Monday, December 29, 2008


So the past few days have been consumed with preparation and doing work in the style/name of "work crew." This has been incredible to be on this side of the whole thing. We have been cleaning this student center/hotel preparing for the 60 some YOungLife leaders to arrive from all over Uganda for training from the Younglife leaders in the USA. Before the Americans or "Muzungu's" arrived, we hung up signs in their room saying, "Malaria is endemic in Jinja District, MUST TUCK IN MOSQUITO NETS!" (when there were no mosquito nets). Another saying, "extensively check under bottom bunks for snakes/rats/lizards prior to bed." Along with multiple others about rat infestations and typhoid- all that great stuff. You know, malaria is very prevelant and we probably shouldn't use the water for stuff we do- so the warning is funny to us but normal to others:) The past few nights have been doing Younglife club and fellowship. Getting to dance and listen to REALLY LOUD music, play instruments, share with the leaders and watch funny skits. This has been a great time for us to reach in further with the people attending this camp. We have been getting to exercise serving and there is a lot of opportunity for that definitely. This is something we are all very excited about- getting to be alongside the experienced Leaders and learn from them.

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


Our Christmas was incredible for a lack of a better term. After our church service, we went over to Philip’s house for lunch. His mother made us beef, rice, pineapple, sweet potatoes, irish potatoes, and mashed bananas. We sat around and enjoyed company then headed home. We quickly began preparing for the Christmas Extravaganza BBQ Celebration! After gathering firewood from the “jungle,” starting the fire, and roasting all the meat and peanuts, we jumped into it! It was very weird in the fact that we haven’t really had Christmas anytime recent that didn’t have snow or wasn’t freezing outside. One of the girls was describing being at the pool on Christmas Eve, getting sunburned listening to Christmas carols. Strange. Well we all (us, our 5 room mates, Philip, and Hanifa) sat around the bonfire, eating our Christmas dinner (roasted peanuts and beef) playing a game called “ZIP-BONG.” Ah, I can’t even describe it to you. To briefly give you a picture, it was not letting your teeth show while saying these words going clock-wise or counter clock-wise according to the specific direction of what the words “zip” or “bong” meant. After the crowd died down a bit, us five- Hanifa, Philip and v-team- circled up for some serious dance-time. Thanks to matt for introducing the youth-group game of memorizing dance moves and adding on, we had ourselves a Christmas Extravaganza Dance Celebration. This was an amazing way to express joy. Looking like fools, not caring, being bad at dancing but being together in love and in the Spirit. We experienced God’s grace displayed through Jesus being born today. So in the most unusual and unexpected way, today we were able to dance and laugh and celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world to save us. It is all made possible by the grace of God.

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

Pictures from the Farm

The View from Canaan Farm

Christian, Andrew and Evan
"V-team in the Botanicle Garden at the farm -- prime time realestate for Cobras!"

Richard Angoma
Canaan Farm Director

Giant African Harps!

Jackson Ochaya -- Former LRA child soldier, Jesus Follower

Christian, day one in the hut.

Men's Bible Study

African Sunset.
"God is good!"


On Christmas eve, I felt a tug on my heart to go on a walk. So as i am walking down the street beginning to be wrapped up in my music, a man looks at me very strangely and crosses over the road, walking the same direction down the road as im walking. Sensing something, i pulled my head phones out. As he approached he said in a quiet voice, "Hello, my name is Charles..." And after a short introduction i was able to share Jesus with him. After a long walk on this Christmas eve through the side-streets of Jinja- talking about Obama, the LRA, Cobras, the works- I was invited to his home. This is what the travel book i read before leaving on this trip said not to do. So i accepted and was lead into this mans home into the building projects. I sat there, drinking a citrus Fanta (which i don't think they have in the US, i could be wrong it's been a while) and eating some crackers. I sat for about an hour, and we talked about God, and what Christmas was originally about. About how we received a gift, that Jesus was humbly born and came into this world as a hero to save us in the most unusual and serving way. After a while of this, and hearing his testimony it was definitely time to go because i was expected home long ago. So we prayed together with his wife and mother, and am expected to return back on Christmas day to take pictures and celebrate! I was even given homework to research Daniel and God's protection over him. So i am now writing this with much joy because God always has a plan. His timing is so different and sometimes we don't understand, but there is always something bigger at work and we can never know God's thoughts, but trust in His plan and character.

