I hope this email finds you and your family enjoying this season of joy to its fullest. This year Christmas looks and feels a lot different. While you cuddle up to warm fireplaces and bundle up in sweaters, I'm trying to keep cool under the fan (electricity pending!) as we begin the dry season. Although I will miss being with each of you this year back home, I am looking forward to celebrating this season with the people here.
The children in our Bible club are busily preparing and practicing every day for the Christmas concert they are performing for the community next week. I'm busy keeping up with them, working to prepare their costumes, and helping them nail down their dance moves for their songs! haha.
As I reflect on this last year I want to thank you for your kind support, prayers, and generosity over this last year-wow! What a blessing you have been. In addition to my faithful regular supporters who give monthly, many people have given special gifts which have enabled me to continue the growing Bible club program and the rewards store (awarding the children needed school & life supplies in exchange for memorizing Bible verses). I'm currently spending almost 4 times the amount each month for the prize store that I originally budgeted for ministry expenses. Yet, God has so faithfully prompted so many of you to make extra gifts. I'm wowed by the way God has continued to provide for these young ones who are growing in their faith. This email is simply to say THANK YOU!
I have found the weeks to fly by quickly! I am so encouraged by the way the kids continue to think through what they are learning from God's Word, both from the lessons and their Bible verses. Sometimes we worry about their comprehension: are they just memorizing these verses and not understanding? During question time our fears were proved unfounded when one asked: "You know how we are always talking about faith and (a particular church) people say is always talking about commands... BUT my memory verse in 1 John 2 says that: "whoever says I know Him, but does not keep His commands is a liar and the truth is not in him..." Who is right? Pretty good question, eh? Pray for me as I teach through 1 John on Saturdays. Many of the kids have memorized chapters 1&2 already! (I need to catch up on teaching through it, but thankfully the Holy Spirit is already teaching them) It is a unique challenge to teach 1 John "expository" style to young children! But the repetitive tone throughout the books lends well to teaching children.
On Wednesday afternoons, I have been doing intensive teaching with my staff investing in them.We have studied things like "How does believing that children are made in the image of God affect our approach to working with children?" and "The Consequences of Achieving 'Right Results' with wrong methods." We are currently beginning a study on Ephesians 4, and the last week we have been studying gentleness. Please continue to pray that my staff would grow in the image of Christ, and that He would help them to learn to embrace and teach the pure Word of God to the children.
These last few weeks God has reminded me of the "old" verse: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path." With my background in policy analysis and formation, spending hours discerning the right path forward using the best human reasoning, it is so easy to rely on my own understanding rather than trusting in God and entrusting our paths and future to Him! I've just finished my 5th year as a full-time missionary. Pray with me that God will direct my future steps and give me His grace to be faithful & steadfast wherever He leads.
This week I enjoyed having friends from Canada visit Uganda, it was a sweet experience to minister alongside them for a day. I enjoyed preaching to the pastor's wives at a small conference here in Kampala they had put together.
I've pasted in some fun photos below and even a little video of the kids field fun day we had. I hope you enjoy them.
With warmest wishes for a very Merry Christmas!
With lots of love,