Extraordinaire 8: Live Martha

1.Who is Martha?

Martha Ainomugisha Mugisa is a Leadership Development enthusiast who is passionate about empowering others. Her heart is sold out to youth, children and the vulnerable. She’s been married to Gideon for the last 8 years and is a mother to 2 precious girls, Hannah and Hadassah! She loves a good read,travelling and having a good hearty laugh!

2.Genesis of Livewire.

The first LiveWire forum was held sometime in 2012. Early 2012, I was visited by 3 young men who I had mentored years back. They were at a point in their lives when they were completing university and they felt we needed to meet, catch up and chat like old times and especially talk about issues of love and relationships that were a puzzle to them at that point in their lives. We agreed to meet over some nyama choma like old times. Two weeks to our meeting, a few other friends from the good old times showed interest in coming so we opened it up and decided to find a venue, and do logistics for a real meeting. I think we had over 30 young people in attendance. At that meeting, it was agreed that another meeting should happen. When I met with the initial 3 guys for an evaluation meeting, we agreed to tentatively call the meetings live wire and this is why: I had met these precious people during a time when I worked with Scripture Union Uganda. They used to volunteer during youth conferences during which one of the most popular parts of the program was a session we called live wire (intended to mean that things were discussed as openly and bluntly as could be). And your guess is as good as mine, the hottest topic during live wire at the conferences was relationships, love , sex and everything in that line. So, without really planning to, we started having regular meetings. The name has still stuck. It was only modified to The LiveWire Forum”. We have debated over the years on whether to change it but well, let’s see what the future holds. The Spark team(a group of volunteers who plan and execute the forum’s activities) was constituted and here we are. The rest, like they say, is history.

3.How do you juggle livewire and your day to day life of being a mother and managing other ventures?

From the very start, we appointed a team of volunteers to plan and execute the activities of the forum. This means that the burden does not lie squarely on my shoulders. So I have learnt to empower others to be part of the work so that the responsibility is not heavy. As earlier said, this team of volunteers at LiveWire is called the Spark Team! There is also a group of married people who are burdened about this ministry who have come on board over the years. We call them “Elders”. They are a great source of encouragement and support.

4. How often is LiveWire held?

We hold 4 forums a year usually around March, July, September and November. The November forum is custom made for those planning to walk down the aisle. It’s code-named “Planning To Say I Do”. This September our forum is happening on 30th,dubbed ,”lad_lady in Waiting.”

5.Achievements so far?

The testimonies of impact are so many. That is what has brought us this far and gives us the grace to keep going. We have interfaced with over 500 young people over the years. Seeing young people finding courage to face tough situations, make tough but life changing decisions, arise to pursue their dreams or deciding to live right is what we live for at LiveWire. Also, we have since defined our niche and focus and also gone on to expand our scope of reach. The LiveWire forum is now a program under a registered non-profit, IGNITE Initiatives (www.igniteinitatives.org), whose vision is to empower the next generation of influential leaders. We are excited about what the future holds!

6. Challenges faced.

Like earlier stated, the start of this forum was not planned. It really just happened. So, along the way when it became clear that we needed to keep going, my team and I had the challenge of deciding where we wanted it to go and how. We have had to go before God to give us direction and guidance. We have had to embark on Long term thinking and planning. This process is actually ongoing. I like what the future looks like. Our other burden and challenge has been follow up. In this kind of work, you must follow up on people and build support systems if you are to have long term and meaningful influence and impact. But because this is something we do part time and with a small team, it’s been a challenge. However, since we have decided to think long term, we are working on processes and systems to help us be more effective.

7.How does one join the forum?

LOL!!! you don’t have to recite any creed OR be a certain way. Are you a young person keen on making godly decisions on matters of love, relationships and marriage OR are you keen on discovering God’s purpose for your life and pursue it? Just attend one of the forums or join us on the WhatsApp group and you will officially be part of the family.

8.What advice do you give to youth who are struggling to find their purpose?

My first word would be breathe in and out and go easy on yourself. Every single person you see around you goes through that phase at some point in their life (especially those who seem to have it all together)! Now, you won’t believe it but your purpose is closer to you than you think. All you have to do is look around you and inside you. I believe and have come to appreciate that our purpose is woven intrinsically into every fibre of our lives by God our creator. Who you are; your personality, likes and dislikes and your experiences in life will quickly help you define your purpose if you take a close enough look. So a good place to begin is by asking the one who made you- God. In simple terms, pray about it.

