Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The story of the thieves!

“Do not store up treasures here on earth … where thieves break in and steal”

Well, I guess it was bound to happen to us at some point and it did… we had thieves. I was coming home from a day of work and badminton, and I had stayed a little longer than planned talking with someone. As I got home, all I was thinking about was how I should get my roast going if we want it to be tender (the domestic problems that plague the mind of a wife ☺ ). As I unlocked the front door I noticed that I could see the back window of our guest bedroom was open. Now, we had a lady come and clean today so I thought maybe she had left it open to air out or that maybe Davis left it open to do some work so I called him while he was at volleyball practice and asked if he left the window open… he said no. Then as I started to look, I realized that some things weren’t right in the guest room, they looked a little more disheveled than usual. I then looked in our living room, the door was closed and the TV was there so I thought we were maybe ok. Then I opened our bedroom door… and nope! Everything was thrown everywhere. Everything was pulled out of our closet and our bed was messed up. They had been on the hunt, that’s for sure. I even had a present that was wrapped and they unwrapped it and even tore the present to see if we were hiding anything of value there. I called Davis in a panic telling him we had thieves and asked him to come home right away. I was too freaked out to do any more investigation so I just waited outside for him to come.

When he came he took a look and we discovered the main things they took were our iPod and iPad. And then as we cleaned everything up, I also realized they took my lamp that clamps on to our bed and some of my favorite clothes! We realized that they had been there when I came home because they left in a hurry and really didn’t take much. The general consensus from us, our neighbor and friends who came by was that they were organizing to pack everything up and it seems they thought it was Wednesday because that’s when we’re gone late, that’s why they were taking our time. They ate banana bread and our bread rolls, drank a couple of sodas, and even took my yoghurt and a bite out of my precious velveeta cheese (needless to say that’s in the trash now)! As they were running away, I had heard something in the banana trees by our house but I thought it was just some kids who were playing like they sometimes do, but then come to realize it was the thieves. They even took our milk and spilled some along the way as they were leaving.

One thing we learned too, is that for thieves one of their MOs is to steal everything and torch the house afterwards so people think they lost everything to a fire instead of it getting stolen. We found that our thieves had brought a whole package of matchboxes and it seems that was their intent as well. I just truly praise God more than I can say that I came home when I did, otherwise we would be missing a whole heck of a lot more things than just a couple of electronics and clothes. The good news is we still have our passports, computer, camera, and money… my husband is a genius in how careful he is about what he does with valuable things!

Last night, I was definitely freaking out, feeling unsafe and just violated basically. But we had someone stay the night to be an extra set of eyes and ears in case the thieves came back and I know a lot of prayers have been going on around the world for us to have peace. Right now, I’m just angry! I can’t believe people would do something like that just to get a little money! It seems like they are from around here and so Davis is currently working on trying get some tracking dogs so these guys won’t do this again to us or to anyone else.

Of course, this morning in my quiet time I was in Psalm 139, what a perfect Psalm for this situation… God is here with us and knows all that’s going on, we’re in the best hands we could be in. Then as I was reading in Luke, of course it was the passage about loving your enemies… so I guess I’ll be a good little girl and listen to what Jesus tells me and pray for these guys… pray that they would feel the conviction of their sin and come to repentance, although my flesh wants them to have the tar beaten out of them and to spend at least 10 years in one of Uganda’s fine correctional facilities.

Anyways, there's the story for ya. Thank you everyone for the prayers. Continued prayers for protection would be much appreciated. And I just have to say we have some awesome friends who sent texts/called/and e-mailed and even some who came and are coming to try and help make our home more secure! I guess the conclusion of the matter is... OUR GOD IS SO SO GOOD!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Getting out of neutral

In ministry leadership... a lot of times it's easy to get stuck. You do the same thing day in and day out. It's clock work, people can basically bet on what the program's going to look like. Although I've just started back with the youth group, I've come to realization that we need to shake things up a bit. Yes, my students are amazing... yes, they know their Bibles better than many adults... yes, they're growing in being servants... but I know they have more in them. There's one thing I want that God has placed a burden in my heart for these students... and that's for them to be PASSIONATE.

I want them to crave God's Word, I want them to eat it up and meditate upon it and have it living in and through them. I want them to live boldly in the sea of luke warm carnal Christians who claim to know Christ but in their hearts they are far from them. I want them to shine brightly among their friends who are Muslims and Hindu and show them Jesus. I want them to esteem others, even their enemies, above themselves. Basically... I want them to be disciples... and not disciples of Kelli or Calvary Chapel Jinja... but true disciples of Christ. Where no matter where they go they are able to know the truth and share it with others and stand firm on their own.

