Thank you for your faithful prayers and support for me as I prepare to depart for Uganda! Many of you have asked what's “the plan." At the end of August I finished working on the Hill in Ottawa and I just landed up here on the Island in Northern Ontario with my family. Fall is shaping up to be a very busy time—but I’m excited because it will provide me with the opportunity to see many of you!
Here’s my Fall Schedule:
Sunday, September 13, Island Bible Chapel, 10:30am
Sunday, September 20, Calvary Baptist Church Desbarats, Adult Sunday School & Main Service, 10-10:45 am, & 11am
USA - October 14-20, Southern California
USA - October 20-23, Northern California
USA - October 24-30, Minneapolis Area
Sunday, November 1, St. Joseph Island Free Methodist, 11am
Sunday, November 15, Bethel Bible Chapel, SSM Ontario, 11am
November 17-20, Philadelphia Area (Pre-Deployment, mission head office-tentative)
December (1-7), Tentative Departure for Uganda!
I would love to see as many of you as possible. Feel free to come join me at an upcoming church presentation. Or, send me an email so we can grab a coffee & catch up before I leave to go back to Uganda!
Some of you may be asking why my departure is “tentative.” Well, my mission won’t let me set my final departure date until I have 100% of my monthly support pledges in—and once my support is all in, there are also scheduling considerations with the team I’m joining on the ground in Uganda to determine the exact date. But, the first week of December is my goal! I’m praying that God will finish bringing in all my monthly support in His perfect time.
Many of you know that I’m an organizer and I love to have a plan and I’m also a person who likes to find bargains! As part of that I would love to have 90% of my monthly pledges in by the end of October so that I can get a better price on my airline ticket. If you are planning on partnering with me but haven’t yet submitted the paperwork, would you be able to let me know? This would help us so much as we plan!
As I have been doing during this last year, for my "eager readers" I’ll be including another story from the past in Uganda below that I haven’t yet shared. (This month’s story is about my adventures with snakes & God’s protection.) But, I also wanted to take a short moment to reflect with you on God’s goodness and His planning in our lives:
As I was enjoying the last bit of my time in Ottawa this summer, I remembered visiting Ottawa as a young girl (with my Dad who was travelling on business), and looking out the window of the Westin hotel thinking to myself: “I love this city: some day I’d like to live here!” I totally forgot all about that—but God didn’t! In His perfect timing after I finished University I would call Ottawa home for 7 years! I now have so many dear friends and memories in Ottawa—and experiences I would not trade. How good God is. Years ago I framed this quote from Peter Marshall on my wall:
"God plants His own lovely dream in the human heart. And, when the time is right for it’s fulfillment, to our astonishment and delight—His will becomes ours and ours His. Who but God could have thought of anything this perfect?”
How true! As God conforms us to His image and we draw close to His heart, His will becomes ours, and ours His!
Now, as I prepare to move to Uganda as a career missionary I’m seeing God’s will once again come about in a new chapter and adventure in my life! It was just over 10 years ago that I first travelled to Uganda and God impressed on me His heart for the lost in Ugandaand the harvest of people looking for the hope and love of Jesus. Keep praying with me that God will continue to bring about His perfect will and plan—and that we would all trust Him with His will in our lives.
With much thankfulness to God for you,
Snakes & All Things Creepy & Crawly:
I HATE snakes. Yes, I hate them with a passion. As a young girl I didn’t grow up in an area where we had any poisonous snakes, but I still avoided them at every opportunity. As a kid, I remember purposely chewing one up with the lawnmower… (I would learn not to do that again because it took a bit of work for my Dad to untangle the dead snake from the mower.)
I don’t know why, but in December 2012 just before I left for Uganda, I decided to visit the Ugandan wildlife authority website and search out the types of snakes that were in my area. Let’s just say it freaked me right out. We were located in a bit of a swampy area at that time, and when I read about the many big snakes I began to doubt God’s leading! Especially after I read about the cobras 6-7 feet long that can stand upright about 2/3 of their length. Let’s just say that I got pretty convinced that if I didn’t die by the actual action of a snake I would drop dead at even the sight of one! Haha.
Well, I shared this “girlish freak-out” with some of my friends. They in turn responded-“Laura, we’re all just going to pray that God keeps the snakes away from you!” And so they prayed, and off I went.
After spending almost a whole year in Uganda, I remember thinking: “I haven’t seen a single live snake the whole year. Maybe we don’t really have such bad snakes and so many of them.” Well, God heard my thoughts and decided to show me that He HAD been at work. (O me of little faith!)
One Monday afternoon, I cancelled my usual ladies Bible study because of a funeral in another corner of the village. I didn’t realize that there were actually two funerals that day—including one at the very house I usually held the Bible study. My interpreter went to the funeral at the home where we usually held the Monday Bible study.
The next day she said: “Laura, you know the big tree that we always sit under for the Bible study?” Well, at the same time we usually have the bible study, right in the middle of the funeral part of the crowd was also sitting under that same tree… and a huge six-foot snake dropped out of the tree and everyone ran… Then, the men used a machete to kill the snake.
I knew exactly why God had let that happen—it was to show me how much HE HAD been at work all year in answer to my friends prayers!
A few months later, one of the neighboring villagers was burning off his garden and it got out of control and jumped onto our land. It soon became a burning out-of-control mess. We don’t have any sort of fire department way out in the jungle so the situation quickly began to look pretty serious as the fire raged out of control and was making it’s way toward our homes. The men tried to swat out the flames with banana branches, but in comparison to the raging fire they weren’t of much effect.
Finally, one of the elders suggested we start a fire at the edge of our homes and push it towards the other fire so that we would remove the “fuel” that would bring it into the path towards our homes. It worked, and we were so thankful! The next day after the coals cooled down the little boys on our team set out to discover and search to see what was left in the jungle area around our homes. Well, they found a number of “boy treasures” in the form of numerous large (scary!) dead snakes-not too far from our homes.
Once again, I realized that we tend to minimize the power of God and His protection in our lives—He had kept so much from us and we weren’t even aware of how much He had been at work! And while the Lord used this to open my eyes to see Him at work protecting me from snakes, I am convinced that this is true in thousands of other areas and ways in our lives. We often doubt Him and His work, but our big powerful sovereign God is at work—whether we have our eyes and hearts open to see Him or not!
Praying for God to keep all our hearts and eyes open to Him and His work. And… I’d love for you to keep praying that God would keep the snakes and all things creepy crawly away from me when I return to Uganda! :)