Support the African Movement for Inclusion!!!

Support the African Movement for Inclusion!!! February 27, 2019

Today is a hard day. I have been trying to figure out how to channel the weight of the grief I feel about United Methodism into something productive. And God keeps on reminding me that I can use my platform to support some of the most valuable work going on in the world right now. The Universal Love Alliance is a grassroots, entirely African-led movement to support human rights for women, children, and sexual minorities in Uganda and throughout Africa. They have been fully vetted and have obtained a 501-c3 tax designation in the United States. They desperately need their own building and a private vehicle. So I am setting a goal of raising $20,000 for them this week as an outpouring of hope for a different future for our church.

Universal Love Alliance has been doing incredible work in Uganda’s school systems and in dialogue workshops with Ugandan pastors. They recently received a grant from the US Embassy in order to help with their dialogue workshops. Understand that in Uganda, the question of same-sex marriage is not even on the table. This is a question of whether LGBTQ persons are fired from their jobs, thrown out of theirchurches, imprisoned, or murdered when their identity is exposed. And ULA doesn’t just support LGBTQ people, but all people who are ostracized in Uganda such as the disabled community, HIV-positive people, children in polygamist families, and victims of domestic violence.

In response to ULA’s work, multiple schools throughout Uganda have formed student inclusivity clubs that advocate for human rights for women, sexual minorities, and other marginalized people as well as promoting the value of difference in general. What’s been most impressive to me is the transformational work they have accomplished through their workshops with pastors. I have pictures of Ugandan pastors standing with rainbow flags after the workshops as an expression of their support for at least basic human rights for LGBTQ people. I cannot share these photos publicly because of the risk it may pose to them.

Universal Love Alliance was founded by Rev. Samson Turinawe, a Pentecostal pastor who was not only removed from the ministry but also severely physically beaten and ejected from his community simply for professing that LGBTQ Christians were children of God who should be allowed in the church. His former church specifically gathered in a prayer meeting asking God to literally kill him because they considered him to be that spiritually dangerous.

I had Samson write a detailed personal testimony for me which he sent to me through Facebook messenger. Last night, we were chatting about the United Methodist situation online. This morning, I discovered that Facebook has suspended Samson’s account. So I am currently without the testimony that I was planning to share, but I will share it at a future date.

Universal Love Alliance is not only in need of a building and a private vehicle. They have spent all of their grant money and will have nothing left in their reserves after March. So they will not even have a rented space to be in if nobody steps up. What they need is a reliable donor base in our country to share our resources generously so they can do the amazing work that they’re doing. Please open your hearts and your wallets for them today!

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