Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Gift of Sight

A couple weeks ago we joined forces with Fay Girouard, who is the Director of "To Africa With Love," for a special project to give the gift of sight!  We went to a village church that was leading a crusade for all the people in their surrounding area.  Part of the purpose of an event like this is to show the Love of Jesus in all that we do. So on this particular Friday and Saturday afternoon, we set up shop to perform a basic eye exam and distributed free glasses that had been so generously donated by many people as well as the Lion’s club.  We had a long line of people who patiently waited for their turn, and as they waited, they listened to the Gospel preached by church members.

Fay was trained by an optometrist, who had also given her examination lenses, so she was equipped to perform the eye examinations.  After Fay gave the examination, I would fit them with the optimum lenses that were comfortable for reading.  When you hit the right lens strength, all you have to do is watch their face for a big smile and observe how they would continue to read, like it had been a long time without a drink of water.  

One woman told me she was a nurse and was having trouble reading things like the vials of medicine.  A few people were pastors who were having trouble reading their bibles.  We had children that couldn't see the blackboard at school or some who were having difficulty with their book work.  So it was a blessing to many people, and over the course of two days we saw 90 people!

We did have a few people that needed more specialized treatment, like cataracts or a more complex prescription.  We pray that they will be blessed by God someday so they too will be given the gift of sight.  

Thank you for your prayers and financial support that allows us to serve!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Our trips to Uganda always bring us new adventures and experiences, and this trip is without exception! 

We have learned to listen to the Lord for the direction He wants us to go to serve Him.  In fact, one of our favorite Bible verses has been this:

A man's heart plans his way,

but the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

This past week, Robyn and I moved into the main house and compound for Love In Actionthe ministry we serve. Our directors unexpectedly needed to return to the UK.  So it was in God's plan and timing that He sent us here to serve. We feel very blessed that we were here, ready and able to step-in at a very hectic and stressful time for them.

This is a very busy time because the school year has ended and the children are on holiday for the next two months. We bring together the children from the village school to join the local ones, needless to say we have many children here!   

During Christmas week, we send most of the children to their village for a few days, so they can connect with their relatives. They go in many directions with some having to travel quite a distance. 

So here it is Christmas day, and it is so quiet and not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse, well except for some birds singing their hearts out, and what a beautiful sound that is!

So instead of opening presents and celebrating Christmas like we would traditionally do back home with our family, we are here, right where God wants us, going through clothing and big stacks of boy's and girl's underwear that were donated by so many people.  We are filling about 30 gift bags for the children when they return from their visits "home."
How awesome is that?

We are so honored to be working here on behalf of all our supporters who make it possible for us to represent them, in serving our Lord Jesus, on His birthday!

Merry Christmas,
Jim & Robyn

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Song of Praise

As I awaken to the early morning sounds of Uganda, melodies that I have only heard in this land; a choir of birds, each singing in their own language, their voices echo through the trees. The song reaches my soul.  "It's a new day, rise and praise the Lord!  The sun is shining, the land is green and fertile, let us give thanks to the Lord for He is good!"

Lord, give me the instinct you have placed in your creation, to be full of worship to you as each new day begins, help me to wake up on the other side of night with a cheerful sound, one that alerts other souls to the joy that is in my heart.  I want to live fully in the breath of your salvation.  You are everything to me, may my actions speak this truth.
In Jesus name,

Last Sunday as Jim and I worshipped at Kasaka School Church, the Lord guided me to Psalm 100.  The scripture proclaimed a beautiful message.  I realize now, that He intended it to reach not only me, or that sweet congregation, but to reach each one of you too.  God's timing is perfect, may Psalm 100 touch your heart as it did mine.

Happy Thanksgiving America!

Psalm 100
A song of Praise for the Lord's Faithfulness to His People

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is Good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our God Of Wonders

Hi Everyone,

As I sit here, I realize that my greeting may sound impersonal. In actuality, it refers to each one of you, whom we love very much. Our family, our friends, all our brothers and sisters in Christ, and faithful sponsors, many of these titles overlapping and melting into one another.

This journey to Uganda has already begun very different. We have been blessed with the sending out by our church family; our home church in Harrison, Idaho and The Lord’s Church in California. We know each of you is lifting us up in prayer, and our experience thus far is evidence to that fact.
God has gone before us and prepared the way.

Our “welcome back” greeting consisted of children running to the compound gate, flower petals in hand, showering our car with drops of color, cheering and shouting. Smiles along with giggles of excitement filled the air. I am seeing God’s hand in the details. There is a heightened awareness in His gifts to us. I am so grateful and overwhelmed.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above.

