Follow by Email

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reflections... and a look Forward


As we approach another new year, I love to look back at where the Lord has taken us over this past year, and look with hopeful anticipation at what He has in store for 2013. I believe it is always good to reflect on the goodness of the Lord, His lovingkindness toward His children, the promises He has kept, His goodness, love, mercy, forgiveness, provision. The year 2012 was a year of seeing God work in all of those ways, and I praise Him for all He has done.
I want to share a few things God has done in 2012, and then share our hopes for 2013 with you.
In 2012 God:



Paul on his old "trike"....getting a new one soon!
Provided money to buy our dear sweet Paul with a new "trike". Paul developed an illness as a young teen. It went untreated and he was left crippled as a result. He has been using the trike you see in the picture above as his means of movement. However, on two trips during 2012 we noticed he was crawling on his hands and feet. His trike, while it has done him good for years, has increasingly deteriorated to the point that it is now a better stewardship to purchase a new one for him. One has recently been purchased, and will be delivered to him when we go to Uganda in February.




Lobali John, with Mark...his sponsor
Another answer to prayer for 2012 is the health of Lobali John, one of the children in Mercy Uganda's sponsorship program. Lobali John just finished his third term at Moroto High, and was leaving Karamoja to travel to Iganga to stay with his brother while on holiday from school during the Christmas season. He was riding on the back of a boda boda (motorcycle) with two men when they had an accident involving a trailor. The trailor somehow landed on them, crushing and killing the other two people Lobali John was with. Word was that Lobali John may be dead himself, or alive but losing both legs. It took several days for our director, Henry Mello to find him in Mulago Hospital......alive and well with only a broken leg. Now, the leg was broken in more than one place and he had to have surgery to repair it, but he is alive and recovering! Praise the Lord! He will make full recovery and be able to return to school, hopefully by February.






Left to Right: Pastor Phillip, Henry, and Gabriel
The year 2012 was a time of struggle, and hardship for our dear sweet Henry and Gabriel, who went through a very difficult period....a period that tests men's resolve and teaches them things about God's faithfulness in the darkness.  As they went through the fire, God embraced them.  He reminded them of His deep love for them, and that He is there with them....never to leave or forsake them.  I don't think I've met two young men with more integrity than Henry and Gabriel.  Two young men who, since I have known them, put others before themselves, and who have sacrificed so much to minister to others.  We know that Satan does not attack where he already rules, so it makes perfect sense that he began his assault on Henry and Gabriel.  The battle continues, but God continues to shine His light in their lives, and continues to hold them in His righteous right hand.  Our prayer and hope for Henry and Gabriel in 2013 is that God will be glorified in their lives, and that the difficulty of the events of 2012 will be only a chapter from the past....a chapter that leads them, and Mercy Uganda to a stronger reliance upon, and faith in God, who uses all things in our lives for our good and His glory.

 


Left to Right: Ashley, Paul, and Jenna
God brings certain people into our lives who have a way of shining His love so brightly that we can't help but be moved, changed, inspired, and encouraged by them.  Such as Paul Telemwa.  I had the privilege of meeting him about three years ago, and have seen God work through Paul's life, and his disability.  Paul fell from a ladder while preparing for a conference at his church.  No one knew at the time that his injury would take him down a road of increasingly painful and debilitating health.  He began to lose the use of his legs, and it was discovered that he had spinal injuries.  Surgery was provided, he improved......for a time. In August of 2012 we had the opportunity to see Paul again.  This time, he had declined such that he could not live alone and a family took him in to care for him.  We were told surgery was needed in order for Paul to improve.  We set in motion a fundraising mission with matching funds already in place.  We came home to America, and found out within two weeks, that Paul died unexpectedly as friends drove him to the local hospital.  His dear friend Henry....our director, was here in the U.S. and unable to be by Paul's side, or even attend his funeral.  Painful and difficult?  Yes.....but the beautiful part of Paul's story is that he unashamedly loved the Lord.  Even in his on pain and suffering, he found ways to share Christ and minister to others who were hurting.  Paul wrote a song not long before his death that sums up how he lived, and what and Who he saw as important.  The song is called "My Harvest" and words are:
When I will rest of the troubles of this world.  When I cross home where labor will be no more with me, will be all my deeds.  My contribution to this world will have ended.  (Chorus) The love I have shared, bears fruits in my  hands.  When I share with the needy, there I get my reward. 
Of what benefit is it to me?  When I gather and bring in wealth into my vaults.  All my laboring will be in vain if I do not share with the poor. 
With me will be my harvest when I cross home to present to my Father.  What a disgrace if I will have nothing on my name.  I will have led an empty life in this world. 

