Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Introducing...

Hello good friends! Over the last year on our Facebook page we have been sharing some special people God has connected us with. We'd like to introduce them with you, our blog readers!

January 13, 2016: Meet Serge. He calls me "pastor" but for Jade he says, "Hi momma". He greets us with a smile that our family has fallen in love with. Serge is a young university student from Congo who attends KIU (Kampala International University). Every Tuesday night at 5:30 he comes to our house to join us in whatever we are doing. Sometimes we play games. Sometimes we watch a movie. Sometimes it's just Serge and I. Sometimes we have company over. No matter what the plan, Serge becomes our son for a night. At the end of every visit I spend time with him in the discipleship manual. He's always reading way ahead and comes very organized with pages of questions and thoughts. Last night we read a chapter about temptation. At the end of the chapter the book asks three questions of the reader. Question #1: What is the difference between sin and temptation? Serge's answer, "Sin is the physical and mental accomplishment of temptation." I gave him a high-five. He told me, "I've gathered a group of college students to go through this manual. Every 10 chapters we want to invite you to come help us with any questions we might have." I clapped my hands and shouted at Jade in the next room, "Did you hear that! Serge is leading a discipleship group!" We are proud of our Congolese son. We thank God for putting Serge in our lives.


December 7, 2015:  I look at Jajja and I'm struck by her beauty. The lines on her face tell stories of wisdom. Wrinkles cover the back of her hard worked hands. Silver strands sprinkled throughout her beautiful hair. Strong, thick arms from digging all day. The fullness of joy bubbling out of her mouth. Eyes sparkling with Christ. She is praised in her community for her faith in God and generosity. She has a small garden that she shares with those who need food. One of my friends, a single mother of 8, survives off of the food she and her children are able to dig out of Jajja’s garden.
Ladies, today you will be bombarded with anti-aging solutions that assume only youth is beautiful. Is that true? Absolutely not! You may see shiny silver strands begin to sprinkle your beautiful hair. Let those strands remind you of the lessons God has taught you that you can now share with others. You may see wrinkles lining your once smooth skin. Let those lines remind you of the acts of service in your past where others saw Jesus through you. Jajja taught me this: beauty is love exposed. Live a life of love and the aging of your body will be like jewelry celebrating a job well done. -Jade




October 29, 2015: Meet Julie. Many of you have been praying that God would give me a close friend here in Uganda. Meet Julie. Today we ran 4.2 miles in a downpour of rain from start to finish. It was a total blast. She is the kind of friend you can go to on your worst day. She too has a heart for the orphan and is a fellow adoptive mom. We make homemade pumpkin spice syrup together (in our pajamas) and love to explore the hidden gems of this amazing city we call home. Until we moved here I never realized what a sincere blessing friends are. I'm grateful God has given me them here in Uganda! -Jade



November 13, 2015: Meet Dora, Rita, Teddy and Harriet. These are Godly woman. Within a year Harriet lost 3 children, her mother and her father. When Rita accepted Christ as her Savior she was banished from her village. She has not seen her family in over 6 years. When you talk to Dora she lights up praising God that her husband is able to make enough money to send her children to school. Teddy is blessed with a house but now that she is a widow there is no reliable income for her family. These women help feed her and her children. When Teddy is able to make some money she praises God that she is able to give a tithe at church (pictured behind).
These ladies are the first women I have the honor of training to make The Dignity Project reusable sanitary towels. They are tremendous workers, talented seamstresses and hugely optimistic. The ladies excitedly shared, “These will not only sell in our village but everywhere! Every woman and girl will use these!” They hope to earn a sustainable income to help provide for their families and give to the church.




November 5, 2015:  My dad and I share similar stories with both of us coming back to the Lord and accepting His call to pastoral work. During this past week with my parents in Uganda my father and I took on a small side project. We bought some wood, came up with a design and built a pulpit for a local AGC pastor and his son. This morning we presented the pulpit gift to Wilson and Isaac with much clapping and celebration. I explained to Wilson how the cross on the front was made from Redwood, an American type of wood. I told him how my father found that piece of wood 35 years ago and built our family nativity from it. When his boys grew and left home the nativity was deconstructed to make a smaller one and this wood has come from that childhood memory of mine. The only things that wood has been used for are the birth of Christ and the cross of Christ. What an awesome story and gift to share from one family of preachers to another!


