Giving Tuesday – Gifts that Give Back

Today is Giving Tuesday (and of course, there’s a hashtag for that: #givingTuesday), and we are all about giving here! For those who are new to us, Ten Eighteen gives 100% – yes ONE HUNDRED PERCENT – of the donations away to our programs in Uganda. No administrative fees. No overhead. All giving.

And we’ve been doing some awesome things lately!

ONE HARBOR CHURCH in Beaufort and Morehead City, NC, did a giving campaign recently, and raised enough money to buy and send 335 Luganda Bibles to Kampala! Those, along with another 115 Bibles gifted by friends of Pastor Sam Namatiiti, are now in a cargo container, on a ship, headed for Mombasa, Kenya. Once they arrive and clear customs, they will travel over-land across Kenya to Kampala, where Pastor Sam will joyfully take possession of them and hand them out to retired pastors in rural villages. This new translation (akin to our English NIV, in modern language) has been VERY well received by Bugandans. Pastor Godfrey Wanamitsa at Arise Africa International joyfully told me, “This is SO easy to read!” (And then asked if Pastor Sam could translate it into Lugisu!)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE CHURCH also made a donation for Bibles, and I was able to take a dozen to Uganda with me in October and deliver them to Pastor Sam. (They weigh a LOT, as we wanted them to be big enough, with a big enough font, to be read in poor light, by people with poor eyesight.)


Luganda Bible Uganda

Since my return from my almost-month in Uganda, we have been hard at work on our sister project, the Ndoto Collection. This for-profit online store is stocked with great clothing (like these pajama pants), jewelry and other items (aprons, ornaments, bags), made by impoverished women in Uganda, that make excellent gifts for yourself or someone else. And the BEST PART: Ndoto is giving 30-50% of the profits to Ten Eighteen! So you’re giving gifts that give back, both to our co-ops and partners in the form of a sustainable income, and to our programs here at Ten Eighteen. Talk about a win-win!

rowan ladies sewing Uganda





You just never know!


Since my very first trip here, I have had basically no idea what was going on. I mean that in a good way — God said, “Go,” so I came. Every trip since, I’ve planned out what I know I’ll be doing, but God always does something more, something unexpected and amazing. This time, I had two unplanned/unknown things to do: visiting Hospice Tororo, and meeting up with Pastor Samuel Namatiiti, with whom I was connected via a Twitter-only friend. I’ve blogged already about going to Tororo, and it was great to reconnect with Rinty there. I hope we can begin to help Hospice Tororo in the future, and I know I’ve cemented a friendship.

Today, though, was pretty amazing. Sam asked me to come to his church to meet, which is on the way back to Father’s House from town, on Entebbe Road. Life Church has been around for nearly 50 years, and he’s a founding pastor there. It turns out he’s “retired” but he’s super busy, translating books into Luganda for missionaries, and writing his own books.

Anyway, I arrived and we chatted for about 40 minutes before he showed me a fat book, which turned out to be his translation of the New Testament, Proverbs and Psalms into modern Luganda. I said I’d love a copy for my son when he got it published, at which time he started telling me the difficulties in that… After listening for a few minutes, I said, “I can publish it for you in the States,” and proceded to tell him about CreateSpace and all the things I’ve been doing since last summer publishing (never mind that I actually have a publishing company!). Where we left it was that he is going to mail me a digital copy of the Bible (email is so slow that a large file often gets corrupted) and I’m going to work with my graphic designer and formatter and try to get it published in the next few months!

So… how about that? You meet a new friend and end up publishing a Bible… Yep, you just never know!

POSTSCRIPT: It’s 11:30 at night and I have been overwhelmed for the last half hour with tears… I’ve spent this week in the villages. I know how those people live, and that most can’t speak English. Still, many have treasured English Bibles, or old Lugandan ones that are poorly translated. I don’t know why I’ve been given this amazing task. I am humbled and overcome.