"And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Ephesians 3:17b-18

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A word from Pastor Samuel (Pallisa)

Dear Mummy Cindy,

I bring greetings to you in Jesus name, I pray that you and the entire team reached home well. I am sorry I was not able to email you soon. I am taking this time on behalf of our Ministry here in Pallisa, I would like to extend our thanks to you and the entire team for the great work you did here through the Children s ministry and Medical treatment. Our Children have many thinigs in memory of what you did, The Pastor of Kabole Village where we went first in the new Church, he told me how the Children Sunday School began last Sunday, It is my dream that every Church develops a strong Children s Ministry. Your coming this year made it possible to see that this Church gets Sunday School.
Through the medical 6 people came to Church on Sunday who had received Jesus and their Lord and Savior during the Presentation that Mike gave.

We also want to extend our thanks as To Africa With Love ministry for every donation that you presented to our Children and the gifts for our staff. Your visit this year left a mark in our Ministry, thank you so much for considering visiting and working with us. We pray that our relationship grows and we ask for more of your spiriturual support most especially with the Children s Ministry. Please send our Love to the entire team and the Church. I pray that the Lord may continue to open more doors for you to lead many teams for missions. We enjoyed every one on the team.

We love you so much.

Pastor Samuel

A word from Clayton of Faith Alive Ministries (Kitgum)

Hey Cindy
I Hope the Lord has delivered you back home safely. It was such a wonderful time and feeling having you here with us though it was short. The people of this community Alango are so appreciative for the medical support given to them during the clinic, however many who missed are in big remorse why they were later And high expectation of receiving the same in future time to come.

Faith Alive Church deeply expresses their joy for the hands joined together ministering to the people in Kitgum. We are so thankful for you and team, blessing our Church with chairs.

Cindy thank you is such a small word to express the joy I have in serving the Lord together even if you are far away. Thank you for the prayer, support and encouragements you have given us.

May you abundantly be Blessed.

We successfully ended term two 5th Aug. 2011. Here below are few highlights worth mentioning.
1. Our Theme this year is “ARISE AND SHINE” drawn from Isaiah 60:1

2. Academic: All academic programs last term have been successfully undertaken, all the classes did their end of term exams, which their result appeared on the report cards. For their parent/Guidant to study and advise them appropriately.

3. Discipline: We know that discipline is the prerequisite for success and have endeavored to discipline, guide and counsel our pupils. The following were some of the undesirable habits in term one when we just started:

(a) The use of the Toilet: All of them could go to the toilet at the same time and since we have only one door pit latrine, the rest could put their drops anywhere.
(b) Fighting habits: Parade and order of classroom was not easy to maintain at the beginning of the term
But after teaching them the value of loving one another as God’s command, the third week the school was peaceful and in order.
(c) Habit of not praying: Initially many of our children since they come from the families of none believers, they were not able to pray even for their meal. But learning that prayer is very key to everything in life, now they can pray in their parade, meal time and when braking off from school. And remarkably telling their parent to come for prayer on Sunday.
4. Health: We tried our best the last two terms to offer basic health to our pupil. We made sure all our children shaved their heads and general cleanness. We had an out brake of chicken pork in the community during the first term and many of our children were affected by that. But we made sure they undergo proper medical checkup and receives treatment before they report back to school.
5. Condolence/obituary: We extended our heartfelt condolence to Oponya Denis K2 who lost her mother during the fisrt term. He is now being taken care of by an ant.

Despite the fact that we emphasize on cleanness in Faith Academy our class room is a major issues; Dusty floor, leaking wall and roof and deficiency of class room for K3.
Again thank you so much for the heart, willingness and dedication to support our school through sponsorship program. I pray for a blessing upon your entire endeavor.
May God bless you!
In Him, Clayton.

So how many people can 11 people share the gospel with over 12 days?

3 Vacation Bible Schools: 365 kids & youth
4 Village Bible Clubs: 213 kids
2 Clinics: 752 people
2 Youth Sexual Purity Classes: 115 youth
Ladies Health & Nutrition: 13 ladies
House Mom Bible Study: 15 ladies
Salvations (that we know of): 18 souls

All of this would not have been possible without the local ministry people organizing, spreading the word, setting up, translating, and working along side us. We come for such a short time - to work with them in their harvest fields. They are the true warriors - serving on a daily basis to share the "good news" with those in their communities.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to be blessed and to be a blessing!

