Gretchen and I will be coming to the States for the month of September for three reasons.
1. 10th Anniversary of Lahash International!It's the 10th anniversary of the beginning of Lahash, and September marks my nine-and-a-half year anniversary with Lahash! I'm coming back to attend the celebration events over Labor Day weekend. There's a formal banquet (see left) on the evening of the 4th and a picnic reunion on the afternoon of the 5th.
As my boss and I were just discussing, over the years, many of my friends have become staff members, travelers, volunteers and sponsors at Lahash, so I hope I'll be seeing many of you over the Labor Day weekend.
2. Meet the Board of Mama Maisha USA!
Last month Mama Maisha was registered as a U.S. non-profit! We have a board of directors based in Asheville, North Carolina, so I'll be flying out to meet up with them and maybe do some fundraising for our brand new official organization.
3. Increase our Personal Support
Fred and I are both in unenviable position of fundraising our salaries. Fred does this through writing grant requests for projects which pay him a salary (like the GBV reduction program I referenced last week). My salary from Lahash International is 100% fundraised, including all my travel expenses (like my trip around East Africa in May). Beyond our "jobs" we like to do projects to help vulnerable people in our community, like Dorina, Grace and Johanes. All of the money that pays for our international travel, personal ministry and my work with Lahash International comes from individuals and families supporting us through monthly or annual donations.
If you have been touched by our ministry in East Africa, I would like to schedule a time to meet with you during the month of September. These meetings will be my top priority, and my goal is to meet with 30 people in 30 days. I won't be doing much socializing, but I will be accepting lunch and dinner invitations, coffee dates, early morning breakfasts or Sunday brunches with any person, couple or family who would like to talk about joining our support team. If you want to be on that list, email firstname.lastname@example.org right away to schedule a day. There are only 30 spots, and they're going to fill fast!
Now I'm off to a birthday party for one of Mama Maisha's interns from Clinton School of Public Service, then a good night's sleep before teaching two full-day workshops on "Hygienic Birth When the Hospital Can't Be Reached" to Traditional Birth Attendants. As I remarked on Facebook, if a pregnant woman rushes into the church hall needing assistance to deliver, I'll probably be the least qualified person to actually deliver the baby, but I'm still the teacher of the course. That's how desperate rural Tanzania is for education on issues of maternal mortality! Be sure to check back next Thursday to see how I did!