Monday, July 25, 2016

Keep Preaching Truth - God is at Work

This post is a mix of old and new.  It has been on my heart and continues to be and there is more to add.  I love seeing God at work!  I know His Spirit is moving.

A few months our family went to our sister church in Pingere to worship.  We were welcomed by our friends there with hand shakes and hugs and escorted to the visitors hut (freshly smeared with cow dung to give the best for their guests) to have tea and g-nuts (aka peanuts),

Josh gave a powerful message on faith from Luke 17:1-10.  To summarize, Jesus was telling His disciples to forgive then the disciples said Lord increase our faith (takes faith to trust God and forgive).  Jesus assures them that if they have even the smallest faith, like a small seed, it can grow into something big.  We can do the work, remove the weeds, and see the harvest.  Jesus then tells them a story of a servant who doesn't look for a reward after doing his work because he was just doing what he was told to do, his work.  God has also told us the work to do and if we want more faith then do the work and your faith will increase.  Faith is an action and when we do God's work we will see and experience Him and our faith will grow.  James 2  says faith without works is dead but faith with deeds is alive.

After church one of the new believers from last years crusade wanted us to come to his home.  We walked to the center where he proudly served us soda and biscuits (cookies).  We were the center of attention as all the kids came to see the white people.  The new believer shared how he can't keep money and when he gets money problems come and it is gone.  He wanted to know if it is a curse or what.  He asked that we pray for him.  Josh and the other Christians shared that as a believer in Jesus we do not need to fear a curse and that it is important for him to grow in the Lord and know His truth.

When we returned to the pastor's compound we shared lunch with the leaders of the church (really good fresh Nile Perch).  Before we left the leaders started to testify and thank us.  I was touched and blown away how God is seen and at work.  Many of the leaders thanked Josh for his teaching.  One told Josh it is your gift to teach.  Right on!  Another told Josh keep preaching truth.  Amen!    One told Josh that his message made him realize they need to visit the new believers and keep doing evangleism.  Yet another, wanted Josh to go to all churches and share the truth.  We were very encouraged (empowered).

Two weeks ago one of the members of the Pingere church, Isaiah, visited our church in Obulle.  I was talking to him after the service about the message (Josh preached) and Isaiah said, "I love that man" as he watched Josh come out of the church.  I said I do too!  Isaiah went on to talk about Josh's teaching and how much he has learned.  Praise God!

I love our church here!  Yesterday God's Spirit was present and people responded.  I love that my Ateso brothers and sisters worship God with dance and singing,testimonies, praying out loud and with emotions.  At testimony time person after person had a testimony of praise.  This past week alone several people visited lost, sick, or hurting people and many came to Christ!  They all agreed that visiting people is important and people come to know Christ through it.  Josh preached on the Holy Spirit from Acts 2.  I love the point that when the Holy Spirit comes He moves things and disrupts our lives.  The Holy Spirit came to enable God's people to share with all nations.  God's desire is still the same.  He wants to empower us with His Spirit and use us to share The Gospel with all people.

Josh challenged us at end asking if we were willing for God to fill and use us.  Are we willing to tell others the good news?  Are we willing to go anywhere to share?  We maybe mocked, not received by all, even killed as the apostles were, but God is with us - in us!  We can trust Him.  We were invited to come forward if we were willing to share and serve the Lord wherever He leads us.  It was a truly moving moment as Kristine, Charles, myself then slowing others went up.  Jane was crying next to me and Charles was sobbing on the other side of me.  More and more people came forward until about half of the church was up front offering themselves to the Lord.  As one of the members sang, "I Surrender, I Surrender" I felt God's Spirit in our presence.  It was an emotional moment for me to see God at work.  We have been praying so much this year for God's Spirit to move here - and I believe it is.  David and Betty our neighbors who we have been praying for came forward, our church leaders, young people, our children...  Yes, I know that some probably came from peer pressure, but I don't want to be negative when God is doing something in the hearts of some of His people.  It is up to God and for God.  He will continue what He has started.  He will continue to move among us and lead us.

I only wish I had a picture to capture that holy offering.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A little catching up...

I love that man

We are all so thankful for Josh!  Every morning you will find him reading God's Word, memorizing Scripture, and praying for the nations.  Each night you will find him going into each of his sleeping kids room to pray for them.  We are blessed because of a Godly husband and father.  He is a selfless leader in our home always giving of himself.  He spends time with us, plays and helps his kids and even makes all of us laugh with his silly humor.  We love you Josh and are thankful for your example of our Heavenly Father you give us!

Josh and I were able to go on a coffee tour.  It was interesting seeing the process from tree, roasting to drinking.  The tour was at a home of a local Uganda in Sipi.  It was a cultural experience for sure.

Dried coffee beans - I didn't know they started out whiteish/greenish.

Smell them roasting?!  Mmm!

Grounding the coffee beans by hand.

Fresh brewed coffee.

Our homemade coffee!  It was dark, rich and strong.  That is my kind of coffee!
Josh taught in Butalayja last month.  It was the first time he went and stayed at a new place to teach for a few days.  The kids and I did great -- must be the kids are older now and I am at home here now.  I want to be Josh's encourager.  He has a gift of teaching God's truth in a way people understand and receive it.  He needs to continue to go and share.  It was exciting to hear the testimonies of the people - like, "This can change my life!"  Praise God, He can and will!  

We were blessed to be with our FinC Africa director, Howard and Aileen, for a 4 day retreat in Kampala.  Josh and Howard were able to do a one day intro to Freedom in Christ in Kampala.  About 50 to 80 people were suppose to come and 180 people ended up coming!  We were encouraged by Howard and Aileen, we relaxed and had fun together, and got to know one another better.  Howard and Aileen are becoming known to our kids as their African grandparents.  They love on all of us and we love them.

This is a "rocket stove" I guess.  We gave one to the women's leader at our church to try.  This stove is suppose to use less wood, not smoke and the heat is used to charge a phone or light a lamp.  I have a great concern for the women here who all cook inside of a hut that fills with smoke. Their eyes and bodies are effected by daily cooking in this smoke.  I even think about all the smoke that goes to their babies when they are pregnant (which is about every other year for 18 years!)  What a blessing no smoke would be to my friends here!  There is also a problem of deforestation so using less wood would be great stewardship.  But change doesn't come easily here and money is always an concern.  We will see what happens with this and keep praying for ways to help the women here.

The charger on this stove is the thing people really like.  It saves them money not to have to bring their phones to the center to pay to be charged.