Reaching those - who would be lost in His Name to be Priest of the Lord...Isaiah 6:16

Our main purpose is to Reconcile all people to knowledge of the gift of grace and power of God in todays world for their individual lives. We will have a discipleship teaching orientation for Pastors, leaders and believers of all ages with a special focus on areas that do not get many well-known speakers including widows and orphan. Today’s calling seems to be Africa, but the Lord recent spoke to our hearts to think bigger…His is a WORLD WIDE OPERATION- and He will not lose what He died for---His people- You

Friday, March 29, 2013

"stories, stories, stories"

Denver and I have returned safely to our home in Alaska. We are blessed to have shared time and memories with people from South Sudan, Uganda, and Germany.  Our hearts are full of love for all of you and we are honored to call you friend as well as brother and sister. 

Keeping up with this blog was very difficult as we traveled since time and internet was very limited.  Now that we are home, I hope to be able to fill in more of the details although it is difficult to know even where to begin.  I may be posting for months. My heart will never grow weary of sharing with you as long as you do not grow weary of hearing. 

Each day during our trip was a little different but a general schedule for our time in Yei, South Sudan went like this:

6:00 wake up
6:30 join the children for morning worship - which was like getting up to hear the angels singing
7:00 breakfast
8:00 Our devotion time together

During the day Denver would do two to three chapel services depending on the day of the week.  I would spend time with the house mom's and cleaners making quilts (all of which I'll tell about in future posts). 

In between Denver (and sometimes me) would work on building dressers. 

4:00 was play time with the children
5:00 dinner
7:00 the girls would go to their dorms and the boys to theirs.  During this time Denver would go to the boys dorms and tell stories and I would go to the girls and read stories to them.  Just a slight difference in our personalities but all the children looked forward to this time as much as we did.  Sometimes at the end of the day, we would be feeling tired and talk about maybe not going that evening but the kids would see us and they would all come running, grab our hands, and chant "stories, stories, stories".  How could we refuse them. This soon, however, became one of our favorite parts of the day no matter how tired we would be, we knew this would bring new life to us both.

Really Denver should be including his part here about the boys but I'll do my best to fill in with what he shared. The boys had many rooms but about 25 or so of the boys would gather in one room; Oliver and Michael at his side.  They would pull up a matt for Denver to sit on and they would all gather around, sitting for an hour or more as he would share stories with them.  One little six year old boy named Emmanuel, would watch so intently that he would not move for the entire time.  In fact, all of the boys sat quietly and hung onto every word.  There were times that Denver came back from telling stories that he wasn't sure he would ever be able to leave Yei. These boys captured his heart.  They are so full of love.

The girls had two rooms so I had decided to read the books twice so that I could go into each room.  I quickly learned however that the girls were going to both rooms and so that they couldl isten twice.  They loved it this way, but I eventually decided I could read more if I just went to one room and they all gathered there. The school at the orphanage has a wonderful library that was donated by the lady who is on the 700 club.  I wish I could fill her name in here but I do not recall what it is.  What a wonderful and generous donation this was.  I was excited to see what they had and find something fun and exciting to read to the girls. I started trying to read the first book from The Left Behind series.  It is amazing how difficult it can be to read a book to children in South Sudan.  First there are many things that books have that they just don't understand.  Like in this book it talks about trailer parks and Chicago O'Hara.  Denver tried to read the Chronicles of Narnia to the boys one night but ran into the same challenges with attics, etc.  Second, is the fact that they think differently than Americans.  Chronicles of Narnia talks of the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Witchdoctors are a real thing in South Sudan and so quickly he could tell this was not a good choice.  The Left Behind book talked of the black children being even less than the trailer park kids - yikes....did I just read that out load.  Many other pieces to the books that you would have to be sitting in orphanage, with precious loving faces looking up at you to realizes how American books just don't work here.   Imagine a book about a child being unhappy about not getting everything they wont (by American standards) to a child who is delighted just to have your love and they ask for and need nothing else, but that is another blog.  A very important blog.  Really the true story of it all.

After realizing the Left Behind book was not the best choice I decided to read some books from the christian section that had bible stories.  The girls loved these stories and if Jesus happen to be on the cover of the book, there would be twice as many girls listening and they were twice as quiet.  They love to hear about Jesus.  Although, the girls loved these stories, I must admit that at times I did not.  I was amazed how much they had deviated from the truth of the bible just to try to make the story more fun for children.  I spent just as much time explaining on these books as on the Left Behind because I knew that if these children heard these stories they would take them as truth and many of them were not.  So if you know of a good set of children's books that have true and accurate bible stories I would really like to know about them so that I can take them with to read to children in the future - accurate stories is very important to me.  If no one knows of any then I would urge any of my author friends or family to please consider writing some good accurate children stories.

I do not have a picture to include from story time but I am including a couple pictures here of some of these precious children because I am anxious to begin to share them with you.  What a joy they are.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I will not leave you comfortless South Sudan Journey concludes

Stacey asked me to add a post on our final Day in Yei South she squeezes in one final project at the end of the day.
Today,  I preached the final 3 chapels for the ages scheduled -ending with my favorite age and group.
The topic was fitting and even as our hearts have joined together over these 30 days. ..
Jesus was on the lake shore making breakfast of fish after the disciples had fished all night with no catch in their own efforts. As He prepared to ascend into heaven He served breakfast from His own catch. As they ate he said 'I am going away, however, I will not leave you comfortless.  I have defeated Satan, Death, Hell, and the grave, And All Authority is mine over heaven and earth.  I give you this power because I am going to the Father and I will ask Him to send you--A helper -The Holy Spirit. Then you will have the power to do My work here on earth -the same work I have been working and even Greater works will you do in My Name.....ask the Father and He will give you the Holy Spirit.
All things are Mine and The Holy Spirit will give them to you......”

