Sunday, December 6, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Praise The Lord from whom all blessings come from, Amen! wow, the year has flown by so fast with so many changes and so many challenges and many triumphs. Indeed The Lord has been good and gracious to us this year, we have seen Him at work in us and though and through others, we are witnesses to His goodness.
Thank you for keeping up with us through out the year. Your support in any form has gone a great way in helping us fulfil our calling here in Uganda and every victory that we have had has been made possible by your support. We hope that you will carry on supporting us in the coming year and we are even more excited and looking forward to what God is going to do next year. We have a lot of things to update you on and we hope you will be blessed and encouraged as you read them:

Beckie, Sarah and Berna at the Airport
Smiling Sarah














We want you to meet Sarah; she is the latest addition to our ever growing household! Sarah is a 15 year old total orphan cousin of ours whose dad was killed during the DRC Congo war and mom ran away while she was still a baby. She has seen a lot of suffering in her short years on earth and just like me (Ruudy), has been tossed around from home to home to do work and has gone through untold abuse and beatings. Three weeks a go, rather than kill herself, Sarah went with her 24 year old dumb and mute boyfriend (rescuer) and we got a phone call that she was going into marriage. We knew something wasn't adding up well and we had a brief discussion and drove to the village where she was. The story is long, however, we took her in. She at first scared to go with us because she thought she would be treated like she had always been. But after a week with us, now she has this big smile on her face, she is opening up and trusting us more and dreaming again. Beckie is working with her on her reading and writing and now she says she wants to go back to school. Of course of all our teenagers, none of them went through what Sarah went through and we are learning a lot of things with her and we would appreciate your prayers for us to have good wisdom on how to be good parents and help Sarah to have a childhood that she was robbed off. This week we drove to Entebbe with Sarah and Abella and you would have laughed yourself to pee because of the look on Sarah's face because she was driving through Kampala and the airport for the first time!


Our students getting practical lessons on Farming God's Way.











Last month, we taught our last class for the year and it was a great success! This class was on God's Plan for Sustainable Development and Farming God's Way and our students were amazed that there was another form of farming that they didn't know and had never heard of! We broke off for holidays and will have the two remaining classes for this lot early next year. Keep praying for our students as they practice farming God's way during the holiday season so that they return with many testimonies next year.

Isaac leading Worship at his Church
Us in Isaac's tiny house.
Last Sunday, we went to visit one of our students at his church and later his tiny little room. Isaac leads worship in his church and the Lord has blessed him with a great voice. He is a very humble young man who spends all his life serving the Lord at his workplace and at the Church. Recently, he lost his mom; the closest person he had alive and we had gone to empathise and encourage him. We were blessed by his wonderful worship voice and after service, he invited us to his tiny room and the six of us couldn't even fit in there! He asked us to pray for him and bless him and we did. You could join in praying for him to have a better paying job (he is a mechanic instructor) and also a good wife who will accept and love him for who he is. Pray also for God's comfort for him after the death of his beloved mom.

Also, the Lord has been sending us young people to minister to both while in the States and in Uganda. Two weeks a go, we had a surprise guest in our house! A young former Muslim lady whom we had led to the Lord while in Soroti had been forcefully married off by her muslim parents through an arranged marriage while we were in the States in July. After facing a lot of rejection and persecution from her own family for a long time since she accepted Christ, finally she succumbed to them and accepted to be married off to a young man she saw for the first time on their wedding day! However, this young man called Farouk is a good and humble young man. Though he comes from a family of fierce and radical muslims, he is not radical because he grew up as an orphan after his dad died when he was still young. This young lady has been coming to our house to help make for us Samosas. This time, she just paid us an impromptu visit with her husband and asked us to share the gospel with him! Our visiting friend who has a special grace on sharing the gospel was around and he showed the living word to Farouk from many scriptures. However, Farouk told us he feared receiving Christ because his own family may kill him. He asked us to keep praying for him and his wife and he promised to keep coming to our house to hear more about this Jesus. Please, could you join us in praying for this young man so that he will choose the glorious light of the gospel of our Lord over the fear of what his family may do for him? Pray for wisdom for us also as we embark on following Farouk up and sharing Christ with him. He is such a sweet and innocent young man. With all the chaos going on in the world and the fight against radical Islam, i believe as i have always done that only the gospel of love is the only solution and not weapons and bombs and how wonderful it would be for this gospel to be shared in the middle east by former Muslims? Personally, i have made up my mind to study Islam and i am committing myself to reading the whole Quran next year because i want to talk from a point of knowledge and not from rumours. Pray for me as i embark on this journey. The Lord has laid a special love for muslims in our hearts and we want to be used of the Lord in anyway he can to bring his love and grace to these lost beloveds of His!

I am also compelled to share with you about a young man the Lord brought to my memory while we were in the States in September. I went to school with Edgar and he was one class behind me. We became friends and later brothers because of our similar stories. Edgar's parents died when he was a few days old and his parents were from the Western part of the country. His half sister helped him for most of his life and she used him as her own maid and baby sitter. A security guard from my region had mercy on him and brought him to study in the school in my home district where we ended up meeting. I became his protector and his big brother and he went to my village during holidays. The two of us had a special gift; excellent brains! In our O' level national exams, i broke our school record  doing arts subjects and a year later, Edgar broke my record doing science subjects and no one else has been able to break this record since 2003! I went on to make my own academic records for the school in A' level national exams that are yet to be broken and Edgar was not as lucky as i was with scholarships. In 2010 when i went to South Sudan, we lost contact with each other until this August when the Lord brought him to my mind and asked me to call him. He told me he was working in a betting shop and not knowing what the future holds. This guy has the best science brain of anyone i have known. He belongs to the hospital or high tech engineering and if he had been lucky with scholarships like me, his whole life would now be very different. In a country with a doctor to patient ratio being more than 1:600, this guy is highly needed. I talked to him and asked him whether he would be willing to go back to high school for two years and then go University and do medicine if the Lord provided funds and he was positive. Now comes the big question; tuition. We are currently very stretched financially with many other commitments to the school needs of many other young people, however, would you or anyone you know or any organisation you know of be able to take Edgar back to school and give him a chance to serve the many people who would benefit from him? Since that time i have been fervently praying and will keep to do so and you could join us in praying for doors for Edgar to be able to go back to school. He has excellent scores at o' level and would easily get admission to any top high school here for his A' Levels. Get in touch with us if you would like to get more information about Edgar.


