So, Kalema and I stayed in touch as we worked through his finishing his High School, thankfully. The next step was to take the SAT's or ACT's and we set him up for that, but, that didn't go so well. We recognized he had to study for them and make another effort, so, I encouraged him to do that by working through the website and refreshing the items he didn't do so well on.
In the meantime, he continued to ask me to get him into school in the USA. I definately wanted to, but, I couldn't figure out all of the particulars. In fact, it is a pretty lengthy process and one that includes alot more than just applying to go to school. We needed to get him introduced to the golf coaches, find him a job, get him a place to stay AND pay for it as well as a car, insurance, food, etc. etc. I just couldn't get it done. And, I was a bit skeptical on how that would work anyway; being responsible as his 'sponsor'.
Well, time went on and Kalema was cut out of working (caddying) at the local golf course for some reason, so, I encouraged him to go to the capital city of Kampala to become a caddy at the golf course there. He was hesitant, but, there were no jobs in his local area and if he wanted to work, he had to go to the capital. He, finally, did that, and for months things seemed to be going well, but, unbeknownst to me he was not making enough money to sustain himself there and with the bills mounting he left to go back to his village.
Again, after many months, there was no work in his village, so, I encouraged him, again, to go to the capital to work and manage his money better. He agreed. We helped him pay his past due bills (it may have been about $200) and he was off again, doing well, but, of course in early 2020 the pandemic hit the world and all activity inside of Uganda stopped. Kalema was stuck there accumulating more and more bills for lodging, etc.
Back a few months before the pandemic hit another young man from Uganda, Entebbe, in fact, began to communicate with me over Facebook. Once again, I looked closely to ensure I wasn't being taken advantage of, and saw that he was friends with another man I knew who was involved with ministry in golf. I began to communicate with him over Facebook and discovered that he had a very similar vision as me; using the platform of golf to introduce kids to the game and to the Lord. This was strange to me, but, as I investigated more closely and spoke with that other acquaintance, I discovered this young man was legitimate. I challenged him to show me his ministerial plan (like a business plan) just to ensure he was, again, legitimate. I sent him an account with www.LivePlan.com and within about 10 days, I had an online ministerial plan in my inbox that was well-thought-out and made perfect sense. I was astounded, quite honestly, but extremely excited as well.
I put this new Brother, Patrick Ochapet, in contact with Kalema and began to communicate regularly with them both in order to see how the Lord might be engaging with us to fulfill this exciting mission. When the pandemic restrictions relaxed a bit in Uganda, I encouraged Kalema to travel to Entebbe (about 45 miles) to join with Patrick and begin to implement the ministerial plan.
Things are not easy for men this age in a country like Uganda according to what I have been told and what I've seen with these young men. We think in the USA that we could just go down to the local coffee shop or hamburger place and get a job for minimum wage, but, it's not like that in Uganda.
It has been hard for me to comprehend that with the shutdown of the golf industry in Uganda that, without that, these young men have NO jobs. None whatsoever.
The ministerial plan calls for an influx of funds of about $25,000 for Phase 1. There has been no way to reach out to get those funds donated so I began to think about ways in which the men could get funds for the ministry. The idea came to me after Kalema had hounded me for a long time about helping him start a business within Uganda. First he wanted to open a clothes store, then purchase a motorbike to be a taxi service and a few other ideas. I continually turned him down because I knew nothing about doing business in Uganda. But, as I thought about funding the ministry and helping these guys sustain themselves, I rethought the clothes shop idea and encouraged them to come up with another business plan for the store.
Once again, I was surprised when in about two weeks they sent me a pretty good plan for the "Blessed Boutique" a men's clothes store in Kampala......
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