Newsletter #5 (Final Thoughts)

Newsletter #5
August 14, 2011

The team made it home late Tuesday night, some not until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Due to our delay departing London, we did not make our connection in NY-JFK and had to split up on different flights to get home. One last opportunity to be flexible 

We knew our schedule was very ambitious, yet everyone stepped up to the challenge with grace and enthusiasm (even when some stomach bugs tried to interfere). The prayers from everyone upheld us and strengthened us. Our prayer now that we are back home, and getting re-acclimated to our “normal” lives, is that the lessons of what God did through us and within us will define a new normal for each of us. With that… Below are some final thoughts / impressions from some of the team.

from Amanda

For me the most profound aspect of our missions trip was the glimpse of God's joy and love for mankind. The people of Uganda live simply and those that are believers maintain an enormous faith that God will provide. It was such a joy to see God's provisions so clearly there. Too often we are distracted here with life's circumstances, the fast pace, and our ability to provide for ourselves. In Uganda we heard stories of individuals giving when there wasn't much to give trusting that God would take care of them, and then days or weeks later they were blessed more abundantly than what they gave. However there were also heart breaking stories- the school girls that are attacked on their way home from school by older village boys, or a young woman whose husband died at an early age wondering if God will provide her a new husband. The need for God is still great, there are many that are lost, many that need to hear the word.

It was a blessing seeing Mike give the faith presentation to so many during our clinics. The attention that the people listening gave him showed that the spirit was moving. We also had the opportunity to go hut to hut in a village and share the gospel to individual families. I was amazed at how loving the people were. They were happy to have visitors, insisted we took their best seats, made sure we were fed, given a drink, they cared for us. There was a true joy in fellowship in Uganda. I hope I can maintain that here. If we were as warm and welcoming as the people were there, what joy life would be.

from Brandy

I feel like such a child. I thought I had a good grasp on how big this world really is. Boy, was I wrong. After visiting the villages and passing through the ones we left untouched, it amazes me. As Rhonda stated on the blog "like dropping a pebble in the ocean and watching the ripple effect until it stops." I pray the ripple never stops. I hope that the men, women, and children that we came in contact with will continue the ripple effect. I pray that they continue to spread God's love and forgiveness.

I have seen info-mercials that tells of the hunger and sickness that they endure. But to see it first hand, to touch and to speak to the people that actually live it, it is overwhelming. It is astounding to me how people who live in such harsh conditions can live on faith alone. Yet, I sit here in my air conditioned home, full tummy, healthy family as so many others and we depend on ourselves. Just as the song we taught the children, "My God is big, so strong and so mighty there's nothing my God cannot do for you." How many of us truly believe and live by that? We depend on ourselves and that is where and when we fail. Just like Psalm 62 (Jenny,16, at GSF shared this with me as her way of getting over fear, she says it aloud anytime she is scared) "He alone is my rock!"

I went to share and teach God's word and love to the men, women, and children of a third world country. However, they have taught me so much. I feel abundantly blessed by God to have allowed me this opportunity to see his magnificent world in such a new light.

from Rhonda

What did I get out of this trip?

With each trip there is usually something that significantly jumps out at me, causing me to have a "theme" for each trip. This trip theme for me was Reflections, so throughout my journaling I write about things I see, experience, or feel that God is talking to me about that relates to the theme. Things I wrote: Reflections are like looking for hidden meanings. What does my soul need? But you! What is a reflection of ourselves? Do we like it or not? Does Jesus like it or not? Upon returning, I've ask myself: What did we do that was a reflection of God's Love for such people in need? Can people with such daily suffering see the reflection of God's Love in what we did? Being called to a foreign missionary field is way more than obtaining the financial means and the time away from church, work, family, & friends - it's the true ability to think beyond yourself. It's stepping outside the box of your normal life and stepping into the suffering world of others and telling them with action that not only do you care, but that God Loves them so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for them. Stepping into the foreign missionary field is a true reflection of who you are as a child of God serving to increase His Kingdom. It is the ability to see need, not color.

