Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We are home! We arrived yesterday afternoon about 1 pm. All went well on our last day in Uganda. We ministered at Revival Christian Center in Jinja just before making the drive to Entebbe. Mrs. Otile, owner of the Hotel Paradise where we stayed, attends this church as well as many other of the staff of the hotel. She had invited us to minister to the children. Since we had to leave for the airport before noon...it worked perfect to stay in Jinja town this morning. We first spoke in the church service where each team member gave their testimony. After participating in this wonderful service, we went to minister to the children in Sunday School. The team did their "Daniel in the Lions Den" skit (love the lions!). It was a good way to end our time in Jinja!

We made it to the airport in great time. Just as we arrived at the airport we had thunder and lightening! It was very exciting as was God's presence which made us smile! We did arrive to a very crowded airport...which I had not ever experienced this before. Turns out...their whole computer system had shut down! Everyone was waiting to just go through the security and check in. We ended up being delayed by one hour because of this. But we finally took off...headed home!

This cut our layover down in Dubai to only 7 hours! We spent about 4 of the hours debriefing as we prepared to come home. It became a good time to talk about the reverse culture shock...as well as evaluate the trip. We were able to do this over a cup of Starbucks coffee!!! Yeah!!!! That was one step closer to home! Yet...a grande toffee nut latte ended up costing me $7! Geesh!

We then made the long trek home...but many movies and sleep later we finally stepped back onto American soil! We were greeted by waiting friends and family! Always hard to say goodbye to the team as we go our separate ways!

I left the airport to head to Riverside where I had our first ISP meeting at California Baptist University with the new Uganda team! It was actually very exciting to go from this trip to prepare for the next one! I was re-energized by being with my CBU ISP family!!!

Today is Kiana's 16th birthday!!! YEAH!! We are in Anaheim today getting ready to spend the day at Disneyland! To go from Uganda...to Disneyland will definitely be an adventure!

I will post more later...but for now I just wanted to let you know that we are home safely!

Thank you all for all of your prayers on this trip. They made the difference! \

We love you all!

Friday, January 8, 2010

re: Saturday, January 9, 2010

Yesterday (Friday) we had a very full day of moving around! We traveled to Kampala to have a meeting with the landlord.

As we arrived in Kampala we found the building, “Amber House” where the landlord’s office is. Turns out that he is a lawyer, as well as his daughter who is the person that has had the direct dealing with us. It was good to finally met her as I have just heard her name! For those who saw the prayer request on the blog to be praying for my meeting yesterday, I thank you. God answered our prayers. Even as we tried to find parking on this very busy street…he answered prayer and all of a sudden there was an open spot. You would have had to be there to appreciate it! It was just across the street from the building…right next to a Christian bookstore. The rest of the team waited in the van and worked on their project for the day…and also went to the bookstore that I heard was really nice! God is good!

I will give details in a later email when I return about the decisions we need to make about the property. Please be in prayer as we have been given a few options. We need wisdom as to what the next step will be. The biggest thing is the fact that I have finally met them and they are willing to work together with us. I am thankful that I had Godfrey, Solomon and Shadrack with me! I have a great new team mobilized together. God is going to do great things.

Solomon suggested that we have lunch at the Bible House. I have not been back there since my first trip.

We then traveled back to Mukono…this time stopping at Godfrey’s new home. We did not find Irene there…as they had gone to the hospital. Their little baby had fallen sick so she went for treatment. We were able to pray with Godfrey to bless his new home and his new ministry.

Last night we had just enough time to go to the home and have about ½ hour with the children. Our team did a skit to tell the story of Daniel in the Lions Den. You should have seen the “lions!” They were great! We had devotion time…but then had to return to the hotel early. Mrs. Otile, owner of Hotel Paradise invited our team to dinner. We had planned to be there at 7 pm to have dinner with her. At the last moment, she had to make a visit to the hospital to see a colleague so we share our dinner as a team. But we are thankful for gracious hosts here at the hotel.

