Saturday, September 29, 2018

Youth!

I can not tell you the joy I have working with the youth and seeing God grow in them and use them.  3 John verse 4 says, "I have no greater joy than to know my children are walking in truth."  That is how I feel about these youth (and my children!).  I can't share everything but I hope the pictures and stories testify for God's glory. 
A couple of months ago one of the youth wanted a Bible so Josh brought out the list of 15 verses from the Gospel of John that he has people memorize to earn a Bible.  Samson took the challenge and learned the verses and got his Bible.  This set off a spark in the other youth (and some adults) to also memorize and get their own Bible. 

For weeks now Josh will have a crowd around him saying verses they have memorized.

Sometimes they will line up at our house after school to say their verses

After saying all the verses they have to come back to Josh one last time for a quiz where he picks one verse to see if they can say it (remember it).  Then they receive their Bible at church for all to celebrate with them.  In church they say their favorite verse from memory and tell the church why this verse means a lot to them.

As of now, 35 Bibles have been given out and there are six the list waiting for another shipment of Bibles and a few still saying verses.  How awesome to see youth want the Word of God!  To value it enough to memorize these verses.  We pray they read it every day and grow in Christ.
Just in case you are wondering, we buy the Bibles in Uganda for about $8 or $9.  They all wanted English Bibles as they feel Ateso Bibles are difficult to read.  We also have had groups take Bibles from America to give to people here.  I collected good Bibles at the second hand store when I was in MI.  They were free there which is great for me but also sad that people don't value God's Word and there is such an abundance that they are given to a second hand store.  People around the world long for just one copy and in the West people let them sit unread.  I pray for God's Word to be loved and honored by all.
Lydia also decided to memorize the verses and receive a new small Bible.  She is such a blessing and challenges me.  She saw and heard Josh memorizing full books of the Bible and was encouraged to do it herself.  She began with 2 John then 3 John and 1 John.  She is now finishing up James.  So inspiring and awesome!  People will say they can't do it but she will tell you you can.  It takes work and time for everyone but it can be done.  So proud of her and Josh.  I know it challenges me and others to also be memorizing God's Word.

A few months ago the youth would meet trying to organize a time to meet together.   I could see they had the desire but needed leadership.  Sometimes then they did meet it seemed to be only a sermon from a leader or no leader showed up (not to blame the leaders, they are over worked and very busy).  I asked Josh if he was willing to be a youth leader again?  Our girls are very involved with the youth, we know and love the youth and we continually pray that they remain in and grow in Christ.  So we prayed about it and felt we were to invite the youth to our home for "youth group" each Saturday.
It has been a great blessing.  I enjoy being with the youth and sharing God's Word with them.  We start each week with a game.  It allows the late ones to arrive before teachings and it is just a fun.  The youth here enjoy any and all games.  They don't get to play much in their lives so it is treat for them. 
We made a gaga ball pit that gets used daily not only for youth group.


Sac races was super funny!

Josh is teaching through the Bible.  I know sounds like a lot for youth, but he gives a key word for every book and teaches the theme of each book.  Each week we see how God is at work and His plan.  I love learning with them.

I thank God for our youth group.  Pray for the youth to continue to meet and grow in the Lord.
The beginning of September there was a youth conference at our church for all of UCFM (our church here and the other 6 churches).  The theme was "By Faith" from Hebrews 11.

The youth from our church did a dance to "Lord I Lift Your Name on High".  One of the ladies in our church requested that the youth do another dance to this song like they did at Easter time.

Josh taught at the conference.

He did a wonderful job adding object lessons and games so the youth got the message of faith in Heb. 11.
Here they were doing a push up challenge to see who would endure to get the reward.
The youth were encouraged to take time to confess what is hindering them from their race of faith (Heb. 12:1-2) and to submit themselves to faith in God.  Throw off everything that entangles and whatever hinders you from living a life of faith.


Cooking for all the youth

Lydia and Grace putting their muscles to work!


The worship the last evening was joy filled!  Lydia led an Ateso song that led everyone to rejoice!  A pastor from Soroti visited and was so touched by the worship in the village he promised to allow the youth to use their sound equipment next year.  I love worship here!

I was excited to here how youth were encouraged and challenged by the conference.  The message of living by faith came up over and over since the conference.  God is teaching us.  Trust Him, is your faith in the right thing, are you faithful, faith produces action...  I was challenged that faith removes fear or fear will remove faith.  I love how Moses' parents in Heb. 11 did not let fear of pharaoh stop them from saving Moses.  Most of the people in Heb. 11 never saw the fulfillment of what was promised to them.  They just believed God and obeyed.  Many faced great suffering for their faith and were killed but they knew the reward was to come.  Oh Lord, do I have this kind of faith?!  Trust you enough to obey without getting the promise and when I suffer?  Faith, what you put it in is very important.  God is faithful. What will we do by faith?  Each person in Heb. 11 do something because of faith.  I pray we all learn to live by faith not by sight.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So very exciting and encouraging! God is with you and in you making a difference in Obulle and beyond! Praise God.