9.Social media sites

Whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/KHHqtln3GQt1sJ541y1n1T

Facebook:https://web.facebook.com/groups/244871502271995/

Twitter: @LiveWireForum

Join us!!!

©Racheal Kizza 2017

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Extraodinaire 4:Jakin

Every one of us has been called to something in life-a purpose that our creator knows. Imagine my surprise when I heard that two of my friends actually make CAKE!!??? Mind you I had known the for a while and but didn`t know the cake bit until I tasted a cake that was heavenly : only to be told it was made by Jakin. I had to quickly sit down with Jakin founders for a chat.

1.Describe Jakin a few words.

Jakin : Jakin Confectionery International Ltd is a bakery run by two ladies,co-founders; Kirabo Josephine and Namasa Sheila. We have explored a number of flavors ranging from coconut, vanilla, strawberry,mint, bubble gum to pineapple and lemon.We desire to create an environment where we are not just about hardworking, being excellent, and so on but there’s an extra ingredient of caring, to create success.

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Sheila and Josephine. Photo credit: Josephine

2.When did Jakin start?

Jakin: Jakin Started in 2014 but as a part-time business or “side hustle.”We went full time in 2016 and took a step further and had it registered on the 4th of July, 2017.

3.What does “Jakin” mean ?

Jakin :JAKIN means He(God) Establishes.

4.Did you go to baking school or are you a google student?

Josephine: I learnt from google for a while and largely from friends who bake and I am currently enrolled in a baking school – Eunice`s Kitchen. So I can say I have been both.

Sheila: I learnt some baking from an institute and now I largely use the internet,making me a google student.

5. Is baking a long time passion for both of you or was it born out of necessity? What else are you passionate about?

Josephine: Well, I didn’t know I was passionate about cake, I knew I loooved food but not specifically cake and when I got on the discovery journey, cake was what I found. All I can say is, it was a hidden passion .I enjoy doing research work and working with KIN ministries.

Sheila: I have always loved eating cake, so when the opportunity came to start baking, I never hesitated. I love to read.

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Photo credit: Jakin confectionery

6.Achievements /milestones for Jakin.

  • The ability to give back to society(Social responsibility). This is one of our goals and we have been able to bring it into action by giving out 2 free cakes every two months to an orphanage where we celebrate and eat cake with these children.
  • Celebrate staff and their families. Much as we are about business, we are also about showing care to one another and we do this through things like; celebrating birthdays for staff and their families, having staff outings.
  • Skills empowerment which has been done through carrying out of trainings, some have been on a one on one basis ,others on a group basis.

7. Challenges you have faced since the startup phase.

  • Abrupt cake orders, where some clients call and want the cake that very day. This sometimes ,puts a strain on us especially, if we haven’t re-stocked yet. We don’t cancel because we want to go out of our way and be there for our clients.
  • Prices on the market for cake ingredients. Prices keep increasing left and right and yet clients expect you to be consistent with your price, some of them when you increase and give reasons why, they decide to refuse to order with you.
  • Transportation. Sometimes cakes get cracks because of how they were poorly transported, making the client complain.8.Share some lessons you have gained since the start of Jakin.
  • Customer Care is very essential. As a starting business, it’s always to remember this, because you don’t just want to deliver your product but also to leave a good impact. Some people sometimes come back because they were treated well.
  • Never forget to pay yourself. However small the payment might be, do it, it’s a way of appreciating and motivating yourself and your team.
  • Always keep records of all payments and expenses. This helps one know how the company is progressing.
  • Obey the law of the land. Legalise your company. Sometimes you won`t take on business deals because you are not registered. So to avoid this, one needs to legalize their business.

9.How has your social media presence impacted your business?

Well more people have gotten to know about the bakery like what we are about, why we do what we do, our products etc.

