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19 May, 2012

A Great Cloud of Witnesses . . . .

This week we were blessed to fellowship with a great cloud of witnesses who went before us in Africa. We had lunch together, remembering days past and funny stories. We shared testimonies of God’s faithfulness and answers to prayer. We had a lot of catching up to do! These dear people have been our mentors, our prayer warriors, our teachers, and our models. Our children know them as family, as do we. We love them and thank God for them in our lives. We are so grateful we had this time together.

Today we heard the news that our Kenyan father is now among the great cloud of witnesses worshiping at Jesus’ feet in heaven. Our hearts are grieved for his family and other loved ones in Kenya who are missing him. Pastor Phillip Bii taught us much, encouraged us repeatedly, chastised us occasionally, and challenged us to become more like Jesus. We love him. We already miss him.

Pastor Phillip was instrumental in beginning numerous Africa Gospel Church congregations in Kenya. He walked all over the countryside, sharing Jesus in word and deed. Phillip delighted in connecting people to Jesus. When we saw him in church, in town, and in his home he was usually surrounded by children, all eager for a chance to sit on his lap or snuggle up beside him. Phillip loved freely, knowing he was loved by God.

We have fun thinking of Phillip making his way through the great cloud of witnesses in heaven, smiling and greeting those he knows.  I like to picture him hugging tightly his dear friends, among whom are Dr. Ernie Steury and Mr. Joshua Rop.  No doubt they have been laughing together and talking non-stop. 

Perhaps they too, in a heavenly sort of way, have been remembering days past and retelling funny stories.  Likely they are sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness and answers to prayer.  They have a lot of catching up to do! 

We love Phillip Arap Bii.  We thank God for bringing him into our lives, enriching us beyond measure.  We are so grateful for the time we had together. 

A great cloud of witnesses have gone on before us…into Africa and into Heaven.  We are so blessed.  We are so grateful.  

12 May, 2012

Grateful, Appreciative and Thankful

Grateful.  Appreciative.  Thankful.  Blessed. These are a few words to describe how we are feeling.        
  • Grateful for safety in travel and for health  
  • Appreciative for the training we received in Community Health                                   Empowerment (CHE).   Find out more about CHE by going to:  www.cheuganda.org
  • Thankful to have time with family and friends in Indiana, celebrating our daughter’s           university graduation and the advent of our granddaughter            
  • Thankful Chris S. thought his first weeks of work went well
  • Blessed to have so many dear friends joining with God in what He is doing in Africa

We are excited to put the CHE model we are learning to use in Uganda!  Joining with so many other missions folks during our week of learning enabled us to hear stories of lasting transformation witnessed in lives and communities where CHE has been used of the Lord.  It was great!!  Thank you for praying!

This past week we celebrated Lizz’s graduation, grateful to be there.  We joined with Chris Bramble’s family and enjoyed being together.  This weekend we celebrated the advent of our granddaughter at a baby shower.  Woo hoo for celebrations in life, testifying of God’s faithfulness and provision!!

We are grateful for the opportunity this past week to visit dear friends in Iowa.  Sharing testimonies, praying together and catching up on lifes’ stories with these folks we love blessed us richly! We returned to Indiana refreshed and encouraged. 

Wednesday of this next week we will travel to Florida and be there a week to visit more folks who have joined God in what He is doing in Africa.  We look forward to sharing with them!  Please continue to pray for our safety and health throughout our travels, and that we will be a blessing to others.

Grateful.  Appreciative.  Thankful.  Blessed.  That’s us!!  Thank you for being part of them all J

Jeff and Christine