We hope this update has blessed you and we want to thank you again for partnering with us and supporting us. We continually pray for you and we would be happy to join you in prayer for anything, should you need it. We rejoice with all of you who are rejoicing and we also mourn and empathise with all of you who are going through some challenges. God bless you and we love you all.
From all of us!   

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Catching up and running forward!

Praise the Living God! Who pours out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground (Is 44:3)! Who does all His work in faithfulness and Who speaks and it is done, Who commands and it stands fast (ps 33:4,9)! Our souls wait for the Lord because He is our help and our shield (ps33:20), thank you Jesus!

We want to thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us. We had safe travel back to Uganda. We arrived and found the Spirit of the Lord so busy at work in the hearts of the staff we work with and the students, and we prayed that we could catch up and join them at this accelerated speed. Hallelujah! God is faithful and has helped us to come up to a level of faithfulness and depth of intimacy that we had not known before. Surely He is a living God and does not allow us to remain the same when we encounter Him, when we spend time in His presence. And so we are leaning in now more than ever.

Its beautiful to see the Lord at work in the hearts of people. Some of our students have joined us in a monday night worship night and are receiving revelations that only the Lord could bring. Eyes being opened to the religious spirit that is so rampant here and hearts tenderised before the Lord, ready to receive any word from Him. Jose (our fellow teacher) and Emma (our security guard/student/pastor) are going to the hospital to pray once a week for people and have seen people healed and heard amazing testimonies when they go back the next week and find the people they prayed for have been released from the hospital, and many desire them to pray for them. Jesus told us we would do greater things than even He because we have His Spirit resident in us. Do we really believe that?

This last Saturday I (Beckie) went with Sol (our fellow teacher) and Berna (my good friend and helper at the school) to one of the villages we have been involved with for some time. These two had started a woman's bible study while we were in the states, and it has transformed into an "anybody" bible study because even the men and children are hungry for the Word of God.
When we arrived we first went straight to the pastor's home to meet with his wife and minister to her. Her husband is now a pastor but he used to be a drunkard/wife-beater just a few short years ago. She has seen the ugliest parts of her husband but has stood by him up to now, faithfully praying for him over the years. We wanted to bless her and prepare her to pray for healing in her own heart because we know that God wants to use her in a big way in her village, especially ministering to other women who are having the same kind of struggle she had.
We shared with her and then prayed for her and then the rain came, and we were stuck in the house and could not go back to the classroom where the bible study was located. So we invited another lady into the house who was stranded on the veranda. She came in and shared briefly her struggle with her husband and we prayed for her too, and we saw the pastor's wife encouraging her and she's the one who led the prayer time for her.
So eventually the rains stopped or at least slowed we were able to proceed to the classroom, but only had time to offer a blessing for the faithful few who waited it out, and braved the rain. We serve such a loving God, that he orchestrated such a time as this, that two ladies were able to receive healing and prayer and be empowered to share the love of Christ with others.

We have had one class since we came back. It was on the subject Teaching the Christian Faith and Catechism. Ruudy and Jose taught and it went well. The students seemed so excited and one of them shared that they needed to arrange a conference in his village and teach all the pastors in the area these truths as they really need to hear them.


We thank God for all of these answers to prayers! Our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy Name! (ps 33:21)

Please keep praying for us and for the ministry in this season of acceleration. 
1. Our students, that their hearts would be open and thirsty for the Truth, and that Truth would set them free.
2. Our selves, that we would do all we do in wisdom and with hearts that are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
3. Keep praying for the national elections, we've just passed through the presidential nominations, with elections coming February 18. So far at least 12 people have been killed in the campaigning.  Pray for peace and for a Godly leader to come to power. And however else the Lord leads.
4. The provision of the Lord, and the faith to trust Him as our provider


Friday, October 2, 2015

Goodbye!

Hello Beloveds;
We greet you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We trust that Father has been gracious to you. We rejoice with all you that have had moments and events of joy in your lives and families; however, we also want to sympathize with those who have gone/ are going through a season of grief and loss. We want to remind you that He knows and He is the source of all our comfort.

A lot has happened recently since our last newsletter and we know that most of you may have already known through our facebook posts what has been happening with us. We want to praise the Lord that finally i (Ruudy) was able to be sworn in this week on Monday as an official American Citizen, bringing to conclusion a process that we started more than a year and a half a go! On Tuesday, we went to Detroit and expedited my Passport processing and got it that same day. Yesterday, we were able to update my social security status to Citizen and was also able to register to vote in the coming Federal Elections! We want to thank all of you who have diligently prayed for us and supported us in any form throughout this process; without your support, we surely wouldn't have managed to go through this alone. We were also blessed to have terrific and excellent lawyers who knew what they were doing and stayed on top of things throughout this process. Now we can move freely back and forth without any restrictions and we are excited that we can now concentrate more in doing our ministry in Uganda without having any travel worries.

Having achieved one of our main goals for coming to America in July, we are now ready to go back to Uganda. We leave Michigan tomorrow Friday the 2nd and fly out to Boston Massachusetts to visit our great friends and also to share with the body of Christ there about our ministry in Uganda. We are very excited for this trip and we look forward to having a great time of fellowship and encouragement for one another there. We hope we will be able to refresh each other and make new friends and contacts. We fly back from Boston to Chicago next week on Wednesday in the early afternoon and then fly out to Uganda that same day by 7:45pm through Qatar Airways. It's going to be a long flight to Doha (close to 14 hours) and then we have a 15 hour layover in Doha and then 5 more hours to Uganda on Thursday. When we think about the length of our flights and layover, it's scary, but we trust that our bodies will be strong enough to survive through these flights.