I want to thank each and every person who submitting to this calling and thus made themselves part of this team. I want to thank Brandy, Amanda, & Cole for the opportunity to be part of their first experience in Uganda, Africa. It was an honor and Blessing to serve beside you. In His Awesome Service we serve to reflect the joy, Hope, and Love of our Father in Heaven.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Update :)

Internet has been not so cooperative.... Needless to say, we have not been able to keep the blog up to date or post pictures, as we had hoped. Everyone is doing fine - we have finished up our ministry work here at Good Shepherd's Fold Orphanage (GSF). Tomorrow we will have church here & then head to Entebbe to stay the night. We depart Uganda first thing Monday morning. We will post final newsletter & more pictures next week after we are home. Thank you for the prayers! Our time here has been such a blessing to us & we pray also for all those whose lives were touched by God through us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Newsletter #4

UGANDA Mission Team – Update

August 03, 2011
Greetings from Pallisa. Many Blessing today has brought to each of us in different ways. Though the financial cost is high, the trip to get here is long, our family is missed and the sun/heat is exhausting and causes much sun burn….the call to serve God is what is most important. The multitude of men, women & children who have heard about the Love of Jesus is beyond our comprehension, for this number only God knows. A team such as ours who come to serve in third world countries is like dropping a pebble in the ocean and watching the ripple effect until it stops. We will never know the full affect of our service, but what we do know is that we are doing as God ask and spreading His message of Love, Hope, Forgiveness and Eternal Life. We covet your prayers and support.

Though this is my 3rd year and 7th trip to Africa my thoughts are always centered on, “what if no one ever told me about Jesus? What if I lived so deep into the bushes of Africa that no one ever bothered to come tell me about Jesus?” Not only does God’s calling keep me coming, but His Word in Matthew, “So you must go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). Must go being the key words.

Today started off around 10am with a somewhat “short”, bumpy ride through a very narrow path, which caused the bus to do some tree hedging and us to close our windows (never comfortable in hot, African sun. During the ride I couldn’t help but think about the fact that there are so many dirt roads that canvas the African landscape and they are all of different shapes, conditions and depth, but they all lead to villages that need to know about Jesus. At the first village we shared the Word of God through the Noah story and “Jesus Saves the World” book with approximately 139 children and adults. We were greeted with song and dance by the children, which is always heart warming to hear and see. We sang, read the stories, played with Noah stickers and gave out sweeties (dum dums). We also got the opportunity to look inside a hut, which was about 90% complete – photo’s obtained – this was the first for some of us. After this Bible Club, we had a quick lunch with Samuel and his family, then off to our next Bible Club.

Our 2nd Bible Club was at “To Africa With Love Ministry” – Pastor Samuel’s ministry office & children’s home. This is similar to a foster home, though not all of the children are orphaned. They have taken in 14 vulnerable children with plans to return them to their families when their family is able to care for them again. There was approximately 56 children here, including children from the surrounding community. Again, we shared the Love of Jesus through the Noah story and the “Jesus Saves the World” story, songs, stickers, dum-dums and hands-on loving. Several of the ladies on the team got the opportunity to hold and rock the children to sleep in the shade during the heat of the day…what a Blessing. Among the music we shared with them was the “chicken dance”. Thanks to Cole and his I-Pod, many Ugandan children now know the “chicken dance”.

At this Bible Club, Brandy & Uzziel shared Proverbs 22: 6 & 15 with the 2 Foster Moms. This was shared with them to emphasize the importance of their calling to raise the children in the Word of God. After ending our full day of Bible Club this is what I wrote in my journal, “life seems so causal & laid back, but the cover doesn’t really tell you the true story of the hardship & means of survival endured here: hunger, sickness, & lack of clean water (not an all inclusive list of hardship). The story tells of children with calloused soles and scared bodies working in the fields, herding cattle, caring for younger siblings, & walking long distances to obtain water to carry back home in jerry cans (each can weighs around 10 pounds when filled with water). There is also a high number of orphaned children, along with a high rate of illiteracy. This is a glimpse of the story we see as we serve here as a missionary team.

For those who have served on this missionary field before, this story all too familiar and yet they continue to be called by God to read it. For those serving on the team for the first time, the story is new and with each new experience (chapter) it becomes an eye opening experience that humbles them and will be forever remembered in their hearts.

