Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary Honey!

We have celebrated some major events since we started our journey. We left America on my birthday March 31st. Robyn celebrated her birthday on August 20th, and to our surprise, we both forgot it and was only reminded when our daughter called from America wishing mom a happy birthday. Now that seems really strange, but we were very busy doing a lot of other things at the time...or maybe it was just old age:)

Well, today is our 32nd wedding anniversary and we actually remembered it, praise the Lord! Now there are no roses being delivered to the door or any See's candy here, but we are just enjoying each other, even after all these years, now that is amazing! We are both blessed to have each other. Maybe we can have dinner out tonight, we can walk down to the village and have a rolex on the street. A rolex is a chapati (like a flour tortilla) cooked with an egg and has sliced tomatoes and cabbage and rolled and sometimes the outer wrapper is note paper. That is about the extent of fast food here, the local stuff isn't so great, unless we go to UCC a Danish Cafe run by the our ministry friends from Denmark. We rent a small apartment from them in their missionary compound, they have been great friends and good Spiritual support.

This trip has brought us both closer to the Lord and Him in our lives. We have searched scripture together working on many of the projects, events and circumstances here. We have prayed together asking God to give us an understanding of our "real mission" (like, why did you really send us here?) All of this will be revealed in God's time, I am sure.

We have been blessed in this time of our lives with things that are so different than when we started out together, getting the right jobs, the right house, the right clothes and taking care of the kids and all that "stuff". But once we were finished with most of that, we discovered we had more time for the Lord. Because when it is just you and the Lord, that is all you need!

We will be heading home in a few days, well at least to our daughter's and son-in-law's home (with our 5 grandchildren) in Montana, where they put us up (or is it; put up with us) while we are in the states. Pray for us as we enter into the culture shock of America after six months of being here in Uganda.

Happy Anniversary, Robyn. I love you!
Jim "too"

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Jesus, I Love You"

It was Saturday. The quiet whisper was prompting me," Go see Nicholas, go see Nicholas. Make sure he has accepted Jesus." As the voice had commanded, I obeyed and prepared to go, asking Jim if he would like to join me.
With our bible in hand, we began our walk to the hospital, knowing my purpose...asking Nicholas if not only did he know Jesus, but had he accepted Jesus as his savior. We were about half way to the hospital when Jim questioned me, "how do we know that Nicholas is not contagious? How is Tuberculosis transmitted? Do we need to take any precautions?" Questions I had asked myself before, but had ignored. We decided to return home and research Tuberculosis on the computer. Time was ticking away. We retrieved our answers and feeling confident that we were safe, started our mission once again.
We walked the long hall of the children's ward, passing many sick children. My heart focused on one little soul, Nicholas. We turned the corner to his room, there lay Nicholas, even thinner than I had remembered him the day before. He had anguish on his face. Gone today was the sweet, sweet, smile. I greeted him and took his hand. He focused his eyes on me and in a voice so faint, that I had to lean close to his mouth,he whispered, "I'm dying, I'm dying." I told Nicholas that our God made heaven and earth and God had placed him first on earth to experience all He had planned for him, but now God is calling him to his forever home, in heaven. I told him not to be afraid, that he would never be alone, that I would hold his hand here on earth, and Jesus will take his hand in Heaven. I recited Matthew 19:14.
Nicholas was fading, I prayed to Jesus, "please Lord let me intercede for this little boy, don't take him before I know he has accepted you. Please forgive me. Forgive me, Jesus. Have mercy dear Jesus. have mercy on us." I stood in the gap for Nicholas, the two of us holding hands, becoming one. Each of us doing our part, Nicholas giving all of his earthly strength to listen to my every word, me being his voice. I cried out a prayer of salvation to our Jesus. After finishing, I whispered to Nicholas, at that moment an incredible calm came over him, his body relaxed. Gone was the tenseness of the fragile, little body. Peace covered his face. Then with that same strength he used to listen to my every word, he pushed out these words, "Jesus, I love you." Those were the last earthly words that were spoken by Nicholas. Over the next hour,Nicholas slowly left this world, letting go of my hand,and taking the hand of Jesus. Nicholas entered heaven on September 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm. Glory be to God!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Proverbs 16:9

In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Sometimes we really just don't know what the Lord has planned for us. But we are His faithful servants as we, (well we would like to think patiently wait) but we are not always so patient, because we are just humans. We were sent half around the world to work in this ministry and it seems we have done so many other things besides what we thought we were called to do. I think this sounds familiar, In fact I know I have heard other missionaries say the same thing or very similar. I know most people say they receive far more than they ever gave. Things like insight, life lessons and love. We have seen some things that we had only seen in National Geographics prior to coming here.

Robyn and Sara went with Dr. Sam to the hospital the other night to see an 11 year boy dying of TB, they later returned with some ice cream just to see his large eyes light up, although they knew he would probably throw it up later. He asked Robyn for some "pocket money" and she obliged with 300 schillings. He gave her a big smile! The people here just have money drilled into them, even at this point of his short life, how sad is that. He is not going anywhere that he can spend it. How could a disease take over a young boy like this. I only saw the pictures, because I was unable to go, but when I say his big eyes light up, it is because his body is fading away and his eyes look very large with his hollow face and frail little body. Oh Jesus if Robyn and Sara just gave some comfort to this boy and his mother then we thank you! We take so much for granted at home, even the comfort of a hospital, I don't think I could ever explain enough how poor the condition of the hospital is.

We recently visited some IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps in northern Uganda in Pajule near Kitgum. Thousands of people in huts who have been displaced because of the LRA who took over their villages and wiped out a lot of their families. Some of these children were visibly sick. We found one little boy around ten years old with a half wrapped arm in a sling and as I looked closer I inquired about it. We were told he fell the past week and we asked to take a closer look and it was so crooked that I did not need an x-ray to see it had been broken. The mother said she could not afford to take him to the clinic. We took him on a 30 minute trip by car and to St Joseph's Hospital and they said they would take him and x-ray, repair the broken arm and for him to spend the night and also give him medicine for his ring worm on his head all for about 19,000 schillings, that is about $12.00 US dollars. Besides medical care we really noticed that they could use another church. We decided to have an impromptu prayer service on Saturday evening and we did a little preaching, we had Pastor JB (our escort who is originally from that area) with us and he helped with the interpreting because they speak Achole. We had about 26 kids accept Jesus that night. Praise the Lord! We found someone in the group who will work with them after we leave because there was no church to send them to for further nurturing, a real problem, you get them saved and you have nowhere to send them! There is a real need for us to help up there if God opens the door.

Me a preacher? I didn't think so, but the Lord has given me an opportunity to share the Word a few times and it has been a real blessing to me. When the Holy Spirit takes over and uses you to spread the Gospel then you know you have been blessed. When you can be a part of someone accepting Jesus as their savior it is truly amazing grace. I thank God for that experience!

We have truly met some interesting people here and have had a lot of wonderful experiences. We have had a few disappointments as well and we figure those were also meant to be. One may be very well why we were sent here. Possibly to discover some things that were not right with the lord, and He needed our help to disclose it. It is up to Him for what He does. Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways. We again need to be patient to find out what is next.

We are scheduled to come home at the end of this month for a four month break and wait for God to give us our next assignment. We will be home for the holidays and it will be exciting to see our five grandchildren and to see our newest grandson scheduled to arrive in January. We will also be attending the golf tournament on November 3rd in Southern California.
In our heart we can plan our course but the Lord determines our steps!