As we leave, we remember all the great and nice memories we have shared with most of you. We thank you for the meals that we had in your houses, for the coffee time and tea time and time together praising and worshiping our King. We feel blessed to have you as our friend, partner and family. We hope that you will keep praying for us and partnering with us. We pray blessing over you, your family, your businesses and jobs and ask Father to keep loving you and revealing Himself to you as you seek him. We pray healing over all you who are sick emotionally and physically; we ask the Father to send His word to heal all of your diseases and take away your infirmities.
For those of you who can, we would love for you to come visit us in Uganda and see what we are doing and what you are helping us do. Let us know if you are considering this and we can help you plan your trip and give you more guidance. We would be encouraged very much by your visit.

As reported in our last newsletter, i have started another blog where i blog about my thoughts. If you are interested in reading my thoughts, you can check it out here: https://raisinghairs.wordpress.com

As we depart, we would like to share our prayer requests with you and ask you to join us in prayers. Here they are:
  1. Pray for our flights. That we would fly safely and our bodies would adjust faster when we return so that we can dive in quickly and do the ministry.  
  2. Pray for us to have more faith. We feel the Father asking us to have more faith. For we do not know what lies ahead and that's why we need to have more faith in God, that we would trust Him more and more in different situations.
  3. We still need more partners for the work of the ministry in Uganda. Pray that we would get new partners and that we would have deeper relationships with our current partners.
  4. Pray also that we would be wise in our decision making and that we would also live in good health and not have any serious medical complications.
  5. Pray for the pastors and church leaders we train, that they will learn and be transformed and molded by the Father into the perfect plans that He has for them. Pray for young people in our sexual abstinence program; that they will be receptive to our message and that they will be willing to offer their bodies as living sacrifices for the Lord, ready and worthy for His use. Pray also for the kids in our sponsorship program; that they will learn very well at school and turn out to be good and useful Citizens.  
  6. Lastly, pray for Uganda as we go into election season. Campaigns are starting this month and the elections will be held in February. Pray for the peace of that country and for the people to make the right choices as they ponder on who to elect. 

   

Monday, August 17, 2015

Seasons

Dear Beloveds,
Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. We trust that the Lord has been gracious and merciful to you all and has kept you in perfect health and peace from the last time we communicated.
Since coming back to America, it has been a different season in our lives and as we keep adjusting and praying and seeking Him daily, He keeps revealing His plans and mysteries in our own lives and in the lives of the people we are serving, praise Him!

We waited to update you on what is happening from our end, because were waiting for some good news to share with you all regarding what the Lord is doing in Uganda.
Last year in August, we were privileged to be a part of a new class of students who had enrolled at Kingdom Life Training Center and as the months progressed, we got to know each of them deeply and go attached to their unique personalities and stories. We have watched the Lord do a great work in most of them with awe and seeing the glee in their faces as they continually discovered higher truth in God's word as we taught is priceless. Every month, they came for three days for 10 months. Last week, they came for their last class and graduated on saturday the 15th! We were disappointed not to be there, but through photographs from our team mates, we felt a sense of worth to the Kingdom. As we looked at each person in their graduation gown, our hearts were filled with joy knowing that we helped plant seed in some of them and helped water seed in others and to see the work come to completion was amazing. We thank God for counting us worthy and faithful of this call and we thank everyone of you who made this and continue to make this possible. It cannot be over stated that christianity in Uganda is miles and miles wide, but an inch deep; the need for discipleship is enormous and that's why we are grateful to be able to contribute in this humble way. It's our prayer that these amazing servants of the Lord will put what they have learnt from the school into use and disciple and grow God's kingdom in the different villages they come from and wherever the Lord will take them.

The happy graduands pose for a group photo.
Valerie Pade made delicious cakes for the occasion.

We also had a huge surprise that none of us had expected. One of our students was pregnant and she expected to give  birth this week. She was determined to complete her course and graduate before giving birth and so she came for the last class on wednesday the 12th. on Thursday the 13th, during class, she got her labor pangs and before long, she had given birth in one of the rooms at school! The good thing though, our team mate Valerie is a trained midwife and she had the help of other three ladies with some nursing experience, so, Susan was in excellent hands and she preferred to give birth from the school rather than the hospital because she knew she would not get better attention and service there than the one she was given at school. She gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and her class mates roared in praise and worship to the Father for this good news! We never thought such a thing would ever happen at school and thank God our team mate, Sol, always has kits ready in the store for just in cases like this. The mother graduated on Saturday and she left with two things; her son and a certificate! Keep praying for this baby, that as he was born in Lord's school, he will live his earthly life for the Lord.

Here is a few minutes after arriving to the Earth!

The mother smiling with the Nursing Crew that helped her.

Our second class will continue and they will graduate sometime mid next year, depending on how the electoral process goes in Uganda, it's something for you to pray about and we are excited for them.

It's not only the ministry side that has been exciting, also, i (Ruudy) received a long awaited envelope in the mail last week from USCIS with my citizenship appointment date, yay! September 15th, 2:05pm is the date and time in Detroit. I am trying my best to study and prepare for this and we want to thank all of you who have been praying for us in regards to this. Even though we rejoice and celebrate for this news, we still have to continue praying for favorable outcome from the interview and the oath thereafter.

On the side of our ministry in Soroti (Loveworld Community Development Initiative), we are glad to inform you that our application for a 501(3)c status for Loveworld Foundation here in the States has been granted, meaning that you can now get tax exemption for all your contributions towards sponsoring a child, sponsoring a pastor, sponsoring a purity activity and any other giving to the foundation. For more information about this foundation, you can check out our website (though it's still going through some construction) at www.locodi.org or send us an email.

Requests:

1. If any of you has any of the following things that you could donate for use in the ministry in Uganda, we would be glad for your partnership as these would go a long way in helping the ministry there.
  • Your used/ old laptop.
  • Your used/ old iPad.
  • Study Bibles.
  • Used/ old camera.
  • Used/ old phones.
  • Used/ old kids study Bibles and materials.
2. In order to repair/ replace our spoilt laptop, we have decided to start a special fundraiser for it by asking for your pop cans/ bottles. You can donate these to us and then we can take them to meijer and get the cash. No amount is little, we would appreciate if you got back to us and then we would discuss about pick up options. We can also help cut your grass for a small donation towards this special project. This project is specifically for people who live in Michigan.