In closing, James 1:27, “Pure & undefiled religion in the site of our God & Father is this: to visit orphans & widows in their distress & to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

Rhonda & Ryan

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Newsletter #3

UGANDA Mission Team – Update
August 1, 2011
As I am writing this as we are on the bus headed to Pallisa – “Phase” 3 of our 4 “Phase” trip. We are covering a lot of ground on this trip, seeing over ½ of the Uganda countryside. Our schedule is very ambitious and truly was designed by God. The team has been awesome – very flexible and willing to adapt at the last minute to the multitude of changes we have had. Being flexible is to be expected in Uganda – but we have certainly taken it to a new level.

A little history: Northern Uganda is recovering from a 20 year war, a world that the UN has called “one of the greatest humanitarian crisises.” The rebel group, Lords Resistance Army (LRA), had committed atrocities beyond human comprehension as they abducted children to build their army. In the past 4 years the war has ended, although the LRA still continue to exist in the Congo with plans on returning to Uganda. When Susan & I first came to Gulu in 2003 the war was very active. Over 2 million people were forced into IDP (Internally Displaced Person) camps so the government could “protect” them. Needless to say the camps did not provide protection and became a place of starvation, disease, & death. Children would walk many miles to sleep on the streets of a city because that was safer than staying with their parents where the rebels could abduct them & force them to kill their family. They were called the “night commuters.” That first trip to Gulu was heart breaking – thousands of children, many with only a blanket (if they were lucky), some carrying their baby sister or brother, walking into town to sleep on the sidewalks or in the dirt of the bus parking lot – this was their “safe” zone. As a parent it was inconceivable how I could send my children walking off into the night unsure if they would be safe, where they would sleep, or if I would ever see them again.

Today it is quiet. But the scars of war are deep and will take a long time to heal. The young adults of today were raised during the war – the only way of life they know is living in the IDP camps. They don’t know how to farm or build a future – before now they had none. The number of orphans is staggering & in a society where war & HIV/AIDS has killed the majority of the middle aged adults, leaving no one to care for the elderly or the children. Yet there is resilience present in the Acholi people that will not disappear quietly into the night, though they lost their culture and old way of life. Our prayer is that God will raise them up from the ashes of this dark time in their history.
The time in Gulu was a wonderful blessing with Keith, Lisa, Jonathan, & Elisha Coggin – although much too short. Their heart for the Acholi people of northern Uganda is evident in their daily walk. The children at Sanctuary of Grace Academy have grown into little spiritual warriors over the past 3 years, not to mention academically being far ahead of their counter parts in other schools. They continue to take the gospel into their homes & the church in the Ochuko village has grown as a result.

We have spent the last three days working with Faith Alive Ministries. This is the ministry started by Clayton) about 16 months ago (some of you may remember him from his 2 visits to NC in 2005 & 2008). What a privilege it was for us to be able to work with him & Alex (Susan & I have worked with them since 2003). Their ministry is so vibrant with the light of God throughout the Kitgum area. It was amazing to see the progress they have made by walking by faith. In America we would never think to start a church & a school without some financial backing – here it is a daily walk in faith that God will provide for their needs. Their needs are many, yet they continue to persevere in following Gods leading. Please be in prayer for this young ministry that is doing a mighty work here – through faith.

Yesterday (Sunday) we attended church at Faith Alive. The service started at 8:30am with praise & worship. They have few chairs - & since they consider us their “honored guest,” although we would much rather not be considered such – we sat in the chairs and the church members sat on mats on the floor. Keith Coggin gave a powerful message on where did sin come from & what is sin. Later we found out that Brandy & Amanda had been up late trying to find a way to clearly explain this to the youth girls during the Sexual Purity class Rhonda & Amanda were to teach after church. The sermon laid the foundation for their lesson perfectly. 5 Ladies came forward to give their life to Christ, one of them came because her 5 year old daughter (who goes to school at Faith academy) told her what she was learning at school about Christ so the mom came to find out about who this Christ was - Praise the Lord! Church ended at 11:00am – WOW 2 ½ hours of praise, worship, & the word! We grabbed a quick bite, then everyone headed off to their next “assignment”: Rhonda & Amanda – youth girls Sexual Purity; Mike & Ryan – youth boys Sexual Purity; Susan did her magic on reorganizing our supplies in the trunks to be sure everything is prepared for whatever we may need (a gift we have come to depend on heavily); Cole, Deborah, Uzziel, & Brandy helped out where needed; I ran an errand with Keith, Lisa, & Clayton.

