Clean Water and Tippy Taps

Last blog, I introduced you to 3 Stones Preventive Health Care Program. This is a 4 -session program including in home encouragement. The program teaches sanitation, hygiene and good health practices. We began the first session in two sites: Bulega and Busagazi.

The organization representatives said it usually takes about two years to see changes in a community. It takes a while for people’s habits to begin changing. As they learn together and encourage each other to make practical changes in their health… their whole lives change. They told us of stories of other locations where people are now building brick houses, sending children to university and starting busiIMG_2029nesses. Why?

1. Because they aren’t spending as much money on health care.
2. Because they have found hope that things can be better for them.

3. Because they have practically seen the hands and feet of Christ through these trainers. They are seeing people who not only are teaching them health practices based on the Word of God but care enough to enter their homes and encourage them.

These people are not only gaining knowledge. They are realizing that God loves them, created their bodies to be healthy, gives them tools to be healthy and wants what’s best for them. What a basic, but life-changing concept. As we watch people learning these concepts…. we are seeing them blossom.

It is so important that we not only love people with words, but with our actions. 

We even saw a change in one of our drivers, Charles. We have worked with Charles for years on our short term trips. Charles will drive for us for conferences, evangelism, children’s ministry, etc. Usually he drives, gives a cordial greeting, but stays with the van for most of the day. NOT THIS TIME! He is completely engaged. He participates, volunteers and even wants to take this training back to his village. It’s incredible to see the turn around in him. It’s like a whole new Charles!  (Charles is the tall one with a light blue shirt on, in the back right with his arms lifted the highest) Continue to pray for our partnership with 3 Stones in these villages. We will be working with them until March.

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This week we also have a team from Colorado. They will be here until the 19th doing Church Leadership Discipleship and Evangelism.  Continue to lift them up as well.

Update on Momma Debbie: She is home from surgery and slowly recovering. The did well in surgery and in physical therapy. They even released her 3 days early. They have moved their date for returning to the states back to November to allow her a little extra time of healing. Thank you for praying!

A day in the life of…. us

There is so much to update you on, and so much I want to tell you. I wish we had a few hours and a good cup of UGANDAN COFFEE. Yes, I would rather have a cup of Terry Nester’s coffee over Starbucks any day.

However, I feel like the time to sit and process all that is going on is little. Much less any time to sit down and write. I find myself trying to sit down to do a blog post at 12:00 am. By that time in the day….. you wouldn’t even be able to read anything I have to say.

So today I’m going to try to give you a glimpse into our day. We began school a few months ago, just doing reading and math, to try to reclaim some sort of schedule into our lives. But we didn’t start doing a full day of school until two weeks ago, when Jennifer left. (Yes we are still grieving her absence.)

School is kind of our rock to the day. Other than school, there is no normal. People come in and out of our compound (house) with various needs. Brian could be teaching at a Bible School one day, and doing a counseling meeting another day, or going to a graduation. It really changes like the wind. But we are committed to homeschooling the kids and we are trying to make sure that if one of us is out of the house doing ministry, the other is taking over teaching responsibilities.

So here’s our “Typical” day:

6:30 am until 7:30 is quiet time. We are beginning to train the children to have their own Bible time, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Once they have spent time with the Lord, they are allowed to be in their room playing or getting ready for the day.

7:30 am – 8:30 am is morning chores, getting ready and preparing breakfast.

8:30 am – 9:30 am Breakfast and morning devotions with two of our staff. We have really enjoyed this time and are seeing the fruit already from this investment. We are working through the Bible Study Fellowship questions on Revelation as a family and two of our staff join us weekdays for that.

9:30 am – 1:00 pm SCHOOL! For the first time we have a school room. There is a one car garage attached to the house that we have turned into our classroom and the kids love it. We have a general schedule, but I learned after just a few days that teaching three kids at three different levels is going to have to require some flexibility. So if one child is finished with their lesson before we are ready to move on…. they get to go outside and play until I call them for the next lesson. It seems to be working well. We leave the garage doors open and all day we watch the birds fly in and our of our neighbors palm tree. Currently there are three to five black kites (like a falcon) that live in the palm tree. But we have seen many different birds go there. Our favorite so far has been a set of African Grey’s that spent an afternoon with us. During school, if Brian is around for the day, he will usually run errands in town during this time. One thing about cooking in Uganda is that you require fresh ingredients and we end up going to the market several times a week.

