There is a scene in the movie Toy Story where Andy is playing with his toys. And at one point he says “I brought my attack dog”. And his slinky dog surrounds the other toys…trapping them. But then the next words are “I brought my dinosaur that eats force field dogs”.
Over the past month, I could feel the weight of discouragement our women have felt. I was never sure just why they felt so defeated. It happens from time to time. They work so hard. And they have worked hard in the soap workshop. They have made beautiful soap. It has been their hope to sell the soap to hotels. And with the profits, they can support the other projects of Suubi Teen MOPS. I was here in Germany feeling their discouragement. And I would try to encourage them. Contracts do not grow on trees. These things take time. But what I did not realize was our women were being sexually harassed at every hotel. Hotel managers were blatantly offering contracts to buy soap in exchange for sex. I can only imagine how embarrassing and intimidating they felt approaching managers to sell soap, and being harassed sexually. And all they want is the opportunity to earn a living from their craft. In America or Germany, you can go after them. They would be hunting for a job if they acted like this. But there is no such justice in Uganda. Any action we take could most definitely backfire. We feel surrounded by a force field dog. Trapped.
But we are not trapped. We can find justice. It is higher and bigger than any justice in Uganda. We can appeal to God. We can propose to run a prayer campaign. And I believe if we all pray the force field dogs will be eaten up by our much bigger and stronger Lord. It may be that we hire a man to go to the hotels to sell our soap. I will no longer put our women in this vulnerable position. I had no idea this was going on. But I know now. And we will try to protect them. There are things in this world that should not happen. We need the wisdom to know what battles we should try to fight. We could stop right now and fight this kind of corruption. It could prove to be a long fight because it is so ingrained in this culture. I read as many as 90% of all women in Uganda experience some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. But we are trying to get an education for our women. And we do not need the distraction…we just need a soap contract with a few hotels. I’m not opposed to fighting this kind of corruption. I just have to be careful because the backlash could harm our women. The greatest thing that can happen is we can succeed. Our women can become educated. Their children can receive an education. They can remain poor and be right. But what good is that? We need wisdom. But we also need contracts to sell our soap in Uganda. So, for now, we may need to hire a male salesman. Right now we need your prayers. The beautiful soap is piling up in the workshop. Our women have been harassed, and they are very discouraged. Please pray for them. Pray this situation will now change. And doors that have been closed, will now be open. I’m sure you have heard the saying “success is when preparation and opportunity meet”. I am trying so hard to keep them preparing…we just lack opportunity. Pray for the opportunity. Thank you.