Connect with us on Facebook-Jakin Confectionery (https://www.facebook.com/JAKIN-Confectionery-1756382384674910/?hc_ref=ARSIOkY_I8Yf7tFNDn_1na6-_UUe7NOqUAbPbUjgVcgDMbUvOhNAMi_ZJnt4u2PD7i0&fref=nf)

We are Located Mutungo Zone 1,Along Kintu Road

10. Which people have inspired and mentored you since the start of the Jakin journey?

We don`t know everything and mentoring helps us harness a skill and master it. A number of ladies including ;Lynnet Birungi , Dr. Eunice Adubangu, Mrs. Sylvia and Mercelorna Ainembabazi.

Racheal Kizza © 2017

Book review 5

Book title: Building A Discipling Culture

Subtitle: How To Release A Missional Movement By Discipling People Like Jesus Did.

Author: Mike Breen and Steve Cockram

Pages: 269

The book provides a solution to a discipleship crisis in the church.

A brick by brick method is formulated in the book with emphasis on discipleship, as the answer to releasing a Missional movement that will turn the world upside down. The authors believe, ‘If you make disciples, you always get the church. But if you make a church, you rarely get disciples. ’

The book questions the norm and church lifestyle, evidencing the loopholes in the system, providing practical solutions that have been tried and tested. Leaving church leaders to answer a question, `Do the lives of the people who attend church every Sunday look like the lives of the people we see in the New Testament? The authors note that effective leadership builds the church and not the other way round.

The book further highlights the need for leaders to have deeper relationships; Up (with God), In (people) and Out (those outside). This triangle works for the church too and its balance guarantees deeper relationships. `People are hungry for community.” Although the book was written for a western audience and springs with western examples.

This book is a must have piece that not only offers practical answers to the church but individuals as well.

Racheal Kizza © 2017

Book review 4

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Photo courtesy: thehelpmates.com

Book title: Passion and Purity

Subtitle: Learning to bring your love life under Christ`s control

Author: Elizabeth Elliot

Page count: 192
Elizabeth Elliot is a popular seminar speaker, radio teacher, and missionary and best-selling author.

Passion and Purity emphasizes the need to commit daily to Christ all matters of the heart and to wait upon Him.

Elizabeth through letters, diary entries and recollections shares her intimate thoughts and journey with Jim Elliot revealing her struggles with loneliness, longing, impatience, fear and hope. Her fusion of the bible and personal reflections cements her beliefs and gives the book a Christian back bone.

Passion and purity dominate the book as the core themes with Elizabeth describing passion as normal. Elizabeth candidly says that, “If your passions are aroused, say so-to yourself and to God, not to the object of your passion.’’ The passion is material for sacrifice and ought to be offered to God who perfectly understands.

She gives an odyssey of passion and purity; it takes on the form of sacrifice, submission, esteeming God higher than any passion two people feel, waiting, praying in the word and being honest with self and God. She reveals the hardships that come with keeping God as the focus at all times even when passion steps and the question of purity looms in stronger than ever.

She emphasizes that ‘waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one`s thoughts.’ Waiting on God requires certain levels of submission because in our weakness, His strength is made perfect.

The book is complete with practical illustrations from Elizabeth`s life, letters from readers on the matter at hand, giving it more flair and making it relevant to Christians today relating, dating ,courting ,single and married.

Racheal Kizza © 2017

Book review 2

Title: Forearmed
Subtitle: Insights on Sex, Love and Relationships
Author: Michael Richard Katagaya

Michael Richard Katagaya is a social worker by training and a learning, monitoring and evaluation specialist. He has worked with both government and non-government organisations in East Africa. His passion to live a full life has given him some useful experience in relationships. He has also served with several youth groups, mostly in church. This has given him a chance to get deeper insights into the lives of fellow youths and their thoughts on sex, love and relationships.

Forearmed is a title befitting the book since the content is aimed at equipping individuals to make the right choices and not suffer trauma because the choices people make have an impact on them.

Michael kicks starts off the book with detailing God`s perspective on relationships. “God is a relational God who desires to have a relationship with humanity. He comes first in any relationship because our horizontal reflects our vertical. Horizontal is man`s relationship with others while vertical is man`s relationship with God. An imbalance in one leads to an imbalance in the other.

Michael answers vital questions in the prevailing chapters, “must everyone date? in an era where dating is trendy and fashionable. He answers it candidly with scripture to back it up. He believes one of the worst things to do is date out of boredom. `You may chew gum, sing like a drunken fellow, play solitaire, roll in the sand or eat a lot but do not attempt to let your heart trespass into another person`s heart just because you are bored.

