Thursday, March 7, 2013
Greetings to all from Entebbe!
We left Boston's Logan Airport Monday, March 4, at 2 pm, not quite 24 hours after wrapping up our wonderful marriage conference in Newport, Rhode Island. Fueled by prayers and many words of encouragement, we had great travel from Boston to Newark to Brussels, to Entebbe—and 30 hours after we left our home in Bedford, we landed in Entebbe, Uganda at 11 pm local time. What a delight to be welcomed by Derek, Julie, and Lisa.
After doing some errands Wednesday morning, we drove north about 2 hours to Luwera, where New Hope Ministries is located. This incredible ministry was founded in 1986 by Jay and Vicky Dangers, who had a vision for providing a family experience to orphans. For over 25 years now, they have faithfully served as their vision has evolved and expanded, all the while raising their own six children. We have known the Dangers our whole adult life and had long heard of their ministry, so it was thrilling to get to see it first hand.
|The Dangers: son Jeremiah, daughter Julia, Vicky, and Jay holding|
granddaughter Elizabeth, and Jenny, Elizabeth's adopted mom.
We spent all of today touring their grounds and seeing the fruit of their labors. It was very, very inspiring. We're hoping there will be opportunities to partner with them in the future.
Derek and Julie were also delighted to connect with New Hope and see many possibilities of collaborating with them in Uganda. Especially meaningful to them was visiting the classroom of special needs children they're caring for at New Hope, and then getting to follow-up on a little boy who lives at New Hope and was operated on at their hospital last September. How gratifying to see this little guy doing so well after having a brain tumor removed by the CURE surgeons.
|The Special Needs class at New Hope praying together.|
|Derek and Julie were thrilled to see Israel who was operated on by their CURE staff|
in September to remove a brain tumor. He is doing well, praise the Lord!
We drove back to Entebbe late afternoon and are now preparing to speak to a group of pastors from Kampala tomorrow morning. We'll then drive to Mbale (about a 4 hour drive) and speak all day Saturday for a marriage conference hosted by Pearl Haven Church.
Please pray for both of these events. As always, we are so aware of the obstacles before us culturally, linguistically, and spiritually. We are grateful to know we have partners around the world praying for us.
Pray also for Lisa who flies home tomorrow. It will not be a happy farewell. :(
Sending our love—
Friday, March 8, 2013
Today has been very, very full . . . and very, very good.
Our day started very early as we were speaking on the other side of Kampala, and meeting Pastor Wilberforce at 8:45 am. So after a great breakfast, complete with African tea, we tearfully said good-bye to Lisa, who flew out later in the day, and off we went to minister to a group of local pastors.
|Very early Friday morning, we said good-bye to Lisa|
prior to leaving for our ministry event that morning.
We were so warmly welcomed and well received. Many of them came up afterwards, asking us to return to teach their extended network of pastors on Biblical design for marriage and family. They are dealing with the fallout of western culture's influence on their culture. "Divorce is becoming more common in Uganda because our people see it happening in western culture." A very sad commentary, for sure.
We loved our time with this band of faithful warriors and will gladly partner with them in the future as the Lord wills.
|Paul and Pastor Wilberforce standing on the church grounds prior to our teaching session.|
|Richard and Rianna lead a marriage ministry at their church|
and were thrilled at the prospect of partnering.
Derek and Julie picked us up mid-afternoon, and after getting some provisions at the market, we made the 4-hour trip back to Mbale in 5 hours due to a horrific rain and lightening storm which struck not long after we left Jinja. We were so thankful for Derek's expert skills in navigation on a very dark, stormy night, and were all so thankful to get to their home around 8 pm, safe and exhausted.
|We stopped for a quick lunch at "Ozzies" in Jinja|
and had a few moments with Jude, the owner and operator of the cafe.
Please pray for us tomorrow as we'll speak at an all-day marriage conference for Pearl Haven Christian Center. We are so honored to continue partnering with Pastor Wilberforce and Sarah, and covet your prayers that God will speak through us. We'll repeat some of what we did in September, but most of our presentation will be different material.
Paul will be preaching on Sunday at Pearl Haven, and then Monday thru Wednesday we'll be speaking for their first Pastors’ Marriage Retreat, sponsored by Home Improvement Ministries. We are very grateful for the response from so many at the H.I.M. Marriage Conference at the Viking in Newport, Rhode Island, last weekend. Many of you both assured us of your prayers and financially contributed. More than enough was given to underwrite the retreat, and the extra funds will be used for contributing materials and other expenses associated with our ministry here. Thank you!!!
We're so thankful for your interest in what we're doing and for your prayers that God will move in the hearts of those who attend, as we deal with the complex issues facing believers in Uganda.
Sending love from Mbale—