Eyes for Hope

The holidays are drawing to a close, and its only natural that we begin to really think about the approaching new year- 2012 is nearly upon us! What kind of posture we have towards a new calendar year is largely tied to how we feel about the year we just finished. There is no shortage of people and media sources summarizing 2011. Top sellers, new trends, impact stories, and favorite movies are all being debated. (Isn’t it obvious? #1: Tree of Life #2: Muppets Movie) Four million people went to YouTube to let Google do the summarizing of 2011 for them.

More personally,

we each take stock of our own stories. Some of us had a year of celebration and victory while others dealt with enormous challenge and defeat. Its more likely that we all had a little of both. I personally went through an overwhelming vocational change after a decade of working in the same place. It was confusing, disorienting, and even a bit scary. This fall, my wife and I found out we’re having a fourth child next June. It was… hmmmm…. confusing, disorienting, and even a bit scary. Okay, we’re really excited, too! There are simply so many things to mark in 2011 and reflect on before midnight on Saturday. (an hour that my pregnant wife will likely never reach- maybe we’ll watch the ball drop in NYC live so she only has to make it to 10PM Colorado time?)

But I have experienced something quite different in these contexts. One look at a a Ugandan child who is growing up in the midst of a post-conflict zone encountering food insecurity and poor economic infrastructure reveals a surprise. The child herself has eyes for hope! And that is an impossible and beautiful thing worth exploring.

I was recently struck by an incredible little Ugandan proverb: One who sees something good must narrate it. It is a powerful appeal to hold a different kind of posture, even in the middle of a time where many Ugandans are rebuilding after decades of instability. Maybe its why I’m deeply connected with TCON’s work right now. I can state it simply- I have seen something good in Uganda, and I feel called to advocate for it and tell the story. I have eyes for hope, and I believe I can be a part of encouraging that hope in small ways.

I will be returning to Uganda next month, and I can’t wait to begin implementing our 2012 plans with our team there! We are going to reach into Gulu with agricultural initiatives for the first time with thousands of new widows. We will also be doing more focused development projects with some new partners in Teso. This month we have been encouraging you to “Give Hope” with TCON in tangible ways. I hope some of you will be motivated enough to take a few simple minutes right now to donate to our our work with widows and their children in 2012. Our online giving is straightforward and secure, and you can access it here. Two numbers to consider: $150 can bring initial seed and training for ten Gulu widows. $30 allows ten widows to attend a conference that brings encouragement, training, networking opportunities and more. We are grateful for so many people that make TCON an effective NGO in Uganda! To friends and partners of TCON- we wish you a wonderful New Year, and we look forward to continuing the story in 2012!