October 8, 2015: Meet Mercy. She has been fighting for her life since the day she was born. At 1 day old she was nearly killed simply because she was born with no arms. Two weeks ago she was brought to the orphanage I volunteer at. She has gained so much weight, is full of JOY and has a contagious smile.Today the caretakers and I discussed how God has incredible plans for her future. This girl is going to change the world! -Jade


September 14, 2015: Meet my friend Agnes. Our birthday's are only 1 day apart. This morning we celebrated and during the car ride home we sang 'This Is The Day The Lord Has Made' like children. She is an excellent cook and for our monthly outdoor movie nights she always brings homemade treats. She is unashamedly passionate about God and you can't go too long in conversation without her saying, 'I love God so much'. The house she and her family were living in was surrounded by people doing witchcraft. Last month her son nearly died because of it. Through the power of prayer he is alive and well! We were able to help her family get a new home in a better neighborhood with great neighbors. Every single time I see Agnes she says, 'Thank you for loving us. Thank you for helping us.' She and her family are easy to love. We are grateful for friends like Agnes who enrich our lives. -Jade 

August 4, 2015: Meet Winnie. Some of my favorite times in Uganda happen when I'm sitting on the kitchen floor, sipping coffee and chatting with this awesome woman. I've coined her as my "cultural coach". She's taught me everything from how to properly greet to how long my skirt should be for different occasions. She's taught me that's there's no sense in delaying prayer--if something needs prayer, pray now. She's taught me what it means to give God glory in all circumstances. She's helped me to embrace my style, my frame and my outgoing nature. She's taught me that there's always time for a long conversation and that people are more important than tasks. When I do something kind she always, always says, "Thank you for that heart." She spoils me with cinnamon rolls and she is my friend. -Jade 



May 3, 2015: Meet your new brother in Christ, Lawrence. On Easter Sunday he and Nathan prayed together as he repented and committed his life to the Lord. Nathan arranged a discipleship partner for him who is a trusted young Ugandan friend of our family. When we arrived at church today we were elated to see that he had joined the worship team on stage. Lawrence displays a deep spiritual transformation. He is working hard at trying to read the Bible. His Bible was sent to us by a generous family from Brookhaven Wesleyan Church. So cool! Today he showed us his Bible saying, "I love the poetry" and said he is going to work hard this week at trying to read Psalm 139 so he can share it as his testimony next Sunday at church. Lawrence is very special to our family. Will you commit to praying for him?


May 16, 2015: Meet our friend, Pastor Benson. He is a district superintendent (here called 'overseer') in Nebbi, Uganda which is in the Northeastern part of the country. He is a school teacher (to pay the bills), a pastor, a community leader, a radio host for a weekly Christian program and an administrator with
 the Africa Gospel Church. We've spent the past 24 hours with him at our home talking, eating, laughing, dreaming and reflecting on our pasts. I (Nathan) was so impressed by this man. This morning I wrote in my journal, "I have a lot to learn from Benson." Before he left he told us he had called his wife saying, "I feel at home here like I do at our home." What an amazing privilege to host a great man of God like Benson. Let's pray for him, his family and his ministry! -Nathan 


January 24, 2015:  Meet Patrick. He's with me at a training in the village of Patete. This good man lives on the slopes of Mt. Elgon near the border of Uganda and Kenya. He is a bee farmer who has worked very hard to make the most of what's available to him. As a result of his hard work the government has given him $5,000 of equipment and arranged for him to attend a conference in Tokyo, remarkable achievements in these parts of the world. He is an encouragement to his community, a man quick to smile and be supportive and an absolute joy to talk to.

Hope you enjoyed "meeting" these terrific people! Follow along with us on Facebook here


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