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1:00- 2:00 Lunch and clean up. If any child hasn’t finished school, they get to do that now, as the others get to go play. Now, don’t get me wrong. We have only actually finished school before lunch a few times. One day last week we didn’t finish til 5:00 pm. Whew, that was a long day. IMG_2014

We are still setting up our house, so the afternoon is typically filled with household chores or projects. Currently we are trying to garden and keep our one lonely chicken in a pen. Once we master keeping her in an area
away from the 4 dogs, we’ll add others.

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm We usually have children knocking on the gate about this time. There can be anywhere from 3-15 visitors. They all come in and play soccer and ride bikes. Many of the kids in our neighborhood are Muslim and we continue to seek ways to show them Jesus. It’s also clinic time. They all come to me with their wounds. There have been a few cases that I have been really proud of their outcome. Who knew that first aid class would be so handy.

6:00 pm – I try to round up all the kids around 6:00 to say goodbye for the night. Most Ugandan’s eat dinner around 9 pm, so they don’t really understand why I am getting the kids bathed and fed so early, but they are learning that I do things a little different.  By the time we have let the hot water heat up, bathed, and eaten, Allie has fallen asleep. But somewhere around 8:00 pm we try to make our phone calls home. Some nights this just doesn’t work our, but when we are home, we try.  We have been so thankful for skype, facetime and magic jack. It has been wonderful to talk to family and friends almost whenever we want to.

Then it’s time to start all over again.

On Friday’s the Cadance and Noah go to a co-op group called Friday Tribe. So most of that day I spend doing administrative things for East Africa Outreach. I’m having a hard time balancing the things I know I need to do administratively with the other demands of life.

Thanks for listening. Writing this blog really is a bit of “therapy” for me. It forces me to sit down and think; to work through our life. The good, bad and sometimes ugly. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes it really gets ugly. But this is life. Life is messy, and relationships are messy. But our God loves to take messy and make it into something beautiful. So that is our prayer. When our schedules fall to pieces, when nothing is working right, when we have no power and no clue what to do next, Lord help us to “laugh at days to come.” Lord help us to cling to you, not to our plans.

Scars of War

In my last post I mentioned our guards. I have to take a few minutes to expound a little more on them. As we are taking time getting to know them and encouraging them in the Lord, we have noticed a troubling theme…. the scars of war.

America was awakened to the troubles in Northen Uganda just a few years ago when the Youtube videos of Joseph Kony swept the news. America was appalled by the fact that he was stealing children and taking them captive as his army. But we are learning that this region was war ridden long before Kony. In fact, before Kony, his Aunt was up to the same stuff.

Matheas is our day guard. He has really become more like a part of the family. He is from Congo. He lost his father at a very young age due to war and his mother moved them across the country to escape. She then left him to care for and raise his younger siblings as she moved to Uganda in search for work. At 12, he was working two jobs to pay his way through school and care for his siblings. Also at the age of 12, Matheas was abducted by Joseph Kony’s army. He remained with them for 9 days. He was a good worker and would do whatever they asked. Even if he didn’t know how to do the job, he would say that he did and try his best. He had seen what happened to the other boys who did not do as they were told. On the third day of their kidnapping, they were already learning to shoot semiautomatic guns. They were hidden deep in the forest of Congo, but Kony’s army had arranged for some women from the village to come and cook for them. One of these women, knew Matheas. She lied and said that she had forgotten some spices needed for the meal and that she needed to send him to town to fetch them or the meal would be delayed. She assured them that Matheas would not betray them. But as she gave Matheas instructions, this woman told him to go and never come back.

I wish I could say that this was the only time that Matheas had a run in with the rebels, but it wasn’t.  By God’s grace, though he was released each time.  As he shared these stories with us, I was blown away. I began to share verses like Ephesians 2:10 and Jeremiah 29:11 with him. The Lord allowed him to be spared from these things for a purpose. There is no doubt about it. I think that our conversation was the first time he realized it. Up until that point, they were just difficult things in his life. But as we looked back at God’s hand of protection, I watched his faith grow.

