It is now possible for my family to pass through the dining room, foyer and living room. It was cluttered beyond belief with merchandise from Uganda for a week. It’s taken me every free moment to sort, inventory, organize and store it all into our metal cabinets in the garage…in the Texas heat. Ugh.
My husband would come home and shake his head, but not say a word, just pass through. That could be what motivated me to finish that job. Kirabo Seeds relies heavily on sponsor donations, and sales to keep our children’s home operating. We also lean fairly heavy on Daddy Craig, but he’s an official donor. I personally enjoy my job of taking great care of our best donor.
I love handling the goods we find at the market. The colors can’t help but brighten a stressful day. The fabrics take me straight back to the streets of Kampala where the women stroll with regal chins held high in full length African dresses accessorized with long colorful earrings. Their beauty can only shift my mind to how my own daughter will stroll these markets as a woman in her prime of beauty. Breath taking.
Market shopping could be the most exhausting thing I do in this life. It requires Phiona and Robert to carry the big duffle bags to fill. Jack has seen it all and is no longer looking for personal purchases. He needs jobs to do or he is quickly ornery, hot and bored. So I sent him on errands for the apartment. Find art with zebra in it for our kitchen. Purchase necklaces for a friend to sell for her adoption. Go find me the best deal on twenty of these bracelets. Jack is on the job. And during this trip we brought two children with us from the home to experience the market. They loved it. I loved sharing them with the vendors who couldn’t help but gasp at how good and healthy they look.
Of course I couldn’t help myself but put bracelets on the girl’s wrists, and bring home cross necklaces cut from bone for the boys. There are cute little African dollies that just had to become sisters for the babies in bed at home. That was a highlight of my trip for sure. Just to see these bashful thankful smiles puts wings on my heart.
But the ordeal of finding the goods I can actually sell, the quality I need at the price which is fair among hundreds of hopeful women…well…that is a lot of stress. I buy fast and I buy in bulk. If I like what I see, I take all of them. Then the ladies next to her show me all their things, which I fear will not sell, and I have to shake my head no. I show them what I like and say if you make it like this I will buy all you have. Some of the ladies get very excited about that opportunity, they take Phiona’s phone number, and get to work. Other ladies grumble, scowl, and turn their back on me.
I think back to the first time I ever shopped in that market. I was more interested in pleasing them than anything. That was right for then, but now, this is a business and I need to raise the support for the kids. The ladies all know me by now, they see my red hair and pale skin coming, some greet me by name, and all of them know and love Jack! We are beginning to find vendors that we prefer to work with because the price and quality is best. I like getting to know these women. I love the smiles on their faces when I clean out their inventory and they can pay their rent for a year. I know they go straight to the beauty “saloon” to get their hair done up just perfectly.
I’m prowling endlessly for the new things that will be exciting for my customers. I found several this trip. That hunt is always satisfying and fun for me. We have four shops that sell our goods, each one with a different clientele so I try to buy for them. And …ta da… soon we are opening an online store! I’m meeting Misty next week to get it set up and running. I’m so hopeful this opportunity will take our sales into the point where we can begin saving to buy a home for our children.
In just one year, by the gift and grace of God, we have been able to take sixteen children out of the worst of circumstances, fatherless, motherless, and make a home for them. God has provided through us in such a way that they are now among the privileged in Uganda. With this new status we have opportunity to begin teaching them the flow of love from a great God. We are now shifting focus to train them to serve rather than be served. They’ve been well served for a year, and they are doing well, now it is time to teach them to go back to their communities and share, give, and be a blessing to those who remain with great need. Several mission teams have requested to visit our family this summer, and that will be our objective! We will greet our children and take them out to their community to share. I am seriously sitting here in great awe of a God who can do so much in such a short time using a broken and flawed housewife and mom from Texas. I feel like dancing. An image comes to my mind of the jjajjas receiving their bibles who danced like they were just crowned princess. That was an experience I’ll never in my life forget. Oh I am blessed to be a child of God…so thankful to be useful to Him.