Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015

“The Lord is near to all who call on Him; to all who call on Him in truth.” -Psalm 145:18

As you all know, we came to Uganda for Christmas and planned to remain here for a few weeks in January. The car needed repairs, we had shopping to do that can’t be done in South Sudan, and we really needed a break (most missions organizations recommend you leave every few months to do all of these things, especially to avoid burnout). While here we had some trouble meeting people and building relationships – it’s hard to get out of the house with a 2 year-old and a car in the shop! So at the end of those 3 weeks, I (Amy) was still feeling pretty lonely! I prayed that God would bring some godly women into my life who lived close, and who speak the same language!

Justin planned a really sweet birthday celebration for me on the 12th, and that evening Ezekiel came down with a pretty bad case of croup. The next morning we went to the ER as he was showing signs of labored breathing and we spent that night in the hospital. Exactly two weeks later Ezekiel was declared “healthy” and ok to travel. But during the past two weeks we’ve moved to a different part of town – closer to the friends we have made, Ezekiel has spent a LOT more time with a new friend as he recovered, we’ve had some much needed quality couple time and I feel restored and prepared to return to South Sudan! We even got to meet some people who are thinking of coming to Lohutok to translate the Bible!

In the midst of all of this, we had a follow up appointment with the doctor for Ezekiel 1 week ago. We brought his favorite toy, Elroy (the ONLY toy that he's ever really gotten attached to). The doctor would listen to Elroy's lungs, then Ezekiel's. Ezekiel feels comfortable with him. Thirty minutes later Elroy was nowhere to be found. I thought maybe some boys in the waiting room had taken it, one of them had tried to take another one of Ezekiel’s toys (which became quite a scene) and later kept bursting into the exam room while we were talking with the doctor. We went home with no Elroy. Every time we put him to bed, Ezekiel asked for Elroy. So every night we prayed that God would bring him back. Today we went back for another follow up, and WE FOUND ELROY!!! I am so thankful for sweet mommy moments, to teach my son about God's faithfulness and tender care for the things that are important to us - even his night-night toy. Tonight as I put him to bed, he said "Thank you, God... God loves you! Loves you!"

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

With the new year coming, we’ve taken some time to evaluate what we have been doing with our disciples and how things could be done better. Before we came to Uganda I was able to meet with all of our disciples in four different villages and was struck by the difference in “where they are” in discipleship.

I went to Loming and met with Matthew Aphore. Aphore has had a tough year. He was forced into a second marriage by his family, and was discouraged in thinking that he couldn’t be a Christian if he had two wives. This idea that Christians have to keep themselves perfect or else God won’t accept them is widespread here and causes lots of problems in the church. We have been able to use this opportunity to teach some clear things about the gospel, and our righteousness being found in Christ, so Aphore is starting to understand the gospel in this way.

Moses, who I am with more than any of our other disciples, is excited about the gospel and willing to do anything, and is growing in his understanding of the grace. Paul, our disciple in Lalonga, is showing clear signs of regeneration, scripture being illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and is probably our most mature disciple. He’s pastoring a church faithfully, and even working toward baptizing some ladies who are believing and worshipping there.

We went to visit Lacharok before going to Uganda, and the guys who we usually do Bible Study with were all drunk. Not just a little drunk, they were drunk. We stayed with them for a few minutes and then left. This is the group we have been working with for the shortest time, and it’s hard to say that there are any believers there, but God is at work!

Pray for us as we go into a new year. We’re trying some new things with our disciples, and asking Paul to take more of a leadership role in discipling the Lopit believers and churches. We need direction about how to teach in each place so that people really understand the gospel so that they can believe.


Justin, Amy and Ezekiel