While I was in Uganda back in October, I read the book Wide Awake By Erwin McManus. The book was not about Africa, but toward the end he made a statement that rang true with me while I was there.
Africa cannot be fixed; it must be re-created. Not by us who have even the most noble of intentions, but by her own heroes. We must serve them and make their journey less perilous where possible – and possible where impossible. It is they who must reimagine Africa and lead in her re-creation.
I couldn't agree more. This is why we will continue to partner with Arise Africa. It is not us that are going to be able to come in and fix Uganda. We have no illusions that what we do, no matter how good it is, is going to be some magical fix for the people of Uganda. What we can do, however, is provide support for Africa's own heroes. Heroes like my good friend Lillian who continuallly had medical issues until they ultimately led to her death. She had multiple opportunities and invitations to come and live in the States where she could received proper medical attention, but she always refused because her calling was to her people and her country. She knew that staying in Uganda would mean that her lifespan would be shortened, but she told me on multiple occasions that she was fine with that, because she couldn't wait to "go home" anyway. Heores like Godfrey, Susan, and Nelson the leaders of Arise Africa who decided to go without taking salaries for a year so that they could put that money back into the ministry. I once asked Godfrey (who has 8 children, by the way) how he managed to provide for his family. He responded simply, "Pastor Smooth, God hasn't let me down yet." I truly believe that it is they who will be able reimagine and re-create their great country through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is our duty, our obligation, and our honor to help them, support them, and enable them in any way that we can.