Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chapter 21 - Update #4 - January 18, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016 is a day that will be a significant marker in the life of Raining Hope.   It is amazing that the song the children sang on my arrival are the words that carry over into the next day, “It’s a Beautiful Day!”

It was such a significant day that it started off with a few distractions.  One of which, when I found out last night that I was to speak the next morning, I worked on my notes to incorporate what I am sharing this week.  I finished it all about 30 minutes before I was to go down to breakfast.  To my surprise, when I pulled out my portable printer, lights on the machine were blinking as if the ink was low.  I wish it would have been that simple!  I changed the cartridge which made no difference.  As I continued to work on it, I slowly discovered that my printer was broken.  More than likely something happened to it in my luggage as it traveled here.  I have carried portable printers here and back for years.  Not only do I need the printer for my notes to speak this morning, but all the letters that some of you have written also are in my computer!  

I quickly realized that I could have been distracted and focused on the printer problem. For a few moments I was!   I ended up just using my computer propped up on the podium to speak which worked just fine.  To fast forward to Monday, Godfrey and I ended up going into town to check the price of printers.  We ended up purchasing an HP Scanner/Printer & 2 ink cartridges for the equivalent of $94 USD!   It is a perfect size Desk Jet printer.  When I am in town I will use it at the hotel.  This also eliminates my need to carry a portable printer which takes up luggage space.  Traveling by myself limits what I can bring.  This is a solution to that problem!   The rest of the time the home now has a much needed printer!  Godfrey goes to town to scan letters for me, then has to email them.  All his printing work is done in town which adds to our costs.  We can take for granted something simple as a printer which we all have at our disposal in the US.  Plus the cost was significantly lower than I expected!   What the enemy meant as a distraction, turned out for good!  We had the victory!

I came down for breakfast later than expected because of the printer delay.  Most of the friends here at the hotel had already left for church.  But, how good it is to sit and have the traditional spanish omelette, baked beans and juicy, delicious pineapple!   Another marker that I am in my Ugandan home! 

Godfrey was delayed in coming to pick me up because they were preparing for the morning at the house.  By time we drove up, the children were all worshiping and praising the Lord.  What a beautiful sound to hear first thing in the morning flowing freely from the house!!   I walked in and all of our children were engaged in worship.  Henry was on the keyboard that we carried with us on the last trip.  Joan, Jessica and Florence were leading the worship.  It was energizing and beautiful!  We had two visitors that have already been joining our children on Sundays.  This Sunday was in preparation for the conference and the launch of our outreach fellowship next week.  The worship transitioned into a time of prayer.  Something that impressed me on my very first trip to Uganda was the authentic worship & prayer of the children.  This continues to be the case.  They challenge me to worship & pray with all of my heart.  What a beautiful day!

When I spoke that morning, it was centered around the verses in Jeremiah 17:7-8. 

“They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.  Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.  Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:8 (NLT)

Turns out that our California drought was a perfect example of what happens when there is not enough rain.  They were shocked when I explained we have had to change landscaping to “drought friendly” with succulents and rocks.  The fact that we have been asked to cut back on water usage really is a foreign thought.  But it turned out to be a perfect illustration for Jeremiah 17:8. 

The main focus was that a tree planted along a riverbank has roots that reach deep into the water.  This is where we should desire to be in our Christian walk.  We should be nourished by the Living Water so that when times of difficulty come, we will be able to withstand the heat.  We talked about how as Raining Hope we have endured so much the past 9 years.  But we had HOPE and CONFIDENCE that God has a plan for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 has always been a promise to us. 

I illustrated that the opposite end of the flourishing river would be a dry desert.  This is where we are farthest away from the banks of the river.  We are not being nourished by the Living Water.  This could be because we are not in God’s Word or spending any time with Him.   The pressures of life come and you can be blown away just like a tumbleweed in the desert. 

In the middle we talked about being lukewarm.  You can go one way of the other. 

What was amazing was this...as I spoke in the middle of the room, I helped to paint a visual picture by designating the dining room as the desert.  Then to the left was the entrance to the home.  As I said, “This side will illustrate the river...” It had just started to RAIN!!!  So a couple times as I spoke I went outside and stood in the rain.  There were times it just poured!  It helped to make the point to the children.  They want to be like the tree planted by the LIVING WATER so they can grow in their spiritual lives. 

The other living illustration were the trees we planted when I was here for the Dedication.  Those trees are all growing and flourishing!  Why?  Because they are receiving bountiful rain.  They were able to relate to this.

The challenge at the end was this...

If you are in the desert, will you get up and move towards the waters?
If you are lukewarm in the middle, are you ready to extend closer to the river?
If you are at the riverbank, are you willing to dig your roots even deeper in the river?

Godfrey offered a time of invitation to this challenge.  One of the visitors and one of our older children came forward to commitment to this.  The one who is ours from the home is someone we had been praying for because he has been struggling.  God is working in his heart.  The week before I came, Godfrey and the children had been praying and fasting for three days in preparation for the conference and launch.  This was also a significant time for this student because he needed to make some changes in his life.  The Holy Spirit is working in his life in ways that only He can.

After this fellowship time together, we had lunch.   Godfrey sat down with me but then said, “I think the older boys all want to sit here and visit.  I am going to move.”  Then about five of our boys joined me for lunch.  We had such interesting conversations about what God was doing in their lives.  We also had a time of discussing their upcoming Presidential elections next month.  That then turned into a conversation about Trump and our politics.  Needless to say, it was a very interesting lunch!

We then transitioned to an afternoon of watching a movie.  I brought the recently released movie, “War Room.”  That is the material I am teaching from this week. It was so amazing to all sit and watch the movie together as a family.  We stopped in frequently so I could explain and Godfrey could translate.  I have not watched a group so engaged in a movie before.  We did have an unscheduled intermission at one point because we lost power!  We decided to use my computer but realized the DVD was stuck inside the machine!  Just as Godfrey and the older boys managed to take apart the DVD player and retrieve the DVD, the power came back on! 

We had GREAT discussion after the movie.  It had a HUGE impact on the children.  It challenged them in their spiritual walk and they all want to set up their own “War Room!” 

Sunday afternoon came to a close and at 6:00 pm Godfrey wanted to take me back to the hotel so I could rest.  I think it was actually so they could rest!  Unfortunately, when he got back to the house, he ended up taking five of the children to the clinic for treatment for various ailments...none serious but they didn’t return until 9 pm.  By then I think I was already in bed!  

Sunday, January 17, 2016 is a marker in the life of Raining Hope.  Something significant happened in the hearts of the children this day.  God is alive at Raining Hope because He is Alive in their hearts. 

mama eydie kisakye 

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