Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Whether African, American, or any other nationality, we're all humans. When we desperately need or want something, myself usually comes before others. Selfishness and greediness drive us until we get that something.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
~ Philippians 2:3-4
Since it's human nature to be self-centered, it seems impossible at times to live out this verse. Numerous circumstances have occurred where I acted selfishly. It's impossible for me to look to the interests of others through my own determination and strength. I am weak. So why would Paul have written these words if it's impossible? ...the Spirit helps us in our weakness...
~ Romans 8:26
The Lord says,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness."
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
Basically, it's only through Him that I can be transformed and produce good fruit, such as goodness, kindness, patience, etc. He is the answer. Simple as that. Irene
"My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak. I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong"
I am content with this time of hardship right now because I know that God is at work and that He is using this time to teach me to live a life of whole- hearted satisfaction of His will. I have found that daily, I cry out to God for guidance and in trusting Him, He has revealed to me some pretty awesome things and He has shown me that He is behind me always ready to guide me back onto the right path. He is a compassionate God and in all my times of hardship I am learning to trust that He is always there and He is always working.
Our ministry here has taken a new turn. God is opening up all these really awesome ministry opportunities for my team. I don't know if you all got my prayer request but if you didn't I can send them to you and you will understand a little bit better of what's going on and how much of a blessing this is to my team. We have been hanging out with some really awesome kids in Kumi throughout the Christmas season; back in Kampala we are going to be doing community outreach ministry with an organization that is sponsored by the Area Member of Parliament that I can't even put into words how amazing it is. It is called LUNDA FOUNDATION and they have a school, they work with widows, they teach women crafts skills. These are just a few things that God has put in our path and I am excited to see our ministry really exploding. Already I am being reminded everyday of the joy of serving and loving God's people and I can only see it getting better and better.
So . . . I guess the point that I want to make is that Mambo Sawa Sawa (Things are better) and they are getting better. They are a little tough right now, but I know that God is working and I have a little more hope and trust in the Him every day. Henry
All the six family members live in a tinny grass thatched house measuring to 1X1 metre on a small piece of land that was left by Asio’s deceased parents. On the inside, the walls of this house are lined with newspapers and cut out pictures of musicians, quite typical of teenagers. The house boasts of a small old looking mattress which seems to be their beddings.
As a child mother and a bread winner for six, she had a big family and at times was hard, having two meals a day was luxurious; they had only enough for a meal and that is when they got it.
This compromised her health with the HIV status and that of her siblings, it imperative that one feeds well as a way of boosting their immunity and preventing susceptibility to optimistic infections.
But as luck would have it, African Christian Fellowship adopted the whole family and started educating and providing some basic needs to this whole family.
Asio’s health then changed. She was given a sewing machine by African Christian Fellowship as part of the organization’s strategy to keep people out of poverty by providing small recyclable loans. Asio was enrolled for a tailoring course at Kumi tailoring School and she was given a free sewing machine on completion of her course. She had earlier demonstrated to ACF missions her tailoring skills, and she had her designs, a red and black eye catching out fit she had made for her customer.
“I now have a contract with a school in my area, I’m making school uniforms for them with this machine” She says, “I’m very happy that ACF sponsored my tailoring course and provided me with this machine and materials on completion of my course” she added, “I manage to feed my family and I hope to expand my business God willing”
“I teach my siblings and their friends to tailor; many youths in this village come here just to learn that” She does not charge any money though, she gives skills away freely, giving as she was given with the hope that one day her business would flourish and her siblings will have better life, one of not worrying about their school fees or the day’s meals.
We appreciate your partnership that is making so much difference already. You have already changed someone’s life today with that gift of love that you are giving. There is nothing that is small to change a life in Uganda.
There are many people here like Helen who needs our help. Help DONATE so that we can reach and help more.
