Afoyo! (Hello in Luo) We are back in town from our first week in the village! Gosh, it was so so good. We rode up last weekend to a big group of our old friends singing and dancing around our hut waiting for us to arrive. What a sweet reunion it was :) We spent the first few days visiting with friends, sharing meals and catching up on life. Adjusting to village life has been somewhat blissful. You can almost feel time slow down as you walk along the dirt road and sit under the stars. It’s a refreshing change of pace.
On Sunday we went back to a church in the village that is pastored by our friend Bosco. It’s so incredible to watch praise rise up on the other side of the world – in a unique way and a language that I can’t understand, knowing that it is heard and received by the same Father that I worship every day in America. The guys (Cyrus and Josh) got to share some encouragement from the Word and we got to kneel with and pray for some precious souls. Crying out for a touch from God, for healing and for the victory of Jesus to reign down in power - my trust in our good God and His good plans deepened. My heart was confident and at rest in the truth that HE IS LORD and that the blood of Jesus is sufficient for all redemption and restoration. While we were praying healing and freedom over a man named Moses, the Lord put a simple song on my heart – “All we need is Your touch, God; Come and touch us now”. That’s kind of been the anthem of my heart lately.
Our main “project” that we’re doing while we’re here is handing out Bibles in the local language, Luo. Until now, the villagers have had very little access to the Word. There are a few Bibles scattered throughout, most of which are in English, but you would be hard-pressed to find fifty at most. We have ordered five hundred from the capital city and will be giving them to any family in the village that wants one. We spent Thursday fasting and praying over each one individually and will begin the distribution this week. We are planning on going house to house, sitting down and talking to people, sharing the Gospel, answering questions, and praying over families and homes as they receive the Word for the first time.
I’m really excited and very expectant for what God is going to do in this place as it is filled with His Word. Pray with us for a hunger and longing to sweep over this place. Pray for divine understanding and for chains to be broken by truth. Pray that the truth of Jesus would penetrate hearts and the Gospel would take deep root. And pray for me, too. As I have been dwelling in prayer over these Bibles, much conviction and urgency has fallen on my own heart to understand the value of God’s Word and to have a deep hunger for it. I know He wants to teach me the very things that I am praying over the people here. More of Jesus is what I want, really.
Yesterday in Gulu we got to go spend the day with some sweet, sweet kids at Father’s House Orphanage. It is a truly wonderful place, full of the love and presence of God. It is run by Ugandans from around here – just committed Christ followers who live by James 1:27 “Religion that God the Father looks at as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” They have given their lives to this and have provided a beautiful home and family for these precious kids. We got to talk with the leadership about the best way we can support and encourage them in their obedience and are excited about the potential opportunities! God allowed me to get a glimpse of His heart as I sat with those kids and we taught each other “Jesus loves me” in our respective languages and as I watched them dance and play with joy and got to hold a sweet girl as tears streamed down her face thinking about her parents. The goodness of God’s promise “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18) washed over me afresh. It is so GOOD to be His child!!!!! Thank You, Jesus.
There’s much more I could write. I’ve been working on this update for far too long, trying to condense my thoughts as I attempt to “sum it up” in a few short paragraphs. Basically, God is good and on the move, and I’m thankful to be here. It is a joy and honor to be in this beautiful place serving and learning from these beautiful people. I hope all is well in America! I LOVE you all so very very much.
"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David..." Isaiah 55:1-3