Then there’s Ben and James.  Ben, one of our night guards, is Ugandan. He is from the Iteso Tribe. This tribe is mostly based in the norther part of the country. Ben and his wife moved to Jinja during a season of war. Over dinner one night he began to share his testimony with us. He was running from rebels who were coming into his village. He and his wife split ways to meet at a predesignated spot. As he ran through a field, the shots rang out. He watched his friends and neighbors shot down all around him. Before long he found himself face to face with a rebel gun. He reached out and overpowered the gunman, holding the gun straight in the air. Taken aback, the rebel continued to struggle with Ben. Moments later another rebel appeared and ordered Ben to walk away. He began to take a few steps, but realized that he was only going to be shot in the back. So he turned around in defiance and refused to leave. His audacious boldness must have taken them off guard, because they stood their for a moment speechless. Once they realized they could do nothing else with him, they fired a shot to which he was able to dodge. It grazed his chest enough to knock him down and cause him to bleed, but did not puncture him. Realizing this, Ben laid still as the rebels stood over him. Poking him and laughing. One even whistled a hymn as he walked away. Ben thanked God and prayed they would not return his way. Once things were clear he got up and ran to a family members house, where his wife was staying. There, providentially, the Lord brought a Christian. This man also carried some medicine. As he cleaned Ben’s wounds, he shared the gospel. The man spoke of the deliverance of Ben was for a purpose and Ben’s entire family was saved that day.  The Lord has used his testimony to lead many to know the Lord.

James is Rwandan. Remember the movie “Hotel Rwanda?” That was one of the most difficult movies for me to get through. Well that was James’ life. He is a Tutsi, the minority tribe that was being wiped out through genocide.  Although the Tutsi tribe made up only 14% of the country’s population in 1994, they were blamed for troubles within the country. In just a few short weeks, 800,000 Tutsi men, women and children were murdered. That’s 3/4 of the Tutsi population!

My heart can’t begin to imagine what these men have been through. But the Lord is good. The Lord is faithful.

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles! The Lord gives righteousness and justice who all who are treated unfairly.  Psalm 103:1-6

All three of these men love the Lord. They seek to serve Him and grow in the knowledge of the Lord. What could have broken these men, the Lord has used to grow them stronger in faith. It is such a testimony to me. If our internet is down for a day, or the electricity goes out, I start gripping.  Lord, let me never forget the good things you have done. He has a plan to use all things for His Glory and to make us more like His Son Jesus. What difficult thing are you facing today? Will you complain and shake your fist at God or trust seek Him through it?

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord

We have been here in Uganda for a month. It’s hard to believe that it has already been a month.  Most of this month has been spent settling into our home. There have been lots of repairs that either we or our landlord have done to prepare the house. We have had to repair plumbing, install hot water heaters, electrical work, lighting, repair screens on windows, order furniture, etc. That alone has kept us quite busy. The first few weeks that is all we were doing, and I began to get discouraged. It was about that time that Ramadan finished. Ramadan ends with a large holiday called Eid. On that day, none of our workers showed up. On that day I realized that we had been looking outside of our home for ministry opportunities, but the Lord was bringing ministry even into our own home. We were so focused on getting the work done on the house that we didn’t even realize that most of the workers were Muslim. That was a turning point! We began to pray daily for the people entering our gate. That we would be a blessing to them and that they would see Christ through us.

At the beginning of our time here, we didn’t have a day guard. Without someone guarding the gate, we were required to be here the entire time that people were working on the house. This slowed down the other things that we were needing to do. We began to pray, and asked you to pray, for the Lord to provide good, reliable guards.

Boy did he supply. Meet Mathias and  ben and matheasBen.

Mathias is our day guard. He guards the gate and helps us maintain our compound. Mathias is a believer in Christ and attends Acacia Community Church with us. He actually plays the bass guitar we donated to the church last year (and he’s VERY good)! He was looking for work that would allow him to consistently attend church. Mathias is from the D.R. of Congo. He lost his father in the war when he was just 7. His mother left him and his siblings in search for a better way to provide for them and was in a car accident very far from home and nearly died.  She couldn’t get back home. So he raised his siblings and worked to provide for them for 3 years. Even as a child, he was working jobs to pay his way through school and provide for his siblings. He is a great guy. We enjoy him so much. He loves the Lord and wants to serve Him. Mathias joins us each morning for breakfast and a devotion. He is memorizing Scripture with us and Cady reads him the children’s Jesus calling devotional most afternoons.