The rest of the afternoon was spent near the land the church is purchasing to build on. Presently they are cramped into a small house & make-shift classrooms. We walked to the property then back to our host’s home for the prayer meeting that afternoon. Alex divided us into 4 teams & off we went for village evangelism & to invite the people to the praise meeting. What a blessed time. The first home our team stopped at there was a young mother, who had had a c-section 4 days prior. Mike did the FAITH outline & the young mother accepted Christ – Praise the Lord! I asked to hold the baby, a precious little girl, as I was holding her the mother asked if I would name her. It is customary to wait to choose a name that is suitable for the baby and has a personal meaning for that baby. I was so honored – I named her Grace, a name I felt was fitting since it is by God’s grace that we were there & her mother accepting Christ that day.

All together we had 6 salvations in our 45 minute walk about. Then the praise meeting began. The spirit is so evident here – you can see God moving through these people in a powerful way. Their love of the Lord is so pure and abounding that words cannot describe it.

Faith Alive Ministries' verse is: "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead." James 2:17. They certainly live this out daily doing God's work.

Our evening supper was back at the hotel with Clayton & Alex. Lisa called our supper orders in about 4:30pm, for them to be ready at 6:30pm. We arrived at the hotel about 6:40pm – no food ready & no tables set up (TIA…this is Africa). Supper finally came about 7:45pm. The meal was very good – or were we just starving . Clayton & Alex shared more about Faith Alive Ministries & what God has laid on their hearts. Their request is for prayers as they do what God has called them to do – even though it has meant some great sacrifices for them they feel blessed.
We are in Pallisa – settled into our rooms. Our dinner that we order by way of Pastor Samuel, here in Pallisa, at 11am this morning was to be ready at 5:30. We ate at 8pm. At least we had something to eat. There are many around us who will go to bed hungry tonight. The internet has been very precarious so updates are not as timely as we had hoped. Maybe now that we are in an area not quite a remote it will be better. Thank you for your continued prayers! God has truly been in control & we are only the vessels for His use – we are so blessed to be here.

Cindy And so, our journey continues….

Newsletter #2

UGANDA Mission Team – Update
July 30, 2011
HaPpY BiRtHdAy Jeff Albertson! Love & miss you! Cindy

Now for the team stuff………

“I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 what an appropriate verse for our trip so far! We have been on the go non-stop and truly cannot do any of it apart from Him. He has been teaching us much about solely relying on Him. On Friday, we woke up bright and early to make our way from Gulu to Kitgum; a 60 mile distance which took our bus 3 hours to drive because of the “rough roads.” These roads are nothing like the ones in America, they were unpaved and pot holes galore! To say it was an incredibly bumpy ride is an understatement, but we still had fun with it!  Once we arrived at Faith Academy, the 4 year old students greeted us with a song that welcomed us while holding a welcome sign up. It was so precious! Then, we split up into groups between four classrooms and taught the students the story of Jesus’ birth. We used stickers, games, and other arts and crafts to help describe the story. It was interesting to watch the children use stickers for the very first time! In the meantime, Cole went around all the classrooms teaching the “Chicken Dance” to the students and teachers. He had a great time! Don’t worry someone got it on video  A little background on the school, Faith Academy has been under operation for a little over a year now by Faith Alive Ministries led by Pastor Clayton and Pastor Alex. They currently have 102+ students at the school ages 4 and 5. We enjoyed getting to know the teachers and spending time with all the children! Later that afternoon, Cindy, Rhonda, and Susan educated locals on the importance of health and sanitation. While Deborah, Amanda, and Brandy spent time giving words of encouragement to the teachers while discussing different challenges they faced. That evening, we ate dinner at Clayton’s home. Monica (Clayton’s wife), Santina (Alex’s wife), Florence, and many others worked all day preparing the food for us. It was delicious! Cole tried posho for the first time and honestly wasn’t too fond of it LOL. Posho is the main dish that Ugandans eat; it is similar to ground up grits. Cole did enjoy the chapatti and G-nut butter with honey though! After our bellies were happy and full  pastors Alex and Clayton gave words of encouragement, and then led us in prayer to thank the Lord for the amazing day He gave us.
On Saturday we set up a medical clinic for the locals in the neighborhoods surrounding Faith Alive Ministries. The clinic was organized in separate stations which included: Susan, Rhonda, Cindy, and I at the diagnosing/ wound care treatment section. Amanda, Brandy, and Deborah were at the Pharmacy Clinic; Cole and Ryan gave parting gift bags (stuffed with handmade washcloths, crayons, and sweeties); Mike did evangelism using the FAITH outline and led some to Christ. We saw over 384 people at the clinic. It broke my heart to see so many children with malnutrition, infected wounds, and burns untreated. Many people suffered with HIV/AIDS and multiple bouts of malaria. There is very little access to any type of healthcare here and it always leaves me feeling so burdened for the tremendous unmet needs.
We went to Clayton’s home for dinner. We ate and sang under the mango tree. Amanda played guitar as well as some of the men from the church. Uzziel gave devotion and some of us shared thoughts about the day. We had prayer and headed back to the bus and to the hotel.
It has been an amazing experience here in Uganda and we have enjoyed fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, rejoiced in new believers trusting in Him, and having a great time learning the culture. Praise God for it all and to Him be the glory! “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8
In Christ,
Uzziel and Cole

