On His Way
Curiosity was the bridge between them. On one side of the short gap was an aging and rather large white guy, leaning on the rail of the veranda. Peering back at him from the sidewalk approaching the verandas was a group of 10 or 12 young and thin black guys. It was a two way bridge. They stared at him while he stared back at them. A friend of his and a friend of theirs had brought them together. It was their first time, of many times, that they connected with each other. The short introduction made by their mutual friend was followed by a question from the white guy. It was a surprise to them ...and to him. But, that question has since become common for him.
Where are you going?
|Robert with his white mama Pam|
Though they had no way of knowing, the question was philosophical. It would never occur to most Africans. Survival has been the historical pursuit. Sleeping without hunger was a good day. Finding some small money to purchase airtime for a cell phone was a good day. Marriage? Career? Dreams? Strategy? Those pathways would have to be put off for another day. Today was about survival. Common. So, when someone wants to inquire about the direction of a person's life .... well, that is not an everyday question.
It is not hard to be a boy in a man's body in Uganda. The extreme challenge of the dowry system has made it nearly impossible to marry before 30 years of age. But, marriage is one of those responsibilities that helps turn a selfish barbarian into a humble servant. Someone who cares more about others than he does himself. Marriage is not, of course, the solution to selfishness, but its demands can certainly motivate a young man to FIND the solution.
Additionally, the difficulty of finding employment delays the process of becoming a man. It is estimated that unemployment among youths who have graduated from college and university is a whopping 83%! Taking care of oneself is a huge challenge without taking a wife and any offspring that come from the union.
|Robert working in one of the best studios in Kampala|
On top of this one on one training, Robert was able to perform well on an exam from a School of Music which awarded him a much needed certification. More doors will open for Robert because of this accomplishment.
|Proud of Robert|
Pam and I have heard the question numerous times. What do you do in Uganda? What is your vision? Perhaps many are expecting the answer to feature some project we are attempting to accomplish. No. Our vision is to help the next generation discover who they are. To help them find their way. We want them to be able to answer the BIG question at the end of the day. Did you do what you were meant to do while you were on earth? We want them to be more successful and productive they we ever were. THEY are our vision. Their vision becomes our vision.
|Robert Katembo ... a man on his way!|
We have many others who we are assisting in their development. We have others who are in apprenticeships, training, and schools. Their sponsorship is short term. It is temporary, but with a long term reward. If you would like to help us continue to help dreams come true with the next generation in the nation of Uganda you are welcome. You can come to Uganda on a short term mission trip and connect with someone you want to see develop and become self-sustaining. Or you can contribute financially to Next Generation Ministries so that Pam and I can continue to help them through the context of relationship. You can donate funds through the PayPal button on this blog or send a check to Next Generation Ministries, 29940 South Dhooghe Road, Colton OR 97017. Together we can help others like Robert be on their way to someplace. If we don't help them know where they are going they might end up somewhere else.
ADDENDUM: The reason I have posted this addendum is in this edited version of my blog on Robert's progress is so that I can add a link to the first song that Robert composed, sang, arranged, and produced as a milepost in his career development. The name of this song is I Will Praise You. If you click on the title of this song you will be able to hear the song and evaluate the value of the Robert's apprenticeship. ENJOY!