Last February when I visited Rebecca I was surprised to see there were two giant pigs in pens behind the church. She explained that Pastor received one as a gift for preaching so she salvaged the materials to build the pen for it. She saved every little coin and then bought another piglet and salvaged to build for her too. She collects everything she can find to feed them to get big and fat, and then she got them pregnant. That was the last I saw of her pigs in February.
When I arrived here imagine how surprised I was to see there were sixteen pigs! I had given her a little money to grow her business so she expanded their shelter. George was very impressed because he knows about the piggery business and said that these are the highest quality pigs out there. A full grown fat pig sells for 400,000 ugandan shillings. That’s more than two hundred dollars. A little piglet costs 20 dollars.
Rebecca has a mind for business. She said she needs to make the shelter larger so she can separate the mamas from the babies and get more of them pregnant again. Then they can begin selling the piglets for a good profit.
I like to see this effort. The small patch of land the pigs are on is a piece that the church members bought last year. Since February it is now growing sweet potatoes, cassava, sugar cane and beans. It is a really small piece of land but the women are using every last corner and grain of soil.
Kirabo Seeds has been supporting the Pastor’s family and all the children there for almost two years. I am pleased to see their own work. They have pigs, seven goats, 150 chickens and a cow that we have provided for them. In this culture, these resources amount to wealth. Now it is time for them to make their own decisions using the resources that they have to support themselves.
With Rebecca’s natural business ability they should be able to grow enough pigs to provide for their own food each month. I am quite peaceful knowing we have helped them to reach this place where their resources are prospering and they can now tend for their own needs. Convincing them that they can is another matter, they are resisting our withdrawal, but it is the best for them. “Mama Tonya” is called the answer to their prayers, but that’s not true. It was a temporary answer, and now it’s time for them to see they must let us go. I’m obligated to obey God as he is redirecting us.
We have turned down a new path with our own children’s home. God has a new direction for us, and we are overjoyed to be working with our own fourteen children. The more time I spend with them, the more humbled I am that God has given us these precious ones to protect, support, love, and encourage. I am growing fiercely in love with each of them. It’s the sort of motherly love that overrides all common sense, becomes primal, instinctual and fierce. This love evokes the response in me that will protect them at all cost. On the other hand I sit and weep with sincere gratitude that I am privileged to be leading this team that also loves them in the same way. God has created a family.
I only hope that the group at Jame’s church will stand tall and learn to support themselves and not cling too tightly to us. We fell into their hands under a web of lies. When we found out that they weren’t all orphans but they were all family and interrelated we didn’t break off from them. We followed through with the help hoping they would get to this place where we could see they have resources of their own to begin to help themselves. Unfortunately by the rules of being a good missionary we were in a trap where our helping was also hurting them because we were enabling dependence. As stuck there as we were, we tried to balance the withdrawal and the aid. Now, I feel confident the time has come to see how well they make their decisions without us. I know God will not forsake them, and I know that we’re not meant to be God for them. We were there to give them a little help until they could manage it themselves. These pigs, they are good evidence to us that they can make it happen.