Ben is from a far eastern Uganda town. His tribe is a warrior tribe called the Teso. He is our night guard. He has done this work for years. He is a very honest and loving guy, but very serious about his job. He has 7 children and loves our children as well. Ben is reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. We leave it out for him each night and he reads until sunset and in the early morning hours. Every week or so, Brian goes outside and has tea with him and they discuss what Ben is reading.

James will be our other night guard. He will rotate with Ben so that they can rotate weekends off. James is from Rwanda. I met him last year doing evangelism. We IMG_9232began sharing Jesus with the other security guards that lived near him regularly because of his influence on them. He was baptized last summer at Acacia Community Church and asked me to stand with him as his family. We approached him about working with us and he said, “I have been praying even this week about the Lord supplying me a different job.” James will start with us in September.

Last but not least, the Lord has brought 3 sweet little Muslim boys into our lives. They began hanging out around the gate. Then they came in jesus storybook2to play. Then they began coming every day at 4:00 pm, when they got home from school. We began praying with Noah, seeking the Lord on how we could share Christ with them. At first when I asked if they wanted to learn about what we believe, Omar, the oldest said, “No, I am a Muslim! But we can still be friends.” Just a few days later, we were leaving for Bible Study and he wanted to go with us. He couldn’t go that day, but he was insistent that day that we begin teaching him the Bible. We are 4 days into reading the Jesus Storybook Bible with them. They love it. Each day we only read one story and they beg to go further.

jesus storybookYesterday, we went as a family to their house. They invited us in and we spent an hour sitting with his grandmother, uncle, father and cousins. It was a beautiful thing and we ask you to continue to pray for that relationship. Pray that their eyes would be opened to the truth as our friendships grow.

Brian also began teaching in the Pastor Bible Schools. Last week he traveled to Bugiri and this week he will be in Busia, a bordertown with Kenya. He enjoys so much teaching these guys. We have been told that the Busia school has been one of the most incredible schools. The men had no idea they were teaching falsehood. They are humbled and eager to learn the truth. They are soaking in every word with humility and an eagerness to please the Lord. Continue to pray for these schools as well. 

Jenn’s Journal

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. It’s hard to believe that I have been in Uganda for a little over a month. I have been enjoying my time here. God has been working. Last Saturday we went and did evangelism in the village of Kimaka. The first time I shared the Gospel with the Evangecube in Kimaka, I was a little nervous.  God helped me overcome that. He allowed me to lead two women and a couple of children to the Lord. 🙂 That was really encouraging to be a part of that. I also have been able to go to the orphanage, Welcome Home, and I am going there again this afternoon. In the coming weeks I will be helping teach at a youth conference. Please pray that I would have boldness and courage to speak in front of the crowd and that God would give me His Words to say. Hopefully I will also be able to help at Ekisa. Ekisa is a minstry for special needs children. Later this month the Whites and I will be going on a safari at Murchison Falls. Thank you again for your prayers, I really appreciate them.

Jet Lag Tales

Whew, Jet lag has been something to be reckoned with. When flying to Uganda there are typically two eight hour flights which cover 8 time zones. When we arrive we are 7-8 hours ahead (depending on daylight savings time). Currently we are 7 hours ahead of the East Coast.

That is a big difference to make up for internally. This time was no different. Thankfully we walked this road last year with the children and were a little prepared for what was coming. We knew that there would be sleepless nights for about a week so we decided to make the most of it. One night everyone was awake at 1 am, so we decided to watch Frozen on the computer. We completely forgot that it was the middle of the night when we all started belting out “LET IT GO!!!!!”

Cadance struggled with the late night wakefulness the most. It was in those quiet, dark moments that she sometimes became overwhelmed with homesickness, began crying and needed comfort. We had some sweet moments together. One night, we got up and had chocolate milk and called Gugi (Brian’s mom.) Other nights, we sat and told stories about great memories and chose to “give thanks in all circumstances.”

Jennifer also experienced some late nights as well, not only because she was bunked with my kiddos, but because of the jet lag. Toward the end of the week, I heard Cadance and Jennifer listening to music or talking. One night I stopped to listen a minute and rejoiced! God was redeeming jet lag. He used the late night conversations to allow Jennifer to start a discipleship relationship with her. She was challenging her perspective and pointing her to hope and good choices.

