Settling Into Ministry Compound

We asked many of you all to pray for us as we shifted into our future home. We are now in the thick of working on repairs while waiting for our last two students to return from Agricultural training in Kenya. At this point, we have running hot water and half of the light sockets working. Still much work to be done. This is the guest bathroom after around 12 hours of scrubbing last week and soaking it in vinegar today. Turns out the completely black tiles were white originally.

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Calvary Chapel’s Annual East African Pastors Conference

ellie“As in Philipians 1:6, our confidence continues to grow with the good work the SMBS team did in Uganda. Ellie, a young man who the SMBS team was disciplining, has decided to give up everything for Christ. I got him this morning at our gate at 8 am with his handwritten application letter asking to leave high school in favor of BTCP training. Pray for this young man as he makes a tough decision that might result to rejection from his relatives. I can only look at Elli and reflect 3 yrs back when I risked my life for Christ too.”–John.

John posted this update to Facebook a few weeks back and Ellie is doing excellent. His family is all very proud of him, and we are seeing clearly that he has a heart for the Lord.

We sent him to Kenya over the past week  for Calvary Chapel’s Annual Pastor’s Conference. It was a huge honor for such a youth. It was his first time to ever leave Uganda. He came home night before last and said the whole conference was on leadership skills and that he really enjoyed it. He also had a good time bonding with the godly group of men on our church’s leadership team. His face was beaming as he showed us a brand new NKJV Study Bible he was rewarded after showing up early. It might be the nicest Bible I have ever seen in all of Uganda! Anyways, we felt like proud parents.

You can read more about Ellie’s testimony under the “Meet Our Students” tab.

Organics 4 Orphans

sending-out-disciplesWe spoke to James and Peter last night over the phone. We sent them off to Kenya around one week ago for a very intense agricultural training with “Organics 4 Orphans.” The training covers much about nutrition, medicinal plants, and how to educate villagers in an effort to fight starvation–which is a problem in their villages. They have been enjoying themselves, but it turns out there is one catch to the training: they are not allowed to eat anything but the green vegetables they are studying in class! No atapa, no ugali, no milk tea, no bread, meat etc. Oh my, I figure they will be returning to us very healthy a month from now!

James says there are men studying with them from five different countries. He says his new peers want him to teach them things from the Bible. He says he feels more motivated than ever before to study!

John can’t wait until they get back. He keeps joking with us that everyone will be adapting to the new diet when they return. I don’t think he knows how hard it is to give up carbs! The new compound we are shifting to has a huge field next to the main house that will easily serve as a garden.

Not Your Typical Teenager

For the past three months, there has been a team visiting from Slavic Missionary Bible School (SMBS). One day, they wondered upon Eli’s home while taking a shortcut from their house to the vegetable market. Eli’s aunt persistently invited them  to come and eat dinner at her home, so they used the opportunity to start a Bible Study once a week with Eli’s family (and of course it wasn’t soon after that that John, I, and all our students were over there having Bible study and eating her food—she might be the best cook on earth).
eli-baptismTo our surprise, last Sunday, Eli, his aunt, and the rest of his family stood up and introduced themselves as new visitors at the church we attend! The whole sermon was on salvation through faith not works and at the end there was an alter call for baptism (they did this because many people had missed out on the opportunity given a few weeks back). Eli was one of the first to say he wanted baptism. Turns out the SMBS team had taught him much about it while they were here. We jumped in the car, drove him back to his house to pick up his clothes, and that is when his younger sister also decided that she needed to be baptized too.

After the baptism ceremony, John invited Eli to come along with him to the prison ministry in Serere. He agreed and John told him to get ready; we would pick him up. Well, John forgot. John usually never forgets anyone, but this time he really forgot. He was already an hour down the dusty road when he remembered Eli. John was so upset, but what could be done? He got out of the car and started class with the prisoners. Around 10 minutes later, John saw a young man walking into his class who wasn’t dressed in prison clothes. Sure enough it was Eli. Eli had used his own pocket money to pay a motorbike to drive him an hour down a dusty road. An hour down a very bumpy, dusty road so that he could sit in a hot, stinky jail and study the Bible. All I can say is that I wouldn’t label Eli your “typical” teenager!  John says the young man has really touched his heart; he will be inviting him back with week.

Sipi Falls Class

We spent the last month without having class with our Sipi Falls group! There was no way for us to reach class early Saturday mornings without a car while we were in the process of trying to find a new one. When we returned, we weren’t sure what we would find. Would pastors still be there to study? Sure enough, right on time, they were there and ready to start class. Only one student was absent. Not only were they ready, but they had been meeting in our absence each week to do homework assignments and had been taking their own attendance! Yeeehhhaaa.  sipi-falls-calss

John asked me to teach them about interpreting figures of speech and symbols (I usually don’t teach the men, but I’ve taught on that topic more recently than him and was full of examples). Then he taught them the rules of identifying typologies and interpreting prophetic texts.

Proscovia Baptized

baptism-swimmng-pool-africaAfter seeing Peter baptized, Proscovia (one of our students) decided to be baptized as well! She had been sprinkled as a young child, but wanted to be baptized in a more Biblical manner. We followed the baptism up with swimming lessons and a good dinner of pork and chips.

Had we only known our church was doing baptism again this Sunday we would have had her wait so everyone could have cheered her on!

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The Local Super Walmart

It may not look like much but onesies cost 3 for a $1 and 4 lbs of tomatoes go for $0.75. There are many departments: home gardening, home decor, fresh produce, apparel, cleaning supplies, etc. uganda-market-vegetables
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