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Newsletter #1

UGANDA  Mission  Team – Update
July 28, 2011                                                                                                                                             
What a ride!!! The bus ride to Sanctuary of Grade in Gulu was amazing to say the least. This being my very first mission trip I had no idea what to expect. The first words that come to mind are magnificently beautiful. God’s hands are the only hands that could have made this place. I tried catching some sleep time on the way here. I was rudely awakened by a slap from a pedestrian on the street. Note to self: Do not fall asleep with your elbow hanging out the window J. We stopped for some groceries at the Shoprite. This store reminded me of a Big Lots with groceries. We picked up some snacks, this was my first chance to use my Ugandan money. I spent 39000 shillings on a few snacks. All those zeroes confused me! When we got back on the road we saw lots of goats and bulls tied to trees, children and adults walking on the side of the streets, and the horn blowing continuously. After many hours of bus riding we stopped for a potty break. We had the choice of an actual toilet or a hole in the floor… we all went for the toilet. Back to bus ride, we crossed the Nile Bridge which was absolutely breathtaking. No pictures allowed! We saw a little monkey in a tree by the bridge. After several horn blows and many speed bumps later we finally finish our journey at Sanctuary of Grace.  Thanks to Andrew for his safe speed racing J.
After unpacking and showering (best shower ever!) we all went fast asleep. When I woke up I rolled over and looked out the window to a sunrise that is indescribable. I hope to actually get a picture of this tomorrow. We all started stirring and went for a tasty bacon and biscuit breakfast made by Elijah. Then we all started preparing for our VBS lessons for the day. We headed over to the school to find our placements. Uzziel and I went into the P1 classroom with 6-9 year olds. We were welcomed with a flower giving. This is a hand gesture and chant they do to welcome visitors, it was precious. I have been humbled! These children wear their torn clothes and smiling faces to a school that doesn’t have technology or textbooks. Yet, these children are happy to be here. I read the Baby Moses story to them and we talked about it. I asked them to sing a song to me while we waited for a special treat. They started singing “He Knows My Name” and I couldn’t help but cry. I will never forget this moment. This song has a completely different meaning to me. We then took the children outside to hunt Easter eggs. We tied this to Moses being hidden in the basket. The children all got 3 eggs with 1 jelly bean each in each. When we got inside the children were allowed to open 1 egg and eat 1 jellybean. I was shocked by how the children were so grateful and didn’t complain for more. We then read Noah’s Ark and had snack. One child was hiding some of her snack under the cracks of her chairs for later and a few others were trying to give me theirs. After snack we made Noah’s Ark necklaces. They were so excited about these and wore them proudly. Each classroom got to go out for a water balloon toss. They had a blast doing this. When we came in they each had a brand new pair of underwear in their little bags we gave them. You would have thought an American child had received a brand new PS3 with 10 new games. They were ecstatic over a single pair of undies. We finished our VBS day with lots of songs they sang to us. I can’t explain the effects these children have had on me today. When you look in their eyes you know they all have a story to tell. But they all know of God’s love and his faithfulness. I am so thankful God has given me this opportunity to serve him and spread his love to these precious children. We serve an amazing God!
1 Peter 5:6
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you”
In Christ,
Brandy Patrick