Monday, December 28, 2009
So this morning I was blindsided by the pursuit of God as He allowed me to pray healing over an entire congregation and some were actually healed physically. There are many more that I know are going through spiritual and emotional healing even now and I cannot wait to celebrate when they walk into complete healing. How can I walk into a church building battling with God and a couple of hours later be used to bring healing to His people? I guess I'm beginning to see how little this thing has to do with me but how much God still longs to use me.
Don't doubt God's pursuit of you. You don't have to be the one that does all the chasing because He's the one running after you. Just be willing to give up your own chase and be overtaken by His, because His is so much more exciting................. Ezra
I am the girl who randomly sees something, which makes a person come to mind, and before you know it, that person is getting a random little something-or-other. I am the girl that goes to Target (Ohhh how I miss thee) and stands in the card isle for an hour one random day after work just to find a pick-me-up for a friend who is having a rough week. I am the girl who goes to dinner or coffee with a friend, and before you know it, I've already slipped my card to pay.
At least this is the girl I was up until 223 days ago when I said goodbye to all I knew as me.
Today I am not that girl, but I so badly want to be. Instead I am out of resources. In English, this translates to I'm broke.
Being broke means one of three things. You either ask for help, accept generosity, or go without.
To be brutally honest, I'm not good at any of these options. When it comes to asking for help, I feel guilty. I don't want to ask to borrow it, because I don't have it to pay back. I don't want to ask to have it, cause then I feel like I'm using you. I struggle with accepting generosity the most. I don't want to feel like I am a charity case, or incapable on my own. I don't want to feel like secretly there is a tab somewhere. I just don't like it, and I suck at it. And lets be honest, going without, it's not fun. Period. And I don't mean like going without that extra tee shirt, or that ice cream sundae. Those I can do without, no problem. It's the times where you have to really judge, can I afford to go to the Dead Sea today, or will I need that money for shampoo next week? Or what about when meals seem to become optional, because my mission-given food budget of 3,000 Shillings a day just isn't enough. It's the times like these where I sit down and just want to cry
But I'm learning. I'm learning to receive from others. It's almost a daily occurrence, and there has yet to be an instance where it was easy in my heart. So be it the snack that was bought for me at the grocery store today, or the day of sightseeing last weekend, I'm learning to receive.
I think this is a lesson from Him, but really, I'd prefer a few bucks and a lesson, not just the lesson....
To those that have given to me financially, both personally and towards my mission funding, thank you! Irene
Twenty something's are walking away from their beliefs and what they grew up knowing. Men have few men to look up to and women look in all the wrong places because women are too busy to mentor the younger generations. The following passage struck me all year in a new way. What would happen if we started to LIVE this rather than just read it?
Author Michael Tummillo states "one thing that seems to make the greatest difference in the lives of young people, it's the amount of TIME we are willing to invest in them. To the human mind, love itself may as well be spelled T-I-M-E." I have to agree with this statement. I am a relational person, and I believe that most twentysomethings just want someone, rather than something, to invest in them! Relationships are needed everywhere.
Throughout my journey, I have come to realize I am not alone on this quest. There are Bible-believing Christians my age who are passionate about God and stand firm on the truth! There are Christian twenty-somethings, married or single, who are seeking a place to be real, genuine, deep, vulnerable and passionate. There are twentysomethings who are willing to continue to attend church even though it may appear they are alone!
This has become a passion deep inside of me. To see my generation rise up...not just those that went on the World Race. Not just those from the Western World. I saw it all over the world. In most places, there's a gap in the church. Youth finish High School, youth groups and camp programs and start asking "what is there for me – where do I belong?" They want more, yet feel as though there is nothing offered for them, and if there IS something being offered, it is at a level that doesn't challenge them. I can't speak for all of us, but I want to be challenged and grow in my faith. To dig and dive deeper and fall madly in love with God more and more with each passing day. In order to be a mentor, I would love to have a mentor, someone willing to invest in me the way I long to invest in the needs of others around the world!