Some “fun” things happened during the day too because of our mental fog. Once we moved into the house, coming and going took a lot longer. The first several days it took us 30 minutes just to pull out of the driveway. We would forget to lock a door, or turn a light off, what we came to the house for or just plain forget the keys all together. One day, after the 30 minute process of leaving, we were actually pulling out of the driveway and realized we had forgotten something. Brian took the keys right out of the ignition in the middle of the road and got out of the car. Quickly I said…. “Are you going to leave the car here!?” Thankfully the Lord has allowed us to laugh in the midst of the frustrations.

One more fun story about our mental fog. Brian has been learning to drive, which takes your full concentration here. There are so many pedestrians, animals and children walking along and crossing the roads. There are motorcycle taxis weaving in and out of traffic and potholes. Actually, POTHOLES is a better description. We drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side. There are very few signs and very different driving rules that are more like suggestions.  Pair all of these things with not knowing where anything is, and it makes for quite the experience. It has taken all of Brian’s concentration just to get around town.

One day we were driving back to Pastor Terry’s house and the car began making funny sounds. Brian was hitting the gas, but the engine wasn’t doing anything. Thankfully, we were on a slight decline. He was convinced it was the timing belt.

When we arrived at Terry’s they both opened up the engine compartment to begin the investigation. We were out of gas! Once the embarrassment passed, we all laughed.

Thankfully the fog has lifted and everyone survived!

Jen’s Jinja Journal

The following excerpt is from Jennifer Herman, a 14 year old friend who is spending the summer with us.

     Thanks so much for your prayers and support. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a week since we arrived. When we arrived at the airport, we were running a little behind. As I walked into the airport, the reality set in that I was leaving my family for two months and getting on a plane that would take me to another continent. Checking in our 25 pieces of luggage took awhile, which made us even later, so we were escorted to our gate.  We could hear our names being called over the intercom and we finally made it to the gate with only a few minutes to spare. I didn’t sleep much on the first flight, but the Whites all slept some. Then we had a six hour layover in Amsterdam which seemed very long. When we finally arrived in Entebbe, the Whites were missing six pieces of luggage. (Those six pieces of luggage did eventually show up, so thank you for praying for them.) The remaining luggage filled up six luggage carts. Mr. Terry and Mrs. Debbie Nester came with some of their friends to pick us up. We finally arrived in Jinja around 3:30 in the morning & slept until one o’clock in the afternoon. It took us a few days to get over the jet lag.

     I have noticed how bumpy the roads are here. This week Pastor Brian has been learning to drive here and learning where things are. We have had to rely on the help of others to get even the basic things done, like grocery shopping. Because of this transition and the jet lag, it has been a pretty slow week.  I have been able to go to the market and help the Whites move into their new house. I enjoyed going to the church here and was able to meet a lot of people. The church meets outside under a covering.  (The picture of me pointing to Virginia was taken at this church.). After church, we went to lunch with one of the families I met and then we spent some time visiting them in their home. 

     Tomorrow, I will be going with the Whites to Kampala, which is about two hours away. Pastor Brian will be applying for a work visa & dependent visas for Mrs. Jerilyn and the kids. Right now the White’s only have 3 month visas, so this will allow them to stay longer. The Whites will also be looking for a washing machine while we are in Kampala.  It’s a larger city so they offer a wider variety of shopping. 

     Hopefully, we will be working at Sole Hope later in the week. Sole Hope is an organization that helps remove jiggers (a small insect that burrows into your skin and lays eggs) from people’s feet. After they remove the jiggers, they give the person a pair of shoes to protect their feet. So I am looking forward to helping at Sole Hope.  You can go to www.solehope.org for more information.

     My favorite things about Uganda are: waking up and hearing ibises cawing outside our bedroom window, seeing the red dirt, and the bright sunshine and palm trees. Also, just seeing the kids here with such big smiles when they see us mizungus, or white people.  One thing that has stood out to me is how much Americans have that they take for granted. Because I see people here who are thin and whose clothes are tattered. It breaks my heart at how Americans have so much and the people here have so little. In my short time here, God has shown me that I should be more giving and thankful for what I have.  I should be thankful in all circumstances. 