He cautions individuals not to date every person of the opposite sex around them because they will end up dating the entire world. He builds a strong case on conserving purity and not pursuing romantic relationships at all times. He uses references from the situations/problems sent through on Kampala based Christian station 104.1FM by youth who need advice on love, relationships and sex.

In our generation where settling for a married man/woman is the norm, the book cautions individuals to stay clear of married men/women in their bid to settle down. They ought to make informed choices about the partners they choose to settle down with, ask all relevant questions about family history, future plans, career, any diseases, financesetc. He tackles the aspect of finding love on social media which is a no-no for me however, it works for some people but not forgetting the false impressions social media gives yet dating and marriage is a reality.

Love is a decision and when you decide on one lady/man, stick to them and go on to take the big steps while observing both cultural and religious norms of either sides. However, the beginning bits of the book are not as catchy as the continuing chapters which will keep you on the edge of your seats.

Book quality
It is a well written book; with simple language and undeniable humor .The book cover is of good quality and the designers did a fantastic job. The heart with the key, red rose and the scroll on the cover all point to the title “forearmed: Insights on Sex, Love and Relationships. The book is aimed at helping individuals know how to guard their hearts even as love comes their way.

Recommendations
I recommend the book to all individuals dating, courting and those seeking to get married; as the book takes them through the whole pattern from boy meets girl to a happily ever after. Leaders /facilitators who seek to share on this trendy topic have a go to manual with relevant examples from the author`s personal life and from relevant sources.

Lastly, parents who don`t know how to have relationship conversations without their children feeling like they are old school and “don`t understand the current love trends. This book will help your children and they will thank you for it.

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Racheal Kizza © 2017

Book review 1

Book: The software of sex
Subtitle: Most talked about,least understood
Author: Ken Aringo
Pages:106

Ken Aringo, is an ordained priest in the Anglican church of Kenya Diocese of Nairobi. He currently serves as a vicar at St. Chyrysostom parish in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a Founder Director of Preserving Human Dignity (PHD) Africa Youth Ministry specializing in Evangelism, discipleship, mentorship and capacity building.

Ken is a clergy man talking about sex, a topic many in his line of work shy away from. The most talked about topic yet the least understood. From this book it is clear that sex is a ruling party that needs no president because it holds a one man show.

The book software of sex is simply a conversation on sex; exploiting the deepest realm which is our software not the hardware as we have been led to believe for years.

Ken weaves facts with personal stories of aliases like Sandra whose first sexual encounter felt more like “a loss of something valuable ” than a terrible encounter to Kimberly who at 12 years old is used by an older man in a seemingly safe environment. These encounters curve a sex trail in their lives , a trail that leaves permanent monuments of pain,sex addiction, dead conscience and a deeper need to have an understanding somebody – anybody who can tell what is wrong with the girls.

The girls represent me and other youth who in our “safe environments” harbor deep secrets that we can’t share with our parents let alone loved ones but manifest in many ways and sex is merely one of the many outlets.

The book reinforces the fact that our society is highly sexualized making sex a daily meal for A made up mind. A mind that is a master general that leads an army of action, behavior and the control of our bodies.

Ken dedicates the last chapter of the book to spiritual truth on the topic of sex. It is a gift from God worthy to be celebrated by male and female in the context of marriage contrary to sex deviation-the new normal highlighted in one of the chapters.

This quote from the book by a one preacher and expositor puts icing on Ken’s cake .”There is sex that happens based on hardware alone ….its inferior in quality, immoral in practice and demeaning in spirituality. Sex was created to operate based on consecration. When that is not done, it produces complications. ”

Language
The book language is admirable, very conversational and will keep you glued to each page like a magnet. The humor will have you in literal stitches and you will no doubt appreciate his use of the English language and you will definitely learn new words.

Recommendations
This is a must have for every youth in this generation as it speaks a language we understand and calls forth a strength to uncover truths about our software.
Parents who don’t know how to start a conversation on sex,this is a good way to start. Clergymen who for long have stood in the sidelines during the sex talk, this book will be your starter, main course and dessert.

Lastly for those seeking to research on the topic of sex, the book is well researched with scientific and medical proof.

Order for a copy at KenAringo.com for only 10USD and you can also get the kindle version on Amazon.

Racheal Kizza © 2017

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