Maybe I am just looking in the wrong places. Maybe I just come from a small town and don't have the same options that a big church or city has to offer. But should it matter? Does size make a difference to God!? Regardless of where we come from, what we do or where we attend, we are to walk in faith and make a difference in our world. We are ALL His children. We are getting LOST in this world and most people older than us don't see it or won't do a thing about it. It's MY generation that is leaving church and searching for God knows what because they aren't finding it at church...or because they feel like there is nothing for them so they need to go elsewhere.
This passion and desire to bring my generation back to the church – specifically back to the cross, has become more real with each passing day. Over a year ago, God put on my heart the vision of opening ACF Reach One Campaign Kampala (ACF ROCK). As I traveled around the country last year, my heart broke in each district, yet continued to break for MY people back home who are apathetic and lost, starving for the things of this world rather than being hungry for God.
This vision and passion expands beyond what I can see. Over the last few months, I have heard countless stories and seen many examples of needs here in Uganda and around the world. The World Cup Games are just around the corner, and prostitution is alive and active in South Africa, yet very little is being done about it. It's being promoted and advertised as a "benefit" to the games, attracting people from around the globe. Articles are being written on how to "protect" the prostitutes and Gay People. How this even began to make sense is beyond me. This is MY Country. These are MY people. I saw the hope lost in these girls in Kibera Slum in Kenya – yet we are allowing it to enter our nation and take away our purity.
When are we going to RISE UP and take action to the things around us as they really are? We are paranoid about germs, yet look beyond the needs and diseases taking the lives of thousands around the globe – TB, Aids, HIV, starvation. When will it end!? My heart is broken, and I am crying out for my nation, my peers, fellow believers, to RISE UP and take action. Don't just say there's a problem – do something about it. We need to stop doing church and start being church, and church is wherever we make it. It is a body of believers.
I am tired of hearing the complaints of my church, my town, my country and this world without any hopes or suggestions of doing anything about it. We (ACF Uganda), have a passion to change this world one person at a time, using the voices God gave to us, to spread love, hope, joy and peace. I might be one person. I might be small. I may not be rich. But I have a heart. I have a dream. I have a vision. I have a passion – and that is for Christ. He changed my life. He can change yours too. It starts with ONE...are you it! Henry
Friday, December 18, 2009
We've been commissioned by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords as His Ambassadors. We have full diplomatic authority and immunity. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 (AMP)
We have the power of the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwelling within us, and our steps are ordered by God, Himself.
We are the Light of the World and the Salt of the Earth. We are like a city set on a hill and the Light of god that shines forth from us cannot be hidden
We are assisted by a host of angels that were given to minister to and for us as heirs of salvation, and they harken to the Word of God that we speak forth to perform it!
The favor of God goes forth before us and surrounds us like a shield, and no weapon formed against us shall prosper.
The enemy that comes in against us one way will have to flee against us in seven different directions!
We are spiritually minded which brings life, not carnally or fleshly minded which brings death.
Our very feet are anointed because we bring the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
It has always been amazing to me as I have watched God work throughout my life. We as Christians, especially those of us who label ourselves "Word of Faith" people, are such a funny group. Let me explain what I mean. We sense a call of God on our lives to do something. We determine to do it. Then we try to "figure out" how God is going to make it happen. We have our own ideas of when finances should come in and how finances should come in. (I know...for you English majors...dangling prepositions...) When it doesn't happen the way we think it should happen we start to get a little nervous...BUT, we're "WORD" people, so we can't say we're nervous :-D. We might even begin to doubt that we heard the Lord clearly when we felt the call to do something--in this case that something would be going on this mission trip.
But the funny thing about doing something by faith is that...well, it requires stepping out in faith! The writer of Hebrews says it like this in Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him..." (AMP) Throughout the Bible we're given examples of people who stepped out in faith and accomplished great things. As we read Hebrews 11 in it's entirety we see what is commonly referred to as the Great Hall of Faith in our Word circle. Starting with Abel we are reminded of those great men and women of God who trusted God even when the circumstances didn't look favorable.