Thank you for your prayers. I hope you enjoyed this update.  

Jennifer 

We made it!

We made it safely to Uganda! Thank you so much for your prayers!
We made it to the airport with just a short time to spare and by the time they checked in our 25 suitcases, they had to escort us to the gate to make it in time. Which to be honest, was a blessing! You get through lines a little faster with an escort.
The first flight was uneventful but also unsleepful too (yes I just made up that word.) We had a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam and a few of us got some rest there. Then off to Entebbee, where we ALL FINALLY got some rest. The kids did a great job traveling, they are becoming old pros at this. Having Jennifer with us was such a blessing. We were no longer outnumbered by kids.
We arrived in Entebbe around 10 to find out that 6 of our bags did not arrive with us. So after filling paperwork out we made the trek to Jinja and arrived at 3:30 am Uganda time.
This morning we slept in until 1 pm and are hungry at all the wrong times.  Brian drove for the first time around the neighborhood this afternoon and went to Acacia Church’s evening discipleship class. We hope tomorrow to begin unpacking bags in our new house. Until we get set up in the new house, we will continue to stay with our gracious hosts, Terry and Debbie Nester.
Thanks again for your prayers!

Let’s Celebrate. Today’s the day!

Happy 4th of July!

As we celebrate our country’s independence, especially this year, I pray that the truth of the Gospel will sink deep into our souls. May we celebrate with even greater joy the freedom from sin that was won for us through the blood of Jesus. Without His sacrifice, we would still be slaves to sin!

This is the beautiful scandal of the Gospel. We didn’t fight for this freedom. We didn’t earn it. But Christ did, and He freely gives it to us.

This is the reason we leave behind our dearest family and friends today, on July 3rd.

The truth of what Jesus Christ did for you and me compels us.  God, in His great

timing and plan, chose for us to do live out the Gospel in Uganda for this next

season of our lives. 

We are beside ourselves in awe at what God has done over the last year. We are

fully funded for the first year! Thank you! Your love, support, prayers, and

encouraging words mean more than you will ever know. You are changing East

Africa for eternity! (forgive the formatting, but it’s moving day and I just don’t want to fool with it)

It has been our prayer all along that God would raise up a support team around us! Boy did He do it! The encouragement, prayers, and support we have received has been beyond our comprehension. “Thank you!” doesn’t come close to expressing how we feel!

As you begin to plan your next year we would love for you to prayerfully consider continuing your partnership with us in ministry by coming over to Uganda in 2016-2017. You can come over individually, as a family, or leading a team from your church. Contact us via email for more information.

A New Normal

We were driving down the road today wondering if we would ever feel
“at home” in Virginia again. It’s a weird place to be, always in transition.
On the other hand, I do believe that this process will
give us a greater understanding of Hebrews 13:14 “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”Brian wrote an article about this months ago if you would like to read more…

We have a Ugandan Home Phone Number!

757-509-5302

We will also be on skype and facetime.

Brian and Jerilyn White | East Africa Outreach | 757-509-5023 | briandavidwhite76@gmail.com | www.macedoniancall.com

Lessons from Deputation

View More: http://tiffanysigmon.pass.us/thewhites

We have been in Pennsylvania for the last few weeks. We spoke 5 times in two different churches here. This also gave us the opportunity visit and say goodbyes to many of Brian’s family and friends in PA. At Grace Baptist Church in Tyrone, we shared what we have learned through this journey. Our hearts goal was to encourage them with all the Lord has done, but we were restored during this difficult time of saying goodbye by the reminders of who God is and how He has carried us along. We thought you might be interested in hearing our reflections too:

1. We are not our own.

“You are not your won for you were bought with a price, so glorify God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20

We have realized that we are not here on earth for our own personal comfort, satisfaction or self promotion. We were purchased by the blood of Jesus, not to live the American dream, but to further His kingdom. You and I are both part of God’s plan to see people of every tribe and tongue worship around the throne. And that should be the driving force behind everything we do.  Brian made this point, “As believers in Jesus Christ, we are not on vacation, we are on mission.”

