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Guest Post Link with Emily Wierenga

(*Today we are linking with Emily Wierenga, author of “Atlas Girl”, artist, and non-profit founder, as she shares her heart about something quite dear to her across the sea in Uganda. As an organization, Bevy will be encouraging the women of the Katwe Village in Uganda in practical ways, with more details to come, including how you can get involved with your Bevy of girls.)

 

Photo by Allyn Lyttle of World Help Organization

Photo by Allyn Lyttle of World Help Organization

 

She walked for four hours just to meet me.
Her soles were red from Uganda’s earth and she didn’t break a sweat in the high heat. Her eyes shone but she lowered them, looked at her sandals, even as I reached out a hand to touch her shoulder, and I could feel the strength in this peasant farmer’s arm.
She’d lost her husband just weeks earlier to HIV/Aids, an illness people still talk about in hushed tones because of the shame associated with it.
She’d lost her children long before that to this children’s home I was visiting–because she had a sick husband to care for and a farm that wasn’t bringing in money and no way to feed her sons or daughters.
And here I was, able to pay for her kids’ clothes and education while she wasn’t. And not because I worked harder. No, she worked sun-up to sundown and had callouses across her hands and feet…for the rest of this post and to learn more about The Lulu Tree, head over here.

Bebe&boo (Bevy Founder, Adrienne Graves’ jewelry design business) will be contributing pieces for purchase at The Lulu Tree Boutique, all proceeds going directly to the efforts of community development and ministry in Katwe.

Bevy + “X” = Only God Knows

Ever since I was a teenager I dreamt of traveling the world. My Dad was/is UBER protective so I wasn’t ever able to travel abroad for school, ministry, or adventure.

Then, I got married and got a passport and co-led a lot of trips overseas.

Learning the stories of others within their culture was a rich experience. Thousands of miles from all that was familiar, I always felt at home sitting with another, listening, asking questions, observing, learning, trying to empathize…because we all have a story and every. single. one. of us matters…because God made us.

There is something to be said about learning the story of another within their context of living. The subject of my college studies culminated in a thick senior paper, long before the Internet in the world of floppy discs, titled, “Equipping Nationals to Minister to their own Culture.” Essentially, fostering self-sustaining lifestyles, rather than imbalanced dependence on others. I knew deep in my heart as an 18-22 year old that the more I stepped foot on the rich soils of other continents, saw the faces, sat in the homes of beautiful women graciously giving me a meal, that the message of Good News was ALL they needed from me. They didn’t need my culture, my money, my American standard of indulgence. What anyone needs is God’s unconditional love in eternity and a loving, supportive community, and that looks different all over the world.

So, what does this have to do with Bevy and our mission? Well, having traveled abroad and being profoundly impacted by God’s creativity in the faces of people throughout the earth, it has always been on my heart as the Founder of Bevy to build bridges with women beyond our borders. With a heart to live intentionally with ourselves and God and then in our circles of life, the third element of Bevy’s mission is to turn outward and serve side by side God’s community in the world. I’ve envisioned taking small bevies on trips overseas to sit and break bread, listen and learn the stories of other women, seeing just how much it is we do have in common and how it is we can serve one another.

I have had the privilege of working with some phenomenal contacts and interpreters while traveling overseas…and I’ve purposefully leaned into them. Why wouldn’t we? They are the experts, the locals, the nationals right there within their community and they know themselves and their people best.

So, I’d like to tell you about a beautiful opportunity we have as Bevy to support and encourage a local Ugandan woman in Kampala, rallying to provide a position of ongoing employment as she hits the front lines of loving and serving within her community, “Preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers.”

The-Lulu-Tree-280x280

The ministry is called The Lulu Tree and the founder is Emily Wierenga, a Canadian author, blogger, and speaker, who has traveled the world extensively and seen the beautiful impact of indigenous community development. Her heart has been deeply touched by the beauty, simplicity, and utter poverty of a small slum in Kampala, Uganda, called Katwe, and as a result, she started a non-profit to do something about it. Emily knows better than to try to “fix it all” from afar, so has been working alongside some folks in country, learning the best modes of equipping women there to gain their freedom from the cycle of poverty, modeling this freedom for the next generation.

The specifics of how we’ll be encouraging the women of The Lulu Tree in Uganda are in the works right now, but my heart in sharing this information is to ask YOU BEVIES to pray and start thinking about how and if and when you and your Bevy will be involved. AND, equally as important, please pray for the beautiful community of women in Kampala, Uganda!

How I would love to go there together one day! BUT, first comes the heart preparation…

 

 

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