THIS IS MY
HOW IT HAPPENED
Two summers ago, I had dinner with a woman who little did I know would change my life.
Her name was Jolly.
At the table, between bites of our meal,
she began to tell her story.
A story unlike any I'd ever heard before.
After dinner, I rushed home and immediately wrote down in my journal.
"Jolly is the most extraordinary woman I have ever met - she is truly my hero.
If I ever have the opportunity to do anything with this woman.. I have to say yes."
A few months later, in the middle of class, I felt my phone buzzing. Immediately, I ran to the bathroom to answer.
It was my good friend Connor's mom, Ali.
"So, I was talking with Jolly, and we think you should come to Uganda."
She told me that in May she was bringing out a team of people to her families orphanage,Jireh, and that I should come and stay an extra week to go up to Gulu and take some pictures to help Jolly with WEND's website.
Immediately, I thought back to what I had wrote down in my journal, and began to tear up.
"Yes, I'll go. I have to go."
"I FELL IN LOVE.
I MADE A PROMISE.
I AM ALL IN - THERE IS NO PLAN B."
"I PROMISE I WILL DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO HELP YOU. I WILL WORK MY HARDEST FOR YOU LADIES.
EVERY SINGLE DAY. AND EVEN WHEN I'M GONE, AND YOU CAN'T SEE ME...I WILL BE WORKING FOR YOU..AND I WILL BE BACK. I WILL NOT LEAVE OR FORGET YOU.GOD IS WITH US - AND HE'S ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING HERE."
This is the scariest, hardest but greatest thing I have ever done. The weight of this work is greater than anything I have ever known. It's God's work. It's kingdom work. Work that's far bigger than myself. Work that is impossible for a 23 year old like me.
Whatever may come of WEND will have little to do with me and everything to do with what God has done. I have reached a breaking a point. I have reached the point where I have given everything I can. I've emptied myself of what I can do sitting from my home by myself. I'm at the phase where I need help. I need your help. And I have faith in a bunch of small things creating something amazing. There is a huge collective WE component of WEND. Together we can do great things. But I'm afraid if nothing changes, neither will WEND. And I won't be able to keep my promise to the women. Which would be the biggest disappointment of my life. I refuse to let it happen. God's called me to this so he'll bring me through this!
WHAT DOES THE AVERAGE
As the only full-time American I war a lot of hats.
Everyday I am learning. Something new. Something random. Something I never thought I'd have to learn.
Accounting. Reconciling your bank accounts. Knowing fabric weights and leather types. Knowing legal terms about nonprofit and social enterprise sector. Learning about founders boards and how to create one. Emailing nonstop. "What's- App" texting the office in Uganda at weird hours of the day. Planning trips to Uganda. Driving to the middle of nowhere East LA to look a leather. Taking photos. Editing photos. Creating websites. More emails. Dreaming up ideas on how we are going to raise money for the millions of needs we have. Creating online fundraisers. Going to meetings in San Diego or in high schools. Getting a part time job. Quitting a part time job. Applying for apartments - sending a description of WEND's mission instead of my paystubs.
I'm all in.