When the Lord gave Joshua the command to cross the Jordan river to "attack" Jericho the river was in its flood stage. Let's look at the story. It's in Joshua 3:
13When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord of all the earth shall rest in the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan coming down from above shall be cut off and they shall stand in one heap.
14So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,
15And when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were in the brink of the water--for the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest-- (AMP)
I want to point something out that most of you have already seen or been taught, but sometimes we need to be reminded. The Lord didn't promise that He'd part the Jordan BEFORE they stepped foot into it. In fact, He'd told Joshua, "When the soles of the feet of the priests...shall rest in the Jordan, the waters...shall be cut off..." They had to, by faith, step into a FLOOD-SWOLLEN river before they saw the promise of God manifest.
Sometimes when we step out in faith it may feel like we're stepping into flood waters. And sometimes it doesn't look like the waters are parting very quickly...But He is faithful who has promised! Hebrews 6:12 tells us that those who inherit the promises of God only do so "through faith and patience." Verse 11 says that we are to "shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end."
I have to admit, there have been times over the last several months that my faith has been stretched. It's had to go through a growth process...and one day I’m believing that my Father will be able to look at me and say, "you of GREAT FAITH." But in the meantime, I'll endure the "growing pains" that sometimes accompany growth of any kind.
I want to encourage all of my readers, those who are part of our mission team and those who are working on "Faith Projects" of another kind. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." God wants to prove himself strong on your behalf!
Now don't get all nervous about the word perfect. It is translated from the Hebrew word shalem (Strong's #8003) which has several definitions. The one that I like is this: "complete (of keeping covenant relation)." Those of you who are Valley Word family know all about covenant relationship, because we are covenant people. What the writer of 2 Chronicles was saying is that the Lord wants to prove himself strong on the behalf of those who have and keep a covenant relationship with him. I know that includes me!
So, all you covenant people...BE ENCOURAGED! God isn't late, broke, or forgetful! "But let patience [Remember Hebrews 6:11?] have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." ~James 1:4 (Perfect here is the Greek word teleios (Strong's #5046), which means "wanting nothing necessary to completeness.") The prophets have declared 2010 to be The Year of the Open Doors. Get ready to walk through it and inherit all of the covenant promises of God!
It may seem to some that I've rambled a bit, but I have to believe that I've written what the Holy Spirit was leading me to write. Grace and Peace to all. May God Bless you abundantly.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
What's your passion? How are you gifted for mission? Whether it's business, youth, education, medical work, or media and arts, ACF Uganda has a job for you to do! Join missions today.
We loaded the garage and our office space to full capacity. Thank you lord for this kind of provision. You never cease to amaze us. You're a wonderful God.
MORE SUPPORT NEEDED FOR DECEMBER MISSIONS...........................
Can You help?
In many areas of the country, the short rainy season from March to May, was poor, causing an insufficient crop harvest. While food prices have come down from last year, they remain well above the long term average, causing pressure on households.
There have been increased rates reported in the admission of malnourished children to therapeutic feeding programs in the first half of this year as families struggle to make ends meet.
Also, the heavy rains which are expected from June to September, were late this year. Seed that was planted when the rains were expected died in the ground. In many cases, there was no new seed to replace the seed that died. It is anticipated that the harvest will be consequentially reduced, so there will be a further increase in the number of people facing severe problems.
- for God to provide new seed and appropriate amounts of rain needed to make it grow.
- that God will meet these people's physical and spiritual needs.
- for the coordination efforts of NGO's who will be providing emergency food relief.
Please consider joining with us financially to help provide food and water for the northern people. A donation today will begin to alleviate their suffering immediately.
- A gift of $5 provides for one child under 5-years-old, for a month.
- A gift of $10 provides one adult with wheat grain, or flour, and vegetable oil for a month—providing over 2,000 kilocalories per day.
- A gift of $50 provides for a family of five for a month.
Thank you for giving!