I once heard that if you want to slow down time, you should keep trying new things. When you do things you’ve never done before, it stops your brain from going on “auto-pilot” and skipping all of the details it has gotten used to. I’ve been remembering that lately, since my days seem to pass much slower. Weeks used to pass by in a busy blur, but now every day I am learning new things and being stretched beyond my normal comfort zone. Most days I forget that I’ve only been in Uganda for five months!
It was exactly two months ago that I found myself sitting alone in the Petros Zoe office, staring at a blank computer screen and feeling completely lost at what I should do to make this dream of a foster care system into a reality. I could see the flourishing program in my mind, but translating that into a practical plan seemed impossible. I was a team of one, with supportive directors but with no resources, and no clear idea of where to start.
In the end though, the only option was to move forward, ready or not. I slowly started taking steps forward. Sometimes they were long strides, but more often they were timid shuffles that I quickly had to redirect in a better direction. Every day I tried to focus just on the steps before me, and not the overwhelming task I was working toward.
And suddenly, just two months later, I can look back and see that my timid shuffling feet have actually taken me somewhere. Clearly there have been others propelling me forward faster than I ever could have gone myself, because the progress we’ve seen feels almost unreal. I now have three volunteers working with me each week, and others who are enthusiastically helping us make connections and gather resources. Last week, we certified our first foster parent who is ready to receive children in her home, and just yesterday we added a social worker to our team! Finding a skilled social worker was the last big piece of the puzzle to make this program get off the ground, and we managed to be connected with someone who spent a whole year working in the very government office we need to work through with every foster child placement. He knows exactly what paperwork to fill out, exactly which official to visit, and the entire process of the fostering system in Uganda.
I honestly can’t explain to you how I went from being alone and overwhelmed to having an almost fully functioning foster care program in eight weeks. This work is absolutely beyond my own power, because if it were left to me, I would probably still be alone and lost, with my head on my desk. But God has put people in my path, and even dragged me forward Himself when I felt like I couldn’t take another step.
In just one week I turn 29 years old, and based on how this year is going so far, I feel like this will be the best year of my life yet. I am far from the only person here who believes in foster care. There are so many people who want to see a program like this succeed, and who are helping to make it possible. And in honor of my birthday, I want to invite you to be one of these people.
You guys. I believe with all my heart that this foster care program has the potential to transform the entire country of Uganda, and even beyond. This vision that we have been given is so big and so new, that there aren’t even clearly written laws here to make provisions for it yet. This program will be revolutionary, and I want as many people as possible to be a part of making history.
I’m inviting people to celebrate my 29th birthday with me by giving either a one-time or monthly gift of $29 to the Petros Zoe Foster Care Program. This gift will help us provide medical care to our foster children, and to visit them in their foster homes. It will allow us to pay our social worker a salary he deserves for the tireless work he will be doing. It will allow us to recruit and train even more foster parents so that our impact can increase faster and faster. I’m telling you, you are not going to want to miss out on this.
To give your one-time or monthly $29 gift to the PZ Foster Care Program, you can follow this link to our website: www.petroszoe.org/donate. Thank you for joining us in this grand vision, and for making this birthday my best yet!