Sunday, January 24, 2016 was a glorious day! I spent the morning preparing to share at our launch. The anticipation of what God was going to do had been building all week long. Godfrey was late picking me up because he had been waiting for the tent to be redelivered. We didn’t pay to rent them on Saturday, but that became a problem on Sunday. The tent people never showed back up so Godfrey and the children had to shift everything inside the house.
It actually worked perfectly for our Launch. Rain was coming so it would have been difficult outside even with the tent. When we drove into the compound they were in full praise & worship. What a glorious sound to hear such a joyful celebration!
We sang, we danced, we prayed, we worshiped. The children were all in charge of the program. They transitioned easily from one part of the program to the next. Some gave testimony as to what God is doing in their lives. The Raining Hope Praise Team presented a special song.
Godfrey asked me to share the message to the children this morning. He asked me to summarize what we had learned this week during the conference. The launch was also to give hope to the surrounding community. The children expressed how important it was that I was present for the launch of this ministry.
We talked about the journey we have been on together the last nine years. The old phrase, “You had to be there” is appropriate. Sharing the whole message will make a long update even longer! So I will highlight the main point.
As we launched Raining Hope Ministries, the New Testament church in the book of Acts is an inspiration for me. In Acts 20:17-28, The Apostle Paul has an opportunity to talk to the church leaders in the city of Ephesus one last time face to face. In those verses he tells them that false teachers will not only come among them but FROM within. (vv.29-30). He sets the example for us that we are not to follow “the church” but in verse 32 tells us, “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.”
What we launched today was a ministry that is based on the Word of God. When people come on Sundays, they will find His Truth proclaimed! Isaiah 40:7-8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” Raining Hope stands on His Word!
I closed with a prayer taken from “War Room” as the closing prayer by the character, Miss Clara. “Help me to stand on Your Word above all else. Help me to fight on my knees and worship you with my whole heart. Help me to proclaim with my life that you are King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Guide me to people who will call upon Your name. Raise up those who love you and seek You and trust You. Call us to battle, Lord. Call us to battle.”
I presented the Bible that I used to teach from that morning to Godfrey and Raining Hope Ministries in honor of the launch. It was overwhelming to see God at work in such a powerful way. (Fast forward...Godfrey wrote to me the Sunday after I returned home and told me two more visitors came on our second Sunday! The next Sunday there were four more from the community and four from other areas! Praise the Lord!)
After the services we had some time as we waited for our non-pardoned turkey to arrive! I was already incredibly blessed by the morning...then it began to RAIN! I ran outside for a moment and just stood with my arms outstretched to the skies to have the rain just pour over me. I could hear a worship song in the background from the CD player. It was overwhelming. Then as I had my arms outstretched and the rain POURING over me, one of the boys inside put a song on that had to do with RAIN and HIS blessings. It was a very surreal moment. It was a private moment that God blessed me with His presence. I couldn’t have been more thankful for those moments of being drenched in His love.
Because the turkey had “shrunk” in the cooking process, Robert earlier had discerned that we would need two chickens to supplement the turkey meat. At first Godfrey didn’t think it was necessary because we were going to have a lot of other food. But it turned out that Robert was right. So the hotel grilled us two chickens with potatoes and vegetables to make sure the children would have enough meat.
This also turned into another object lesson. There are people in our lives that can see things that maybe we can’t. The wisdom and discernment of those with experience is something to not ignore. Robert was just watching out for us and wanting the best for the children. He turned out to be right. If we would not have listened the children would not have had hardly any meat.
We had a FEAST that afternoon! We not only had turkey & chicken (which by the way was delicious!) but there was rice, African spaghetti noodles, greens, & cabbage. The children LOVED, LOVED the turkey! They had never had it prepared this way which was basically roasted. We celebrated Christmas, New Year’s and all our birthdays. Through your monthly giving, you all were a part of this feast as it was provided by Raining Hope. They are all so thankful for all of you who support them as they know moments like this are made possible because of all of you.
Dessert was a very special time for us. We had two different kinds of cake. One was the chocolate cake from Ozzie’s and the other was a banana cake the hotel made for us. But Godfrey had arranged a very special program. We had to have the ceremonial “cutting of the cake.” For those new to my updates, this is a tradition that started on my second trip to Uganda. “Cutting the cake” symbolically means that I will come back. But Godfrey added something new. He first had Hillary come and represent all of the boys in sharing a word to me as their mum, then Vivian share on behalf of all the girls. Then they all gathered around the table, ready for the cake cutting! This time Godfrey had Frank represent the boys and older Joan represent the girls. They stood on either side of me with their hands on mine and the three of us cut the cake together! This truly is what being a family is about. Godfrey wanted me to speak to the children before he closed out that time praying for me as I prepared to leave the next day.
That afternoon we gathered for another Sunday afternoon movie! I brought, “Facing the Giants” which is another Christian film by the Kendrick Brothers. They LOVED the movie! The movie is about a losing high school football coach with an underdog football team that face their giants of fear and failure. It was inspiring to watch the movie together. They were challenged to know that anything is possible with God.
The evening was a precious time that I will forever hold close to my heart. I had Godfrey share with the children the significance of foot washing based on John 13:14-17. For the first time in the nine years I have been going to Uganda, we had a time of foot washing to set an example of humility and service. I usually do this with my teams. But this was the first time I had done this with our children. We had praise and worship music in the background. I washed the feet of all of our children then held their feet as I prayed silently. Godfrey came behind me and dried the feet of each one praying as well. I can’t tell you the significance of this very private time we had as a family. At one point, I could see Godfrey drying feet from the corner of my eye and become overwhelmed with a sense of humility and love. Godfrey said, “This time helped the children to know how much we love them and care about them. It set an example for them to love one another. They were encouraged and felt a great deal of humility. They felt such love having you wash and I dry.” Symbolically it was important for both of us as mum & uncle to do this together.
We had a basin, a bucket of water, soap and towels. Godfrey would empty out the basin as the water became dirty. Everyone quietly sat and prayed as they waited their turn. When we got through washing all the children’s feet, I then washed Godfrey’s and he washed mine. We closed the time in prayer. Something significant happened that one night in our home. Godfrey says it well...”Washing feet was an expression of His love.” I will never forget this night.
Since this update is already long I will send one more to wrap up Chapter 21. I’ll let this update soak in as to the importance of all that God is doing in the lives of the children you support at Raining Hope. Sunday, January 24, 2016 will be a day we will look back on as a marker in the life of our children. Thank you for taking the time to read and pray! They love you all so much!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
mama eydie kisakye