Our mission goes far beyond just the few days that we are here, and is much greater than any teachings and few gifts we can bring them.
Austin interviewed Rachel about the trip so far and tried to get her to commit on camera do doing the bungee jump later this week.
Here, Rob is praying with a woman as she gives her life to Christ and surrenders everything to him.
Luara hanging out the the locals while holding one lady's newborn baby.
Blair shared the gospel with a small group of people and many of them gave their lives to Christ.
My dear friend and Director of Arise Africa, Godfrey Wanamitsa and his family need your prayer. They have been through many trials this past year and it just seems that it won't let up. When we first arrived here, most of his family was healthy except that his youngest boy Joseph was struggling with malaria to the point of causing fever seizures. This was also happening when we were here in March. But now, as I write this update, ALL of his family except for him and his daughter Grace (he and his wife Joy have 8 kids) are sick with a serious and new strain of malaria that has proved very difficult to combat. Please view the video below and then take a few minutes as soon as it is done and lift up his family to the Lord. We need our director and his family to be healthy.
Please excuse the poor audio. There was much activity going on around us.
Helen, Rachel, and Laura lead music with motions during one session of our children’s program.
Mary, Meagan, and Ashely do crafts during one session with our Children’s program
Everyday we send three people from our team to some local schools to minister to the kids at the school and share the Gospel with them. Here Blair is leading them in music.
Wow. It has been a ridiculously long time since I have last blogged. No excuses, but it's not because I've been lazy. The past few weeks have been filled with fun, excitement, blessing and exhaustion. On July 4, the newest addition of our family, Karis Eleise Via, decided to join us! That's right she's an Independence Day baby. I wouldn't say that the process was uneventful, but there were no complications and God gave us a healthy baby girl weighing in at 7 lbs, 15 oz.
Early that morning, Kelly had been feeling some contractions. Since she has a history of quick labor, we went ahead and had some family come and take Cana and Kayil with them for the day while we spent the day out counting contractions. The entire day Kelly's contractions were rarely ever closer together than eight minutes apart (sometimes there were as far as 20 minutes apart). For those of you who have had kids, you know that they tell you not to go to the hospital until your contractions are 5 minutes apart. So we kept waiting and waiting. Meanwhile, Kelly's contractions were getting harder and harder (but not closer together). Finally, I called the doctor, and she said that we were doing the right thing so we continued hanging out at the mall and waiting it out. Then suddenly, without warning Kelly's contractions moved to 3 minutes apart. We left the mall at 4:30 pm. Baby Karis was born at 6:05 pm. Crazy. It all happened so fast, Kelly didn't have time to get an epidural. The doctor wasn't even in the room until the end of the delivery. The nurse who was doing the paperwork and I basically delivered the baby! I've yet to learn whether or not that entitles us to a discount of some kind.
The week after that is a bit of a blur. Our family was getting acquainted to having a new baby in the house. I got very little work done, and we got even less sleep. But as always, it's a very rewarding time and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. My wife is awesome. She's a freakin' machine. She just keeps going. One week after Karis was born, she was right back to work helping work with our middle school students. Most people didn't even expect to see her back at church yet, and she was already serving again. She never ceases to amaze me.
The next week, I left Kelly alone and took off to camp with 40 students. Again, my wife is awesome. She was totally cool with me taking off to camp only one week after baby Karis was born. Camp was incredible, God worked in the hearts and lives of many of our students. Lives were forever changed. Unfortunately, not everything that happened was good. On the second day of camp, I wrecked a little motor scooter and ended up spending most of the night in the ER.
They told me nothing was broken but that it looks like I may have torn my rotator cuff. I don't know what that means, except that I'm in a lot of pain, and it may require surgery. I have an MRI scheduled this week with an orthopedic surgeon to figure out exactly what is going on. And we're beginning to question the "no broken bones" verdict, since the entire area around the injury has turned yellow. Now my poor wife not only has a three year old, a two year old, and a newborn to take care of, she also has an injured husband to care for. She's keeping it all under control. She is amazing. Please keep her in your prayers.
Well, there you have it: the three week update. As life begins to settle down, I'll return to my regular blogging schedule. Tune in tomorrow; I'll post a picture slide show of camp.
Well, we've just recently gotten back from Uganda. What a great trip. I think this is around my 6th or 7th trip there and it is never a disappointment. God really moved while we were there. Our primary focus was to provided training for the pastors and church leaders of Arise Africa's over 200 churches that spread across 22 zones in Uganda.
This one is going to have to be quick. The ministry is going well. We are flat out getting it done. When I was making all of the plans with Godfrey (Director of Arise Africa), I told him that I wanted to go very far out deep into the bush because when most teams come, they can never reach there since it is so far away. So yesterday we spent 13 hours in the car and did 5 hours of training with some pastors and church leaders. That makes an 18 hour day! Wow. It was crazy.
Thankfully today we stayed in town and had the pastors from the surrounding zones come to us. So it was a very easy day, and we are rested up for another long day tomorrow.
The team is doing a great job. God is using us to teach, train, and encourage these precious pastors. It has been great to reach the ones who are far out in the bush. Because many of them have never had a team come visit them. They have been so overwhelmingly grateful for us. It has been a ton of fun to get to do this with my dad and my pastor, two heroes in my life. It has been a priveledge to lead this team here.
Please keep praying for us. There is still much work to be done. I will give updates as I can, and I will post some videos and pictures when I return.
It just so happens that I was able to get to an internet connection, to be able to post an update. I'm in downtown Jinja, Uganda. I'm not supposed to be here yet. I abandoned Jimmy and Beverly way out in the bush. Jimmy was speaking when I left, so he didn't even know about it! I'm sure he's figured it out by now.