We had a fantastic Christmas and are settling back into a regular routine, minus thirteen missionaries from Harvest School 25. The kids had an incredible time and I know that the missionaries had an incredible time. The children kept saying that this was the best Christmas they ever had and boy was it ever. We had the entire party catered, real china ware and ice cream and soda and roasted goat kabobs and chicken and French fries (chips) and so much candy and sweets that all were on a sugar high for days I think. Jesus loved being a part of it all!
The visiting missionary team totally spoiled the kids. They all got some really cool presents and got to go swimming in a pool, most for the first time ever. Their joy was indescribable. The teenagers got to go into the big city and see the new Star Wars movie in 3D, all for the first time seeing 3D AND the theater manager opened the theater just for our kids AND they all had KFC chicken for the first time! They said it was their best day ever, ever, ever! Our kids were loved and cherished and listened to and prayed for and just overwhelmed with the Father’s goodness through His older kids (all us missionaries). I haven’t seen our kids smile so much in a very long time, all residual affects of the war becoming distant memories. Jesus was surely a part of it all!
When the team had to say goodbye on their last day, there were very few dry eyes in the place. The team said that they were more impacted by the love of our children and by their love for the Lord than all the rest of their journey combined. They were blown away by the simplicity of love that these amazing kids walk in for each other every day, and for God, even after having lost everything, their home, their school, their friends and all their belongings. Jesus is the reason they live and move and have their being.
On New Years Eve the entire family gathered to fast and pray for the coming year. At the end of the day I invited those who wanted to, to continue the fast with me for seven days to press ever closer into the mysteries of heaven. I was so totally surprised that twenty-three of our teenagers joined me and lasted the entire seven days with no food. I didn’t make a big deal out of it beforehand. It was all their decision. Just when you think you know your kids… It’s incredible where their journey of faith has taken them this year, through the fire of testing and trials into a richer faith in the Father’s ability to do all things for and be all things to them. Jesus is the reason for every season.
Last Sunday we attended the Anglican Church near us because we learned that the afternoon service was strictly Sudanese. They were so excited to meet us and we were so excited to meet them. The service is usually done in the Dinka tribal language but the Bishop spoke the entire service in Arabic to make us feel welcome. It was so good to be around more family and to make new friends.
This week I have started the process of registering Iris in Uganda. We can’t do a thing without being registered. We have so much that we want to do, especially in the refugee camp. The biggest need is medical care for women and children. We are trying to work things out where we can partner with people who are already in the camps. We have visited some of the UN agencies and talked with many people who are involved in this kind of work. There is a ton of red tape and so the going is slow. Our heart is to build a small clinic and to fund it so that at least the people have a place close by. Again, there are protocols in place that we must follow so the process is a bit slow. We are hoping to make another visit next week to the camp.
I will be traveling to Holland and the USA in February. I will be in Holland at The Lighthouse Passion and Glory Gathering in Rilland from 10-12 February. I will stay on for a few days with friends and then make my way to Texas on 17 February. I will be all over the USA until 6 April when I plan to head back over the pond to Africa again. I haven’t a firm schedule yet as requests are just coming in for me to share around the states. If you are a pastor or ministry leader and would like for me to come share about perseverance and the faithfulness of God in the fire, please email me and we can see about working it out for me to come to a place near you.
God bless you all this new year as we all continue to press on toward the goal, which is Jesus Christ and being seated in heavenly places with Him. May this year bring such a heavenly perspective like you have never known before, may God enlarge the place of your tents and strengthen your tent stakes, and may you continue to do mighty deeds for His glory.