3. We are still short on our fundraising goal and we feel we have reached and asked everyone we know. We need to tap into new people; some of these could be your work mates, church, church mates or friends. We would be glad if you introduced us to your circle of friends, they may not partner financially, but they may know someone who could and may also partner through prayers. We appreciate those who have already responded to this request.

Prayer Partnership.

We are calling for your prayer partnership with us in the following areas:
  1. We need physical healing in our bodies and would appreciate if you prayed with us.
  2. we also need prayers for new opportunities and favor as we continue to do more fund raising.
  3. Pray for our students who have just graduated and those who are still at school that the Lord will continually work and mould them into his own image and that they would do what the father created them to do and walk in his perfect will.
  4. Pray for strength and rejuvenation for our team mates who are continuing to do the ministry work in Uganda in our absence.
  5. Pray for us to keep falling in love with the Father and with each other every day, so that we may become a very strong and unbeatable team for Him and for His glory. Pray especially that we may enjoy this season of our lives and the next season that Father has prepared for us and for us to always be ready in season and out of season.
  6. Uganda is already in the political and election season, please pray for the peace of Uganda and for the peaceful electoral process so that the leaders whom the Lord has ordained may get elected in a relatively free and fair process.
Finally brethren, we want all of you to know that we continually mention you in our prayers to the Father. We know some of you are still grieving the loss of your loved ones, some of you have been sick and are still sick, some of you are discouraged at heart, some are emotionally tired and frustrated, we understand what you are going through and empathize with you. However, we would like to urge you to always run and drink from His well, drink his living water and be refreshed. Remember, he is your rock, your shield, your strong tower, don't run away from him but run to him and be in the company and community of fellow believers. For whatever light affliction(s) you may be going through, they are just but for a moment and can not compare to the glory that is awaiting those who persevere to the end. Be encouraged in the Lord and be safe in his shadow. We love you and thank you for giving us an opportunity to live out our dream in Uganda, Serving Our Savior and King! God bless you, we love you dearly,

With You, For Him, 
R&B Olupot.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Created To LOVE.



A selfie with some of the beauties in the orphanage.

Grace and peace to you all in the marvelous name of our Risen Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! Greetings from Michigan!
We just want to start by thanking everyone who prayed for us to have safe travels back to the States; we made it safely and were given a VIP welcome by the Mom and the Aunt who attracted a lot of attention at the waiting lounge because they were fully dressed in the Ugandan traditional outfits! We are trying to adjust and then get going again. As most of you already know, we are back because Ruudy's Green Card only allows him to be out of the country for a certain time and so, we hope we will be able to complete his citizenship process before we return. We are also back to do more fund raising since the need keeps increasing and the costs keep going higher and higher. But we will tell you more about these later and when we meet one on one. For  now, we would like to share with you what God has been doing in us and through us in the country of Uganda:


A student sharing in class.



A student relaxing on our swing.
















June has been our busiest month yet this year ministry-wise. We had two classes for the pastors and church leaders that were well attended. However, we added in a third class for the married couples and we called it "Marriage God's Way Class". We were booked to capacity and had to turn down many other interested couples. This class was facilitated mainly by our team mates' Australian friend whom the Lord has set aside and called into ministry to the marrieds. We were all challenged by the new revelations about marriage and it was great seeing couples open up and share love publicly in a culture while love in marriage is left for the bedroom only. There was forgiveness and rekindling of love flames afresh and our eyes were opened into the importance of having more marriage seminars due to the great need for truth in many marriages. Though we were tired physically and emotionally because of all the organization and preparations for all these classes, we were encouraged by the results and rejoiced at what the Lord had done!

Prayers in Ruudy's small group

Ruudy one on one
A new ministry for Ruudy has been unraveling this past month. He has been teaching with passion these last months and every one in the team is just very happy to see him be immersed into the ministry and speak the much needed truth to his fellow Ugandans passionately. In response, these pastors and church leaders have started coming forward to seek for advise and counseling from Ruudy, something that took him by surprise! The focus of the school is in the heart and not the head knowledge as most schools do and we are starting to see the fruits of our labor. Just in June alone, over 6 students have contacted Ruudy and opened up about their own personal struggles with sin and their past. Usually, when someone tells you "there's something I want to talk to you about", you think they want to tell you about their financial needs and they want your support. We have heard this many times and that's what we thought when they would ask to speak with Ruudy in private. But it turned out they want to talk with him about their personal stuff, struggles and addictions and Ruudy has been sharing with them the truth from the Bible about their situations. Ruudy has gone through the transformation of the heart program as well as Freedom in Christ for himself, but had not known that, the Lord would bring others to him who would need the same teachings. Please pray for wisdom for Ruudy and we are thinking that may be he should do some kind of pastoral counseling course so that he will be in the best possible situation to help some of the students like these ones. We are excited that the students trust us and see us as people who can help them beyond the classroom with things that they are personally struggling with, praise God!

Oscar needs a home.

Beckie and the kids at the orphanage.
We have also had some great time with the kids in the orphanage. There's no better way of feeling loved and giving out love than going to the orphanage and be swarmed by all these smiling and laughing kids. Each time we go there, we have to be prepared to be dirty, to laugh our lungs out, to smile and to be ministered to. The kids are full of life and energy and it has been great to just go there and dance with them, hold the little babies and lull them to sleep, pray for the sick ones and allow them to touch us, pray for us and minister to us too. You can never go in there and come out the same way. We are always glad when they find families here in the States and are able to go home to a loving family. Last month, one of the kids whose paper work had taken over a year and half was finally able to go home with his mom and all of us were joyous because the Lord had answered our prayers in His Time! If you know of a christian home looking to adopt from Uganda, let them know that there are still some very cute kids waiting for their parents to show up and take them home. We are glad that Michigan is adopting many kids from Uganda and hopefully more kids will keep coming.

Huge crowd of Students listening to the purity message in Soroti.


Back in Soroti, the purity clubs and child sponsorship program has been and is still running very well. More and more kids are making the right decisions to abstain from sex until marriage and more people are responding to the call to sponsor a child. We have had a family in Chicago sponsoring two of our kids last month, a friend of ours in Chicago was also able to lead a fundraising effort to buy a bicycle for one of our kids who used to walk 9 miles per day to go to the vocational school because we could only afford to pay for his tuition. Saturday Bible Study and Sports programs are on going and our volunteers are doing a great job coordinating and running all these activities with our minimal supervision.



Humble beginnings. Our house in Soroti and Gabriel with neighborhood kids.

Staying with Soroti, we thank God that finally we were able to move the boys who stay with us and who we are supporting for over three years now to our new little house in our land! It has been hard for us to keep renting the house in Soroti for the boys to live in as well as our house in Jinja. With our little resources, we started constructing a small house in our land so that these young people will continue to have a place they can call home and we can get relieved from paying rent in Soroti. Though the house is not completely finished, we had to move in and already, it looks like a ministry to the neighboring kids is in the pipeline thanks to our volunteer Gabriel who seems to be a magnet with the kids; they all love him and keep following him each time they see him. We were surprised to see kids come into our compound from different direction looking for Gabriel when we visited! We are very glad with the humble beginnings such as these ones.

Challenges and Prayer Requests:

We have also had some challenges and challenging situations this month. Just last week on monday, we lost a very very dear friend and sister in the Lord and founder with us of Loveworld Community Development Initiative. She was one of Ruudy's greatest friends and a family sister. She worked for us tirelessly during our wedding. She loved every child like her own even though she has none of her own and was known for her generosity not only in church, but to anyone who was in need. We were particularly saddened because our pastor had urged us to go see her that sunday but we thought we would go see her the next day on monday only to be called on monday at 8 in the morning that she has passed on to glory! We dashed to the hospital to see her body in the morgue and were glad to be of help to her family during that trying time. She was only 41, not married and had contracted HIV/AIDS from the only boy friend she had and that caused her death! This is why we passionately love teaching teens about sexual abstinence and she has been doing this together with us. She was very fierce when it came to sharing the gospel and she shared it with everyone she knew including politicians and government officials, no wonder there were over 10,000 people in her burial and over 200 received Christ during her burial. Even in death, she led many to Christ through her exemplary life. What was amazing was also the fact that she knew her time had come and she told her mother God had told her she was going home that day. She loudly confessed all her sins and asked for forgiveness from God and everyone, she also loudly forgave those who had wronged her, she named everyone she owed money and asked her friend to help her pay off these debts and then she passed on. It was great that she knew she had run and completed her race here on earth and was ready to pass on to glory.

R.I.P Hellen.


The other big challenge we are faced with is the need to raise more funds. The ministry has grown because there's great need for discipleship and what we are doing. Someone once made a comment that "Christianity in Uganda is miles and miles wide, but only an inch deep" and we totally agree. But, we know that even one heart changed by Christ in the village can begin a serious transformation of the entire community. So there's great need for discipleship and training and not just discipleship that pumps only head knowledge, but one that focuses on the hearts of men and women. Because of this great need, we had to start a second class so that we could have two classes running every month. This has stretched our faith and our meagre finances to the limit. To be able to continue running these two classes well, we need to raise an extra $5,000 per month. Right now our average total monthly income for both ministry and personal is $2,300! It's a walk of faith and we are glad that the Lord has kept us running smoothly thus far. This means we need to find new supporters to partner with us and in case you know someone who could be interested in partnering with us in what we are doing, let us know or if you also have a fundraising idea you could share with us, let us know or still, if you have a gift in organizing fundraising events, also let us know and we can get in touch. To our current supporters, we say thank you very much for your continuous financial support and all these kingdom changes we are seeing in Uganda are because you made it possible for us to be there!

Also, because of the expansion taking place in our ministry, we currently have a ministry one time need of $3,000 to help renovate and repair the classroom and dormitory block so that we can have more class room space and sleeping dorms. If you feel called to help us meet this one time need, please call us and let us know.

Yet another challenge we faced was the breaking in of our home and the theft of our iPad, which we use for taking ministry pictures and keeping people to date across the world. It was discouraging as it happened in our house, while we were there at only 8pm. The thief cut a hole in our locked screen door so he could unlatch the door, and grab the iPad which was nearby, while we were in other rooms. The entire previous week, every evening we had been having a time of worship together as a family, because Beckie had heard God put it on her heart that for this week don't bring your prayer requests, but just worship me. The night this iPad was stolen was the last night of this set aside week, and we thank God that we could still come to him that evening after everything that had happened and keep worshipping Him, it reminded us that no matter the circumstance, keep our eyes fixed on Him, not on what's happening around us.

We still need prayers for Ruudy's citizenship issues. The congressional office is helping us follow up the case and hopefully, we should be able to hear back from the responsible government agency about Ruudy's interview appointment date soon. We would like this process to conclude soon so that we can concentrate in serving the Lord in Uganda without any distractions.



Finally, we would love to meet up and share with you personally more about what God is doing in Uganda while we are here. Please let us know if you would like to meet us and we can schedule some time to meet you. Thank you very much for standing with us and know that we daily mention you in prayer to our loving Father and we hope Father has been good and gracious to you. Remain in his loving kindness and peace. Blessings.
Ruudy and Beckie Olupot.

Friday, June 5, 2015

God's Faithfulness in Uganda.

Hello everyone, welcome to the month of June! We hope you had a great time in May and will have a great time in June too. May was a great month for us ministry-wise. We saw God working in many ways and were busy doing ministry and are excited to share with you all some of the things the Lord counted us faithful to do.

To start off, we were invited by a Pastor's wife who is going through our course to start a sexual purity club in her school. The invitation was too good to turn down since we are both passionate about sexual abstinence. We visited the school to share with the staff and pupils about sexual abstinence and see if it was something they would be willing to embrace and follow. We found all the members of staff and pupils i upper primary gathered to meet us. I, (Ruudy), shared a little bit about the alarming statistics of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and abortion and brought forth the need to abstain if single or remain faithful if married. The message was well received with meekness and gladness and we had 6 members of staff volunteer their names to be trained as messengers of sexual purity. As i was about to close, i felt the nudge from the Holy Spirit to share a little bit about Christ and make an altar call and boom; we had 8 students and two teachers receive Christ! This was the first time we saw teachers receiving Christ in the same altar call with their students and the cheering from students and all of us was deafening! We left that place praising and worshiping the Lord. Pray for us as we start going there every Tuesday afternoon to teach and train these young people and their teachers about Christ-Centered Sexual Purity.
     Christ being confessed and welcomed to be Lord and King over these people's lives!