My vision for youth ministry is to disciple the 17 million youth in Uganda... but really what needs to happen is my students to go and make disciples and then those disciples to make more disciples... Our youth group consists of 30ish students a week... Jesus rocked the world with 12 disciples. I'm praying our 30 students will take Uganda by storm and truly show them Jesus!

Some of the ways we're planning on achieving this goal are:

- Implementing sort of mini-ministries to get them involved in serving (i.e. greeters, pre-service game organizers, set up crew, invite team, etc...)
- Challenging them to outline a chapter of the Bible a day (main theme, people, events, how to apply it)
- Taking an outreach offering to give then ownership of how we get out into the community
- Question time once a month
- More small group times
- Student-led devotional before service

Please keep us in prayer, that we persevere with this goal. That we stand firm against what the enemy will try to throw at us to de-rail this desire, and that those of us leading would set the example and practice what we preach.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Watch your life and doctrine closely..."

Those were Paul's wise words to Timothy, the young pastor who maybe felt a little bit overwhelmed by the task ahead of him.

Today we began a class for the youth group students to teach them how to effectively share God's truth with those around them. I've been hearing more and more from them that their friends recognize they know their Bible and are asking to teach them... my students just aren't confident enough to teach. So based off of that knowledge as well as recognizing just how many awful teachers there are out there that people are flocking to, God opened the doors for us to begin this class. It's basically a hybrid of Principles of Preaching and Inductive Bible Study. Throughout the next two weeks, the students will be tearing apart passages and then explaining them and how to apply it to the lives of those who listen.

Today's introduction included going through Matthew 23 and Jesus' rebuke of the Pharisee's hypocrisy and how they don't practice what they preach. The challenge was to be sure not to fall into that trap and to recognize what James says that teachers will be judged more harshly. The students seemed to enjoy the different activities today and I'm really just figuring things out as we go, but I'm excited to see what these students will do with having a little more ammunition in their arsenal to "go into all the world and make DISCIPLES".

Monday, May 13, 2013

Teenagers, and lines, and tug of war… OH MY!

This past week Davis, Rogers, and I took 28 students to Entebbe for a youth conference. We left bright and early on Tuesday morning as we loaded up on a coaster (mini bus). It took us just around 3 ½ hours to get there and of course we kept “muzungu time” and most of the other students didn’t get there until after the officially allocated registration time, but we were there and ready to see what God was going to do.

Calvary Entebbe had a team in from the States as well as some interns and their church staff to help run things. It was amazing seeing how many people were around for registration, handing out t-shirts (yeah, they got t-shirts!) and showing the students to where they would stay. It’s amazing seeing a huge group of people helping put on such a huge event. But it really amazed me thinking about just how awesome the staff is that we have in Jinja! When we put on events of that magnitude God shows us that HE can “win the victory with many or with few”. Sometimes He requires an army as vast as the number of sands on the seashore, other times He has you use the bare minimum in order to see it’s not by might or by (man) power, but by His Spirit that things can get accomplished.

The afternoon was taken up by their first round of team games. Each student was given a certain color shirt (yellow, blow, green, or red) and that was his or her team for the conference. (GENIUS!) Every afternoon during the conference they did their rotation in the sports. They rotated between basketball, volleyball, soccer, or random games (i.e. kickball and capture the flag). The conference was concluded by one big ol’e tug of war tournament. The students were exhausted afterwards to say the least but I think they had a blast getting to try out their skills in the different sports. I sat on the sidelines and took pictures… I figured me + rain + sports = dangerous and I wasn’t really ready to be in another cast while trying to lead them ☺

The first full day the students had a morning dedicated to a group that focused on getting kids to make the right choices. They taught mainly about purity and STDs. The other mornings were taken up by different sessions of speakers. One guy was a prisons pastor, another used to be a NY police officer with a gnarly testimony, and another was a camp counselor, all of them from New York. The students seemed to enjoy their teachings on how we are to examine the old ways and walk in them (Jeremiah 6:16).

For me, the conference’s highlight wasn’t necessarily the teachings, but it was my students. In a sea of 250 youth, my students (I felt) shined like the stars. They were servants, humble, played well with others, and blew people away with both their maturity and their Bible knowledge. I was so proud of them! God has done such an amazing job in their lives, equipping them with everything they need for life and godliness. They are pure, self controlled, kind, and definitely producing the fruit of the Spirit. Even though some things maybe didn’t go exactly well, they had discernment and wisdom to know what to do and what wasn’t right. They all blessed me so much getting to spend time with each one of them, and they just made me love them even more through this event.


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