"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

Friday, May 31, 2013

You know your in the bush when....

There is a green mamba snake under the container behind your hut & everyone runs out to see it... (except Rhonda)

Rats, Bats & Roosters - Rats & Bats live in the ceiling above your bed and peer at you from a hole & the rooster crows outside your window from 2am until....(We are thinking we should put rooster stew on the menu)

Someone has to get out of the car and walk in front of it to find the small path you were driving on that has disappeared in the tall grass with the ditch and tree stumps....

You visit a friend and receive a chicken as a gift...

When you walk in your crocs without socks you get rocks....

AND you get to wake up to this sunrise!


May 31,2013

Everyone is having a blast! We are all doing well and enjoying our wonderful hosts Keith & Lisa Coggin & the Riegers (a family with 7 children, 5 of which are here now & are so much help to us in VBS). We have completed our first full day of VBS with 7 classes and an average of 35+ kids per class - more details to follow. Tomorrow is the Youth Conference on Sexual Purity. Please be in prayer for these children as we work to be the hands and feet of Christ here in Gulu. May His love abound and touch each of their hearts in a special way!

May 31 - Our first day of ministry work at Sanctuary of Grace

Good morning from Gulu! We have been up for several hours already as we prepare for the day, have breakfast & have devotions...and its only 8am :) VBS starts in 30 minutes with the over 200 kids here at SOG grades K-Primary 6. We will be sharing stories, songs, games, & crafts as we talk about God: our creator, Savior, healer, provider, & Lord of all. We are also including lessons on health, sanitation, nutrition, & hygiene. VBS will be today, Monday & Tuesday with Saturday being a Youth Conference for the P4-P6 children on Sexual purity &God's plan for their lives.

This morning devotion was on II Corinthians 12:9-10, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hard ships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Our prayer this morning is that the next several days for God to be glorified as we submit ourselves to the tasks that God has called us to & that the children will not see us but the One who is the Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & the End.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Uganda Summer 2013
Newsletter #2 / May 30, 2013

First day’s thoughts….by Danielle

Today was our first full day at Sanctuary of Grace, and my first time on the compound. We attended the morning assembly with the children. They were lined up by class. The boys were dressed in their uniform shirts and shorts. The girls had on dresses. I was surprised to see that the boys and the girls had shaved heads. I later learned that this was due to a sanitary concern. They all had beautiful, bright smiles and were happy to see us. We were introduced to the children as a group, and we taught them the chicken dance to break the ice. Most of the children learned very quickly, and followed along with us. As it was time for them to break up into their individual classes, they marched into their rooms. I couldn’t help but notice their feet as they walked by. Some children had on shoes that were too small, some had on shoes that were too big, some had on shoes that were taped together, and some children had no shoes at all. It broke my heart to see their worn, tired feet at such a young age.

We each went into our separate classrooms. As I introduced myself to the children, they looked at me very confused. Their teacher stepped in to interpret and explained to me that they didn’t understand my accent. She meant that I was speaking too fast. They understand English, but are not proficient. Tomorrow will be my first day of teaching. I am both nervous and excited. My challenge will be to talk slowly and use simple terms that they can understand. I am anxiously looking forward to what tomorrow may bring and pray that the Lord will lead me in the right direction.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”                 Matthew 28:19-20

Rhonda here - Though this is my 9th trip to Uganda, I am still in awe of the opportunity to share Jesus. On our bus ride up here I noted this in my journal:
Love binds people together which draws people from afar. Looking out the bus window at the vast land, I think what an opportunity this is that not only changes you, but others. If you open yourself up to God’s plan & purpose for you, you never know where it may lead you or where you may end up. You never want to be on the end of a missed opportunity.
Every trip I’ve made has impacted and changed me. I truly believe God’s word from Matthew 28:19-20 (seen above), for if no one ever goes to the mission field and shares the Love of God, those souls are lost. Missionaries help God’s children find their way to the cross, so if you can’t be a missionary, please support one.
Thank you to all who support us financially, and with love and prayer. With Love & prayers, Rhonda

Newsletter #1 / May 29, 2013

We are in Uganda!!! As I write this we are on the bus headed to Gulu, about an 8 hour drive (depending on the road conditions). Everyone is doing well – a little jet lagged as we acclimate to the 7 hour time difference after 30+ hours of travel time. You can see the head bobbing on the bus as we take turns falling asleep to the lull of the bus – those who are a little tired are taking their “naps” only on the smooth sections of the road…some of us are just passing out no matter how much swerving or bouncing the bus is doing J.

We arrived a little after midnight last night in Entebbe and were met by our great friend & driver, Andrew. He has been such a blessing over the past 10 years through his steadfast friendship & commitment to making sure the team has safe reliable transportation. We know we are home when we clear customs at the airport and see Andrew’s smiling face.

After departing from Raleigh early Monday morning we spent the day in NYC. Once we arrived at JFK we rearranged our carryon bags in preparation for a day in the city. While we were doing that a lady came over to speak to us. She had noticed our shirts and wanted to know what we were going to be doing. We shared with her about our trip & then she slipped some “seed money” as she called in into one of our team member’s hand. She then shared with us about her 23 year old son who had died a less than a year ago, showing us his picture & talking about how he was sold out to God & serving others. He had gone on several mission trips and was preparing for a military career when he died suddenly of a heart attack. The love and tenderness in her voice was so sweet. She was quick to share with us that although she missed him dearly she knows that he is with his Lord and that one day there will be a great reunion when she sees him again, for eternity. What a blessing it was to have this woman share her son’s life with us, if for only a few minutes. It reminded us that God is always in control, no matter what the storms of life may bring. “The He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39

We went to ground zero to see the 9/11 Memorial but were disappointed that in order to see it we would have to go to another location to purchase tickets & then come back & wait in line to get in. Due to time constraints we decided to have some pizza & head onto Time Square. Justin did a wonderful job of getting us to where we wanted to go & back to the airport in time for our flight onto Amsterdam via the NY subway system.

We are in Gulu & finally getting settled in. We had a wonderful supper with the Coggins & the Riegers, a quick review of the upcoming schedule of activities, then off to bed. There will be much more to come, as our week of activities unfold. This is the funnest, if there is such a word, part of the trip – Seeing how much of our planned activities we actually do as we had planned when God starts giving us opportunities we could not have anticipated or planned for. Let the fun begin J