Prayer Points:
1) Pray for us today as we finish up last minute shopping in town. We also go to look for a refrigerator for the home to replace the one that is gone. We will be at the home for the majority of the day after that.
2) Pray as we begin the process of leaving. I will be ministering to the team about the reverse culture shock that occurs in reentering our society.
3) Pray for the children of Living Hope that their focus remain on God & not on the team. Pray as we leave it has not been about us…all about Him! He is the one that remains with them…so be strong & courageous!
4) Pray for Brandi & Kurt as we they prepare to engage in the culture as the team leaves.
5) Pray for healing for Pastor Paul & Godfrey’s children as both babies are sick.
6) We minister to Revival Christian Center as we minister there tomorrow before leaving.
7) Pray for safety as we fly home on Sunday.
Return flight: January 10, 2010
From Entebbe Airport , Uganda
Time of Departure: 4:20 pm
Flight Number: EK 724
Arrival in Dubai International: 12:35 am (January 11, 2010)
Inflight: 7 hours, 15 minutes

Departure from Dubai : 8:30 am (January 11, 2010)
Flight number: EK 215
Inflight: 16 hours, 30 minutes
Arrival in Los Angeles International Airport : 12:50 pm (January 11, 2010)
We love you all and thank you for being a part of this journey. I may not post another blog until we return. It will depend on time.

Be in prayer for me as I have an ISP (International Service Project) meeting on Monday night when I arrive home from 6 pm-9 pm. I travel straight from the airport to California Baptist University! I look forward to meeting with my new ISP team for our May trip! They will receive fresh greetings from Uganda!!!

Also look forward to celebrating Kiana’s 16th birthday on Tuesday!

Love you all! Thank you for praying. You have made the difference!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

re: Friday, January 8, 2010

Wednesday was an exciting day for us! Brandi & Kurt were baptized in Lake Victoria! It was an experience that was beyond compare. We went to the shores of Lake Victoria. Amber, Tiffany & Makaila boarded a boat to witness the baptism which would be just off the shore. Godfrey walked out on the sand to a place in the water. Our good friend, Pastor Vincent, joined us to assist in the baptism. He came one by one and led first Kurt, then Brandi, then myself to the baptismal waters. As first Kurt was baptized and then Brandi…it was a privilege to be a part of this ordinance of our Lord. As Godfrey said, “if I could be baptized twice, I would have wanted to be baptized again today!” Amen! As we went back to shore and held hands to pray…the very loud thunder resonated in the sky. After praying, Kurt said, “did you hear that thunder!” Even more amazing was as Connie was back in the room resting one more day, she said later “Did you hear that thunder? It was so powerful. I knew at that moment that Kurt & Brandi must have just been baptized!” We heard His voice in a very tangible way.

Connie has been healed! She is up and around...moving slowly...but healed in Jesus name! Last night we had our devotion time and I introduced Connie because she was back. There was a thunder of praise because she was a symbol of God's healing power and answered prayer!

We were not able to be at the computer the past 2 days with our schedule. Today we are on our way to Kampala to meet the landlord again...and Mukono to pray over Godfrey's new home. Our friend, Solomon will be joining us today.

God has been good and there is so much to share!

On our way to morning devotions. Just wanted to let you know that all is well!
1) Today we will go to Kampala to be with the landlord. We will first go to Mukono where Godfrey is moving with his family to start a new church. The rest of the team will be with Godfrey’s wife, Irene and their 2 children as they wait for us to finish our meeting.
2) Pray as our time is getting short. We have a lot to accomplish in the next 3 days. Pray that we listen to God and obey where he says to move.
3) Pray as we begin the process of leaving. I will be ministering to the team about the reverse culture shock that occurs in reentering our society.
4) Pray for the children of Living Hope that their focus remain on God & not on the team. We began that process last night...that as we leave it has not been about us…all about Him! He is the one that remains with them…so be strong & courageous!
5) Pray for Brandi & Kurt as we they prepare to engage in the culture as the team leaves.
6) We minister to Revival Christian Center on Sunday before leaving for the airport. Pray for our ministry to the children there.
7) Pray for safety as we fly home on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yesterday was an unusual day. We had multiple things that were happening. Connie still is feeling sick...but is improving. She stayed at the hotel all day in order to rest. Amber stayed with her in the morning...and I came back to stay with her in the afternoon just so she would not be alone. God is in the process of delivering her from things that have been weighing her down for many years! We saw miraculous healings yesterday occur. Continue to pray for her as she gains her strength back!

