His Steadfast Love Endures Forever!

 

“We believe God’s design is to have a holy people who live in communion with Him and reflect the life and values of the kingdom of heaven. God’s people exist to be communities of light in a darkening world.” A Vision of Kingdom Christianity

 

 

Kampala, Uganda. A city built on seven hills, with people literally everywhere. The estimated population is around 2 million! We are striving to be a community of light in this city. A people called to set a whole new direction, that takes its starting point from the Bible and not from the way things are done in the society that we live in. We are called to be salt and light, and we believe that this is a holy and important calling.

The past few months have been very fruitful here in Kampala. We would like to highlight some exciting things that have been happening, and thank all of you who prayerfully and financially make all of this possible.

After the Stierle family arrived in Uganda, the first thing that we wanted to do was reach out to our immediate community as a whole. So, what better way to get to know your neighbors then having them over for dinner! That’s right, we invited our neighborhood over for dinner. But not just any dinner, a 50lbs Nile Perch dinner!

We all had a blast working together to make this fish fry happen. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know our local community, and for the community to get to know us. Some great relationships have been formed, but most importantly the gospel of the kingdom has been shared. In fact, we are working with someone right now who has expressed a real desire to follow after Jesus. We are praising God for this, and are in the process of sharing the Christian faith and the true cost to be a disciple of Jesus.

Some of you may be familiar with the disabilities center located in the heart of Jinja, because we frequently visit there. For those of you who may not know about the center, it is basically a community of disabled people who live together in a compound like setting that was donated to them by the government. After a recent visit to the center, it was brought to our attention that a man named Richard was having a bit of problem whenever it rained. Basically, when it was raining outside, it was raining inside. The shack that he was living in was totally uninhabitable, especially for someone who has a walking disability. So the brothers decided to build him a new place to live. Praise the Lord for the material and know-how.

Before:

During:

 

After:

 

The brothers have also created relationships with various university students in our area. They have been studying the bible together, and visiting different Christian groups at Makerere University. The main reason we decided to live where we do in Kampala, is to intentionally reach out to students. Speaking of the university, some sisters from our fellowship have started an abortion awareness group at Makerere. We will be giving more information on this in an upcoming blog post, as well as the purpose behind the vision of reaching out to young women about abortion.

We are very excited to announce Christian Aid Ministries has decided to partner with Followers of the Way Kampala to empower, and meet the needs of the poor in Uganda. We will be administering many of CAMS aid programs such as Support-A-Widow, Help-for-the-Elderly, Hope-for-the-Handicapped, Bibles-for-the-World, as well as savings groups that Brother Joseph Ssemanda will facilitate. This savings program is called SALT which is an acronym for Shared Accountability, Lending, and Teaching. Clyde Zimmerman, a CAM field representative, recently made a trip out to Kampala to train the brothers on how to administer the savings groups. Our goal in this is to reach out to people in material poverty and teach them, not only business principles but Biblical truths. Empowerment! Our goal is to walk alongside individuals, helping them use the resources God has placed in their care, and teach them the importance of following Jesus in everyday life.

We will close with an update about brother Victor (PRAY FOR VICTOR ). This past week he went to be with the Lord, after a six-year battle with cancer. Charlton, Greg, and Wanda traveled to Kenya for the burial. He will be missed very much.

Serving the King in Kampala,

Followers of the Way

Too Hot to Sleep

Last night the power was out.  It isn’t unusual for the power to go out but usually after a little while it kicks back on again.  Last night was different.  The power went out in the afternoon and is still off today.  Yesterday was also the hottest day we’ve had so far.  I don’t know what the temperature was but this time last week I was experiencing a New England winter.  I suspect the heat feels hotter to me than it would if I’d had a gradual spring to get used to it.  So last night it was very hot.  We have slept each night with fans blowing on us so last night was our first really hot night.  I don’t know how you are, but I have trouble sleeping when I’m hot.  At the firehouse we would keep the bedroom COLD.  No matter the temperature outside, you’d need to get all the way under the covers to sleep well.  That’s what I’d prefer.  But last night we lay awake on top of our covers, under our mosquito nets with sweat dripping off our faces.

I can only remember one other time in my life where I was that hot sleeping.  Two summers ago we drove cross-country as a family to go to Lorna’s friend Holly’s wedding in New Mexico.  I had the bright idea of camping most nights to have some family togetherness and save on hotels.  Well, one night in Oklahoma we pulled into a state park and pitched our tents.  It was pretty hot but I figured it would cool off when the sun went down.  I don’t know if it did or not but it was too hot to sleep.  I remember that same feeling of laying there with sweat pouring off my face.  That night in Oklahoma I wasn’t taking it very well.  I was irritable and I felt trapped. I wanted to go get in the car and drive around all night with the A/C on (but I didn’t think that would be fair to my family that I’d stuffed in these oven bags to save a few bucks).  After about an hour the heavens opened up and rain poured forth.  The temperature dropped 20 degrees and we had a pleasant night.  But that hour still lingers in my mind.

