This has been a crazy, busy week of activity.
The Self Reliance Week of Celebration event at Kaneshie offered classes every day on various topics such as Accelerated Job Search, Writing a Business Plan, and How to Run a Successful Business. The response was pretty good, we had between 30 and 60 people attend the classes offered. Our role was to teach from the "Foundation Principles" book and assist in any way needed. One morning we just copied papers as more and more participants arrived at the "Writing A Business Plan" class. It was fun to see the room fill up to capacity!
On Friday afternoon we prepared the cultural hall and classrooms for the culmination of the weeks events. It was anticipated that on Saturday over 400 would attend the Business Fair. This event consisted of members exhibiting their businesses, and a panel discussion. So, on Saturday morning we arrived early and helped a few business owners set up their displays. The music arrived, the decorations were in place and then Elder Lambert and I had to leave to attend a Bishops Training meeting at another building. Later, when we returned the panel discussion had just begun, with some excellent speakers sharing their knowledge and personal experiences. Sadly, the audience was only half what we anticipated, but those 200 had a great time and many commented on the quality of the meeting. During the Q&A session one young man asked what should he do when life seems so confusing. The answers given by the panelists were so heart felt and sincere in their desire to give guidance it was touching. What made it even more poignant was after the meeting I was introduced to this young man, thanked him for his question and then learned that he is an orphan. He has spent most of his life in an orphanage but will soon reach the age where he must leave and make his own way in life. Oh, my heart! A kind mentor bought him and another orphan to the Fair. More goodness...
Life is hard here. Another example....We invited Samuel, one of the guards at our apartment complex to the Saturday event and were thrilled when he showed up and took great interest in what was said about becoming self reliant. He has worked as a groundsman at the British High Commission, and is good at handyman work, but life has been rough for him recently with doubts, indecisiveness and lack of direction. Although he is grateful to have a job he wants to find something more fulfilling. He walked around the 42 exhibits with us and made contact with some of the businesses where he might find better work. He told us, "I was much encouraged by the testimonies. It bought tears to my eyes." We were glad to provide him with some hope.
A funny event from the week happened early one morning while we were just leaving one of the missionary apartments following an apartment check. The phone rang and Michael (SR team member) requested that we buy more pencils on our way to Kaneshie. You've got to understand that we are in the backstreets of a neighboring community with no big stores anywhere close by. What to do? I walked across the street to a little kiosk where a lady is selling food and asked if she knew where we could get pencils. She yelled down the street to another lady, who in turn yelled down the street, and a few seconds latter the word came back up the pipeline that someone in the distance sold pencils and would be coming shortly. Sure enough a couple of minutes later a women showed up carrying a container on her head full of school supplies, including pencils! Only in Africa, and even better than on-line shopping!
We are both exhausted from this week, but no time for rest, another hectic week is looming on the horizon. Gotta love it!
All our love,
Elder and Sister Lambert
One of the few picture of us together
These Sisters came from Togo to exhibit their jewelry!
Irene came to all 5 days of classes and exhibited her Honey business
Samuel and Elder Lambert by the SR board I tried to reorganize
Training Bishops about SR,, they got a laugh from the slide (an overloaded Bishop-haha!)