Monday, December 29, 2008
Today, 12-29-08 was inturrupted with evan and christian going to see CHarles... remember him? This was the man i met a while back, and today we got to meet up with him and his family for the third time. Each time God grows our reltaionships. I can't even describe, its like we show up, and dive more and more deep. Leaving each other with blessings, encouragement and love. The Spirit just leads the conversation more and more to where it is obvious that God has purpose for all of us speicifically in that moment. It is a beautiful thing. Today was our last visit, and an amazing time of ministry. Very personal, just God leading us two strangers together to a very unique, and interesting relationship. Where we go to his house and minster and pray with the whole family. This is something only God has orchestrated, and we give God glory for His plan. We pray that Charles and his whole family come closer to the Lord- as He gives them eyes to see and ears to hear Him. That they would see God's glory and hand in their lives and continue to grow in their relationships with Him.
Friday, December 26, 2008
That is a beautiful place to end, but it doesn’t end there. Soon after this, we introduced to them what we did when we go to rock and metal shows. As we gathered around for tea afterward, Kimby (Betty, our hostess’s baby boy) began to cry. This boy doesn’t like anyone except his mom, unless he is alone. Then he only likes evan. Surprising? Well, evan was closest when he began to cry and Betty left, and this was not a cry of loneliness, but because he had filled his pants. So in excitement that evan was going to get to hold Kimby and he wouldn’t cry- in fact it may stop his crying- he grabbed for him. Evan placed his hand right under his backside as Andrew mumbled, “… uh, I think that he went…” and walked away hysterical. So evan discovered why Kimby was crying when he looked down to see Kimby’s feces on his leg. This ended with an uproar of laughter to put lightly.
This Christmas was so incredible. Thank you for your consistent praying and support for us here. We hope that you enjoyed Christmas as well. This was a time of growing in our understanding and love of Jesus and His love for us. We are looking forward to this new year, beginning with new hearts and seeing what God has for each one of us. May Gods grace and peace be with you as we all embark on this new beginning- 2009.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So I am overjoyed to write this blog to you, listening to my favorite artist ever- Judith Babidea- a Ugandan singer. May you rest in Gods grace and peace as this year ends and as we worship Jesus for coming to our rescue right when we needed it.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The past few days have been wonderful ones to say the least. I write this to you in reckless joy. We jumped right into things after getting here. First was a very warm "younglife welcome." This entailed skits, music, worship and prayer. We were honored to be apart of the youth here in Jinja for the first time. After an extreme and first experience at the local market- we went to choir practice. We are teaming up with a church here called "Oasis Center." Joining instruments and voices has been a unique experience, especially listening to them sing, "So I'll join with the earth and I'll give my praise to YOU!" Every night so far has involved this somewhere in the schedule, rehearsing for a big Christmas service this upcoming weekend. Except this past night was a bit different- ending with such... pandimonium, hoopla, furor, chaos, laughter.
Boda Boda is comfortable (somewhat) with one person being the passenger and one driver. It pushes the limits when the driver is used to you (knows you by name) and drives as if you are not on the bike. But having two passengers as well causes for a little more joyful tension. Where the bike bounces up and down and rubs on the tire. Similar to me or Andrews' trucks back in the states. Well that is always interesting, much less when there are three passengers and a driver- four people on a motorcycle. An ordinary motorbike. I cannot explain- pictures wont even do it justice. But on one bike was Ibrihim (the driver), Anifa (our African friend), Betty (our African hostess), her baby and Andrew. And a guitar. On the other bike was our driver, Philip, a guitar, drum, Christian and me (evan). Philip was like an "uh-oh" oreo smashed between Christian, me and the guitar case. Keep in mind that Philip is about up to my chest when we sit on the motorcycle, so he looks like a true, double-stuffed oreo- squished between my torso and Christians back. It got to the point where i couldn't explain why (partly because i didn't know why) i was laughing so hard. I just lost it. It was the wrong time, because when someone gets a case of the laughs- we all know its contagious. So Philip- if only you knew him in this kind of situation- began to laugh with me. Luckily we were home soon before one of us fell off. "You know you're in Africa when..."
So we spent that day ministering to the small villages around the outside of Jinja. Driving about, gathering children over the loud-speaker on top of the mini-van, 16 of us piled out (yes, 16 human beings) and released the soccer ball to witness what Rob Bell calls "Amoeba Ball." This is where a cluster of kids violently chase after the soccer ball until seconds later it is torn apart. After gathering hundreds of children around, we split up into groups and shared the Gospel with them. Philip walked around the field with the wireless microphone inviting everyone to come hear. "Young and old, rich and poor, healthy and unhealthy, angry and happy, broken and together..." A dance off took place after the sharing and praying. This dance off was more of all the little African kids who actually can dance coming out of the womb and three white guys that look like the tin man trying to scratch his back. And suddenly when a "mizungoo" (white person) throws a dance move it really is a great method for breaking the ice because it A) makes them feel more confident and comfortable for obvious reasons and B) laughter breaks the ice for relationship and conversation.