The next event I didn't capture in a picture, but I will forever have this precious image in my mind. It is the reunion of Jim and Moses, one of “our” boys.

  Jim could barely squeeze himself out of the car, on the other side of the door, stood Moses, much bigger now and many inches taller. He commanded the space with his presence, smiling from ear to ear, that boyish beautiful smile. Joy fills our hearts. The greeting speaks love. Jim and Moses reach out, wrapping their arms around each other.  It’s a loving father-son embrace. The kind of embrace that speaks without words, saying, “I’m here, you matter to me, I’ve missed you”.  Moses lays his head on Jim’s shoulder and closes his eyes. Time seems to stop in that moment. It is the place of contentment; to rest in the peace and comfort of a “father’s” arms. It is the moment they have both waited for.
And He will shelter you in the shadow of His wings.

I am a little embarrassed to say that we have had a leisurely beginning here; instead of immediate demands placed on us, we have had the freedom to settle in, and get reacquainted with life here. Our “welcome back” day has actually turned into weeks. We have had the opportunity to see many friends; to be welcomed into their homes, share a meal, share God’s faithfulness, and to testify to what he has done in each of our lives these past three years. Each reunion carried within it, the same reoccurring theme,  a triumphed praise of thanksgiving to God.
All glory and honor is His.

I love making the trek to visit the “sanctuary” of Love in Action, the ministry we are working for. The above mentioned is really the home of Alan and Beryl Went. The property is guarded by a wall of plants and trees, and beyond this wall of beauty there rests a beautiful English garden. It’s not the garden I come to visit though, but the people who dwell there throughout the day; the children, teens, and young adults; those who live with Love in Action. When not in school, this is their sanctuary; a place of peace for them.  Here they gather for their meals, play together, do chores, and share daily life. When evening comes they go to their homes, provided by Love in Action, one for the girls and one for boys.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
I thank God for this place.

Lastly, I must make mention of each of you. Though, we are continents away, we carry each one of you in our hearts. We treasure the relationships we have and who we are as a body of Christ together. This journey is complete because of the oneness we share. All of you have been instrumental in our going. Everyone has played a part, each one significant, and each one in God’s plan.
We thank God for each of you, and remember you in our prayers.

Until we see each other again, may you dwell in the love of Christ.

 Thinking of you,
 Robyn and Jim

Friday, November 22, 2013

Praise God, We Have Arrived Safely!

It seems whenever I am in Africa, it takes me a little longer to get things done as I slow down my pace. It has taken a few days to get situated and it has taken a few more days to get the word out that we have safely arrived at our destination! So let us thank God we are here!

After our wonderful send off from our congregation at Harrison Community Baptist Church, we traveled to a long time supporter of our ministry, The Lord's Church in Sacramento CA, where they blessed us with fellowship, prayers and gifts, God is good!

We then traveled to Southern CA to stay with Robyn's sister to prepare for the "big trip!" We packed up all the donations that were sent to us; for the underwear drive, little girl dresses that were made by some of the ladies at our church, along with a variety of other things including about 50 pounds of diapers for a baby orphanage here in Masaka,that is run by a friend! All together between containers and suitcases we lugged seven pieces along with our carry-on's (about 450 lbs.) for our 9,500 mile journey!

When we arrived on Sunday to our compound, we were surprised by the children showering our vehicle with flower pedals, what a greeting! This is where after three years, we were so blessed to see all the children, and as you can imagine, they have grown so much! It was quite a reunion to see these smiling faces through our watery eyes, and the hugs were mighty indeed! The ministry has grown with so many more beautiful children being cared for.

 On Sunday we visited the school in the village where we had church service and got to meet more children. This school has several building projects going on, including a water purification system and tower, livestock, agriculture, and additional classrooms! It is a well organized project and looking really good.

On Sunday evening, back at the compound, we had our traditional praise & worship service with the familiar sounds of the drums and singing in the local tongue. The teaching was in English by our director and translated to Luganda & Swahili by two of the girls.

We are helping to support a wonderful organization! Thank you everyone for your prayers and financial support! We thank God for these special moments as we look forward to see how we can best serve Him!

God Bless,


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Be Ready!

We are so excited as we are getting ready to see our children in Uganda.  We will be in Uganda for three months assisting Love In Action, the ministry we help support.  This is where our children are cared for and we will have the opportunity to help out in many different areas; from visiting, playing, or teaching the children to painting classrooms, wherever we can serve.  We will see some familiar faces as well as some new ones!

Our presentation at church was to share as we remember some of the things we experienced in the mission field and how it has prepared us to always be ready to serve the Lord!
We invite you to listen to our presentation, Click here:

God Bless,
Jim & Robyn