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

12-20-08 LUBANGA WA NI BE!!!

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

Hello, from Jinja!

Hello our family! APOYO!!!

As we sit here in Jinja, Uganda we are so excited to be in touch with you for a minute. We hope that Gods peace and grace is with you. We want to start with: God is good all the time. Your prayers are being answered. Thank you for praying so much. So many people heard about Jesus and not only the out reach, but the bible study finished strongly too. We are dug down deep with the group of guys coming every single day. We are living in unity with our brothers and sisters here on the farm. God is blessing our offering everywhere we go. We are very confident that God is working on the hearts' of the farm residents. that He is speaking to them here, and growing the seeds that are being planted. please keep praying that God will touch their hearts.

Please pray for the women we have been ministering to: Tabitha, Rose, Pamela and Diana. Rose still has a son that hasn't returned from the LRA. Pamela and her family need prayer for health. Tabitha is getting settled into her new hut- she has two orphans she is mothering. Diana has many children and is fighting malaria. They all need prayer for Gods provision in their lives. We are praying that they would find all they need in the Lord, and He would be everything for them.

Please pray God would provide financially for the 2nd church we went to here in Kigumba. They are building a new church that is big. The last two days we visited homes and shared with them. Please pray for Gods provision and that they receive good health.

And please pray that God will continue to speak to all of us and we may serve Him well with who He has made us.

Lubanga wa ni be ("God is good"- in the language of Acholi)

Jesu ni wangu, wa zima wa mi lele. ("Jesus is my Lord, He is the light"- in the language of Swahili)

We are here in Jinja now. After a long and peaceful ride here, we were soon introduced to Younglife, Africa. We had the pleasure of doing fellowship with them, doing worship, and participating in a crazy younglife skit, becoming "part of the tribe" there is so much ahead of us, so we will keep you updated.

christian evan andrew

p.s. we got to take part in the killing of a cobra. as well as a few animal slaughtering's for food. for you PETA representatives, this is how the rest of the world works:)
(Image Above: Lake Victoria, Jinja Uganda -- from

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Travel to Jinja

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."

Philip Brooks(1835-1893)

"Finally, be strong in the LORD and his mighty power."

The Bible, Ephesians 6:10

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update From Canaan Farm

A blog update from V-Team, in their last week in Masindi.
(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.

Preaching. On Sunday (11/30) we were invited to preach at a church! We three took an intense ride to the church in the main town, Kigumba. Usually Richard says to drive slow because of the bumps in the road. they respect that. But, this time it was so hot anddusty that richards order was to stay spread out to the taxi drivers. So this meant for them to drive.... fast. So we were greeted with Christs love there. We were given water to wash up, then had fellowship. The congregation arrived and it was home:) over and over it was "praise God for our being together!" and we would praise.
Here in Africa everyone in church dances:) Like, they dance for and hourand a half then have a half hour sermon kinda thing. So it begun with some singing and dancing. WOrshiping with our brothers and sisters in Africa. We had the opportunity to play and preach as well. It was cool because a lot of this church was youth, so we were really able to connect with them. And, by the way, it had to be translated into Swahili. Swahili is the coolest language ever. (just p.s.) so anyway...after that long service we took a long taxi ride home on our fourwheel drive drive way.
a few cool points-
  • 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.
Bats. On monday night we had yet another bat experience. Every single night Evan has these encounters with bats in the bathroom. the first attack was he was going number two and one flew up under him to try to fit between his legs to get out of the toilet. So after awhile, he opened the toilet and the door to let that one out, and outf lew that one plus 8. Evan was ambushed. "they tried to dismember me," evan says. But incidents like this one happen often. Andrew found the correct way to deal is to make a small noise and they wake up and leave. But evan's problem is that they are never asleep in the bathroom when he gets in there, so its havoc. Because of evan's screaming and swinging, this causes some excitement for the bats and they like to mob him. Susan killed a bat with her sandal and it was a revolution.It was so exciting, and us three with a few of our friends were sprinting through the flowers to meet susan at the bathroom to see the kill. Because of the laughing i am pretty sure that the farm awoke in bewilderment.

Cobras. Then we had our first cobra experience. A huge group of guys on the farm joined up to dig it out and kill it. Because cobras are extremely dangerous and will kill. So we were all very suprised to see a few rats pop out of the cobra hole as we were digging, and basically threw everyone into panic. We got it though and killed it-making home a bit safer. so God is so good.

