A Trip of Extremes

We’re home! We have reunited with family and struggled through the remains of jet lag.  Now we’re joyfully in the thick of Christmas preparations and celebrations, and find it hard to believe that a little over a week ago our feet were on the beautiful continent of Africa!2

As part of an Orphan’s Heart Team of 16, Susan and I took part in amazing experiences such as: teaching primary school classes about the Fruit of the Spirit; feeding children a plate heaping with food during a season of famine; hosting a school Christmas party with crafts, songs, a dance competition, and the Biblical Christmas Story and attended by 2,000 children (with ZERO parental supervision).

We learned all along the way about how Hines Ugandan Ministries has been transforming the community of Komonkoli in Jesus’ name over the past 20 years through care for orphans, establishing quality medical care, instituting a sponsorship program to keep children among their families in their own homes, and more through partnering with Orphan’s Heart and the American Church.

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Susan and I were there primarily to lead an Adult Bible Study class of 60+ mature believers and a one-day women’s discipleship conference at Komonkoli Presbyterian church.

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We were expecting approximately 250 women for the conference, but close to 400 women, men, and children packed in the small church building representing different area churches.

After Susan presented God’s story and invited women to place their faith in Jesus Christ for the first time, at least 12 women responded!  At the close of the conference approximately 75% of the women stood and publicly committed to God to pass on what they had just learned in their home communities!

Our experience in Uganda was a life-changing
adventure full of extremes: 

Poverty and extravagance; dirt streets and rolling, lush landscapes; weathered, wise smiles and bright, young eyes full of curiosity; the blessing of opportunity and the devastating confines of reality.  I know we will continue to process what we learned in Uganda and the responsibility attached to such important lessons.9

One factor we’re so grateful for is how the LORD used YOU in this special place.

Through your generous donations of athletic shoes, flip flops, candy, and financial support, the people living in the towns of Komonkoli and Soroti felt love from the American church in a tangible way!

Through your faithful prayers we saw God move and provide in specific ways!
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Before we left for Uganda we asked for prayer for a unified team.
Susan and I have never experienced a missions team as cooperative, servant-hearted, and enjoyable as this one!  This was the first international trip for a large portion of the team, and the adjustments were smooth! Not one complaint was uttered!!

We asked for prayer for God’s power to work through us
Each member of the team had divine encounters and opportunities to bless others through service and relationship.

One major concern was for the one-day women’s conference.  For the conference to be most effective, the women would need to engage quickly and be attentive to the full day of teaching.  God’s power was displayed as the women were eager, engaged, and empowered to be disciple-makers through this one-day, comprehensive training.

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We asked for prayer for provision and pleasure in all of the details.
God worked through even the smallest details to accomplish His purposes!

Here are a few highlights:2016-12-07-08-53-11

~Our flight from Jacksonville was delayed and we would have missed joining our team on the flight to Amsterdam if a ‘small plane malfunction’ had not caused a minor delay in the flight’s departure!  The boarding doors were reopened to allow us on to the plane!

-While visiting a home in the village with other team members, our team member Adam Hollingsworth had the opportunity of leading an elderly woman suffering with AIDS to faith in Christ!

~Our luggage was delayed but made it all the way to the village of Komonkoli just in time for us to present Proclaimers (audio projection devices able to reach a gathering of up to 300 people and loaded with the New Testament in the native language) to the Pastors of two congregations.  Thank you to Chets Creek Church for the financial assistance that made purchasing this equipment possible!

14~In a crowd of children, our team member Megan observed a tiny 5-year-old girl very sick in the last stages of Malaria.  Megan intervened, the girl was quickly taken to the Hines Ugandan Ministries medical clinic, and regained health!

-We visited with a sweet church community in the town of Soroti and were overwhelmed15 by their sacrificial gifts of hospitality to us-an experience that we will carry with us for a very long time.

Your partnership and prayers mean the world to us. Thank you for investing in women around the world to be disciples and make disciples of Jesus Christ.