We were invited after the long day to go speak at an over-night prayer gathering. As we approached this half-built brick building we could see the hearts pumping Gods love. We stepped into something great. Getting to share about Job and Gods glory was an incredible opportunity, as was to worship with them. We prayed together and headed home. Unfortunately (fortunately) our boda boda guys didnt come on time so we caught a ride with... yes i am going to go ahead and say it... a complete stranger in the back of a truck. Sounds intense. So we rode off in this pick-up after laughing and talking about "If it wasn't for you God...." moments with our new friend Emmanuel. After all of this we ended with devotion and spending time with God together at somewhere between 12 and 2 a.m. Philip described ministry in Africa like, "If you dont have the logistics or you do... you go and minister anyway." This vision is taking place daily, giving God our tiny, feeble offering. As we find individually who God has made us, we are learning to serve Him better with our strengths, weaknesses, identities, etc. As we continue, we are finding that God is too big to fit inside a box. We are finding that no matter where you are or what the circumstance is- God is holding up walls of water beside you. God is good, and He doesn't change. And we are each walking closer and closer personally with God, building our relationships with God from the ground up. We are so thankful for you praying because we want to affirm that Gods grace and peace is with us, and we are persevering, remaining in His love as you've been praying. God is here and He is truly a shepherd for His sheep. God has given us tight-knit friendship being built, constantly praying, challenging, affirming and encouraging each other- with us and others close by.
Please pray for the following things:
1) Pray that we would be bright lights for all the people close around us and people we are ministering to.
2) Good health and energy so we can go full speed, safe boda rides
3) for God to prepare our Boda's for Gods message of love, and we would have wisdom in those times.
4) The children that accepted Christ on 12/19/08 during the sports/dance outreach would remain firm and not fall away from God, but chase after Him with their hearts and grow to understanding and wisdom of Him in a relationship.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Team is traveling by bus across Uganda today. Watch for updates.
"Do not pray for easy lives,
Pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your power,
Pray for power equal to your task."
"Finally, be strong in the LORD and his mighty power."
The Bible, Ephesians 6:10
Thursday, December 11, 2008
(red words are original text, black headings have been added)
Sight. In our Bible study, our friend Matteo came to Christ. it was incredible. we went through John ch. 9 when Jesus heals the blind man. And God touched Matteo's heart through this, and He accepted Christ.
Water to Widows. We have finished the hut and our new project focus is doing outreach for widows. We have been talking to 4; Diana, Rose, Pamela and Tabitha. Tabitha is who we built the hut for. But now we make water filters for them. We make the concrete mold, then we give it to them, or clean the one they already have - then share the gospel with them. We will just share whatever is on our hearts that time and preach and its great. We get to pray with them and lay hands and pray for healing. These ladies are the ones who do the jewelry. They are apart of the family empowerment program that Cannan farm has. They make the jewelry and Sarah Ray sells it then sends them the money. So, they can aquire this skill and make a living. And so we give them clean water and pray with them.
- We all got to have a coke since weve been here.
- Andrew took a death bus to Kampala that drove at mach 3 on a broken road. He sat next to a woman breast feeding a crying child, and a man speaking an unknown language to him. He described it as- "I knew I was in Africa."
- Evan rode a bike with Jackson riding "boda boda" (meaning riding on the back like doubling on a motorcycle) and He thought it was the twilight zone. Jackson saidthat they have NEVER seen a white man on a bicycle before. So through the center he drove, evan was the passenger, then on the way back they switched.
The Team leaves December 16th for Jinja.
Picture of Canaan Farm child and dance, courtesy of Sarah Ray.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Before they leave, Andrew, Evan, and Christian will be saying goodbye to many significant new Ugandan friends. They have worked under the leadership of Richard. They received new African names, farmed alongside friends in the fields, fought bats in the bathroom, fished, built hut roofs and mortar walls; worshipped, and taught Bible groups with the people of Canaan Farm. And, no doubt, so very much more ... we have no idea how much. So watch for direct updates when the Team reaches internet connection and finally breaks their long two week communication silence.
- For Information http://www.suubiafrica.org/
- For the Women's Work ( and Purchase Online!) http://www.lightgivesheat.org/
Bicycles & Young Life. After the Team gets settled into their new homebase, they will pick up their bikes. The guys pre-arranged to have bicycles while in Jinja. They will be in a school town and traveling around with the kids they meet through Young Life Africa. The main part of their work for the next weeks will be building relationships with the students in the region, through Young Life.
But, The Team is probably taking time to sit, listen, worship, remember, and getting ready to say goodbye to some very important people at Canaan Farm before they hit the road again.
Pray for their goodbyes, and safe travel in the countryside of Uganda.... and watch for updates. Godspeed.
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