I have just returned from the northern border of Uganda, a city called Arua, which is about 50 miles from South Sudan and actually is about three miles from Congo. The town is a very large mix of Africans from many tribes and a few nations, mostly these three with some Eritrean and Ethiopian also mixed in and I’m sure a few Kenyan’s. All I know is that I felt like I was in Yei. I even accidentally ran into a few African friends while I was there. The people were very friendly, the landscape and terrain like that of Yei and even the weather was wonderful to me.
Our main purpose for going was to see if it would be a better fit for our family to be closer to our border and our people so that when peace returns to our country we can easily load up and go across once again. I can also easily travel between the two if we live there and continue our ministry in South Sudan. We always pray for them and we always help where we can. We did find some very nice schools and nice pieces of land. We are now praying that the prices will be for us on our next visit in a week.
We ministered everywhere we went and prayed for a pastor who had not heard from his daughter in months. She was trapped in Yei and had no phone service so could not call her daddy. She has three small children and he was really worried. So we all prayed that she would contact him and even be able to come across the border. We saw him two days later and he told us that the very next day he received a call from his daughter and she was now on the Uganda side of the border in a camp and making her way to him. PRAISE JESUS, PRAISE HIM!!!! He answered that very day. Never, ever neglect to pray. The Bible clearly says that the prayer of a righteous man avails much. And when many are gathered it avails even more.
When I left Luwero I packed a certain amount of money, a large amount and I split it into two envelopes, the same amount in each. I discussed with my pastor that I still did not know what God wanted us to do in the camp when we went and how we were to use the money I wanted to bring. We arrived on Monday and I heard nothing from the Lord. Tuesday came and still nothing. The need is so great for so many things that it is so hard to decide what to do. Wednesday came and we met with a very good friend who is a Bishop for the Church of God and he was telling us how they were really struggling in two of the camps because people had nowhere to fellowship. They were just sitting under one of the few trees and when it rained, they had nowhere to meet. The people were feeling a loss of hope. I asked him how much it would cost to build each church. The amount he told me was what was in each envelope! He had no idea about the envelopes and neither did my pastor. We used the small amount left in each envelope to buy 150Kgs of rice and 75Kgs of sugar. The people rejoiced and were so happy to now have a place to meet together and encourage each other.
I praise God for His faithfulness to us and I have so much in my heart to do for others who are in such horrible situations. Even we are not overflowing with funding as we have so much to do but we trust God for it all and we have always had our every need met and even exceeded. I believe that joyfully giving the little that one has, even when they could surely use it themselves, is what causes heaven to just dance and clap with joy because they see that we trust that our Father really does have enough for all.
I talked with my pastor in Aweil this week and I am so excited about what he is doing in the midst of all the turmoil in that area. Most of the people have fled to Darfur which belongs to the north. Well, that didn’t stop James. He has now planted five Iris churches in Darfur! Halelujah! He is also still managing his four Iris churches in Aweil. I am seriously thinking of changing our name to Iris Heart of Africa because there are no more borders for us. By years end we will be in Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Congo! God is on the move and we are moving where He is moving. What an exciting time to be alive and running with Him in all this.
We are still struggling with all our Ngo papers and our Immigration papers and our Children’s Home papers and again we just lay it all before the Lord like Hezekiah did and ask Him to do these things for us, Amen!