From Christine: Jim and I are back on American soil but our hearts are very much still in Uganda…as are our children. If we had to do it over again in a perfect scenario, we would not have come home early. It was a challenge for us to tear ourselves away from relationships just beginning to bloom, a team whose hearts were deeply connected, and a project just beginning to take shape.
The two days leading up to our departure were spiritually fruitful for the team and for those we had an opportunity to minister to. Friday night during our nighttime devotional the Holy Spirit certainly had a plan for our team that was not on our Agenda. We had a powerful worship experience opening the door for the Holy Spirit to move on each heart in the room for some in a new and unique way. Then one of our young women shared a devotional but her vulnerability led to personal ministry to her and another young woman who surrendered her life to the Lordship of Jesus! The Holy Spirit spoke words of knowledge, wisdom, comfort and encouragement. I believe this was a pivotal point with the team and their unity and their power!
The next day, Saturday, most of the team went to the High School and had fellowship time with the students there and played soccer and basketball with the goals the team constructed last year while they were there. It was kind of fun for them to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Others stayed with the Primary School students and taught Awana (see worship video on Jim’s FB page), and a few worked diligently setting the posts for the new building. This was an important day for the building construction and the men, including Pastor Jim, Zach Stateson, Matt Marrs, Aaron Deaver, and Luke Zimmerman worked till late in the evening to give the cement time to set for Monday’s construction. Luke also worked for hours with the locals constructing a new slide for the giant plays ape he spent a summer constructing a few years prior.
This same day I was slotted to minister to the woman of Kabalagala Pentecostal Church. I had planned for a 40 minute message but when we arrived we found put that the other speaker might not show up so I needed to stretch it out to 3 or 4 hours! So, quickly, I asked the other woman who went with me to plan a message. I spoke for about 40 minutes on the the God who “sees” and the God who “frees”. We discussed the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt but the need to get Egypt out of the Israelites. During ministry time I had the opportunity to pray for about 15-20 woman with needs far greater and weighty than anyone in my sphere of influence in Denton, Texas can imagine. The Holy Spirit completely took charge.
Then my partner Stacey got up to speak and unknowingly picked up right where I left off. I left off with the Israelites in the wilderness dealing with their past before entering the Promised Land and she spoke on the Israelites’ inheritance in the Promised Land! The funny thing is that she didn’t hear my message because she was planning hers! The coolest thing about that day was that Got totally stretched her that day. She is an Elementary school teacher but would never speak in public to adult women…God had other plans and the fruit was incredible. Then just as she was finishing, the other woman arrived and spoke on giving free gifts. It was a beautiful day!
Then Sunday, the day of our departure came…a sad day. We didn’t get to say goodbye to everyone just those who attended the church. Pastor Jim brought the house down both services! He preached on having supernatural vision as opposed to an earthly vision built on our limitations of what others have spoken over us, our life circumstances, or our past. It was a perfect ending to a perfect week.
We said our goodbyes to the team staying behind to finish the work and those Ugandans we had developed relationship with and left with full but heavy hearts. Lord willing, we will return and will be bringing a team from New Life along! Please continue to pray for the remaining members of the team left there to finish the task including Austin and Reagan. Reagan is strong but I could tell it was hard to see her parents leave. She has a good brother looking out for her and a sweet roommate, Whitney, as encouragement. It is an awesome team of godly young men and women and anointed leaders!
From Jim: We can’t thank you enough – those who have prayed for us and who gave finances so we could go. It really was life-changing…and we hope it will be for many of you in the future as well.