----- African Connection --------------
We have developed a weekly prayer guide . . . Read it by clicking the image below and to the left

03 July, 2018

Leaving Behind . . . Looking Forward

Our time in Oregon is complete and we are now in Indiana.  Last week we attended meetings at World Gospel Mission (WGM) International Headquarters. This next week we will be with family here in Indiana.  On  July 11 we will arrive in Uganda, assuming all flights will be as scheduled.

We are looking forward to returning home. It will be good to reunite with those whom we love on that side of the world. We are eager to see how God has been moving during our absence. The notes we are receiving from our African colleagues warm our hearts.

It will be wonderful to hear first-hand from colleagues how they have seen God at work in their various avenues of ministry and in their own lives. We look forward to rich times of sharing together.

Christine is eager to hear from those she volunteers with how their training in Biblical orality helped them share God’s Word with women and children. It will also be good to hear how Women’s Cycle of Life trainings are progressing. We want to hear stories of God’s work in the hearts and lives of women.

Jeff is interested to hear how God has been speaking to the men with whom he met weekly for the past few years. We expect to hear of victories, challenges, trials, dreams and disappointments. God’s Spirit has been with these men, we know, and hearing their stories will be a great encouragement.

We look forward to how God has been moving in readiness for expansion in the WGM and Africa Gospel Church ministries to refugees. We are also listening to God for plans to increase ministries to children and youth. There are exciting possibilities and we expect God to direct us as we move forward.

As we lean into this next two-year term of service in Uganda we eagerly look forward. We know God is working His plan and we count it a privilege to be in His service. He has given us the work of making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commands us and we are eager to resume the work in Uganda.

Please pray with us to stay devoted to Christ Jesus Himself and not to programs or causes. Oswald Chambers wrote, "There is a difference between devotion to a Person and devotion to principles or to a cause." (My Utmost for His Highest, July 2nd) We know there is a risk that the focus of our devotion could become the tasks, people or desired outcomes rather than remaining devoted to our Lord."To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave of the Lord Jesus." (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, July 2nd) Thank you for praying for us to be faithful, devoted disciples of Jesus.

Jeff and Christine

06 March, 2018

We are a Bridge

This is a season of travel for us because it is a season of connecting with people we rarely get to visit. We love people most of all and we are grateful for time to connect. In this season we have newly realized something about ourselves. We are a bridge.

We are a bridge between cultures. Now we are physically present in the United States of America but a very big part of our hearts and brains are in Uganda. We span these two cultures like a bridge spans a canyon We have deep pillars in each of the two cultures, supporting us as we bridge the differences. Life is very different on either end of our bridge and yet, for us, through us, the two are connected.

We are a bridge between resources and service. As we connect with people we share what we get to be a part of in Uganda, how we see God at work and how he invites people into his work. We are asked questions about the ministries and people in Uganda. Often they also want to know how they can participate in serving in Uganda. Many people are sacrificially donating money every month to enable us to connect people to Jesus in Uganda. Resources and service are the framework for all of us collectively serving in Uganda. Together we are a bridge in the Kingdom of God.

We are a bridge between the past and the future. This is obvious in so many facets of who we are and what we do, but perhaps no more so than in grand-parenting. We connect our grandchildren to the past and they connect us to the future. In the same way, we help to bridge the gap in knowledge of what has been in the past with what is now, as we look with our colleagues into future ministry opportunities in Uganda.

We are a bridge, and sometimes we need to lighten the traffic load on us for maintenance to take place. This is part of why homeland ministry assignment (HMA) is necessary. Stepping away from the responsibilities we carry in Uganda and connecting with loved ones in the U.S. brings us renewal and refreshment. This is also why we take Sabbath time every week. God knows just how to repair and restore us for continued service. He often uses His own people to touch us in restorative ways, and for these we are forever grateful.

We are a bridge designed by God. We are a bridge held up by strong supports, ones that have names and faces and we know parts of their life stories. We are a bridge, common in sort, bridging uncommonly good people and places and times. We are a bridge designed by God.

Jeff and Christine

14 November, 2017

Prepare For Impact!

Image result for "prepare for impact"In day-to-day life there is a lot of talk about impact. The impact of climate change, the impact of a changing world economy. There is great impact on people and relationships due to violence, drugs, broken families and other poor choices made by both those we do and do not know. It seems every area of life is impacted one way or another by something or someone. What we do and don’t do, what we say and don’t say also impacts the world and those around us.  We need to prepare for impact! 
For the most part we can control the impact we have on others. But there are some things we have no control over. DNA is one of those things we have no control over. Often, people have told Christine and I that our son and daughter, resemble me. It is interesting that within a family, members can look somewhat alike (similar, nose shape, smile, etc.), but yet we each are unique. 

God has given us the opportunity to be a part of his family, as His child. As His child he wants us to look like, to be like him, like his Son.    Scripture says:
Gen 1:27So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he 
                       created them; male and female he created them.”
Romans 8:29“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to 
                       become like his Son” 
We were created in the image of God, even as Christ was in God’s image. Yes, we are created in His image, but there is more to it.  Author John Piper said: As we are conformed to the image of Christ, he is made more and more the center of all things.

Jesus himself is the image of God" (Colossians 1:15–16). Therefore, we are being made into images of the image of the Father.

We are each created by God as a one-of-a-kind in His image and God wants us to live in His image, to live in the image of Christ. Living in His image is reflected in the work of our hands, in our hearts, in our attitudes and our actions. Everything we do is out of being in His image and is to be done with His love.  This only happens after a heart transformation. 

Jesus is our example. On the night before He went to the cross, Jesus washed His disciples' feet.
In John 13 we read Jesus sat down and said:
12  “Do you know what I have done to you?
13  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
14  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to 
          wash one another's feet.
15  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you."
 Further down we read:
34. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have 
           loved you, that you also love one another.
35. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.''

In verse 15 Jesus said “I have given you an example,” Living in the image of Christ who is living in the image of God:

  • God wants us to do what Jesus did.
  • God wants us to love like Jesus loved.
  • God wants us to live like Jesus lived.
  • God wants us to impact others by doing, loving and living as Jesus did.
Over the next several posts I would like to explore how we can live our lives with greater impact for Christ by following His example.