Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Change In Uganda ... One Person At A Time

Bringing Change!
February 22, 2011

Abdu with Hannah & Moses
He was part of a small minority drifting in a vast African population.  His English was good enough to make him a desirable interpreter.  He was a trained accountant.  His marketable skills existed in a small hiring pool.   He would be a risk but his pastor hired him anyway.  He would be one of the primary interpretors for a first time and naive short term mission team.  His pastor was sure he could intimidate him enough to control him.  He was wrong.

I met Abdu in 2001 as a member of that short term mission team on my first trip to Uganda.  Our relationship is one of the longest  and most significant I've enjoyed during my tenure.  We both paid a price for involvement with his pastor.  From the lips of the contract killer I heard how he was given approximately $50 from this corrupt pastor to silence Abdu.

Abdu has taught me more about the culture than any other Ugandan.  Pam and I shared the same house with Abdu and his family for four years.  We lived life with them.  They benefited from our lives and we benefited from theirs.  We could never do what we do without the huge contribution Abdu has made to our lives.

Brown Eggs
Abdu, his wife Betty, and two of their children, Sarah and Moses, came to America with us for the summer of 2008.  Abdu interned at Willamette Egg Farms  for nine weeks while he and his family lived with us in Oregon.  Abdu is certain that all believers are called to be ministers and that business people are essential representatives of God in the marketplace.   One of his primary passions is to erase the reputation of his forefathers that Africans are deceivers, thieves, and liars.

Golden Yolk
Upon Abdu's return to Uganda he named his fledgling farm Dominion Egg & Dairy Farms.  He began with 100 layers several years ago in the garage of the compound we shared.  Now he has built two chicken houses and is working on his third.  They house 1,300 layers.  He has applied the skills learned in the United States, installing automated watering systems for his birds.  He has become an egg farmer consultant and has a strong desire to teach and help the surrounding communities how to do egg farming as a good source of income.  He is one of the few farmers who feed their birds a diet that produces golden yolks, which command a higher price than the normally nearly white ones.  Abdu believes that Dominion Farms can become a model farm for those who desire to farm commercially.  He is now farming row crops in addition to his egg and milk production.

Quality Dairy Cows
In Abdu's own words:

  "The youth in the church have been lied to.  They have been told to simply believe in God for money and blessings.  But, I have discovered that whatever you do in your occupation that brings glory to God is worship.  I want to earn money to support pastors and to train youth to work and show them how they can use the little they have."

Change is coming to this developing third world nation.  Some of the next generation of leaders are committed to the integrity of the Kingdom of God.  They are the change agents that Uganda needs.  Abdu is one of the finest returns on the investment many of you are making in the Pearl of Africa.  Two weeks from today Pam and I will again share our compound with this amazing family ... and we will help change each other for the glory of God.

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