Growth. We are growing in our relationships together --us three, kinda like marriage. We are continuing to bring our five loaves and two fish, and God is working wonders around us. there is a lot of seeds being planted, and God is moving around us to make them grow. We dont know how all the time, but we know that God is speaking to them around us and the seeds are growing in the guys hearts- as well as whoever else He is planning.

Please pray for these guys! we want them to get in the word and grow deep. just pray for that bible study. Our focus is a lot more ministry. We travel and do home visits to people and pray for them, and share the word as well. One of our favorite times is gathering around at random parts of the day and night and worshiping. Or talking about God around a big fire eating roasted corn. We are learning to lead these boys to Christ, and serve them. We are being changed by Gods love, and His love is pouring all over all our friends here. The Spirit just takes it wherever He wants.

PLEASE PRAY SO MUCH: that all these people will be coming to Christ. We are watching the Gospel of John on DVD and a lot of people are coming. Pray they will understand Jesus' love. Our first "Gospel of John" experience ended with the entire crowd (probably 20) worshiping to Childrens worship songs and dancing. Pray that Matteo is strengthened as a new believer. Pray that Joseph comes to know Christ.

New Church. On sunday (the 7th) we went to another church to preach. God moved through us and we are confident in God-that He spoke to hearts and pray that the seeds planted will bear fruit. They are building a real church (right now it is more of a straw warehouse) and they need money. It is going to be huge, and we are confident that God will reach so many people through it.
Pray in faith that God will build this church and people will give their lives to Christ. Every single day we go and clean water filters for people or build them. We will travel to homes and clean preexisting ones or make them for people who don't have them. This is a project Cannan Farm does through Family Empowerment. Everyday we are in close contact with needy people. We give them clean water then share the word of God with them. Then we'll pray with them. So please pray that on these days Christ will shine through and touch their hearts.

Christ. Pray that God will take our feeble offering and bless it in abundance- and God will bring these people to them. In every experience we are falling more and more in love with Christ. We are truly finding the meaning of "love the Lord your God, and your neighbor." Christ died for us, and we are Italicbasking in that love. That love is eminating out onto new believers and nonbelievers. We are finding more and more the truth that Christs love is all we need to be complete - and from that our actions are pouring out. God is becoming our everything. Our entire identity, motive for acting, everything. As we grow in that relationship, God is revealing His immovable and unchanging character - and our faiths are being built around that.

We are finding individually who God has made us. And every little quirk and characteristic is all being poured out as an offering for Gods glory. We are learning to not quench the Spirit, and let God do whatever He wants. To let those words flow. We are getting to minister Jesus' love in new ways- and as many as we can. Relationships are being built divinely. We are seeing all the"flavors" of God."

"While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
."One thing I do know, I was blind, but now I see."
~Blind man
healed by Jesus.
John chapter 9 (vs.5 & 25)

The Team leaves December 16th for Jinja.

Picture of Canaan Farm child and dance, courtesy of Sarah Ray.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

At the Next Stop

V-Team will be moving again. On December 16th they depart from their home at Canaan Farm, in Masindi and will travel south by bus, across Uganda, to the town, Jinja. (See Map)
The approximate travel distance between Masindi and Jinja can be around 250 km or 170 miles. It will be a day's travel.

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.

Their new homebase, is a rural town at the source of the Nile River -- a spot where the Nile begins its journey through Uganda, Sudan and finally Egypt. Upon arrival, the guys will move into a home that is owned and run by "Suubi Africa."
Suubi is a Non-Profit Organization that works with people and projects in Africa. Their main drive is to provide jobs for impoverished women. By exporting and marketing products made by women, Suubi provides the empowerment of jobs. This practical form of hope currently employs over 65 women and impacts over 500 immediate family members. And these jobs are sometimes as simple as a bead. The women of Suubi make jewelry. And, the Team will see and experience it all firsthand, as they will be living at the base for this amazing organization.
Please check out their two very cool websites: Suubi Africa and Light Gives Heat. They take a couple seconds to download before you can start browsing. Be patient. It's worth it.

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.

"We have been shown a hope that doesn't make sense
A hope that's alive
A hope that contagious
A hope that changes everything
... and it's changed us."
~Suubi Africa