Last night I had a really good attitude about things.  Laying there with sweat pouring off my face and my eyes closed, there was really no difference between the two situations externally, but this time I was at peace.  The one and only difference was my perspective.

What should our perspective be towards hardship?

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
– James 1:2-4

James tells us to “count it all joy”.  That can be really hard.  Trials are at best annoying and at worst debilitating.  But we are to count it ALL joy to bring us to completion.  What a challenge.  I’m grateful that my “trial” was merely being warm.  But striving to maintain the right attitude and perspective during even the little trials will help us when we face life’s greater challenges.  We serve a savior who was perfected through suffering (Heb 2:10).  Yet he never wavered from His desire to do God’s will even when it was hard.  Luke 9:51 teaches “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” What was in Jerusalem?  Rejection.  Betrayal.  Torture.  Humiliation.  But he went forth steadfastly.  Because it was God’s will.  In Luke 22:44 our Lord, praying at Gethsemane, had sweat fall to the ground as great drops of blood.  He was in anguish.  Why?  He was going forward to his death.  He was asking for the cup of suffering to be removed from Him but only if it was God’s will.  Praise God that He willingly submitted to be our propitiation that we might have life.

How about you?  What does it take to set you off?  What causes you to stress and get all bent out of shape?  Traffic?  (inconvenience) Weariness?  Pain?

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

For further study see:
Jeremiah 12:5, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Peter 1:6-9, Isaiah 48:10, 2 Cor 4:16-18 Romans 5:3-5

PRAY FOR VICTOR

Greetings to you in Jesus’ mighty name,

Some of you may have heard of our brother-in-Christ from Kenya, named Victor. He is the joyful man standing next to Charlton, that has a smile on his face. Victor has been battling cancer for several years now. Last year he traveled to Kampala, Uganda to receive high level radiation in the hopes eliminating his cancer. His cancer has now spread, so he has traveled from Kenya back to Kampala for 2 weeks of radiation in hopes of reducing the cancer growths and helping with pain reduction.

We are thankful to have the opportunity to stand along side of our dear brother through this time. Since we are in Kampala, it makes it possible for us to be with him. Brother Joseph Ssemanda (pictured above) has devoted himself to visiting Victor daily since he has arrived. He has been praying with him, reading scripture to him, and they have been going on walks together. Today they began reading through the Sermon on the Mount.

Please be in prayer for Victor. Pray that he will draw near to God in this time. Pray that his treatment will go well, and for pain relief and healing. We give God honor and glory for all the things He is doing.

Thank you to all that have financially made it possible for Victor’s current radiation treatment. This has been fully funded, praise God! There could be further needs after we receive the doctors recommendation of next steps in 2 weeks.

FOR THE KINGS GLORY

LAUNCHING A CHURCH PLANT IN KAMPALA

Greetings to you in Jesus name!

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17

We are in the midst of a new church/mission plant in Kampala Uganda. Currently we have one family on the ground The Sweazy’s, as well as Wanda Sweazy and some singles. Recently a native family The Ssemanda’s  joined us, and are playing a major role in the work on the ground. Lord willing the Stierle and Buxton families will be moving to Kampala in 2016!!

We have a big vision for the seed of the Kingdom of God to be planted into the hearts of men and spread throughout Uganda into all of Africa!

We need your prayers as we move forward, there are many needs in Kampala, beyond just personal needs. We are active in discipleship rooted in relationship, leading various bible studies, as well as numerous projects from cleaning up slums, to medical care for the disabled, assisting at the crisis pregnancy center, teaching English, first aid clinics for street children, and education for vulnerable children. We also are in a time of setup, preparing for the new families to come, housing setup, and establishing an NGO, and much more.

We would like you to consider making a monthly or one time contribution to the ongoing work/needs. We are just the conduit for your financial gifts that can help accomplish much good in Jesus name. Please remember us in your prayers, and send us your prayer needs too.

Followers of the Way is a 501c3 and your donations will receive a tax deductible receipt.

For more information or if you have a prayer need e-mail us at fotw.ug@gmail.com

JESUS CAME TO SERVE

“the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Followers of the Way Kampala had the blessed privilege to work along side our dear brothers and sisters from the Boston fellowship and other native Ugandans to initiate one of many clean up projects.

With the approval of the local council we put a team together to collect and burn trash, as well as clean out the drainage system that runs through one of the slums. This is a very small chip in the iceberg as we seek how we can help create a lasting solution and empower those who live in the slums to work together to care for God’s creation.

Here are some pictures to help tell the story.