I had a meeting with the landlord yesterday. It was good to finally meet him and his wife after having occupied their property for the past 2 1/2 years. God was glorified in our meeting time. We had a shaky beginning ... but God was in our midst!

The team spent time continuing to prepare the house to paint. They actually started the painting yesterday. We hope to do more today and finish up on Saturday. They also had their teaching time with the children in the afternoon.

The spiritual attacks that we are experiencing are intense. Yet today in our morning team time we looked at Psalm 27. The verse that stuck out to me after the intenseness of yesterday were verses 1-3... "The Lord is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident." Amen!

Our team continues to "push through" and remain "strong and courageous!"

We have an exciting day ahead of us today!!! Godfrey is on his way to meet with us this morning for a time of prayer and seeking God. This afternoon...Brandi & Kurt are going to be baptized in Lake Victoria! I have never experienced a baptism here in Uganda...what an honor! They had not yet followed in believers baptism...so they elected to get baptized here. I will tell you all about it tomorrow in our posting!

Prayer points:
1) Connie to continue to recover. Pray for renewed strength.
2) Continued good health for the rest of the team.
3) Our team time this morning as we focus on prayer. We don't have expectations of what this time will encompass. I find those are the best times...when we just completely rely on the Lord.
4) Baptism of Brandi & Kurt. We leave the hotel at 1 pm...baptism will probably be around 1:30 pm for 1/2 hour. I believe there are others that are going to be baptized as well.
5) Pastor Paul and Margaret just had a baby girl born yesterday morning! Praise the Lord.
6) Pray as the team already is starting to experience the reality that our time here grows to an close. Pray as they already are experiencing the emotions that come along with that.
7) Pray for the continued children's ministry in the afternoons at the home.
8) Pray for Raining Hope as we have a decision to make concerning the home. We need to either buy the property we are on...or continue to lease it. We need to make improvements regardless of which route we take. Pray for discernment & clarity of mind. May God reveal His purpose to us.

The testimonies that we come home with will be a blessing to you. I again thank you for your constant prayers and support.

Hope is being restored.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We had a GREAT time yesterday at the home! We started the process of preparing the main house for painting. All things are new!! God provided the money to buy paint and supplies so we could clean, prepare and paint the entire inside of the main house. We are so excited! There is an air of newness ... like a breath of fresh air!

We started our week of Bible teaching as well. Wish you all could have been here to experience the team acting out a skit! It was a Max Lucado story that had a big impact...not only on the lives of the children...but on the lives of the individual team members!

I continued to lead the children in the evening devotion time...as the team kept preparing the inside of the house for painting.

We are on our way to the home right now. So this update is short. I will post again tomorrow.

Just know that our God is answering prayers in miraculous ways. He is moving!

Prayer points:
1) Safety as we paint the main house.
2) Guidance and wisdom as the team shares with the children.
3) Good health for the team.
4) I meet with the landlord today. Pray for discernment and God to be glorified.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 4, 2010

We have had a great weekend!! It is now Monday morning and we are now on our way to the morning devotions with the staff at Hotel Paradise! We are looking forward to worshiping with our brothers & sisters in Christ this morning! We have missed being with them this weekend! I was not able to post on the blog yesterday as the business center was not open before going to church.

We had a great service at Cornerstone Baptist Church yesterday! It was good to see friends and family there. Our team was each able to introduce themselves to the congregation. They are very excited to hear the news about Brandi & Kurt staying in Uganda for us the next 6 months. We praised God together... and worshiped Him in prayer. Pastor Paul gave the message...and Pastor Gerad spoke a little bit at the close of the service. It was a good first experience for the team. Services were from 10 am to about 12 noon.

