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.