"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

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

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