Saturday, December 26, 2015

My wish for you this Christmas.

Feeling blessed…My wish for you this Christmas. 

The last few weeks I've been 'consumed'  by doing what matters most to me this holiday and I’ve been blessed by the experiences I’ve had while doing so.

Two weeks ago, we celebrated Amilia’s Light’s first anniversary at our Light the Night Celebration.  Blessings abounded. There was hard work and camaraderie and meaningful moments shared in the preparation and in the celebration.  Simple moments, like sitting down in the front yard with two of the A5 volunteers, girls that would have graduated with Amila, but that I’d only met this year.  We shared the simple joy of sitting in solitude for a few minutes and taking it all in.  The lights, the meaning of the work, the message of spreading the light, and how the money being raised is changing the course of life for young women in Uganda, by creating opportunities for empowerment.

The lights had a similar affect on the party guests, when Amila’s garden was lit up  and the very loved, hand made wooden angel appeared from the dark.  Coincidentally, Light the Night was planned the same night Compassionate Friends organizes a world- wide candle lighting for children who have passed away. As guests walked up into Amilia’s garden and placed tea lights, I was reminded of how blessed I was to celebrate the evening, with new and old friends, many who never knew Amilia but share the dream to change lives, one girl at a time.

This week there have been so many moments to feel blessed; I’m blessed to be on vacation with my children in the Teton’s.  I’ve gotten to ski, snowshoe, sled and snowmobile. I even get some considerable air  -without injury to myself or others!  I’ve seen elk and moose and taken pictures of Bison that were standing  just 20 feet from the car.

I sat in on a graduate class at the Teton Science School and was impressed with the caliber of the instructors, the students and the course work. I felt great hope for our future as I could envision how these students would step up, step out and illuminate our world, by teaching others to care for and steward this precious gift we live in.

Most of all,  I feel blessed that I can set my light out on a dark night for those that need a step up, so they can step out and continue to illuminate our world.

My wish for you this Christmas, is that you may feel as blessed as I do, and that you too, can find a way to light a candle in your world.

Michelle Luhrmann,
Founder and President, Amilia's Light

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's becoming real

A couple of weeks ago, our team was working on a new project, another first for us, and we were trying to figure out the best way to go about it.  We gathered information -- piles of documents covering every surface, 3 computers, white board, and lots of coffee.

I logged into the crowd fund campaign that Jodi created just 6 weeks ago and looked at the number -- $15,025.  I could barely contain myself. I realized it was a milestone, we raised more than half and it hit me -- WE CAN DO THIS!

It was a turning point.  A shift in the energy, you might say.  All of a sudden it became real: the Empowerment Program, the girls, Sandra and Christine and Teddy and Barbara all working hard in their new businesses.  I could see how their lives would change, how they would gain confidence in their talents, and with each passing day, learn more about themselves - their strengths, their weaknesses, their courage, their grit and their power to provide for themselves and their families.

I held that vision with me as I composed our Thanksgiving message.

Thinking about Teddy, and her newborn child, Michelle, it hit me again, another milestone.  While I’ve been so focused on the plights of these girls, wanting to see them safe and secure, I had not realized how the impact of a dozen people in Uganda and Denmark and the United States and the supporters like you who believe in them were truly changing not only the lives of these young women, but changing the course of history for their children.  

And yet again, I am blessed with the opportunity to be a part of this and to know that because of our donors Baby Michelle will grow up in a home where her mom, fully restored and with resources to start a business will be able to love and provide for her.

Update:  Thanks to our supporters, The Empowerment Program has now reached $18,080.  We have sent $12.5k over to Destiny Women, and have hired a liaison in Uganda to act on our behalf.  Destiny Women has begun to look for property and to put a team together to set up and manage the program.


Michelle Luhrmann,  Founder and President

Learn more about how Amilia’s Light got started in "A Spark of Light" 
and Destiny Women-Uganda in "It Takes Courage To Step Out"