We had two classes in the month of May and "Professor" Beckie got her first taste of teaching this year. She did a great job teaching about the Spiritual and Physical connection of Health and Hygiene as well as a class on Action Plans. I was also involved in teaching three topics in Caring for God's People. We both enjoy being used by The Lord as His Hands and Feet to help train these hungry servants of His; it's a privilege that we don't take lightly and each time we hold classes, we have come to realize that these people trust us so much. Often times we have been contacted for a piece of advice and counsel on their private lives and ministry; which means that they trust us and think we can offer them wise counsel. Keep praying for us to continually receive wisdom and understanding from The Lord who lavishly gives us wisdom so that we can advice these people as best as we could.
Prof. Beckie Teaching a class.
Students learning how to wash hands well.



 








On the 24th of May, we were invited by our night security guard; who is also undertaking the training since he is an associate pastor to share in their church. We drove for about 20 minutes to this village church and i shared about "Running your own race". What struck me most was the liberty and freedom in which they worshiped the Master! Using the local drums, the praises were vigorous, Pure and Holy and you could literally feel the presence of the King in this papyrus walled church. We were both humbled and encouraged and as we ministered to the congregation afterwards through the laying on of hands and prayer, there were several testimonies afterwards. It was encouraging to see first hand and experience what God is doing and how He is worshiped in different ways. We were encouraged and plan for more of such visits in future. God is indeed a good God!
Good Hope Revival Church.



Our ministry in Soroti received a big boost this week. A good teacher friend from the States came to volunteer there for a week. She is going to be encouraging and empowering teachers in the school where we have the child sponsorship program at. She will share with them her teaching experience. She will also participate in Purity Club activities in the three schools we are involved in as well teach in our Bible Study and spend time playing with the kids. Yesterday, we were in Soroti and took her to the school and she already had a blast. Pray for Beth as she serves the Lord, pray that she will be able to minister and be ministered to as well. That her relationship with the Savior will be enhanced through this trip. It's always a joy to receive someone coming over to give some help. May be you could be the next one to come and help, you may want to pray about it!
Beth in a tree shade classroom
















Beth and Beckie and a host teacher.





























Prayer Requests:
1. Pray for our health. We are battling some health issues and need God's intervention, also pray for wisdom for our doctor and for a peace of mind for us, that we will keep trusting the Lord.

2. Pray for my citizenship process. We haven't heard back from USCIS and our attorneys are getting our Congressman involved. Pray for a speedy handling of this and also for provision for us to be able to come back to the States next month to complete the citizenship process.

3. This month we have three consecutive weeks of ministry starting from next week. We have two classes and a marriage retreat for our students coming up. Pray for strength, wisdom, finances and transformation of lives, marriages and ministries.

4. Pray for the health of our team mates. They are old and need the constant touch and encouragement of the Lord. Pray also that we will learn a lot from them as quickly as we can and that we will be good co-laborous with them.

5. Pray for the different ministries we are involved in, especially the sexual purity ministry; that it will become a national movement as the country fights HIV/AIDS.

Thank you all for your faithfulness. We make mention of you daily in or prayers and we pray that the Lord Himself will bless you, heal you, provide for you and walk with you daily. We hope to see some of you very soon. Blessings and love from both of us.
R&B.

Monday, May 11, 2015

God is at work in Uganda!

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We always thank our God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of ours of you all, making requests with joy, for your fellowship and partnership in the spread of the gospel here in Uganda from the first day until now; and we are confident in this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

From our previous post, we told you about a young waitress we had started walking alongside and ministering to. We have got two exciting updates about her! Last week, she went and met her mom and she said it was a very exciting moment for both of them! We are grateful that we played a small part in encouraging her to forgive her mom for abandoning them when they were still young ad we can see that the journey for forgiveness has started already. She had also not been to church for a very very long time, but yesterday, she was able to join us in church and she even came with her friend and roommate! We went to our house together after church and had a meal and a good fellowship, we hope to make it a Sunday routine to have a meal together and have fellowship with the Father, Son and Spirit and we would appreciate your continued prayers for us in this endeavor.

We are also excited to let you know that we started a new class last month; meaning we now have two classes running every month! After much prayer and waiting, we had expected to have about 16 village pastors and church leaders attend this class. However, on the D-Day, we started off with only 14, but by the end of the day, we had over 22 Students! How the rest appeared, only the Lord knows! From time and again, we have come to realize that the Lord always sends us students on the very class day; and they usually just appear at the gate with their small belongings ready to study. We thank God for entrusting these mighty men and women of His to our care and we continually ask for your prayers for wisdom for us to train these guys in the best way we possibly can and also for them to have soft hearts that can be shaped, moulded and transformed by the Lord for His glory and purpose. We have also noticed that this particular class has more pastors in it than our other class and they just seem to want to learn more; they are asking a lot of questions and you can see the enthusiasm in their eyes and faces! Our other class meets this week from the 13th to the 15th of this month and we would appreciate your prayers once more!

Also, last week, we travelled back to Soroti for the burial of my uncle who took his own life out of annoyance! He was a good man, very generous and a pillar in the house of God, but succumbed to his anger. There were over 6,000 people at the burial and speaker after speaker spoke of how generous, hardworking, honest and faithful my uncle was and this huge crowd was testament of people had loved him. It was a very hard time to come to terms with his demise. However, we were able to have a family time and a family together with my three siblings. We had never had family time before and i am grateful to my wife Beckie for suggesting it to us. We took our first photo with all the four of us and we were able to express our disappointments with each other, wept together, forgave, reconciled and started a new life with a promise of coming together again for Christmas. Death is not a good thing; when both of our parents died when we were young, we got split up with each of us growing up with different relatives and never really had time to meet together as brothers and sisters, but we are hopeful that we have turned a new page and will try to redeem the years that the locusts had eaten.

