Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Real Contact! News from the Team!

The first V-Team dispatch from Uganda: The following update came in an email from the Team last night. It contains two sections -- some history of the region, and what daily life looks like, so far, for Christian, Evan, and Andrew at Canaan Farm. Amazing stuff.

"Lets start with a little bit of history..."

In 1986, Ugandan presidency was taken over by use of arms. The new government ran the opposing members out of the country, north intoSudan. Here, the outcasts began training and became what has beenknown as the LRA, The Lord's Resistance Army, commanded by rebelleader Josef Kony. The LRA began crossing back over into northern Uganda, terrorizing villages, killing, and kidnapping young boys andgirls between the ages of 10-15. The boys would become child soldiers and the girls would essentially become sex slaves. This caused thousands to flee from their homes in distress, broken, and no whereto go. Ugandan government began setting up IDP camps (Internally Displaced People) for the refugees to live. These camps, althoughmade with good intentions, were more dangerous than their homes to thenorth. Disease, famine, unclean water, and extremely rough livingconditions became what are now cemeteries. In Masindi District, justsouth of Gulu District (where most of the attacks occurred), theAngoma family owned 500 acres of land. Many people began asking ifthey could take refuge on their property, and without hesitation, theAngoma's allowed. In 2003, Richard Angoma felt God's call to move away from Jinja, Uganda where he worked on staff for an orphange, tohis family's property to the north and start what is now Canaan Farm.Canaan Farm is a place of refuge, where displaced people come andreceive skills in farming and agriculture, life management, a safe environment and ultimately the hope of Christ.

Now that you know some of the history, this is what we've been up to...

On our way here the first day we were confronted with our firstadventure very shortly (actually before) arriving to the farm. The van got stuck in the long drive way and being covered in mud from pushing it out was an awesome way to start off our adventure. We have arrived in this African paradise- and we don't know how to describe how thankful we are. In just a few days of being here, so much has happened that it is impossible to write it all out.
The first night we ended with worship under the stars with Richard, Susan (his wife),Geoffrey and Jackson. We have started building a hut for a widow and are learning so much from that. Everyday from 3-4 we are leading a bible study for a group of guys (around our age). We have made two friends (Geoffrey and Jackson) that are Godly men. We are starting a bible study with them as well going deeper so they too can lead the other guys on the farm. A rough schedule of our day would go like this:
  • Wake up, breakfast, someone will give a devotional (like share what is on their heart) and we'll go off to work.
  • We have started farming by making two seed beds for cabbage.
  • Then we go back, rest, and have lunch. We will have our private devotions- then do the guys bible study and music practice. This has been another amazing thing put in front of us. The bible study has been placed on our laps and it is so beautiful to see what God has done.

In the past two days probably 20 guys have heard the story about Jesus and are beginning to learn more scripture. Along with this, we have music practice. An African instrument is the harp and it is so beautiful with the people singing in Swahili and another African dialect. They play and we listen to them, and we play and teach them guitar.

Words cannot describe the presence of God. God has put His hand all over this place. God hasgiven us the opportunity to lay hands on people and pray for their healing. God has given us a beautiful... Utopia, really to seek Him in. Everyday we get to wake up and go into the farm and learn about the crops and animals. We have really been blessed by being with God's people here- and we want to be a huge blessing to them.

Church this Sunday was great as well. After the senior pastor preached, we danced and clapped and sang. We are currently building relationships with guys here on the farm who were directly affected by the LRA conflict.Getting to hear their stories have been impacting. God is so good.

Thank you for your patience. Considering the dial up internet-pictures will have to wait, and the blog entries may be few from us for now. The reason we have limited internet use is because the closest internet is in the town of Kigumba, 11 Km away, and the way we have to get there is by riding taxi motorcycles known here as "Boda Boda"!

Please keep praying for us- for our influence and impact onthe guys here. It is an incredible opportunity. Please pray for all these people living on the farm- most know who Jesus is and believe in Him. Please pray for their growth and that God will manifest His Word in their hearts- and it will grow. We pray that Christ will make His home in their hearts, and His roots grow deep into them, making them strong and producing fruit.

Thank you for everything... we are off now to go pick passion fruit and explore the farm more. May Gods peace and grace be with you all.

1 comment:

yargers said...

I was picking up the twins at school after weight training class and asked them if they had seen anything from you lately. I got home and am checking it all out. The videos from Germany were great! One of my dreams is to go to Europe to visit cathedrals and castles. You have done it! Yeah! It was great to see Phillip and see you all have such a great time!
Now Uganda. Whoa! You sound busy and in the Lord's will...working hard, studying Him, and learning much. We will continue praying. OF COURSE! Know you are in our hearts and on our minds always. Keep us posted as you can on your blog and we will keep checking. His gracious love to you all! xxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooo