I shared from the pulpit recently that my family is headed to Uganda on a mission trip in June. I’ve told bits of the story, and many of you have asked for details – and how to help support us financially and prayerfully… Here’s the story:
When our daughter, Reagan, was a baby, before New Life was started, I was working in world missions. At a particular missions conference, the Lord spoke very clearly to Christine that she would one day minister the freedom and love of Jesus to women from other nations. Since then we have pondered this promise and waited patiently (for the most part) for the Lord to bring it to pass. There were a few “Is this it?” moments, but nothing has really happened for 14 years.
In December Chris read a book entitled Half the Sky, by Nicolas Kristof. It helped revolutionize her perspective and solidify her calling to women around the globe. That old ember began to reignite. Immediately upon reading this book, our family was hit by a host of trials and challenges. The enemy was at work. But simultaneously, God began speaking about this calling again!
First, He spoke through Exodus 25:33, “Each of the six branches will have three lamp cups shaped like almond blossoms, complete with buds and petals.” Soon thereafter I came to Exodus 37:19-22, “ Each of the six branches had three lamp cups shaped like almond blossoms, complete with buds and petals. 20 The center stem of the lampstand was crafted with four lamp cups shaped like almond blossoms, complete with buds and petals. 21 There was an almond bud beneath each pair of branches where the six branches extended from the center stem, all made of one piece. 22 The almond buds and branches were all of one piece with the center stem, and they were hammered from pure gold”.
The “almond bud / blossom” is a common Old Testament symbol of God’s watchfulness and protection. Just as he was promising this to the Israelites for the tabernacle and the ark, He was promising this to our family as well. Of course, at the time we were still unaware of exactly what He was doing. Interestingly, the almond bud is one of the earliest blooming of all the vegetation in the Mideast and that usually occurs in March. So, it seemed the Lord was telling us he was watching over us and to hang on – breakthrough and our next step would be revealed in the Spring.
The second word from the Lord came at the beginning of March from Deuteronomy 2:3, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.” This, too, was confirmation that something was coming…something big on the horizon. We began asking the Lord, “What is our “North”?
Finally, Christine was led to the story of Caleb and Joshua and their visit to “spy” out the Promised Land. She sensed God was telling her we needed to step out in faith and begin investigating where God may be directing us.
Meanwhile, there was this book, Half the Sky. As Christine read it and shared passages with me, we became increasingly convinced that the key to freedom from the oppression for women of all ages around the globe is education. So, one evening Jim and I were having a “fireside” chat (love my fire pit!) and asking the Lord what our next step would be. It became obvious that we, as a family, would join Austin this summer on his trip to Uganda to the Buyamba Orphan Outreach. (check it out here: http://www.ugandabuyamba.com/ ) This school educates over 1200 students with many more passionately desiring to attend but unable due to finances. Without an education, women around the world are more likely to live a life of poverty – subjecting them to dangers and tribulation far beyond what we can imagine here in the comfort of our own homes.
Logistically, this was impossible, but God miraculously opened tightly shut doors – confirming this was his plan. Since we committed to this exploit, He has presented me with the opportunity to train pastors from around Uganda as Christine gets to meet, enjoy, and teach the women. Austin and Reagan will be ministering to children.
As you can imagine, we are very excited. The Lord keeps saying: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior! Go in the strength that you have. Am I not sending you? Peace! Do not be afraid, you are not going to die. The Lord is peace!” So, he’s sending and we’re going! Like Caleb and Joshua, we’re going to spy out the land for future ministry opportunities for our church family.
We, as a family, are asking for your prayerful support. We need the finances to make this happen and your prayers to accomplish mighty deeds in HIS name.
If you would like to donate, you can give at church (mark Uganda on your check) or online at www.libertychristain.com/uganda and click on any of the Mann family members, or you can mail a donation directly to Liberty:
Liberty Christian School
1301 S. Hwy. 377 Argyle, TX 76226
Attn. Uganda Missions, Mann Family
Please do NOT write our name on the check.
We sincerely need and appreciate your prayers above all. Please email us or call us if you would like any more information or if you have any questions.
Pastor Jim, Christine, Austin, and Reagan, Mann