We still haven't heard back from the USCIS regarding my citizenship interview date even though we are past the expected three months period. Please keep praying for us as wait to hear from them. We  would love for this process to be completed so that we can concentrate on ministry. Besides, i am mandated to return to the States before 6 months in Uganda in order to maintain my immigrant status, so either way, we have to start making plans to return back to the States even though we wouldn't want to. Besides being unnecessary expense for us, we love what we are doing in Jinja and wouldn't want to be interrupted; but hopefully, things will be sorted out soon and quickly and we will be able to settle down and serve the Master fully.

Finally, keep praying for our sexual purity ministry that is on-going in Soroti and soon to start in Jinja as the school term starts next Monday on the 18th. Pray for our volunteers in Soroti who are tirelessly teaching, leading and guiding these students without pay, but for the love of the Lord and His creation. Keep praying for us as we seek ways of how to be able to provide them with a small stipend to help them meet some of their basic needs. Pray also for us as we start a new purity clubs partnership with a church founded primary school in Jinja, that we will find reliable and faithful volunteers who will be able to teach in these clubs.
We want to say thank you so much for your continued financial partnership that enables us to serve the Lord in Jinja, surely without your gifts, we wouldn't be writing about all these wonderful things that the Lord is doing here! We always pray for you and would love to hear from you about what the Lord is doing in your own lives and how we can pray for you. Blessings.
His hands and Feet in Jinja, Uganda,
Ruudy & Beckie Olupot.

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Speaking Life and Truth

Since we are less than 500 yards from the Nile River we will often take a walk down to the river and sometimes, especially when we have visitors, we go for a short boat ride. There's a restaurant at the end of our road that dead ends into the river where we will go and watch the river or go out on a boat ride. There's a waitress we always see there because she works every day of the week. And one day we were sitting there with some visitors, and we asked her about herself, she told us that she's in a catering training institute and that her uncle is paying for half of the fees as she works to pay for the other half. We asked about the parents and the father had passed on and she didn't talk with the mother anymore.
This is where I want to hit the pause button. Such conversations almost always open up avenues for speaking the truth, and encouraging a brother or sister in the Lord, or leading someone to the love, forgiveness and freedom that the Lord brings. When you take time to ask someone about him or her self it opens the door.  Take time to listen, pray, be hearing what they are saying physically and hear what the Spirit is saying. And I know this doesn't just happen in Uganda, it happens in America too. People like to talk about themselves, and often if you're attentive you will hear also what they are not saying.
Anyway, un-pause, so as we're talking to her, Ruudy asks what happened that she's not talking with the mother anymore, and after she shares more, (the mother left the family when they were young) we both realized that she needs to forgive the mother so there is no place for bitterness in her heart, and we encouraged her to call her mom if she had her number. She said she did so we left her like that.
The next day we had walked back and I asked her as I was passing if she had tried calling her mom. She had a big smile and said yes! She had a nice long talk with her and they were going to keep talking. She also said that soon the mother is moving back to Uganda and she will let her know and then they can meet up. She was so happy. She said she hadn't talked about forgiveness yet with her mom, that she had wanted to do that in person, but they are on their way. Forgiveness always leads to freedom.
People often put missionaries on a christian pedestal, saying that they couldn't do what the missionary is doing, but you don't have to. There are things you can do in every day life, in every day situations that speak life and truth into people's lives. That's pretty much what it comes down to. So this blog isn't to say, look at us, what we've done, but to say, look at you, look at your own lives and the lives that cross with yours everyday. Pray for open eyes and ears to recognize opportunities for speaking life and truth. It may be at the restaurant, the gas station, the gym, or the work place, every person you have interaction with could sure use a little life spoken to them.

On the ministry side, more and more doors keep opening up for us to minister. Next week we are starting a new class and it has been amazing seeing how the Lord brings students to us without us advertising! We are excited for this new class and that means we will be having two classes every month.
Besides that, a pastor's wife who also happens to be our student approached and asked if we could start a purity club in her primary school. Of course we are passionate about sexual purity and our answer was yes and we are already in the planning stages of how we can go about this when the term re-opens next month. We are very grateful that the Lord is counting us worthy of His work.

The ministry in Soroti is going on well with the purity clubs concluding last week for this term and will resume again next month. The children under our sponsorship program will continue meeting for Bible study and Games every Saturday.

We want to say thank you for supporting us, it's because of your generous giving, that we are able to do all these things! keep praying for us and the work that we are doing here. Keep praying for these village pastors and church leaders that through them, there will be revolutionary unveiling of truth throughout Uganda! God bless you, we love you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Work and Worship

Sometimes this little one distracts the mother, who is a student, and so I get to distract him so that his mom is able to focus. I love this little guy. So cute.


We had a good time in class this past week. The topic was Serving God in Work and Worship. We've divided the class up into 5 small groups and Ruudy and I are each leading a group. In the small group the students report on their action plan that they worked on over the month. One of the students in my group teaches Sunday school in her church. She reported that she taught the kids about creation. One of the obstacles she stated that she faced was that the children could not believe that God created the white people too! They thought maybe they were from like another universe or something. And then once they found out He had indeed created them they wondered then, if man was created in God's image, was God white or brown like them? It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall for that class.
I'm loving our new small groups, and look forward to developing relationships with each of these students.
Ruudy taught a few classes and did well. Please keep praying for us as we study the materials and prepare for teaching. We want to be so sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

We also added one class on interpreting the scriptures. We often find that people will take a single scripture out of context and then make it a major theological foundational thing. Like the scripture in Deuteronomy that says a woman shall not wear men's clothing. Here they take it to mean that a woman should not wear pants. I try to tell them that men in those days wore something one might consider a like a dress, so that when women wear dresses it's like they are putting on men's clothing, but they don't seem to buy that. :)
Pray with us that there is a shift from just seeking head knowledge, to really allowing truths to enter the hearts of the student, and that they could really grasp God's heart for them.

Ruudy has begun a weekly bible study with the daily staff, Slyvia the cook, George the gardener, Emma the night watchman, and sometimes Daisy who helps clean the place. Please pray for these people and for Ruudy as he leads it. Last week we had to let one of our staff go because he was involved in stealing and lying about said stealing. We don't want to have to let any one else go. We pray for continue transformation for all of us.


