The Heart of a Mother

Interview with Seddinda Lydia – Personnel Officer

008I’m Lydia Seddinda and I’m a staff at New Hope Uganda. Primarily, I am a mother and that is why I am here. Secondary, as per now, I’m helping in the personnel office in the areas of recruiting staff and seeing that they are taken care of well. My job is to see that we are building team work in what we are doing, which is majorly “Bringing the Fatherhood of God to the fatherless,” and making sure we have enough staff to do the work in our different departments. That is what I am doing as per now, but primarily I’m a mother; mother for the children and for the staff.

How long have you been a mother here?

I have been a mother at NHU for 14 years now. This is my third year in the personnel office, but most of the other years I was the family mother in Ebenezer family and that is still my focus even though I have now been assigned as their ‘jajja’ (grandmother). My heart is still there and that is where I am called, but at different times God can assign you where He sees fit according to the ability He has given you.

What have been some of the challenges you have met, from transitioning from family mother to the personnel office?

Since I came to the personnel office my focus has been building into staff and into children. So, personally I have the challenge of reaching out directly to the children, because now I support staff so they can directly reach out to the children. I miss those opportunities to directly engage with the children. What I used to do then I can’t do now because of these staff-related assignments that I have on a day-to-day basis. The personnel office is quite a challenge, whereby getting the right people for the ministry is a challenge because being a Christian-based and Truth-focused children’s ministry, we need to get the right people. We need people who love to reach out and have a heart for ministry, because we emphasize that this is not a job, but a ministry and a calling. Receiving the right people in the right position is a challenge because of the way people think and see things. They may be highly-qualified, but their interests and what they believe may differ what we value here, so we can’t compromise because we need to get the right people. Some positions need really mature people so we can’t just give them the job easily and some people want higher pays which we can’t afford. They might be really good, but the pay they want is beyond our budget so we can’t have them. These are a few of the challenges we face in the personnel office.

What are some of the personnel office’s goals?

We want to build a team which can be able to minister according to the vision and mission of NHU. So, in that way we have to recruit, select, interview, and train people to fit that mission. Our major goal in the personnel office is that every staff is known, cared for, and equipped for service in ministry. That means we have to see that we get the right people, we get to know them, and we equip them through trainings, seminars, fellowships, the institute, and church. We also send some for further studies so that they may be able to be more properly equipped. That is our main focus in the personnel office.

How do you find your work?

On one side, it is enjoyable, I love people and I get to interact with them in my work. On the other side, it is a bit challenging when you can’t meet the needs of our people. If you meet people and they have needs and you can’t meet them, people become frustrated, disappointed, and some withdraw. All in all, it’s a good opportunity to reach out and share with people and get to know more new people.

Where have you seen God work in what you are doing?

God has been really working. First of all, I see that God is providing, He is giving us people and is adding to us. In my two years working in personnel, I have seen thirty new staff members join our team. We haven’t had a big turnover rate which is nice, because hearts are turning towards our children and the ministry, even through our challenges. I also see God raising up our sons and daughters and it really blesses my heart to see that some of them are now godly leaders in our ministry. I have seen God providing, especially in the areas of salaries. We have quite a big number of staff members, but there isn’t a month where we have had to say sorry we can’t pay your salary. By all means, God has been faithful there! Our children are growing and I see that they are maturing, He has taken care of the needs of our children. The ministry is growing and God is providing according to that.

016Do you have any stories that you would like to share with us?

What I can say is that I thank God that He is a God of purpose. Personally, I have seen it in my life and in my family as a single mom. To see my children growing up and becoming men and women through this ministry is a testimony of God’s work and the fulfillment of His promises in our lives. I’ve seen Him bring the “Fatherhood of God to the fatherless” in my family. I came 14 years ago, when my kids were still young, and now they are grown and they are becoming godly men and women. One of my daughters has gotten married and that is a blessing, from here she was a girl, but now she is a Mrs. and a mother. Now, I am a NHU grandmother, I have 13 grandsons and granddaughters now in Ebenezer family. I’m advancing now and am transitioning from being a mama to a grandmama. It’s really beautiful to see a life without hope become hopeful. It’s a blessing to see that the ministry is real and impacting, and it has been a blessing seeing it in my own family. You can see that our ministry is growing from fathers and mothers to grandfathers and grandmothers. We are the second ‘generationers’ which is a blessing.

Do you have anything to add on?

I want to appreciate the people who are partnering with us; sponsors, donors, and people who are praying for this ministry. I also want to appreciate the staff members for being valuable to the children and the leadership for leading us in the right way. God has blessed us with godly leaders who are focused on the vision and are encouraging others into the vision. After all of these years, I have seen a consistency of growing more into the vision. I want to appreciate God and the leaders for sticking to the mission and helping us to see it more clearly through teachings, fellowships, and envisioning. They are interested in us and our spiritual lives and are encouraging us to grow. Mukama yebazibwe! (Praise God!)

How can people pray for you?

Please pray for provision, we are in need of more staff to reach out to our children. We are having a tough time right now finding accommodation for our staff. Please pray that God will build more buildings so that we have accommodation for more staff. You can pray for God to bring the right people who have a heart to do His mission and for people who would be willing to stay longer, because parenting needs someone who is committed to see a life growing. Please pray that God will provide accommodation for long serving-staff so that they can raise men and women who will glorify God.

Interview by Emmanuel Ocakacon and Devin Hiller