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!