Posted October 9, 2009
We spent our last day in Uganda doing two programs at an orphanage for children with AIDS. It is run by an English charity. All of the children and us nearly washed away at the end of our first show when the rainy season hit full force. Two mothers from the nearby village came to see the program with their children. They stayed all day until they could see the second program.
Everyone was so excited at the afternoon show. The children and adults cheered and clapped when Jesus calmed the storm. I heard some praying in soft whispers. It was an awesome finish! God is good!
OUR NEW TEAM
I wish that you could have seen the unmasked joy that our friends had as they received the equipment. Please pray for Glory Puppets to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. They are sweet and wonderful people!
I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER
There are some things that you can never forget, things that change you forever. The other day I watched a young man of 17 or 18 drag himself across a dirt yard so that he could listen to our program. I was telling the story that day of the many miracles that Jesus did. I told the children that Jesus saw that the people who came to see Him had broken bodies and broken hearts. I told them how only Jesus can heal broken hearts. I told them about God's love and forgiveness. Please pray for this young man to remember what he heard and put his trust in the Great Healer.
I WANT TO HELP
If you want to help meet the physical needs that are so big here, please contact Clark McNutt who is the Director of a ministry that provides clean water to villages. More, he explains to them about Jesus Christ and how He can change their lives. Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend this ministry to you with all our hearts!
Tomorrow, Friday, we will begin our journey home. Friday night we will stay with our dear friends in South Hampton, Helen and Ian Thompson. Many of you will remember David, their son, who served faithfully with Mike and I for many years. We will enjoy a sweet time of fellowship and then fly out of London Saturday. Our flight is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta, GA at 7 PM EST Saturday evening. Please pray us "safe home".
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
Posted October 8, 2009
What follows are the stories that I wrote while we were in a difficult place, the last few days with no internet access.
African churches, whether Baptist, Presbyterian or some other familiar denomination bear no resemblance to their western counterparts. All of the music is sung with African drums for accompaniment. It is loud. It is full of joy.
This morning before they began to sing, they shouted as one body. "Hallelujah, Jesus is Lord." Do you know how much courage such an act requires when you live in the middle of a Muslim area? We can hear the call to prayer at the mosque where we are staying.
The church building is very different from American churches. The ceiling is full of bats. There is bat guano on the floor. The benches are arranged to avoid the largest concentrations of bats and the expected problems. No one but us probably even notices.
People come dressed in their best clothes, whatever that is. Obviously, one lady had received clothes donated from America. She was wearing a pink and yellow prom dress with rhinestone trim.
The service is long, 3 hours or more. Sam taught a wonderful lesson on treating people as Jesus would treat them. He challenged us to live differently as Christians. No matter where we are, that is the battle to live as believers in this world but not of this world. It is our brothers and sisters struggle. It is our struggle.
IT IS MY CULTURE
As the pastor entered the church this morning, an older lady, the oldest lady I have seen so far, came running to carry something for him. He handed her the heaviest thing he had in his hands. She was so small, I rushed over and took it from her and told the pastor, "I am very unhappy with you."
He said, "It is my culture." I asked, "Would you want someone to treat your mother like this?" He said, "No". I asked him a second question. A dear American missionary named Eleanor lead him to faith in Jesus many years ago. He cherishes her memory. I asked "would you allow your dear friend Eleanor to carry this?" He said, "Never." Then I said "Why do you treat this older lady this way?"
There is little or no understanding here of servant leadership. Women always kneel to men and Sam agrees that such treatment feeds a man's pride. Pride has no place in our hearts as believers. Women will even kneel to a respected person or visitor. When she knelt to me, I immediately got down on my knees. Sam joined me, You can only lead by example.
The problem is so widespread that I have had to tell the children not to kneel to me at some puppet shows. I want them to bend their knees to Jesus and trust in Him alone as one worthy of such honor. Yes, their culture approves these actions but the Word of God teaches a different way.
Scripture comes alive in these places in a new way. I remembered the verse, Galatians 3:28:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female for you are all on in Christ Jesus.
Always when I am in a place like this, my own heart is challenged. I am asking myself questions. I encourage you to ask yourself questions. What do I do that my culture permits, but the Word of God condemns? What behaviors do I have that my friends approve but my God disapproves? Please pray for us to hear the Father and be wise in how we teach these lessons.
We are in another village. It is very hot here. When I lay down at night, the bed bites me. The food is very greasy and I am always sick. The shower does not work, but I am blessed with cold water. For 2 days, in another place, we had no water. I have an indoor toilet and there is paper. I sleep under a mosquito net and take medicine to prevent malaria. Most people have neither of these things and none of the things I mentioned.
Please understand, I am living better than everyone else in this place. More than 20,000 people arenít as comfortable and safe as I am. I am so blessed, we are all so blessed. Now I must ask a simple question. What will I do with so much blessing? How will I serve and show gratitude for all He kindly gives me? How will you answer these questions?
FUNNY THINGS... DIFFERENT THINGS
- Someone saw my diabetic monitor the other day and asked me if it was a cell phone.
- We asked a friend to wash our clothes and gave her detergent. She used all of the laundry detergent, enough for 45 loads, in 3 washes. We are pretty sure that we could stand in a river and fill it with bubbles for miles.
- Most have never seen puppets before and call them toys. There is not even a word in their language for puppets.
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
Posted October 7, 2009
Many of you responded to our urgent request for prayers that we called in from Uganda 2 days ago. Thankyou!I want you to know how the Lord mightily answered your prayers.
We were able to do 4 shows yesterday, working in schools with over 1,500 children and teenagers. In 2 of the schools the children were taught that they could be good enough to get themselves to God. It was especially sweet to tell these children that God knows that we cannot help ourselves and hear them calling on Jesus to save them. Children whose families deal with witch doctors and Muslim children watched our programs. As God our Father called many to faith, we heard hundreds and hundreds of children calling on Jesus to save them.
Even the teachers were excited as they heard the Gospel and begged us to come again.
I always make a point to go to the children and touch their hands or faces and thank them for coming after a show. I smile at them and give them hugs. I encourage them to remember what they heard and put their trust in Jesus. They always smile at me and push to come closer.
These children live in misery. Every child I saw was dirty and many that I touched felt as though they had a fever, but is the smiles that the Lord put on their faces that I will remember and cherish.
I expect to see many of these little ones in heaven. The life expectancy here is 44 and too many die as children. Life for these children is often short, but through faith in Jesus, their lives will have hope and they will know love.
Such wonders were not without a price. As your prayers increased, so did our opportunities and the attack that the enemy sent. The man that we were working with for these few days had no vision for reaching children for Jesus even though he was a pastor. So, he made our job very difficult by failing to organize transportation for us. Since our heart's desire was to reach the children, we had only one choice. The guys carried our equipment with the help of some of the children and we walked to our first 2 shows. The second show was a very good walk.
I cannot describe to you our exhaustion as we did 4 successive shows before we stopped. Nor can I explain what standing in full sun for the first 3 shows did to us. We gave the little bit of shade to the children so that they could listen better.
However, I can tell you that the Father absolutely gave us the strength that we needed. The fourth story that I told was the strongest of the day. This is not possible except through prayer!
Sam, Jared, and Randy were amazing! No one ever complained. They put their eyes on Jesus and on the needs of the children.This is a very faithful team and we are blessed.
Later today, I will send out a second email, but for now I have more work to do. We are preparing the equipment that we will give to our wonderful new puppet team. Please keep praying!
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
Posted October 3, 2009
The following report is from our two day stay in the South. We had no electricity and no way to communicate. I beg you not to miss these stories.
OUR GREAT PRIVILEGE
I am writing to you by candlelight. They are just getting the generator going. Okay we are trying, but with little success. We have had the most incredible day!
We have driven across beautiful countryside, through villages that specialized in making drums and then one where baskets were made. In every town the children yelled,
"Hello, white person".