Paul will be so very missed this side of heaven, but we can say with confidence we will see him again.  So 2013 will be a year of his memory and testimony living on and influencing so many more lives.
 

Land in Uganda
And last but not least.....2012 was a year of enormous provision.....God provided land to Mercy Uganda through the generosity of His children here in the U.S.  Through the financial gifts of many, Mercy Uganda was able to purchase 2 acres of land, and is preparing to buy a third.  This purchase has been a prayer for nearly two years as we have sought God's will, guidance, and plan for our Faith 500 Vision.  The year 2012 was the year of God leading us to the land, and providing the means to purchase the land.  The year 2013 will begin the next phase of this work......clearing and building.  Our prayer is for a home for the children, and an agriculture and livestock program that will provide food and training for the orphans in our program, and will help the ministry work become more self-sustaining.  Praise the Lord for His provision for us!  Our February trip will be a time of seeing the land,  and working out vital logistics for the building to begin.  The summer of 2013 will be a time of great excitement as we get a team together to travel to Uganda to begin the much anticipated building projects.  Reflecting back.....seeing God's hand in all that we have been through......looking forward with hopeful anticipation as we see our faithful Father caring for His children in amazing and wonderful ways. 
Please pray for us as we continue this Faith 500 Vision.  We are confident that God is in this work.  He provided the land, the well for water on the land.....now we are getting close to the needed funds for the truck to haul supplies, materials, and feed, and funds for the completion of the buildings.  We know He will finish the work He has begun. 
2013 will be an exciting year as we hold tightly to God as He leads us on His path for us!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

News, News....Good News!

At Mercy Uganda, we are always attempting to take the Good News to the people of Uganda.  Today we would like to announce some really good news that will help in that very effort!

Mercy Uganda has many people who sponsor children so that they can attend school.  Living in America, it's hard for us to imagine that in order for children in Uganda to go to school, they must pay, and many of them simply have no one to pay the school tuition or the fees for needed supplies.  It is such a blessing to be a sponsor to one of these dear, sweet children.  They take nothing for granted and appreciate the opportunity to make their lives better.  At Mercy Uganda, we try to make their lives better in more ways than just education....we try to take the truly Good News of Christ Jesus and His love for them, which is the best news of all!  

The following is a letter that brings us great joy!
 
Rebecca Vaught (left) and Becky Carreira (right)
September 2011 Medical team trip
  
Dear Friends,

My dear friend, Rebecca Vaught, and I have had the privilege of being involved in the lives of the children in Uganda through our medical ministry work with Ezekiel 37 Medical Ministry.  We have been sharing ideas with Laura Knetzer, founder of Mercy Uganda, as to ways to build the child sponsorship program. Laura asked if we would consider taking the lead role in this arm of the ministry.

After much prayer Rebecca and I have agreed to take on the responsibility of coordinators for Mercy Uganda's “Hope for Children” sponsorship program and are happy to be a part of the Mercy Uganda family.  I have been to Uganda 4 times now and Rebecca has been 3 times.  We have been a witness to what Mercy Uganda has accomplished over the past few years.  As members of the Ezekiel 37 Medical Ministry team we have partnered with Mercy Uganda in ministry work in Karamoja.  Rebecca and I both feel called to deepen our involvement through work with the student sponsorship program.  Education is vital to the success of children ending the cycle of poverty and we are anxious to get to work. We have some exciting goals and plans that we believe will take Mercy Uganda’s child sponsorship program to the next level.

One of the first things we are working on is to build a stronger method of communication between the team in Uganda and us here in the United States.  As a sponsor myself, I know how much it means to receive periodic updates, pictures, and report card information about your sponsored child.  Being able to send a letter to the students helps establish the relationship and to bond.  It enables sponsors to encourage their student, tell him or her you are praying for them, etc. Below is an explanation of why it has been difficult to obtain these updates and what we hope to provide to create this new level of communication.

