Friday, March 1, 2013

Thank God

It's Friday!


Many people in the West believe that it is ridiculous to search for a job, task, purpose, or cause that they would love.  Doesn't everyone know that work is work. PERIOD.  A job is not something to be enjoyed.  It's something people do for a paycheck.  The paycheck allows them to survive.  What people love is what they do AFTER work.  Some people work at something they don't really enjoy, but it makes them rich and leaves them miserable.


It's not only in America where people live for the weekends and rejoice when Friday arrives.  I find a lot of people, here in Africa, despise their job.  Survival is the prevailing value.  Looking for love is found somewhere beyond the borders of work.  "Many people talk about pursuing their dreams, but very few are willing to risk much to make that dream happen."  (Phil Cooke in One Big Thing)


I was one of those people who was willing to delay the pursuit of a dream in exchange for a regular paycheck.  I can never forget the lunch my wife Pam took me on more than 10 years ago.  She gently asked me five probing questions throughout our lunch to which I had miserable answers.  The solution was to give up doing some of the things I was doing because I had too many irons in the fire.  In retrospect I gave up the things I loved for the stability of a paycheck.

My transition came in 2005.  Next Generation Ministries was in the birth canal and we began renting a house in Jinja, Uganda.  We were off and running in the direction of our dream.  Today our masthead reads A River of Relationships Connecting Resources To Needs.  It is a description of what we do, but not why we do it.  Our purpose has been, is,and always will be to equip, empower, encourage, and release the next generation into their identity, vision, and purpose.

Electricity come to Bukeeka
Robert was confident, but not happy, that God was calling him to manifest the superiority of the Kingdom of God in Bukeeka. He did a Jonah run across Lake Victoria in an attempt to avoid the impression.  It was a short run concluded by encouragement from me to be the David of the day and slay the giant in front of him. Together we faced serious opposition including almost being stoned.

Connecting power to homes in Bukeeka
That was then and this is now.  Robert is living the dream.  Hatred from most of the villagers turned to love through the mechanism of a Primary School that has risen to rank academically first in its district. This past month Fountain of Hope Schools was officially registered as a legal educational entity. There are more than 1,000 day and boarding students in the combined primary and secondary schools.

Though Robert doesn't need me to advise him, encourage him and empower him these days he refuses to forget his beginnings.  He sometimes tells me that if I had not been there in the early years of his pursuit he could not have survived.  My goal was to help him find who he was, where he was going, and why he was put on this earth.  I believe I was made to empower people. I love empowering them, one person at at time, and I get paid a salary to do it!

Joseph hanging lights in a classroom
Speaking of empowering ... this week I made three trips out to Fountain of Hope Ministries. Why?  On Monday we purchased $1,200 worth of electrical materials and hired two electricians to wire the guard shack, the school offices, the teacher's lounge, and several classrooms.  Maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but there is no electricity beyond the main road where the trading center is in Buekeeka.  Nine power poles left the supply line on the highway and climbed the hill to the school property.  Every family along the way now has the option to connect to electricity.  It's a VERY BIG DEAL to the people of the village.

I love connecting people with resources to people with needs.  But, my passion is to help people with needs and people with resources discover who they were made to be and help deposit courage in them to pursue what they really love.

Dead end jobs are not jobs with small salaries.  Dead end jobs are jobs we don't love with a passion ... regardless of the amount of income they generate.  Many of us may need to abandon the values of comfort and convenience in exchange for the risk of pursuing what we love and what we believe we were made to do.

I wake up every day with a passion for my work.  I love what I do and love the people I do it with.  Connecting financial resources from Oklahoma to the dusty or muddy village of Bukeeka is a thrill for me.  Seeing people uncover and pursue their individual dreams motivates me.  Resting my head on my pillow at night dissolves into a conversation of wonder and gratitude to the Lord who progressively leads me to live for every day and not just Fridays.



2 comments:

  1. Love this! Thank you. Amen and amen. We took our 2/3 cut in pay to do this crazy church-planting venture, but now we both agree we wouldn't go back for all the money in the world. For us it's slow-going and can be frustrating, it doesn't feel all that "dreamy." :) But we're grateful for it and grateful for YOU. Thank you.

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  2. Those that have eyes to see, can see Uganda is changing, one person at a time. This change is due to the "Good News", the Grace of God, and the hard work of those that "carry the water". Thank you and Pam, for the hard work and using your gifts for these people. "Thank you for loving them". DK

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