As we drove, we ate bread and bananas for lunch. Our friends would not let our guys ride in the back because of the distance, so they sacrificially weathered three rainstorms. They kept putting on a large tarp and getting under it. Praise God that all of the puppets and equipment remained dry and safe.
I told the story of Joseph at the first show. I asked a little boy to help me who looked very sad. When he stood to help me, I touched his arms and he was so warm. His little arms were just bones. I tried my best to encourage him and make him smile. I hugged him gently, but he never smiled.
Even when he saw the puppets, he had no smile. Only after I finished the Bible story and prayed with the children did I see his beautiful smile. As Jesus filled his little heart, his face changed! So many children prayed.
Most of these children are already orphans and will not grow old. Many will not grow up. Please pray for these little ones to love Jesus deeply! Ask the Father to comfort them!
We never cry in front of the children because tears will not help them, but I am alone now and crying. There is so much need here, so much pain. I see toddlers of two and three trying to care for baby brothers and sisters. They are wearing rags, torn and dirty shirts and dresses. None of the children are clean.
If you have one meal a day, that is good. Two meals a day are a luxury. All the children are hungry. Most are sick.
It's only the next life that holds any promise for most of these precious little ones. Jesus sees them. Will you pray for them? Can you see them?
LIGHT AND DARK
One school felt so dark, another so full of light. The difference was that in one school, the principal and the assistant principal loved Jesus. Only Jesus' love in peopleís hearts can bring light to these children.
So many times over the last two days, we saw children calling on Jesus. So many trusted in Him. Your prayers were mighty.
SO MUCH DEATH
I stood in the middle of a garden today; at its center were 17 graves. These were the members of Charles family who died suddenly of AIDS. It began in Uganda here. Some say it began in all of Africa here.
Earlier, I reported that both of Charles' parents had died, but that was incorrect! His mother is still living. I had the joy of meeting her today. Her husband and nine children are buried there, along with other family members. Most of the graves are just marked with a few rocks piled on top; some are just mounds of dirt. Only two had concrete slabs.
When people started dying, there was no time or money to have proper funerals. More, there was no strength. Everyone was sick.
As I watched Charles' mother I was overwhelmed by her pain. Most days, it is so hard for me to bear Mikeís loss. I miss him so very much, but I still have my sons, their dear wives and their dear children. She lives in a mud shack with no family nearby and no physical comfort.
Every day, we are being taught by our brothers and sisters. Her perseverance in the face of great tragedy and enormous difficulty challenged us all to focus and not look at our surroundings. Pray for this dear lady. Pray for us to persevere and keep our eyes on Jesus.
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
Posted September 30, 2009
IMPORTANT: You will not hear from us the next two days, Thursday and Friday. We are going to Rakai where AIDS began in Uganda. There is no electricity where we are staying and no running water. We expect to have terrific ministry and in this heat, smell funny (especially Randy).
THE FAITH OF A CHILD
There are special moments that the Father gives us that are so dear it is hard to describe to you the wonder of those times. Yesterday was one of those amazing opportunities with the children.
I was finishing our third day of training with our new team. I was telling them the story of a little Ukrainian boy named Maxim. It is a precious story of the faith of a small child. As usual, half the room was full of children who sat in total silence every day just listening.
I realized that the children were truly listening to what I was saying. Earlier in the afternoon, Sam, Jared, and Randy had spent a long time with them sharing. I heard the Father as I was speaking and knew that He was doing something wonderful. I gave the children an invitation to accept Jesus as their savior. So many prayed, and loudly.
Our new puppet team was amazed. They could not believe that the children came every day and listened. They sat through hours of adult classes with joy. Yesterday afternoon was the time that God planned to call them to faith. It was the sweetest gift to us that we were able to be there and see such a wonder. My heart was full of joy. I am still smiling as I think about these little ones. Please pray for them to grow strong in their new faith!