Our sponsored children are currently spread throughout different regions in Uganda the furthest being Karamoja.  Karamoja is a 12 hour drive from Kampala which makes it quite difficult to keep up with the children in that area.  Approximately 50% of Mercy Uganda’s sponsored students are in Karamoja.  It is expensive for our Ugandan Director, Henry Mello, or our Karamoja Field Manager, Gabriel Lobu to travel to that remote region.  Our prayer is that the Lord will provide a couple of people who live in Karamoja, and would be interested in joining Mercy Uganda as a sort of “mentor” to the children.  These mentors would be the initial contact people in the region. The first person the schools call if there is an issue, if a child is sick, if a child isn’t doing well in school, if a child needs more school supplies, etc.  They would also make monthly or bi-monthly visits to the schools to check in with the Headmaster and to also get updates from the children.  We are also praying for a mentor for the Kampala area what would accomplish the same things as described above. We have some individuals in mind who we believe could fill those positions and ask that you pray for us regarding this important decision and role.

In order for these mentors to be successful they need the technology to make it possible.  We have done quite a bit of research and have determined that a tablet of some sort would be the best alternative.  One that has the ability to use WiFi and also a 3G network like an iPad or Motorola Xoom.  I have talked to the internet provider in Uganda and they have said that as long as we can change the SIM card they would have coverage in Karamoja and in Kampala.  The good thing about a tablet is that they can take pictures and email all from the same device.  We can also get a really good case for it to keep it protected from dust and dirt.  If you have or know someone who has an iPad or tablet (with 3G capability) that they are no longer using please let us know. If you know of businesses, organizations, or individuals who may have some of these devices they would like to donate, please let them know of our need.  As a 501(c )(3) non-profit, their donation is tax deductible!

Another plan we have is to work on creating a new and comprehensive webpage through Mercy Uganda’s website that will have pictures and biographical information about children who need sponsorships.  Our prayer is that you will share the website information with your friends and family so we can provide the gift of education to more children.  On each of the trips we’ve taken to Karamoja and other areas in Uganda it always saddens me to see the children who are of school age but are not in school.

Laura, Rebecca and I are planning a trip to Uganda in February.  The intention of the trip is to meet with the mentors and train them on how to help us improve the communication.  In addition, to visiting each of the schools where students are currently sponsored, we plan to meet with the Headmasters,  get updates on the students, and assess how they are doing in school. This will also provide the opportunity for us to build a relationship with the leaders in the schools, which will benefit the schools, the children, the communities, and the ministry as a whole.

In order to accomplish these things we need your support and prayers.  There are so many children in the villages that should be in school.  Unfortunately, school is NOT free in Uganda.  It is very difficult for a lot of people in Uganda to send their children to school. The cost of tuition in the schools is more often than not more than the average Ugandan earns. It is our hope and prayer that with your help and support the Hope for Children sponsorship program will continue to grow.

We will keep in touch with you as things progress.  In the meantime, thank you for supporting Mercy Uganda and the children that you are sponsoring. Your gift of hope and a future is a blessing to the children, their families, and to Mercy Uganda.

Blessings,

Becky Carreira
Mercy Uganda

Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm A Child of God

On my trips to Uganda, I am often asked (or should I say, told a few minutes beforehand), to share my testimony.  I'm one of those people who grew up in a Christian home, never had one of those big conversion stories, and quite frankly, often felt intimidated about what to say.  I always had the impression that testimonies had to have this "wow factor"......but am quickly learning that is not the case.  On my first trip to Uganda, when asked/told to share my testimony I agonized over what to say.  I prayed and wrote, and scribbled, and erased, started over, and over, and over.  Finally I realized my testimony is not about me....it is about God and what He has done, is doing, and will do.  That was such a freeing moment for me.  Thank you Lord for showing me....reminding me Who our testimonies are about.  With that said, I want to share my testimony with you.  Now, there are a million things I could say, a million stories I could tell you about things God has done in my life, through my life, for me....but it all keeps coming down to this.....
 
"For God so loved (Laura...put your name here too), that He gave His one and only son, that if (Laura...and you) believe in Him, I shall (and you) not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
My heavenly Father loves me, I am His child..."For You created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body,.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139: 13-17)
It was not because I was a good person or deserved His love that God chose me as his child.  Romans 5:8 says "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  God's love for me and for you is the same Jjo (Yesterday), Leero (Today), and Lubeerera (Forever).....I am God's child, I belong to Him.  I know I am a new creation. "Old things have passed asay, behold all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17), and God tells me in Isaiah 43:18 &19a  to "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!"  In verse 25 God tells me "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."  How comforting to know that!  What extravagant love!  What an amazing God!  Knowing that I don't deserve such grace, such mercy, such love.....and knowing that God looked through eternity into my yet unformed eyes, and said to me.....you are My child....I love you.....
I am His child......His child....all the big words, all the lofty explanations and deep ponderings can tell me nothing greater than the knowledge that the God of the Universe, the Creator of all things loves me.  To tell a broken person,  a lost soul, an aching spirit of such love.....what better testimony can there be than to share the living water that I myself have been given, with another thirsty soul.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

FAITH 500

Faith 500.....what is it?
Well, you could go to our website to read about Faith 500, but really it is about FAITH. 
F-Following God
A-Accepting His timing
I-Is anything too hard for the Lord?(Genesis 18:14)
T-Trusting God in all of the details, in the waiting, in the plan, in the work
H-Holding on to Him 

That's where we are.....not always easy, but so exciting and rewarding! Please pray for us as we continue this Faith 500 Journey, as God reveals Himself to us, and as He leads us where He wants us to go, and in His timing. Please pray, please ask others to pray too......


Monday, February 27, 2012

Praying for One Another

I just love seeing God work! I say this after a difficult week, when many things seemed to go in just the direction I did not want them to. Then, just I am starting to feel this sense of foreboding, God gives me a peak at the pretty side of the tapestry.....you know, the side where His work in our lives is creating a beautiful design. More often than not, we only see the side where the thread is, and perhaps the knots, what appears as random threads with no purpose.....by the way....with God, there is always a purpose, and always a beautiful design. 
I had one of those weeks.  I am a social worker, and always saw myself using that degree with hands and feet on the ground, you know, like what I am involved in with Mercy Uganda.....however, God sometimes takes us on some winding paths to grow us, prepare us, teach us things like patience, trust, spiritual maturity...so I am doing mental health counseling.....never in a million years would I have chosen that, but God opened that door when He closed just about all the others.  It was safe to assume He wanted me there, at least for now.  This past week really made me  struggle with that too!  It was difficult and sad, heart wrenching and agonizing for several days as I saw two families deal with pain.  I told God I felt totally ill-equipped, but was quickly reminded that when He puts His children somewhere, He equips them.  I prayed, asking God to help me understand all of this....then some pretty amazing things began to happen! 
First of all, in our Faith 500 Vision, you know, the prayerful plan to raise money to buy land, and build an orphanage and school in Uganda, was given another $1,000.00.  Okay, so we still have a long way to go to get to our goal....but when unexpected gifts come in from unexpected sources, you know that God is working. THEN....I get a message from my dear friend Veronica, the Director of the Comforter Center in Uganda.  She was telling me that her board prayed for us......not just prayed for us......prayed specifically about our desire to move there, and our Faith 500.  A few years ago the shoe was on the other foot, when Veronica needed alot of money to buy the building they were renting or lose it to an abortion provider.  We did the 152 Campaign and were able to raise the needed money.
Fast forward to now. At her ministry board meeting, one of her board members asked about Sister Laura....how things are going.  They talked about the 152 Campaign, and how God had provided.  THEN, Veronica read them the letter Mark and I had sent out asking for prayer about our desire with the Faith 500.  Veronica and her board prayed right then for us.  Veronica's last words in her message to me were this.... "remember our Biggie GOD is still the same yesterday, today, and forever".
I so needed that reminder......I needed to be  reminded that nothing is impossible for God, and that we are in the palm of His hand.  God reminded me of the importance of prayer, and how He uses the prayers of His children......My week started off rough, with a struggle and uncertainty.....it ended with God giving me a gigantic prayer hug through  friends thousands of miles and an ocean away!  This peak at the tapestry just reminds me that even when I don't see it, God is at work doing some amazing things!! Thank you Lord that my life is in Your hands....thank you for friends who are praying for us.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Friends

I think that the older we get, the more we really understand what it means to have friends, and to be a friend. God gives us friends as a reflection of His love for us in so many ways.  For instance, each of the friends in this picture with me are friends I consider more like sisters. Each one dear to me, and each one reflecting Christ to me. 

These sisters of mine are gifts to me from the Lord.  He has placed them in my life and I honestly do not know what I would do without them.  I want to be that same kind of sister to them.  I want be a reflection of God's love to them.  I want, somehow, to bless them in some way reflective of the way they have blessed me.  My sisters love Christ, and that makes this friendship all the sweeter.  I thank God for the many ways they walk along beside me in the journey of faith.....in this work in Uganda.....in mine and my husbands friendships with them and their husbands. I could list so many ways that they have given so unselfishly, so quietly, but I know they wouldn't want me to do that, so I say a special thank you to my Savior for them.  I thank Him for putting them in my life, in our lives....I thank Him for the wonderful persons they are.....and I ask Him to bless them, protect them, and to help them know how much I appreciate them. 
I have other sisters too....sisters in Uganda. Sisters that God has brought into my life in very special ways and through ways only He could.  These dear sisters are gifts to me as well. On this side of the world my sister-friends are my prayer warriors,
my hand holders, my much needed support system in every circumstance, and love and encourage me in ways that only they can.  My sister-friends in Uganda are equally as precious to me, and our friendship holds deep meaning and joy in my heart in that these friendships take me to levels I would not and could not go had the Lord not brought us together.  My friend Veronica, shown here, is the director of the Comforter Pregnancy Center in Kampala.....our friendship is special and unique....it is a prayerful encouragement friendship.....I love that, and I love Veronica. 
My friend Alice is a beautiful and precious sister-friend to me too.  Though we struggle to verbally communicate, her love for the Lord, and her desire to serve Him in ministry work with us,(and in support of our director Henry, who is her husband) is a silk ribbon that binds our friendship in ways that only God can.  Alice is a humble, kind, generous friend who shows God's love in her acts of mercy and kindness, in her prayers, and in her beautiful humility.  I thank God for Alice.  I so look forward to, and long to be in Uganda in a more full time capacity to be able to build upon those friendships, to encourage as I have been encouraged.  In each of my friendships, each so dear to my heart, I pray that I will be able to bless each one of them in some way as they have so richly blessed me.  My friends have each given me a glimpse of the love of God.  Each one has been the hands, feet, heart, and voice of Christ in my life.  I thank them......and I thank God for them!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Habakkuk



We have been collecting seeds from just about every fruit and every vegetable we have eaten over the past several months, are drying them, and saving them to plant.....either here in the states, or in Uganda if the Lord opens those doors for us to move there.  Things like bell pepper, tomato, apples, lemons, limes, squash, and more.  Uganda has rich soil in a number of areas (Karamoja is far different....very dry and desert-like), and the temperature is mild and fairly consistent year round.  The seeds would potentially do very well there.
They would be a great part of our agriculture and livestock program that we plan to develop once we are able to purchase the land.  Funny thing, here at home we have planted some of the seeds and had scrawny looking plants produce some amazing vegetables! Through December and into January this little bell pepper plant keeps giving us amazing peppers!  Our turnip greens just keep growing!  With the economy today, and the cost of food, every little home grown thing we can pick off our plants is a blessing.  Gardening, like most everything else we do, is alot like life.  When we do something like this, work hard, tend life's garden, we get pretty pleased with ourselves.  But then, we have those little plants, those things we work hard on, that never get past the scrawny stage.....they never develop......those are times when we are brought back to the fact that we can plant and water.....but God alone makes things grow.  That's true with seeds, and that's true with plans, projects, and all areas of life....even seeds of ministry.  Mercy Uganda is a seed that God placed in our hands, led us to plant and water it, be the best and most faithful gardeners we can be, and trust the growing seasons to Him.  That is one hard lesson, and is one really hard part of gardening for a girl who is spending her life learning patience!  This brought me to a verse in Habakkuk recently, one that I committed to memory because it summarizes where I our focus should be regardless of our circumstances.
The verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19 and it goes like this:
"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.  I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord is my strength, He will make my feet like deer's feet.  He will make me stand on my High Places."
This verse is comforting to me in that it reminds me that it is not about me.....it reminds me that God is my Provider, and that I can trust Him even in times of want or need....especially in times of want or need.  I must say that, compared to my dear friends in Uganda, I can't fully grasp want and need, but God is teaching me about it, and molding me into a more compassionate, merciful, and loving instrument of mercy than I was before.  Thank you Lord for even the times when the storehouses are bare.....for then my eyes see more of You.  I think in many ways the Ugandans have a better grasp of that than I do......perhaps, just perhaps they are ministering to me.



Monday, January 16, 2012

A NEW WEEK


This week is a week of promise.....this week is a new week of praying for the work of this ministry.  This week holds in it's hands gifts from God. 
Friends I have here in Florida, friends in other states, and friends in Uganda.  I am looking forward to seeing what God will do with this week, whose lives He will touch, what gifts and blessings He will provide to us.  He always does provide.....sometimes we're so busy looking for the gifts and blessings that we miss them. I think it is because we are looking too hard, looking in the wrong places, or have put God in a box, expecting that He somehow is limited to blessing us only in the ways our minds or hearts can comprehend......that is our mistake.
Am I rambling?  I don't think so......you see, God's blessings often go unnoticed, unappreciated, or unseen.....life itself is a gift, a blessing, each breath we take, each morsel of food we put in our mouths.  I have friends in Uganda who have so very little of what we in America would call blessings......but they don't think so.  They have far more keen spiritual eyes than we do.  They see the blessings that we often overlook.  I pray that God will help me see those often overlooked blessings in my life, and that He will use me as a blessing to others.



These are pictures of some of my friends from Ezekiel 37 and me in Uganda.....we were blessed while there trying to be a blessing!  I think that's how it really works anyway!  When we set out to honor God and minister to others, we end up so very blessed ourselves!
So.....what rich blessings await us this week?  I know there will be plenty!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012, NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS

Here we are at 2012.  The year that was 2011 was a busy one with two trips to Uganda, and many opportunities to see God work through His children.  The seeds God planted in 2011 will, no doubt, be watered and growing in 2012.  I think that is what gives my heart this joyful aching.  Does that make sense? Joyful aching? What I mean by that is....you know how when you reflect on the wonders that God has done, and then you consider what He has in store, and you get this deep excitement in your heart, and a sense of anticipation that makes you wish you could just dive into the whole thing 100%? That's it.
 We have such hope for 2012, so many things we pray that God will provide and open doors for.  There are so many needs there in Uganda, and especially among the Karimojong people.  It can almost be impossible to know where to start, a sense of being overwhelmed by the need, knowing you can't do it all.  But God can and He has a plan, and His plans are perfect, well orchestrated, laid out for His children.  We just don't know how they will work, when things will happen....we do know that He knows, and that's all that matters.  Our biggest prayer for 2012 is the FAITH 500 Vision.  It is so ambitious.....raising $500,000.00.  This money will buy at least 30 acres of land, provide resources to build an orphanage, a school, and start a livestock and agriculture program.  All of this, not to do FOR the people of Uganda, but to help those precious children who have no one, to help them, to provide hope and a future for them.  It will provide a way for Ugandans to work, to come together in community, to learn skills, and most of all, create an environment where we come alongside them, showing and sharing God's love to them.
Not just evangelizing, but building relationships, discipling, loving.  We are praying for the FAITH 500, not just for the funds to make it happen, but for God's guidance and direction, His will as we seek to make this vision a reality.  The year 2012 is also the time for my husband Mark, and me to really put our faith feet into full gear.  We are finishing up work on our house over the next few weeks to put it on the market to sell.  Our home of 23 years, where we raised our children. This home was a gift to us from God.....so many things He did to make the purchase of this home possible.  Now we consider that He gave it to us for such a time as this, when now we can take that gift and take it's increase to use for His kingdom's work in Uganda.  The sell of our home will provide a way for us to financially be able to move to Uganda, to be ground zero, smack dab in the middle of the work of Mercy Uganda.
This has been our longing prayer for so long. It has been our joyful aching and our heart's prayer.  So, will 2012 be our new beginning in the ministry?  Will this be the year that God brings great growth to the work he started just over 2 years ago in Mercy Uganda?  We are excited to consider the possibilities, but know that ultimately we want to be available and obedient.  It is, after all, His work, His ministry.  We are His children.....the people of Uganda are His children.......2012 New Year, New Beginnings.....new hope!