Afoyo! Itye mabe? (that means "Hello!" and "How are you?" in Acholi) Greetings from beautiful Uganda! First and foremost, we want to sincerely apologize for our lack of updates these past few weeks. There is no electricity in the village, and the power and internet we do get our few days in Gulu is often unreliable. But in our case, no news has most definitely been good news! I am not sure if the past month could have gone any better, as God has been so good to us and has continually allowed us to be a part of revealing Himself to the Acholi people day in and day out.
Village life is simply incredible. We've all been amazed at how much we have thoroughly enjoyed it. There is something about the peacefulness that comes from living such a simple life that is hard to come by in America. We've come to truly realize what Paul was talking about when he wrote Philippians 4:11-12: "...For I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything, I have learned the secret of living in every situation whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." Our God is the same loving Father in a remote village in Africa as He is in suburban America. Genuine faith is never based on circumstances, but rather firmly rooted in the unshakeable foundation that God is supreme and worthy of all of our praise. By stepping out of the noise and busyness of American life, we've been able to really rest in the presence of the Lord and engage with Him with undistracted hearts. This must be what He meant when He said "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) We know.
Since we last updated you, through the grace of God, we have preached the gospel; made dozens of new friends; seen a witch doctor fully commit her life to Christ; met with government officials at various levels; worked intensively with our field staff on the ground in both the village and Gulu town; worked in numerous sub-villages with the village chiefs; passed out over a thousand mosquito nets given by Ethos Church in Nashville to breast-feeding mothers and pregnant women; assessed needs throughout the community; been asked questions all over the spectrum about God and the Bible; started planning for future water projects; visited schools and planned education programs; prayed over war-torn "haunted" areas and demon-possessed villagers; loved a ton of precious little kiddos; and worked with churches by "strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying 'through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God'"(Acts 14:22). All of the glory goes to God for the doors that He has opened and the things that He has allowed us to do and be a part of. More than anything, however, we have seen God around every corner. We've seen Him in the smiles of the people, in the sunrises and sunsets, in the answered prayers we've witnessed, in His guidance and direction for our next 30 years here, in the incredible stories of courage birthed from a 25-year war, in the beautiful picture of children lifting their hearts and hands in uninhibited worship, in His power displayed through a raging thunderstorm outside of our hut, and in his unconditional, unfailing, and unfathomable love for every single one of His children. More than any project or work we have done, the most important report back to you we can possibly give is that our God is very much alive and active in every crevice of the world. He is moving in the hearts of people in some of the most broken places on earth, and meets each of us exactly where we are. He has showed that to us over and over throughout these past two months.
Our time here is quickly dwindling, as we have under 3 weeks left in Africa now. We really can't believe how quickly it has flown by. Please join us in praising the Lord for all that He has done and keep us in your prayers as we attempt to finish strong.
"I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt His name together." Psalm 34:1-3
-That the Word of God would be implanted in this community
-For guidance and direction for the next steps, projects, etc of The Tuli Initiative
-For churches and church leadership within Lalogi
-For courage and opportunities for intentional conversations about Jesus with the people we have built relationships with before we leave
-For God's work here to be uninterrupted by our leaving
-Continue to pray for the men here