They say time flies when you are having fun, and as it is no secret that I love what I do, it is also no surprise that this year has flown by way too fast.
In early August, after finishing up our survey trip to Israel, HGIM Missionary Eric Ream and I parted ways. As he left early in the morning for the airport to fly home, I headed downtown to the Old City one last time before catching my own flight to Uganda late in the evening.
Once in Uganda, I had just a couple of days to catch a breath before meeting up with our evangelistic team who was coming for the Youth Ablaze Conference with one of our partner churches, Pearl Haven Christian Center, in Mbale.
This team was an amazing group of men and women who were eager to serve and love others, and who were also very adaptable to what the days kept throwing at them. It was also a huge honor for me, as this was the first time that a large group from my sending church, including my pastor, had come on a mission with me.
At the Youth Ablaze conference we were able to serve in many ways, including praying with kids, serving in the kitchen at lunch times, and in leading teams up the mountain for the Sermon on the Mount day. In fact, many of our team were thrown in as last minute teachers for the Sermon on the Mount breakout sessions, as well. It was incredible to see God’s hand at work.
The following week our team partnered with Royal Palace Christian Center in Tororo where we attended Sunday services, went on street outreach with the church on Monday, and held a leadership conference for about 75 people on Tuesday. Then, of course, on Wednesday, before heading back to Kampala to prepare to leave, we made one final stop at Smile Africa to play with the hundreds of street kids cared for by Ruth Kahawa and her wonderful team.
After the team departed, I was left alone with a last minute tag along. Matthew Tidwell, a member of my church and recent high school graduate spent his graduation funds to change his plane ticket and remain behind with me for another 6 weeks.
Unfortunately our plans were changed, as I had originally intended to travel to South Sudan and visit our churches there. Pastor Joseph, our Ugandan missionary to South Sudan, had many family issues arise including a miscarriage and the death of his mother, which prevented us from traveling together. However, this gave me the opportunity to deepen my ministry friendships in Uganda, serve our partner churches, do some personal outreach, and get some administrative work done, including establishing our ministry office in Mbale.
It was also a great honor to help disciple Matthew through his transition into post-high school life. We spent our mornings reading the Scriptures together and talking about life and the decisions he now has to make; he led his first person to Christ on this trip. Upon our return home, he finalized his plans and is now heading to boot camp as a member of the U.S. Navy in the next few months. Please keep this young man in your prayers, that God will protect and use him as he gives himself to serve our nation.
2015 Missionary Internship
More details will be coming soon, but I want to go ahead and take this opportunity to announce that I will be running a missionary internship in East Africa for summer 2015. This will consist of time in Uganda and South Sudan and will run for between 8 and 10 weeks (depending on Youth Ablaze schedule). If you are 18 or older, please pray about joining this small group for mission training and outreach next summer. Feel free to contact me for more details.
- Pray for Heart of God’s Board of Directors as they meet this month to make decisions for the future of our organization.
- Pray for the finances of Heart of God’s Ministries as each director has big visions to fulfill, but needs the resources to accomplish them.
- Pray for our November team to India as we prepare our visas, make travel plans, and finish the necessary fundraising for this mission.
- Pray for me as I plan for next year’s summer internship and work on two other projects the Lord in which the Lord is leading me.