My cheese from America is close to getting finished, and we still haven't heard from the American government about when Ruudy's citizenship interview will be. We have enjoyed being back in Uganda, but we also would like to finish all of this immigration stuff too, please pray with us concerning this matter.

The other week we had to go to the police to report some of Ruudy's missing documents (one misplaced by the embassy, and the other was used by someone to pick a package for Ruudy but it was never returned). While in the police office we began chatting with the ladies at the counter since they were from up north. Then Ruudy had the idea, let's see if they can accept baked goods and we could bring them some cookies or something.  The ladies didn't even hesitate, they said, yes please, and held out their hands like they were ready to receive the things which weren't even baked yet. A few days later we made some peanut/sesame butter cookies and dropped them off. They were all smiles as Ruudy handed over the goods. We are hoping to make this into a simple relational ministry as most people complain of the corruptness in the police but don't do much about it. As they come to know and love Jesus corruption should automatically decrease. Please pray for the policemen and women.


And last but not least please keep praying for funding. The ministry we are involved in is by faith. We are so thankful for the people who have already committed to pray for us and to give to support the ministry on a regular basis. We have to build a second toilet block for the students in the near future. Please be praying for funding for that. And of course if you want to give to help it's much appreciated.

Our friends came from Entebbe for a weekend visit. We have a great time teaching them all how to swim and enjoying the lake side.What a blessing good friends are!





Wednesday, March 4, 2015

At The Father's Service: Being The Feet and Hands of Christ in Jinja and Soroti

Hurray! We are so glad to be back doing what The Father has called us and anointed us to do! We hope His grace has been sufficient for all of you; as it has been for us. This week we thought it would be nice to share with you what we have been unto since we returned from the States. We have been doing quite a lot, very busy catching up stuff from where we left five months ago. Here we go:


First, we want to say thank you to all those who helped us purchase stuff that we needed for our new home in Jinja. It was good to come back and find all our things waiting for us in the house. Our team mates who had returned a week earlier did a lot of work to make our house ready for us! We are still settling in and arranging stuff slowly, but we are so grateful to have such loving supporters and teammates. We are also happy to announce that we ow have enough room for visitors; so, if you ever need to get away for a bit, you are welcome to stay with us at the source of the Nile River. Here are a few pictures of some of the stuff you helped buy for us, praise God.
 
 


One place that we were both itching to go was our orphanage; Welcome Home and we did go there as soon as we had some time and oh boy, what a time we had there with all these cuties! We danced, listened, taught, played, carried babies, etc and by the time we were done, we were sweating and panting, but full of joy and excitement. Nothing on earth beats the giggles and smiles of these little angels. You could go there not happy but you will come out smiling and laughing, you just can't afford to remain unhappy with all these smiling little ones around you. We took tons of pictures and below are just a few of these. Remember most of these kids are still waiting for loving and caring parents and homes.
 



From the 18th to 20th last month, we had our first class of Rural Pastors and Church leaders for this year and we had over 30 in attendance! We taught them about Biblical Preaching and I, Ruudy taught two lessons and Beckie helped with the organization and administration as well as hospitality and some child care. It felt good to finally start to have our feet on the ground and be involved in the deep of things. Our next class is from the 18th to 20th of this month. This month, they are coming to learn about Work and Worship. Please keep praying for these men and women and also for us that we will help them walk into the destinies that the Lord Himself has prepared for them and their ministries. You can have a look at some of the photos of the class.
 

On Saturday the 21st of last month, we embarked on a journey to Soroti for ministry, family and friends there. It was good to see everyone there and we were given a hero's welcome in our local church there with numerous hugs and handshakes, in fact it was goof none of us had worn white clothes otherwise, they would have been dirtied in a short while because of numerous hugs and babies we had to lift up and down. We felt blessed to have such a family in Christ. We were also given a VIP reception in our former Fellowship Group meeting. It was good seeing those we passed the button to still running the race with such excitement! 
The Purity Clubs are healthy and doing well; thanks to our committed volunteers. We were able to teach in all the purity clubs for the week as wells participate in Bible study for kids in our sponsorship program. We gave out scholastic materials to kids in our sponsorship program thanks to a donation of books from our local Indian shop keeper partner! We were also able to add two new Indian shop owners to our sponsorship program bringing the local indian sponsors to 5 and still counting! While in Michigan, some of our supporters donated clothes that their kids didn't need for us to take to Soroti and you should have been there to see the joy in the faces of these kids when we told them they would each get a T-Shirt! My Mom-in-Law also bought some sports vests for the kids and they were so happy to have some sort of Uniforms for games. We had a good game of soccer for the boys and the girls had "first ju" (played by three girls at a time with the two on both side trying to hit the one in the middle with the ball). We are grateful to Marsha Vandersloot for the balls and clothes. We are still in need of Sports uniforms for these kids as well as a laptop, generator, projector and small speakers so that our volunteers can be able to project some purity videos to the students.
The biggest news so far is that after teaching in one of our Purity Clubs, i made an altar call since this was a newer class we were handling and over 70 kids came forward to receive Christ, hallelujah! Please pray for these little ones to keep growing in the Lord with strength and power to resist and overcome all the attempts of the enemy to take them back to bondage. Here are a few pictures that sum up our time in Soroti.



 





Personally, we are doing well and are full of joy and excitement to be back in the field. We are still waiting to hear from the USCIS about my Citizenship Interview appointment; please keep praying for us in this regard. We are also still in need of more financial support, but we are totally at peace about it and keep trusting the Lord to provide for us day by day. At the same time we want to thank you all for supporting us through your prayers, financial gifts, words encouragement, etc, you are the reason we are doing what we are doing right now. Also, could you take time and pray for all our former teammates with International Teams? A lot is happening that we are not at liberty to discuss right now and the best we can all do is to pray especially for wisdom from the Lord and encouragement from the Lord and the Holy Spirit; we believe in prayer and know the power in it that's why we are asking all of you to pray. Finally, keep praying for us too, that we will keep walking in the wisdom of the Lord and that we will have ears to hear and hearts to know and do what He wants us to do at all times. We grieve with those who are grieving and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Blessings, grace and peace of the Lord be upon you all in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.