Not far from where we are staying, a tree fell into the river. Someone cut off a limb and the tree stood back up. A witchdoctor came and took credit for "the miracle". He set up a place at the site to receive people who needed help. My friend told me that every day he saw a stream of people going down the road. The witchdoctor said he could solve any problem for a price. Then he would give his patrons a charm of some kind to carry with them. The charm could be a stick, a feather, or a powder. Do not dismiss these men as harmless or strange. They are evil and almost always demon possessed. Ask the Father to change their hearts or remove them. They sacrifice children. They deceive millions.
There is a large Indian population here. Mostly, they are shopkeepers. One friend said that they came to build the railroad and never left. Nearby us, there is a large Hindu temple full of false gods. Please ask the Father to remove this evil. The children here suffer so much and this is just another source of their suffering. There is no respect for women and children in this belief. Please pray for the Indian children here in Uganda to be delivered from darkness into God's light.
A VERY DARK PLACE
We did a show in another market place. I truly thought that no one was listening. Half the crowd left when I said that Jesus was the Son of God in the middle of the story. Remember that 70% of this area is Muslim.
We never know what God is doing. I know this, but was sweetly reminded of this truth today. After the program, people came up to our friends and told us that they had prayed with us and put their trust in Jesus. How is this possible? Only God's Holy Spirit can do such a wonder. Praise God (Mukama Yebazibwe!)
Today, our third show was scheduled at a religious school. When we arrived, they said, "We refuse to let you come." The teachers in this place would claim to be Christians, but they teach the children lies about God. They tell them that they can be good and go to heaven. The yard and the building were full of hundreds of children who did not know the truth. Please ask God to make a way for these children to hear about Jesus Christ and His love and sacrifice for them. Please ask the Lord to call the teachers to true faith.
1) As we drive down the road, the children shout "Muzungu". It means white person.
2) Everyone here seems to have a Ugandan name and an English name. However, it is different to meet men named Joan and Emma.
3) Last night, 5 lizards joined us for dinner.
4) Sam and I are so accustomed to not having hot water, we did not even ask when we discovered that the shower was cold. Today, we discovered that there is a hot water heater and tomorrow we leave for two days of no showers. Our sense of timing is amazing!
5) I saw a story today called "Glory to Glory Electrical Center."
6) The electric company passed out an advertisement that was titled "10 Easy Steps to Get Power." Each step essentially involved bribing various people to get you moved on to the next. Our friends here told us that it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to get electricity turned on in a building! In America, it is generally a phone call and less than 24 hours.
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
P.S. I have been thoroughly enjoying the boiled eggs that we have been eating here in Uganda!
Posted September 29, 2009
NIGHT AND REGAN
Night and Regan are two little boys who stood in a market today and heard about Jesus. They were so excited that they stood in the rain at the end of the show to talk with me. They could not stop smiling! My friends who translated for me said they believed the boys had trusted in Jesus. The local pastor met them and so he will be able to encourage them. Please pray for Night and Regan to grow strong in the Lord.
Today, we did two shows in open market areas. At one, we had lots of children and so many came to faith. I was amazed that they listened so well and responded by praying so loudly. Any time one of us was talking about Jesus, a man across the road used his metal cutting saw. The noise was incredible! Still, the crowd kept increasing. Many people who were riding by on bikes and motorcycles stopped to hear the gospel. They were so hungry to hear that we added more to our program. The man with the saw always stopped to watch the puppets.
Following the second show, it poured. We moved most of the team into the back of an open pick up truck so that we could protect the sound equipment. Thirteen people and numerous Rubbermaid tubs of puppets rode down the road in a downpour. As they rode, they sang praises in Ugandan. Sam, Jared, and Randy had the best time!
Everyday we are blessed! God is so good!
TRUE RICHES, REAL JOY
Every afternoon for days we have been meeting at the church building, a tin roofed building with no walls. There are so many holes in the roof that today they had to move all the benches around to avoid the rain coming into the building.
Actually, I have not been in a church building yet that had anything but a dirt floor. Most are not even level. Some follow the slope of a hill. The benches have no backs and they are small.
You cannot imagine the bathrooms. There are no fans and often no electricity. The comforts are just not there.
