Labor Of Love



     Jane lives in Northern Uganda.  Like many others, she fled her home in southern Sudan during heavy fighting.  It is still too dangerous for her to return.  Jane is a displaced person, but she does not live in a tent and receive food from charities.  She lives in a thatched-roof mud hut that she helped build.  Every morning she rises before dawn and walks four kilometers to her garden, where she tends her cassava and peanut crops, which will feed her family.  Then she returns home, showers, and walks another six kilometers to teach sewing to displaced persons in another village.

     Because there is no electricity, Jane uses two treadle sewing machines to teach her students.  They learn the principles of cutting and sewing using brown paper rather than cloth.  Once they are proficient using their paper garments, Jane gives them cotton cloth to cut and sew.

     Jane could get a job teaching sewing in a city, but she prefers to help others who can’t afford to pay.  Her sewing-school ministry will improve the lives of many who have no other source of income.  Jane also dreams of teaching women to read and write in their own language and in English, but she has no resources to start a literacy project.

     Sewing and teaching are not Jane’s only ministries.  Several evenings a week she directs the church choir and works with the youth.  Often she arrives home after dark to prepare food and wash and iron her clothes. 

     When Jane dreams of the future, she does not dream of an easier life.  She dreams of using her skills and knowledge to help others.  Jane receives no income from the sewing students.  Her work is her ministry for God, teaching and leading them to the feet of Jesus.  With willing hands such as Jane’s the work of God is moving forward rapidly in southern Sudan and Northern Uganda.

Valerie Fidelia