways to continue to show them their true worth. We would love to be able to have one on one sessions to provide some personal counseling, but without staff this is difficult for three people to accomplish. Please join us in prayer as we search for ways to hire a couple of staff members to aid us in this mission and to continue to grow the organization! As the number of teenage mothers continues to rise, we pray to also find ways to expand in order to meet their needs, even if it is in a small way at first. As I wrap up, I want to share with you an image that has been burned into my mind since leaving the last village; it filled me with so much hope! After challenging the group of mothers to think about and write down their dreams, we broke for lunch. As I was walking out of the home we were using for the event, I looked to my right and saw one of the mothers sitting on her own writing vigorously. She was still writing down her dreams, and she was so focused she did not even realize I had walked out of the home! Something inside of her had sparked, and her excitement and passion were so visible in that moment. You see, it’s not always about large moments of conversion with tears streaming down someone’s face. Sometimes it’s about these little moments when you see an idea finally click in someone’s mind and you know that they’ve let the Holy Spirit in a little bit more than they had before, maybe without even realizing it. There must always be a spark used to ignite a fire, and I have no doubt that this mother felt the spark. Though at times the dream seems so large and the needs feel overwhelming, I’ve only been here a month and a half yet I have witnessed many sparks. The Lord is certainly at work! “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” – Luke 12:49. May our hearts be set on fire for you, Father, and may you allow us to help the hearts of others to be set ablaze as well.
We repeated the activity where the mothers try to draw there faces with a paper on top of their heads… the process.
Most mothers were bent over with laughter when seeing the results of their drawings.
Writing down dreams for the future…
Getting to share dreams with one another- they were so excited and full of life!
Smile Again Families, Uganda is a registered non-profit CBO that supports abused and troubled teenage mothers. We support teenage mothers to re – discover their life purpose and inner-worth, lead social and economic change through psycho-social support, formal education and entrepreneurial skills trainings.