One of the most rewarding, momentous steps so far for Maranatha Health Uganda took place about a month ago in Kamwenge. The new MH Uganda Board of Directors met in Kamwenge for the first board meeting.
After 6 months of hard work, sweat and tears, putting together the MH Uganda board was easy.
At the first meeting, we began by each introducing ourselves and any role we have played with MH in the past. Before we have even officially begun MH activities, it dawned on me that this group of individuals – now a collective – have shaped this vision into what it now is. It was the people sitting around our dining room table at the board meeting that Michael and I have for so long now fleshed out this vision with, on our trips back and forth to Uganda. Ugandans, who time and time again we have listened to, leaned on, been mentored by, sought wise counsel from and prayed with about how this small intangible idea would come to pass, practically, in Kamwenge.
As we discussed the vision, mission and strategies of MH, we were amazed by the way this board has been so clearly moulded and orchestrated by the One who is behind this vision. Hearing our Ugandan colleagues speak so eloquently and wisely about the purpose and ethos of MH was truly remarkable. I felt as if they were taking the words straight from my mouth- only they weren’t my words. They were theirs. And they will safeguard the vision of this organisation better than any other group of people we could have dreamed of.
The reason I share this is because since coming here, it feels like not a lot has come easily.
It made me reflect on Michael and I starting Maranatha Health in Australia (which has a similarly amazing board!) over the past 4 years and how similar that process was to now starting in Uganda. It seems that starting anything new is excruciatingly difficult but incredibly fulfilling and very fun. Often it feels like driving a car at night in the middle of a tropical storm, on a potholed dirt road, when the demister isn’t working (yes, an analogy from our life here!).
Exciting but bloody scary.
You drive along, having a rough idea of how far you have to go, and energised by the thought of your destination. But most of the way your vision is completely blurred. The constant loud splattering of rain makes it hard to listen to yourself think. You don’t see the potholes you know you will inevitably hit. The thunder is loud and threatening and makes you wonder if you should just pull over and give up for a while, but secretly you love the excitement and it makes you more determined to keep driving. And every now and again a strike of lighting lights up the sky and you can see the way ahead. But in that moment, you see the next set of potholes and more bends in the road. You’re grateful for the light, but don’t know if it’s better just to be in the dark…
That’s basically how it’s felt for me, anyway. So much unknown.
But then in every new venture, it seems there is a tipping point. When it no longer is just you in the car, but a big group of people. People who all know the destination, and are happy to take turns driving.
And it makes all of the challenges worth it!
In Australia this took a few years. I’m still a little amazed and humbled by the fact that MH Australia is this fully functioning, professional organisation now, working separately from Michael and myself. That amazingly skilled, passionate individuals are owning Maranatha Health, investing in her, breathing new life into the original vision and growing her far beyond what we could have planned or hoped for. Reaching that stage is rewarding and exciting and a reminder that God was behind all of it…
..and I can’t wait to keep sharing with you this exhilarating, addictive process that we are now stepping into for Maranatha Health Uganda.