But the worship is amazing! Too often for us in the west, our church is all about our comfort. We require things that are not even possible in most of the places that we are traveling. I confess that I put myself too often in that number. I too much appreciate my comforts.
These dear brothers and sisters challenge me by the way they live their lives. They have the sweetest spirit and are so selfless in the way they do ministry. My heart's desire is to be a blessing to our Ugandan friends. My prayer is that the Father will change my heart so that I will not seek my own comfort.
Praise God (Mukama Yebazibwe) for all that we see him doing in our friends, but I am so grateful for how I see our Father changing each one of us.
There is a lovely story that many of you may not know. Twenty years ago, when our sons Josh and Matt came to us wanting to tell people about Jesus. Mike suggested that they use puppets. He had this idea because Hank Shum was the church planter that we all worked with to start our church. They boys had seen him do puppets and loved what he did. I draw stories because "Uncle Hank" taught me and actually gave me my first chalks.
I met a lady here in Uganda who had enjoyed Hank's teaching as a teenager in the late 70's in America. She was so excited when I told her who my teacher had been. I was so thrilled to hear her story of how Hank had touched her life.
I am half way around the world and Hank's life is now touching children here for Jesus Christ. Praise God (Mukama Yebazibwe)!
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
Posted September 28, 2009
This is an incredible trip! As much as I have traveled in Africa, I stand amazed at all that I see God doing. We have complete freedom to pray with the children, no matter where we are. Such wonder comes with a price. The air is filled with dust and smoke. One area where we were today had only one color as far as you could see. Everything was brown. There are lots of bugs. The mosquitoes love us. All crawly things seem drawn to us. A lizard eats dinner with us every night. Don't worry. We are sleeping under mosquito nets.
By 10:30 AM this morning, we or members of our team had been in a traffic accident, run over a puppy, and lost both our translator and critical puppet equipment. More than half our team arrived at the wrong school. The good news is that we found both our translator and the lost puppet equipment.
Remember, we are working mostly in a Muslim area with desperately poor children in an even more desperate need of a Savior. Such problems are to be expected, but please pray for us. We heard hundreds of children praying today, asking God to forgive them and Jesus to save them. We love what we are doing, but all of us need strength
I want you to know that Sam, myAssistant Director, and I could not be more blessed by Jared Bolstridge and Randy Barlow. They are very hard workers and have deep passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. They are sacrificial in the what thy seek to serve Uganda's children! I thank God for them and for Sam, who is as always faithful and a blessing to all he meets.
- The math teacher where we did two shows came and spoke to me and said, "Tthat was a wonderful, wonderful performance." He was very excited!
- I was so excited to hear hundreds of children calling on Jesus to save them in the middle of a Muslim community!
- Many of the children came to thank me after the show. It is wonderful when a child is grateful because you told them about Jesus.
- The teenagers loved the program as much as the 2 groups of younger children had earlier in the day. It was very sweet to challenge them to keep their eyes on Jesus and only marry a Christian man or woman.
- Sam preached on Sunday and did such a terrific job that our friends asked him to recommend a pastor to come and teach a conference for them.
- Our friend Clark heads a water ministry here and sometimes employs prison labor. They pay 3,000 a day and give them lunch, which is considered a good salary and a very nice bonus. More, they witness to them about Jesus Christ.
- Sunday morning we watched children dedicated to God. This is very significant here because many children are dedicated to evil spirits.
- After church Sunday night Jared sat with a group of boys who informed him that they were very good pickpockets. They asked him what he had in his pockets.
- Randy is trying to learn Ugandan. His favorite phrase is: Wasuze otya. This means "good morning".
- Jared fell asleep today in the car and I was telling a story to the driver. In the story I told the driver "....behind the stage all we do is say, 'get your monkey higher, or move around more'". At these comments, Jared woke straight up and told me that I had scared him. All he could think about was monkey puppets, even in his sleep.
- Matooke is everyone's favorite food here. You peel bananas and then wrap them in banana leaves and bake them on a fire. Then, you mash them and eat them with beans and rice. Some prefer to eat their Matooke wit spaghetti.
