Putting our weight behind the opportunity...seeds of hope in the background!
Something happens to your head and your heart after you spend a few days on the ground in a country like Rwanda!
Bob and I are weighing in literally and we are asking you to join us...it started as a joke, Andrew Falle threw out the idea one day that we should have a fundraiser..(we were having alot of them, thanks to Dorothy and Betty, while we rattled around on the coaster bus---fundraisers that is!)...but this one was different..Andrew suggested "lets all guess Doris's weight" and each guess will cost you. Well it wasn't long before Bob threw his weight behind that idea and said he was in...not to guess, but to have the group guess our combined weight. We all laughed it off and went on visiting at the next stop.
But something deep within me resonated with that crazy idea...what if everyone put their weight behind the opportunities that exist not just in Rwanda but all of Africa...what if we used this crazy idea of Andrews and challenged others to ask them to weigh in...to make and be the difference between desperation and hope.
So Bob and I said...lets do it...let's ask people to get on board...so the group from Canada that came with us has said, "we are in!" They have formed a Trust Group called "Made in Rwanda." Their first commitment will be to be part of the ... "Weighing In" Challenge. Don't worry...we won't be asking you to tell us your weight, but we are asking you to Weigh In as well...if you do...if you make a donation...before March 31, it will be matched...not just once but twice. What do I mean...for every dollar given, it will be matched and become two dollars and THEN the Canadian government (CIDA) will match that two dollars making it FOUR DOLLARS --- so 1+1=4....now that is WEIGHING IN big time on the Opportunity that exists! And heres what Bob and I will do....for everyone who gives a donation. We will send you a personal letter revealing to you our combined weight. Make your donation online and we will keep track AND we will let you know...
Something happens --- when you decide to do things like this...you truly do become, STRONGER TOGETHER!
Something happens when you visit rural schools on the hilltop where teachers have been inspired to the point that they are training up some of the most marginalized children in the country to BELIEVE that all things are possible...that they can be the leaders of tomorrow, and when you ask them how many want to be the president of Rwanda - at least half of them put up their hands.
Something happens when you junket down to the rice paddies and watch farmers tilling away in small plots of land taking the tiniest of rice seedlings to the point of harvest and you are there to see the whole process...right through to loading bursting bags of quality rice being loaded on to the truck heading for the market. But what really gets you right in the heart is when the farmer tells you this means he can now feed his family. Full Stop...yes, that's right...feed the whole family. We have learned on this trip that most smallhold farmers can't even feed their entire family...but we have seen on this trip the solution...to not just feed a family, but to go way beyond that - a good harvest means--food+school+insurance+medicine+house=LIFE!
Something happens when you sit in a corporate board room for one day with 150 emerging and successful entrepreneurs and you realize that their message to us is as powerful as the words we bring to them...when one of them stands up and says, that this is what is needed...bringing "international focus to local community to ensure we are reaching a balanced perspective." And then the next day you meet one of those that attended--you actually go to his restaurant for lunch...and he comes over and says, "I needed yesterday...I needed to hear from Bob that today is the day for me to start giving back...I want to a true change agent for my people."
Something happens to your heart when you sit in on a breifing of how a bank...that is focussed on transformation from the inside out and you see the heart of the presenter...not just in the presentation that is given, but as the day unfolds and you spend the day with his direct report--who is working with the people in the margins. Kevin Asman made the comment, so goes the leadership--so goes the organization...and what we witnessed in a Trust Group meeting was that the influe of the leadership of Opportunity International in this country...is cascading right into the most challenged households. Our clients KNOW they have a hope and future.
We have been witnesses to what God's Grace and God's Kindness can and is doing! These two phrases used time and again by Jeffrey Lee UOB URWEGO (Opportunity International Rwanda) and Jeff Komant (Wellspring Foundation for Education) - We BELIEVE so we are weighing in...Will you JOIN US!
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