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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Amazing Privilege

Over the past several weeks I have been "forced" to slow down a bit as my daughter and our precious 8 month old grandson have spent nearly 6 weeks with us while her husband, a navy diver, is off on a submarine.  I tried to balance grandmotherhood, substitute teaching, and the work needed to carry on the ministry needs of Mercy Uganda, and have felt, at times, overwhelmed, tired, and definitely inadequate.  This blessing of a daughter and grandson in our home as led me to pray more and stress less. It has drawn me back to where my focus needs to be....on God.  I would tell myself often that God's work goes on with or without me, and He certainly does not need me in order for Mercy Uganda to continue.  As I have slowed down my pace a bit, prayed more, savored the short term blessing of "company", God has, in His grace and mercy, been teaching me, yet again, that it is about Him, and Him alone!!  Then, this morning as I was doing my quiet time, I read a devotional by Charles Stanley.  I want to share a small part of it with you because it spoke volumes to me.  Here is an excerpt from that devotional  "One of the most amazing privileges that the Lord gives His children is the opportunity to participate in what He is doing.  The One who needs no help and has the power to do whatever He wants calls us to labor alongside Him to accomplish His purposes on earth.  Because He knows we need a higher goal in life than building our own personal kingdoms, He offers us the chance to take part in building His."  I knew that, and have pondered over just that very thing so many times as I have prayed for and sought God's will in Mercy Uganda.....this was just what I needed to read.  It put all of those inner thoughts and struggles, those ponderings into a perspective that gave me a peace and comfort about my roles, and the fact that God does not need me.....rather I need Him....and it is an amazing privilege to be a part of Mercy is also an amazing privilege to be a grandmother spending time with her little ones.
I may struggle to do all I feel I need to do, but what I really need to do is focus on the Lord, seek His face, hold His hand, and trust Him......I am way too weak and inadequate....God is all sufficient, and all powerful.  I really do love the fact that I am too helps me see Him so much better, cling to Him that much tighter,  experience His power and glory, and His amazing work so much more too!  My desire is to be close to Him, serve Him, grow in Him.....and be a vessel of His love to others.  He has allowed me to be part of Mercy Uganda as much to grow me in Him, as to minister to others....amazing privilege indeed! Thank you Lord for allowing me to labor alongside You in the work You are doing in Uganda.  (The pictures you order...are: grandson Hudson, visiting Jajja; Papa and Jajja with our other grandson Brayden; cousins; our daugher and grandson; Sam Kisembo, a Ugandan friend who was visiting the U.S. recently; and lastly, two precious children, like many of whom have no parents or grandparents)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Building Hope--Sheltering Ugandan's

God seems to continue to open doors of opportunity for Mercy Uganda to minister to the precious people in Uganda.  We have recently been faced with two situations involving shelter.....and roofs. One in the Fort Portal area and one far from there in Karamoja. Both involve storms, damage, and a very real need for help with safe and secure housing.

Mercy Uganda has been a friend to Pastor John Kalenzi and his family for about 2 years now.  Pastor John is a wonderful, humble, and gentle man with a very dear wife and children.  He pastors a small church in Rwengoma, a village in the Fort Portal area of Eastern Uganda.  When we were there in 2009, Pastor John invited our team over for lunch after church one Sunday morning.  His home....very humble and poorly constructed had holes in the tin roof, and  bricks that were beginning to wash out from the rain.  Now, two years later, we learn that a serious storm damaged crops and properties in that area, and claimed hundreds of lives.  Pastor Kalenzi's home was one that was destroyed. 

We are now partnering with pastors and churches in the U.S. to raise the $3,500.00 needed to build a new home for John.....a home with a good roof, good walls, a concrete floor.....a seemingly large project for such a small amount of money.  We are currently working with Pastor John in getting a plan drawn for his home, and will have a team go in September to build the home, which will take about 2-3 weeks.  We have an individual here in the U.S. who has agreed to go and lead the ranks on the building of this home, and we are thankful.

Recently, severe storms hit the Karamoja region, where we visited in January. Some of the homes that were heavily damaged were those of the pastor, Phillip, and some were the homes of some of the children in our sponsorship program.  We found out that it would only cost $2,500.00 to repair all 7 roofs...5 are thatch, and 2 are tin.....and this price also provides a way to replace bedding, and cooking supplies that were destroyed.
We have already received $1,500.00 of the $2,500.00 needed for that project and our ministry liaison, Gabriel will go and oversee the construction work on the roofs himself. 

I am so thankful that God has placed these needs before us, and that He has already begun placing individuals before us who are helping us meet those needs.  Please pray for Mercy Uganda and for those God has placed before us.
(the pictures are:top to bottom: Pastor Kalenzi and his family; the Kalenzi home; one of the homes with thatch roof; Pastor Phillip with Gabriel)