Saturday, January 20, 2007

His Joy Made Me Full

This past Sunday we went to Kewempe Worship Center, a sister church to the one we are based out of here. Our team leader preached, and I was in a skit called the box skit. But it is about how Jesus transforms us. Then we led Sunday School with songs, a couple skits, and a message. I believe there were about 100 or more little kids packed in there, and they fed us lunch. Oh, so good. I really like most of the food here, except for it being a lot of carbs. Ugh.

Monday and Tuesday we left for overnight prison ministry, no, not overnight in the prison, but in a motel. We visited 2 prisons the first day and over 60 came Christ and another prison the second day. These prisons were pretty far, so it was many hours in a bus, and 2 of them we up these dirt roads in the mountains. Our team and I really like this ministry with our Ugandan Pastors Ernest and Moses, who do this every weekday. The prisons are vastly different here than in the U.S., and you can openly preach anywhere in Uganda.

Wednesday through Friday we returned to Kewempe Worship Center to do door to door evangelism (mmm, they fed us lunch each day!). This was another awesome time, but bittersweet, as we were ending our ministry time in Uganda. Many felt a spiritual oppression in the area as there is a lot of Muslims, ancestor and demon worship, but the church is on fire there and evangelizing! One Ja-Ja (Grandma Sophie) I shared with said she would think about Jesus, but while I was sharing with her, I broke down crying with God's love for her. That has never happened to me before, and it made continuing after her hard. Later on another woman’s eyes just transformed with light when she accepted Christ. Many times you can see a physical change with people when they meet Jesus. It is special to be able to relate with the old and young through the message of Christ--children, teenagers, parents, and grandparents!

We will be at a large church in Kampala Sunday and then heading out for a 3 day excursion our leaders surprised us with. You would think we would be seeing a lot of the sites and wildlife as we know are in Africa; however, I have seen 3 monkeys and many domestic animals. So we are going to visit Murchison Falls, where they have wildlife and the Nile River. I am really looking forward to it. As many of you know I love seeing things and visiting new places and people!!!!!

We leave for the U.S. Friday and get in Sunday morning to begin our last week of DTS. Please pray for safe travels, that no bags are lost, and that God continues to work in our hearts and in the Ugandans’ hearts, which have been transformed by the message of Christ.Our team has ended with this verse, Acts 2:42-47, which we feel reflects our team and our time here in Uganda.

42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to
the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many
wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were
together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods,
they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together
in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad
and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And
the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Talk to ya soon!!!! God bless and Webele Gno (thank you).

Shannon or Sanyu (My Ugandan name given by friends here, which means Joy.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mercy....In Uganda

On Sunday our team split to preach at 2 separate churches....the roads are like washboards or roller coasters most of the time. One girl spoke on how God has done so much healing in her life....even in DTS God healed her hearing loss, and she doesn’t need her hearing aids anymore. God really spoke through her.

This week we did a lot of mercy ministry. We went back to the Enfufu area where we had done door to door and open airs and demonstrated Christ's love by picking up trash—there is a never ending supply— sweeping and hoeing—I have blisters now! We also visited 2 orphanages, doing a program at one, and moving logs and playing with the kids at the other. Most of the kids are orphans because of AIDS and many are HIV positive. It was a good week with hard work in the sun, but it was a testimony of Jesus Christ, especially to those that don’t know Christ!

Today is our day off....cloudy and cooler than normal. We will be going to a market later. I got to sleep in for the first time in a while, but last night that thunder storm kept me up. God has been protecting us as Mark K. was in the hospital for a day with malaria, but he is back with us now doing way better, and our cook is now recovering from malaria also. Pray for restored health to those that are sick and continued protection and health for those that are not sick, especially as we end our time here soon. God has truly blessed me with good health.

I am doing well and feeling healthy and even getting some exercise! The other day I had to take 3 different hikes, one to Enfufu, one to Prayer Mountain to pray and worship with our team, and one to the store for groceries—and carrying the groceries back, which were so heavy! It totaled maybe 5 miles or more, and it is very hot here!

Love you all!


Sunday, January 7, 2007

Over 5 weeks in Uganda Update—Finally

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry it has been so long since you have heard from me. I have very little chance to get on the internet, it costs money, and hotmail always has issues with me over here. So I don't really know where to begin.

Well, we got back to the Jinja base from the Lake Victoria Islands. The island (Dec. 10-13) was really a nice place, considering we were expecting very primitive conditions. So there was no running water or electricity, but it was very clean where we stayed. We visited very small churches in villages, encouraged them, evangelized door to door, and did a kids’ service. Even a witch doctor's wife came to know the Lord! Praise God! And I saw a monkey, my first African animal siting, other than large birds!

Back at Jinja we ministered in a village Dec. 14-15, with a church, and evangelized door to door. It was so exciting to see a very old lady come to know Jesus when Jeanenne and I spoke with her, and afterward her face just beamed! She was so happy. I also taught a seminar for the church on how your foundation should be built on the wisdom of God. I think they liked it. I got a lot of "Amena's!”

Next we left to do ministry in the capital of Kampala in slum areas. We worked with local churches, doing kids’ ministry, door to door, and an open air program. That week we ate excellent food at a pastor's house, but we lived in a girl's boarding school quarters (they are on "holiday" break). We called it the prison because of the gate, bars, and barbed wire (and cement). I sprayed my bed with insect repellant part way through to ward of any bed bugs I thought I might have been sharing my bed with.

On Dec. 22 we arrived at World Outreach Ministries and Seguku Worship Center between Entebbe and Kampala, where we will be staying the rest of our time. We had a wonderful Christmas there (but missed family and friends), had a gift exchange, and were surprised by our outreach leaders who had brought gifts from our families for us! Yep, we all cried and were so thankful for the thoughts from our parents. We ate Chinese and watched movies and ate chocolate chip cookies (they don't eat chocolate chips here).

The first week here we went to minister to 2 prisons around the area each day. We did programs to share the Gospel, and many came to know Christ! It is so encouraging to see the ministries of Seguku Worship Center, which visit prisons all the time to minister and disciple!

The second week at Seguku we did door to door and open airs each day. These are areas the church is targeting, and they follow up with. This coming week we will be doing some mercy ministry in those same areas and helping the people we have met in more physical ways.

I would love to write more, but my time is up! Here are some definitions is case these words don't make sense.

Door to Door Evangelism is sharing who Jesus Christ is and how you can be saved.

Open Air Programs are outdoor programs we invite people to, and people stop by and watch. Usually the Ugandans from churches do the introduction for the programs with some words and singing and present a message and the Gospel at the end. We do 1-2 songs, a testimony or 2, maybe a dance, the Savior Drama, and a message/gospel presentation. People are asked to receive Christ at the end.

Hope all is well. I have only 3 more weeks left. Time is surely flying by, and I will soon be back in the U.S. And by the way, I did receive my bag back after it was missing for 2 weeks! And I am in great health! Please continue to pray for me, the work here, and for my direction when I get back. I have some ideas. :)

Love you all, and God bless you! You are in my thoughts and prayers.