- On the way to a puppet show ,I saw a big field with 14 ant hills in it. You probably think that is not so unusual. However the short ant hills were 2 feet tall and the big ant hills were 3 feet and taller. They call them white ants, but they are actually termites.
- I spent 10,000 shillings on some rope we needed. I have never spent so much on rope. Ok, it was only $5 US dollars.
- Our friend Clark had to pay to bury the puppy that he accidentally killed. He paid 10,000 shillings.
THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
Posted September 27, 2009
PASTOR CHARLES AND THE NEW PUPPET TEAM
Pastor Charles is a very sweet man who loves Jesus and loves children. He and his wife will be the leaders of the new puppet team here. He has an amazing testimony of God's providence in his life.
Charles was born and grew up in Rakai, Uganda where AIDS started in Uganda; some say it is the epicenter for Africa. He was born one of 12 children and saw both of his parents and 9 of his brothers and sisters die very quickly.
His mother's sister sent word to his mother and offered to save the life of one of her children. She chose to send Charles to his aunt who lived far away from Rakai. More, his aunt loved Jesus. Her effort not only saved Charles' life, she gave him real life because he met Jesus Christ through living with her.
Today, Charles told me that he believes God saved him to serve the children. Please pray for him. He and his wife live so simply, in just two tiny rooms. One room doubles as the church office. They share their bedroom with three small children. All day today he told me again and again how good God had been to him. May God make us all to have such a sweet spirit.
You cannot imagine his enthusiasm and the new puppet team's enthusiasm for all the equipment they are receiving. It represents a gift that they cannot believe. Those of you who gave to the puppet ministry for this trip have touched thousands of children with the Gospel. Our new team will share with the Gospel. Our new team will share with tens of thousands of children. Many schools here have over 500 children and all of the schools are open for them to come and present the Gospel. Praise God!
PROSSY, JULIET, MARIAM, GELADETI, AND NABISENE
These are the names of five lovely girls who are sharing a single room. Our pastor friend rents it for them so that they can hide from their families. When they came to faith in Jesus, their Muslim parents promised to kill them. They had to run away and hide. Please pray for these young girls to grow strong in their faith. Ask the Father to keep them safe.
This is how you say "Praise the Lord" in Ugandan. We have so much to praise God for as we see such wonders in Uganda. The children are eager to listen and hungry for hope. This is an awesome place to serve! Yes, the mosquitos and large, it is warm, and roads sometimes resemble amusement park rides. However, no one is more blessed than we are! Thank you for sending us!
1) The area where we are working is 70% Muslim. Please pray for us to be wise and loving with the children. Please pray for God to call many Muslim children to Himself.
2) On Thursday of this week we travel to Rakai, where the AIDS epidemic began in Uganda. Everyone has many heartbreaking stories as so many died. We know the heartmender. Please pray for these children to trust in Jesus. Please pray for our team to have sweet spirits as we expect to have traveling and housing difficulties. This is a desperately poor area.
3) Please pray for all of the children who trusted in Jesus today as they sat in the grass an dirt on a high hill overlooking the city of Entebbe.
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared
Posted September 27, 2009
HOME WITH JESUS
A dear friend of the puppet ministry, Lynn Wofford died yesterday and is home with Jesus. Her husband Phil often works on the computers for the ministry and has faithfully fixed so many things for us since Mike went home.They have been good friends to us for decades. Lynn died suddenly of an aneurysm.
She loved to sing praises to her King! After Mike went home, she and Phil told me that they felt challenged by Mike's life to take a mission trip. In the past few years, they have taken several trips and been a blessing to many. Please hold Phil and their son Adam ,who grew up with our sons, in prayer. She blessed my life. I am so grateful that my friend loves Jesus and is home with her heavenly Father!
Today our team will share with several hundred children, teenagers, and adults and train our new team. I am very sad for all of Lynn's family and friends, very happy for her! I can not think of a sweeter way to honor my sister in Christ than to spend this day pointing people to our King! Pray!
PRAISE REPORT- AMOS AND HENRY
I am so blessed to tell you that Henry and Amos have 2 years of school provided through several friends kind response to the email we sent last night. We can not accept further help for these boys at this time, but will be very thankful for your prayers! What a sweet lesson for them that though their earthly Father does not care for them, their heavenly Father will take care of them. Praise God!
So many of the children that come to our shows are orphans. Some have families that are so broken they simply abandoned them. Alcoholism is a big problem here. Many lost their parents to AIDS. All are hurting.
Often the fathers simply abandon the families. So many children here have never known the love of a father. Can you imagine how their hearts must quicken when they here that there is a Father who loves them? Please pray for these little ones to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior so that they can know the Father's love.
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared, and Thomas
Posted September 26, 2009
KALULE AND KAWAYA
Kalule and Kawaya are two little boys who really want to go to school, but their home is very broken. Their father is a drunk and their mother is described as insane by some and demon possessed by others. These little boys came to Sunday School at a church that we are worked with today. Earlier this year, they put their trust in Jesus. They wanted so much to go to the small Christian school, but they had no hope of getting an education.
Kalule and Kawaya, Amos and Henry are their English names, decided to earn the money. They would not give up. So Henry, the older brother of 10 or 11, began to dig ditches. For a long hard time of labor he received 2,000 Ugandan shillings, about one dollar and a few pennies. School cost $75 each for a year of school. That covers porridge to eat, uniforms, books, and pencils.
Already they have missed the first month of school this term, but Henry keeps trying. These two little boys have real faith and a good work ethic. I believe hat they need to be in school. Will someone please bless these little boys with a year of school? We need only $150. You could easily think that surrounded by such poverty and so much need, these two small boy's problems are not important. I promise you that this is a very big problem to Amos and Henry and an opportunity for you to teach them about God's providence. Who might they grow up to be? How might they touch Uganda for Jesus Christ?
WE ARE MARCHING...
While Thomas, Sam, Jared, and Randy walked around inviting children, others began to gather in front of the little church in the Harriet Community. A sweet teacher began to sing with them. They sang with the biggest smiles, "We are marching in the light of God." Then they started to jump up and down, singing, "I will be jumping for the Lord." They were so enthusiastic! I loved their singing.
I loved it even better when so many children and adults came to the program that they had to go to their homes and bring chairs. People stood on the street and listened! The church was thrilled. All of the people who would not come inside their church were gathered outside the church hearing about Jesus Christ. Awesome!
THE TRADING CENTER
I really loved this show! We set up in a village's main trading area, where there were several things that we were trying not to step in. Thomas, our translaor, was not successful. So many children gathered on a hilltop right in front of us. Lots of adults were sitting on the ground behind them and even the street was lined with people who were listening. All were unaware of the problems that I could not ignore. They were so hungry to hear about Jesus.
However it was the men in the bar across the street that amazed me. When we started the program they all stopped shooting pool and sat on the table to listen the entire program.
The children responded to the Gospel so sweetly. We heard them praying out loud. Your prayers are touching so many children in Uganda! Thank you!
In Jesus, Linda for Randy, Sam, Jared, and Thomas
Posted September 25, 2009
I am in Africa! Every time I have the opportunity to write those words, I am struck by the sweet privilege that the Father gives us. I love what He does and I feel so honored to be able to participate in His plans.
The view from my window is spectacular! I can see Lake Victoria, the biggest lake in Africa, and a panoramic view of the town of Entebbe. There are banana trees and very strange sounding birds. Randy says that he heard a monkey, but since none of us saw a monkey, we wonder if Randy knows what one sounds like. It is warm,but there is a pleasant breeze.
I am praising God for His beautiful creation. In all I see,I am reminded of His great love. Please pray for us to explain God's great love and mercy to these children. There is so much pain here amidst such natural beauty and we know the one who heals. I want these children to fall deeply in love with Jesus. Pray!
CHILD SACRIFICE... ONE CHILD'S STORY
Though this is not common here, it is practiced in several areas in Uganda. Today, I met another missionary who told me a story of a little boy at the school near here. He was a very good student and loved to go to school. When he did not return for classes, the teachers feared the worst. Later, he returned to school and they heard an amazing story of God's providence in his life.
He was taken by the witch doctors for a sacrifice. They tell people that such evil will bring them more money or power. However, the sacrifice must be without blemish. Isn't that interesting? The lies of the darkness imitate the truth of the light. The little boy had had surgery and had a big scar. God used this scar to save his life. He returned to school, but that is not the happy ending for other children.
As I listened to what happens to these children, I was so broken. After our friend left, I began to cry. I want so much to speak for these children who have no voice. I want you to know their story so that you will pray for them! I want the Lord to use us to be light for the children, the witch doctors and those who follow them. The children and the witch doctors have the same problem. They are all just like you and me. They need Jesus.
OUR FIRST SHOWS
Six hundred children gathered in a field to watch the puppet show. They were so quiet as they listened to the story and so many called on Jesus, asking Him to be their Savior and King. We were so excited! Please pray for them to grow strong in their new faith.
Our new friend pastor Sam was very excited and wanted us to give his Sunday school teachers lessons. More, he scheduled our new puppet team for big outreach to over a 1000 people at the end of October. We do not actually start training the new team until tomorrow, Saturday. Pray that they will learn quickly!
Also pray for shows in Harriet community tomorrow.
for the Ugandan team,
Posted September 23, 2009
Tomorrow, September 23rd, we begin a new adventure. God has opened a wonderful door for us. We will have the opportunity to work in Uganda for the first time. It is a beautiful country that Winston Churchill once called' "the pearl of Africa."
It embraces Lake Victoria, source of the white Nile river, and the misty Ruwenzori Mountains, home of the endangered Mountain Gorillas. In Uganda. creation screams God's existence and presence, but so many children do not know Him. They are surrounded by spectacular creation but blinded to its wonders because they live such broken lives. Aids, extreme poverty, and years of civil unrest have left terrible scars on people's lives. There have even been riots in the streets of Kampala, where we are going, in the last 2 weeks. Please pray for us to be a bright light in the midst of such great darkness. Please pray for us to love the children we meet with the Father's love. Please pray for us to see with Jesus' eyes! and keep our eyes on the cross!
There is 1 more story from Ireland that I want to share with you. I recommend to you the faith and witness of a little 8 year old boy names Brandon. He is the son of a band member and did puppets with us on the streets every day. He did a great job, but it was his sweet testimony that encouraged my heart. He would stand in front of huge crowds and say, "Hi, my name is Brandon and I love Jesus." I know many teenagers and adults that do not have such courage. May his good example lead us all to be bold for our King!
I have been home only a little over 2 weeks from Ireland and had the sweetest opportunities to do puppet shows locally. I love what Jesus does in the lives of children and have been thrilled to see children trust Jesus as we shared in local Churches. Please conact me if you are interested in us coming to your church this fall! simply reply to this e-mail.
MY NEW GRANDSON MICHAEL DANIEL
Summer was welcomed into this world by his parents, Josh and Teresa Summer on August 8th at 3:09 pm. please pray for him to come to faith as a very little boy. Ask God to give him a passion for the cross. He is so beautiful! God is so good to me!
for the Ugandan team,
Posted August 21, 2009
URGENT NEED FOR UGANDA
We had planned to take 2 people with us to Uganda and now they cannot go. We desperately need at least one person and preferably 2 people to travel with us and serve on the puppet team. This is an incredible opportunity for someone to touch the children of Uganda for Jesus. We leave for Uganda September 24th, so it is urgent that you contact me immediately. Please reply to this email if the Lord is leading you to come with us.
Also, we need you to pray for the speedy return of Silvanna's passport. She will not be able to travel to Uganda with her husband Sam Shaw unless she gets it back quickly. Sam is the assistant director, Presently, she is waiting for them to give her a UK visa. She is a vital member of the team and we need her to travel with us.
PLEASE PRAY! God can do anything. He already has the answers to these problems.
In Jesus, Linda Summer