Hope for the Handicap in Uganda

Many years ago, in the town of Jinja, Uganda, the government donated an aging office building in the middle of town to a group of handicapped individuals. They have a place to sleep, eat and work! This generosity has enabled several dozen men and women, many crippled by polio, to have the tools they need to help themselves.

One thing that they haven’t had however, is the means to properly maintain what they’ve been given.

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This past month the brothers using funds provided by Christian Aid Ministries, replaced the rotten fascia boards along the roof-lines of each of the buildings. Many of the roof tiles were broken as well, causing rainwater to accelerate the normal rate of decay. Mzee  Joseph (read more of his story), the leader of the group told us that the boards had been slowly deteriorating since at least the 1960’s.

While most of the men and woman have donated wheelchairs and crutches, rolling around on dirt and rock paths year after year have left them broken and battered. With the funds provided, the brothers managed to hire a local welder and bicycle technician to make the needed repairs. All glory to our Heavenly Father who has made all of this possible!

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Baptism Announcement and Prayer Requests

Greetings!

It has certainly been a busy month here in Kampala, and we would love to share some exciting news, as well as prayer requests. First let us praise God for the new addition to our church body, Janet. Last month Janet received the Word with great eagerness, and earnest repentance. What joy it was for us to see her reborn!  Janet is actually Brian’s (see post) younger sister, who is finishing out school this month and then moving on to a nursing program, Lord willing. Brian was instrumental in Janet’s conversion. He is a passionate, and natural evangelist. What a joy it is to call these two our brother and sister. Amen.

We are also very excited to announce that we are embarking on opening a small bookstore and coffee shop, near Makerere University.  When looking at a map and deciding where and how to minister to Kampala we chose to begin by finding a location within walking distance from the University and the Kalerwe Slum.  Our vision for this storefront is to give access to Kingdom focused books and audio resources while allowing us to engage the student population for evangelism.  Please pray for God to facilitate this endeavor.

Another area in which we are ministering is the Kalerwe Slum.  The slum is home to more than 10,000 impoverished Ugandans, and others.  We have had a hard time figuring out the best way to help meet their diverse needs and glorify God.  Please pray for us to magnify him there, as well as in our immediate community. That the Lord will continue growing His church, and that we would be of one heart, and one mind. Unified together in love and understanding.

We would also like to share that our dear brother and sister, Steve and Kristen Buxton, had their 5th child this past month in the States. This is such a beautiful time, we just ask for God’s continued strength, encouragement, and healing as Kristen continues to recover. May the Lord guide their steps.

We appreciate you remembering us in prayer, thank you.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9

City on a hill – Day 5 Aug 5, 2016

This is actually brother Finny’s 5th session.



Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen! 

To Boston and back!

 

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Greetings all in Jesus name,

I (Charlton) have returned safely from my trip to Boston! It was a blessed time of learning and fellowship.

I had the privilege and honor to teach at a week long bible school along side my dear brothers in Boston! The Lord really stretched me in an amazing way and I’m thankful for the challenge.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive”
Jesus

Truly  it is more blessed to give and our King knows best. I have experienced this in teaching! The challenge of preparing five, one and half hour messages was intimidating and new for me. But God is faithful and gave me what was needed when I needed it.

I spoke on evangelism and leading with the terms of peace (The Gospel of the Kingdom).

Brother Matthew spoke on the Church and it’s various aspects (nation, army, body).

Brother Finny spoke about Urban Christianity and how the spread of the gospel happened in cities.

If you would like to watch the sessions here is the link. City on a hill bible school 2016 FotW-Boston

Here are a few more pictures from my trip.

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Bible school students downtown Boston
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Last meal with some of the brethren
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John and Jeremy at Revere beach
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Brother John and I heading back to Kampala!
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An exciting reunion with my wife!!!
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Great view of Boston from Wright Tower

 

Our Brother Hassan

There are moments in our Christian walks when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that every sacrifice is worth it. Today was such a day. Hassan was baptized into Christ.

I don’t think any of us will forget the day we met Hassan. He came to our house looking for work, and as we have shared with many of you, there was an earnestness and humility in his demeanor that cause us to find work for him. When he came, a six foot six inch 19 year old from the DRC, he poured himself into his work. He shared also his life as a refugee in Kampala, and we shared about the hope that we have in Christ.

Hassan felt like a part of the family from the beginning – celebrating his 20th birthday with the fellowship that Sunday evening, and beginning Bible study right away. The brothers struggled to share the gospel in a patchwork of broken English, French and Swahili. Sometimes the deep truths of scripture seemed impossible to communicate with no one strong language in common. But, little by little, understanding was gained and the Holy Spirit worked.
 Having watched Hassan seek the Lord earnestly, struggle to understand, strive after courage, choose to follow, comprehend the sacrifice of Christ and grow heavy under the weight of sin, there is no greater joy than to see his face resolute in repentance and to watch him be washed clean in the waters of baptism. Praise to our King!
Three of Hassan’s 12 siblings were able to join us for the baptism and following celebration lunch. His younger sister, Angel, has already began to study the scriptures, and his twin brother Hussein, expressed his desire to begin studying the Scriptures daily as Hassan has done. They all replied with an emphatic “yes” when asked if they had seen Hassan change over the last few weeks. I am reminded of Cornelius, Lydia and the Phillipian Jailer who came to the Lord bringing entire households with them. May the Spirit and the word continue to work powerfully and effectively in the hearts of men.