We were able to spend the afternoon with the children at the home. It was a very relaxed afternoon of playing games and just being with the children. We were able to sign music and dance to my ipod music...something they always love!! They remember all the sign language that I have taught them...they are getting better and better!!

We left early yesterday to go back to the hotel to work on the program for the week. We first went to the hotel next door, The Sunset Hotel to have dinner. The view of the Nile River is amazing from there! We had a nice team time together and a great dinner. We then spent the rest of the evening working on the crafts and getting the skit ready for today! You should see the skit they have put together for today! It is really going to be great!

Prayer points:
1) This is a critical week as the team leads the Bible studies, crafts and prayer for the children at Living Hope. Pray for God to work in and through each team member to communicate the gospel to them.
2) Pray for HOPE to be restored in the lives of the children.
3) Pray for clear direction and discernment and we work among the people.
4) Pray for clear vision for the team members.
5) Pray the team be still and hear from God.
6) Pray this week would bring gl0ry and honor to Him!
7) Pray for continued good health and energy.

I will update more later. I hear the praise and worship starting in the other room. Must sign off for now. I also have not sent out any other email updates as of yet. We have not been able to have an extended time at the computers. Tomorrow I will try and send out the email updates!

Love to all our family and friends. God is doing great and amazing things!

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 2, 2009!

God is in the midst of us. He worked in powerful ways yesterday! God is working in the lives of each individual here. We continue to bond together as a team. Connie had God work in ways in her life that we witness God do what only He can do. I will have her give testimony to all that He is doing in her life in another entry. But as we had moments of prayer yesterday...at very specific times, the thunder came. We heard the voice of God. On my last trip here in May, God revealed Himself to the team in the thunder & lightening & rain. Rachel gave us the verse in Psalms 77:16-20. Our God who parted the Red Sea is still in control today. His power is awesome! As we left the hotel ... the rain began! Hallelujah! Even as I write this...I can hear the thunder in the background. God's presence has been made known every moment of the day. God has been using Godfrey in ways that we know it is only God working through him.

The rain has been refreshing! God is pouring out His blessings!

We spent the afternoon at the home! The team just loved meeting the children. Because of the donations of some from Makaila's church...we had board games to play all afternoon! We gave the children some of the clothes and supplies that we had brought with us. We also were able to buy them soda for the New Year! We had our first meal at the home...matoke, tilapia, cabbage, macaroni, & irish potatoes! Yummmm!

Last night we were on our way home and the van got a flat tire! Good thing it only happened right outside the gate of the home...not on the main road! But because of the rain...when Shadrack & Godfrey & Kurt tried to get the tire off, the tire and the tool to get it off kept sinking in the mud! But praise to God...after shoveling out some of the dirt under the tire...they were able to get the spare tire on and back on the road!

I am on my way to join the team for breakfast. We will go down to the Source Cafe today to do some shopping! Then we will spend the afternoon at the home with the children.

All is going very well. We are very aware that the 24 hour prayer chain is lifting us up in prayer. It has made a huge difference on this trip to know we have this constant covering in prayer.
Prayer Points:
1) For continued perseverance as the team needs energy to push through! The jet lag and the overnight and the entry into the culture can take it's tool. Pray for the team members to get the rest they need...to be ready to receive what God has for them.
2) Pray for wisdom as we begin minister to the children.
3) Pray for a renewed sense of HOPE to infilterate the children's lives.
4) Pray for the additional finances we need to furnish the house.
5) Pray for Hotel Paradise on the Nile who are our gracious host!
6) Pray God continue to reveal Himself to each individual and to the team.
7) Pray for me today as I have to meet with various individuals on the staff & at the church. May God receive all the glory. Pray for wisdom and discernment.

Hebrews 6:19 "This hope is a strong & trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary."