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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!