Makerere University Anti-Abortion Ministry

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If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.

Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.

If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?

He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

Proverbs 24:10-12

We mentioned in a previous blog post that the single sisters were working on starting an Anti-Abortion Ministry at Makerere University. What started with two contacts at the University has turned into a group of 10 or so students who are passionate about speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves.

 Wanda became inspired to advocate for the unborn after listening to a message by Finny Kuruvilla about abortion last year. When Elizabeth Adams and Heidi Peachey (two young women who both served with the mission here for some months) arrived last October, the first ministry they collectively prayed about starting was a pro-life ministry. Since then, they also became actively involved with a pregnancy crisis center called Wakisa Ministries. This ministry helps young girls in Uganda with crisis pregnancy while addressing their emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.

We believe that a person’s life begins at conception, and that the value of a person is based primarily on the fact that they were created in the image of God. As such, the prevalence of abortion as an accepted practice—and as what many would call a necessary practice—is a great tragedy to us, both as we think about the lives lost to abortion and the women whose situations and experiences have led them to choose abortion.

In all that we do to fight this problem, we want to remember that our primary purpose is to save lives. But just as important to us is loving women who have already chosen abortion or who are considering it. An unplanned pregnancy can be a terrifying and traumatic thing, and the women who find themselves in this situation need encouragement, support, and a real answer to the question,“what am I going to do?” Our goal is to help the mother to heal, and the child to live. We want to provide help that considers and plans for the future, not just the present. The whole situation needs to be resolved, not just the momentary trouble.

Our goal is to reach women who are already in this situation, but also to help other women to make decisions which will protect them from unplanned pregnancies. Mainly we want to teach people about God’s plan for sexual purity and try to model that in our own lives. We know that this is a message which is not popular in most cultures, and that it is a different message than that which is presented by most foreign NGOs working in Uganda. But our goal is to walk in God’s ways and to teach others to do the same, and we believe that the pattern of sexual purity laid out in the Bible (an even higher standard than abstinence) is the best solution to not only the problem of abortion, but also to a host of other issues that young people face.

 In late February we were introduced to two young women who were willing to organize a group of students at Makerere University to meet and discuss the problem of abortion. Some who came to that meeting had never heard much about abortion, and were curious to see what we would say about it. Others were already passionate about the unborn child’s right to life, and one student even used to advise friends of hers to get abortions and gave them money for that very purpose. There was quite the spectrum. After that first meeting, there was quite the feeling of purpose among the students, and the young woman who had funded abortions previously shared that she would now counsel her friends not to abort and support them in that choice. We’ve met several times since to continue to teach about abortion (what it is, what happens during one) and about sexual purity. Our discussions with these students have been both sobering and encouraging as we learn more about the situation on their campus and about their eagerness to make a difference.

Please remember these women in your prayers, and that we can continue to be a light in this darkness.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Ephesians 5:11
 

 

Boldly Advancing The Kingdom

“He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ–with all boldness and without hindrance!” Acts 28:31

Today many people around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Now Ramadan is basically a month of fasting to pay tribute to the first revelation of the Quran to Mohammad, according to Islamic beliefs. Observance of this holiday is more evident for us living in Uganda, then it was in the States. We are surrounded by a very large Muslim population, and we need to be ready to teach about the kingdom of God and our Lord Jesus Christ with boldness!

Over the weekend Brother Joseph was sharing a story about a bold advance he made for the kingdom of God, and today seems like a perfect day to share this story with all of you.

Joseph was riding in a taxi, basically a large white 14 passenger van crammed with about 20 people, on his way to the disabilities center in Jinja last Friday. He normally keeps to himself on these rides, but this particular day turned out different. The taxi driver, a Muslim man who was loudly professing his beliefs, was ranting about Christians and sharing scriptures inaccurately and out of context.”That is a lie.” Joseph could not keep quiet, he proceeded to take out his phone, and open the Bible application. He asked a stranger to read the verses, so they would not think he was lying, out loud for the man and consequently the whole taxi. He continued to teach without hindrance and with great boldness pretty much the rest of the trip. He read from the book of Matthew, particularly focusing on the Sermon on the Mount. The driver started to soften, and explained that what he stated originally was taught to him by his Imam. As people were exiting the taxi, they expressed amazement at the different message that was being preached, and everyone asked where he fellowshipped. It turned out that Joseph was the last person remaining on the taxi, so he was able to have some good one on one conversations with the driver. The driver asked if Joseph would have some time to sit and talk about Jesus, and the Bible. They exchanged phone numbers and plan on getting together soon.

We hope that this testimony will be an encouragement to the saints. Our prayer is for boldness, and the opportunity to share the Word. May we be taken out of our comfort zone for the King and His Glory. Amen.