In addition to Brandy’s experience I (Amanda) would like to share a few things.  On the ride to Gulu I was memorized by the horticulture.  Maize, sunflowers and many other unrecognizable crops (to me and I can’t remember what Lisa called them) were in small plots along the road.  I was surprised to see pine trees, I didn’t expect them in Africa. 
In total we were blessed to work with 252 children today.  I too was humbled today as Rhonda and I taught the sexual purity class to the P3 and P4 girls.  The stories of what these little girls endure on their way home from school, or fetching water for their family, or even in their own huts was eye opening and heart breaking.  I will now thank God daily for his protective hand and that he will guard these sweet children from that evil that lies outside of this school.  What a blessing to have shared with them that they must pray to God for protection and that he is always with them not matter what happens.

Tomorrow morning we head out at 6:00am for Kitgum for 3 days of ministry. Thank you for the prayers! We love & miss you all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We are here!!!!

We left Fayetteville at 8am (EST) Monday morning & landed in Entebbe at 1215am (EST) Wednesday morning. It was a bit a scenic route to get here - that was the only way to keep to airfare cost down. As I type this we are on the bus - our faithful friend and driver, Andrew, met us at the airport & will be with us throughout the trip. He has been such a blessing to us over the years & is just as much a part of the team as any one of the rest of us. Everyone is doing well - just a little tired. All the trunks arrived with us YEAH! Tomorrow we will begin the work God has prepared for us. We love & miss everyone! Please remember to pray for us daily!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

6 Days & Counting!

Months of prayer & preparation is getting ready to be put into full gear. Saturday we pack out all the trunks - 30 of them - with the ministry supplies for our 2 weeks in Uganda. The excitement is growing as those who have been before are looking forward to going "home" & those who have never been are filled with anticipation of going to a foreign land. Please continue to lift the team in prayer as we prepare to leave our families and homes to go where God has called us to go.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

15 Days until departure!!!

With 2 weeks until departure everyone is finalizing their lesson plans, supplies, & packing. Please continue to life the team and the ministry work up in your prayers. Apart from God we will surely fail - With God we will accomplish all He has set out for us to do.

The team verse:
"Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples." I Chronicles 16:23-24

Sunday, June 19, 2011

36 Days & Counting !!!

In 36 days, on July 25, our team of 11 will be departing for Uganda. We have quite a full schedule for this trip. Please be in prayer for the team as we prepare and for those we will be going to minister to.

"Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples." I Chronicles 16:23-24

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Summer 2011 Mission Trip to Uganda - Is God calling you to GO???

Mission Trip to Uganda Summer 2011

We are finally back on track with planning for this summer's trip to Uganda. We have been waiting on God to work out some details, and He has.

Our focus will be on Children's Ministry with a small medical clinic. The only special training you need it to be called of God to go & serve.

The proposed dates will be a 14 day period sometime between July 20 - Aug 10. We are waiting on some logistics to be finalized to lock in the exact dates. The estimated cost is $3000. Of that $2100 is for estimated air fare & $900 for in country / ministry expenses.

We are approximately 6 months from departure. Due to the short time frame we are asking for commitments to be as soon as possible. There is limited space on the team.

What do you need to do right now????

1. PRAY - Is God truly calling you to be a part of this ministry work. Don't miss this opportunity to be a blessing & to be blessed!

2. Let me know ASAP if you "think" this is what God is calling you to go on this trip.

3. I need to lock in the air fare ASAP - there is no financial obligation to do that at this time. All I need from you is your name as it appears on your passport and your date of birth. You have the option of taking care of your own flight arrangements, for example using frequent flyer miles. The only requirement is that you are on the same flight as the team when we land in & leave Entebbe, Uganda.

Please respond if you have ANY interest at this time, even if you are not ready to commit 100%. It would be very helpful for us to have an idea of the number of people interested as we finalize some of the details. Please feel free to email me at cindyald@aol.com with any questions.