As we conclude our visit with these blessed children, who rise up at 6 AM, and begin singing 30 minutes of praise each week day to their God and Jesus their King -we realize that we too have come to deliver our hearts message of Jesus love to those children and the adults we have shared with. As much as we would love to stay and as much as we would love to stay close to them our part is coming
to the final minutes -yet they are in the hands of Jesus,  who will continue to prepare them for His Kingdom.  Yes, we had a part in His purposes and perhaps he will guide us this way again yet we can be confident that last will use The body of Christ one member at a time to jointly fit together His Temple.  I am Blessed that I was able to share five messages one time each with 5 different age groups for a total of God 25 delivery in 21 days at this location, and 4 messages in the village of Terekeka, and 1 to the entire Terekeka group.  We had a villager send for us to come back and pray for him to receive. Jesus. Prayed for many who were sick,  and to ask for the Holy Spirit.

We have made many friends. We ventured together alone to Yei and in Terekeka among the friendly people and children's laughter.

Stacey worked with widows teaching them to sew quilts without being able to speak their language most of the time over 21 days.....when the interpreter showed up the last days somewhat into the session the widows began speaking to her and she translated to Stacey that they were so Blessed because no one had previously done a project with or spent time with them.  They Said that they did not know that they could make their own blanket. That they thought you could only buy them in the store. They said that they appreciated her and would remember her in their prayers and asked that she also would remember them. They also said to please tell her church and family back home that they appreciated them and all they had done.

Just like the day at the orphanage in Entebbe at Abba House on the way to South Sudan our work here is done for this trip. And we move on to the next mission in Uganda......How do we explain that other than a son at home in Alaska we love and miss....Jesus work and Africa could hold our hearts content??

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Random thoughts

This blog is to fill in some of what I did not have time to say before about our time in Terekeka. As always there are so many more details and stories than what time would allow me to write. I am very much looking forward to sitting and sharing with you. In fact, I had told you that I would write about Denver and I going back into the village but it is one of our favorite stories from our trip so I do not want to take away from it by trying to write quickly about it. I think it would be better told over coffee or tea which I have began to enjoy more than ever. It is my little treat for the day.

Denver asked me, what do I miss most and the easy obvious answer is Aaron. I thank God for taking such good care of him. Then I would have to say that I miss getting to share a bed with my husband. It appears to be designed mostly for teams and the rooms in Yei all seem to have single beds (thank God for Terekeka and the full size bed there). Yes we could pull the beds together but we would still be separated by mosquito nets.  In terms of material items, I really don't miss anything here.I am receiving so much more than material items. It was funny the yesterday day though because Denver got very excited about chicken for dinner. Those that know him, know he is not a fan of chicken but after having beans and rice every night, he was pretty excited for the change.

OK, so I guess I didn't say much more about Terekeka and at this point these are random thoughts. Hopefully you are still enjoying the update

It is amazing that we only have a few days here before we head to Uganda. Denver did his last chapel for P3 today which is his favorite group. I could see the tears filling his eyes. On Monday I will finish up quilts with the widows and Denver will finish the chapels for the last three classes. The children are counting how more night we will be able to come tell them stories which has become the highlight of our day. Tonight when Denver was telling them Monday would be the last night, one of the older boys said "I will cry". I say, me too. Could I just bring them home?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Praise God for our time in Terekeka

I know that it has been several days since I have posted but the Internet was extremely limited during our time in Terekeka. There are many details of the last several days so I imagine this post will include several highlights.

We were told of many possible problems and dangers that we might face during our drive to Terekeka but God sent His angels ahead of us and we did not encounter any difficulty. We later learned that what we heard may have been exaggerated and may have come from those who have never made the trip. We are reminded often to put our trust in God and share God's love and grace with those around us.

Although there are many things that are done the same in Terekeka as in Yei,  there are many things that are done differently. Some of them are simply because Terekeka is a newer orphanage and they are still growing. Yei was blessed with solar panels for the hospital here a few months back. There was enough power for parts of the compound so we are able to get up in the morning and turn the light on but Terekeka runs on a generater so it is not on in the morning and we needed to get ready by flashlight which was a challenge for Denver to do contacts. All things were able to be accomplished with adjustments over a few days.

Our roll there had not been predetermined so getting into a schedule was an adjustment. They were short a math and counting teacher for the younger children so I was able to assist with that for the first three days. I also helped with some office paperwork but unfortunately did not accomplish much because I needed more data. Denver helped Lance and Bruce with some window frames and metal trusses for the new school they are building. School is currently under the mango trees which offers some advantage because it is the coolest spot since the temperature in the shade was 107 most days that we were there.

Denver went with pastor Joseph on Tuesday to evangelize in the village and it went very well. Since pastor would be gone, he asked me to do chapel which I was very nervous about because I had never don anything like that but it went very well and I did enjoy it.

I also did repair on many of the children's clothes. As I would sit and sew the children would bring stuff that was torn in many directions and I managed to repairs items that appeared impossible but the children were so excited you would have thought they had gotten something new. There were a couple items that I could not repair and Kim showed me where I could exchange them for new. That was difficult because I wanted to give them all new but I knew that they needed to make them last as long as possible. I also was able to see new skirt for five girls which was so fun and yet difficult to do because I know they all wanted one.

Friday both Denver and I went with pastor to the village but that is such a wonderful story and I am short on time so I will put that in a blog separate.