2. The Lord is a great artist.

“The heart of man plans his ways but the Lord establishes/determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

God is a great artist! He is the composer, conductor, and even the rhythm section of a great masterpiece that He calls our lives. When Brian and I look back at our lives,  what we saw as just a series of events has been revealed as a great plan that has been leading up to these moments. God has changed our hearts to match His desires and connected all the dots to prepare us for full time missions. Even things that we thought were detours or mishaps, He has redeemed and used. He is always working, even when we don’t see it.

3. God is bigger than we think.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can think or ask according to the power at work in us.” Ephesians 3:20

We have seen God do some big things. We have seen him supply all our needs in times without income. We had 3 showings and 3 offers on our house in the first week. We saw Him provide for almost all of our funding in just 8 months, which we have heard can take years.  We have seen God do BIG THINGS! But you know what, He can do even bigger things. He doesn’t fit in that little box we like to put Him in. Big prayers honor God, because it shows trust that we know He can do it. God loves for us to come to Him with our requests and with BIG FAITH, not because we are some spiritual giant, but because He is a BIG GOD!

The second part of this is also part of the equation though.

“Let us then boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

With bold confident faith I want to come to the Lord.  Because Jesus’s blood covers me and bought me the right to come before the throne, I must go and go boldly.  It helps me to boldly approach God when I know I am praying in God’s will. Learning God’s Word helps me to pray with God’s perspective. When I pray God’s Word and promises back to Him, I know I am praying in God’s Will. When I pray for the tools needed to do what He has asked me to do, I know I am praying in God’s will. When I know I am praying God’s will, it’s easy to come boldly to God.

4. Do not be afraid.

“Be strong and courageous… It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:7-9

God’s Word is living and active. It comes to us at just the right time. Studying the Life of Moses through BSF as a family has been an incredible experience for us. It has been the thing that has kept us grounded this year. It never fails that God’s Word touches something that we are walking through in our life. In April, when there was an attack in Kenya, fear welled up within me. I sat down to write a post about it several times, but the words were inadequate. As I was working through this, we were finishing up Deuteronomy and God’s Message to Joshua as he prepared to move into the Promised Land was, “DO NOT FEAR. I AM WITH YOU.” And you and I both know what it means when something is repeated over and over….. It means listen! Get this! And this statement is repeated over and over in Deuteronomy and even in the book of Joshua. Do not fear. Be strong and courageous. Just because we are moving to a third world country doesn’t mean we aren’t aware of the dangers. It doesn’t mean we are never afraid. It means we have to take our thoughts of fear captive and make them obedient to Christ. He says not to fear, not to be discouraged, because He is with us. This is what we are choosing to place our thoughts on. This is a constant battle, but when fear wells up God is good to remind us that He is near.

5. Everyone does not understand.

Not everyone is going to be supportive. Well meaning people who love and care for us can say things that are hurtful. Often we recognize that it comes from a heart that wants to protect us or because they will miss us. When we have that perspective, it makes it easier to respond with grace. But sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it puts us in a tailspin of doubt and emotions. We have to take time to bounce our emotions and perspectives off of each other to make sure our thoughts are lined up with God’s thoughts.  A facebook friend posted a sweet reminder from God’s Word that has been a source of comfort.

If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Son of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  1 Peter 4:14-16

As Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, the Lord parted the waters of the Jordon river for the people to walk through. As a reminder of who God is and what He has done, the people of Israel collected stones from the center of the river to make a monument. These truths are my memorial stones. Reminders of who God is and what He has done.

We pray that they are encouraging to you as well!

A Prayer for our Biggest Supporters

We are beyond thankful for the support team that the Lord has built up around us. It has been incredible to watch it all unfold, but today I want to give a “shout out” of sorts to our very biggest supporters…. our MOMS!

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They have had such a massive influence on who we are, how we operate, how we love and the paths we have taken. Even though at times, they don’t like this path, they are striving to trust the Lord with us and their grandchildren.

We have had many conversations with people about what the transition looks like for us.  We have had to process through the difficulties, the excitement, the benchmarks and the joys.  One of the factors, that isn’t often considered is how our parents are processing through this. As they have watched us hit each of these difficulties, excitements, benchmarks and joys, they also have had to process it from a different perspective.

As we walk through this Mother’s Day, I realize that the best gift I can give to our mothers’ is the gift of prayer. I ask you to pray with us for our parents.

– Pray that they will experience the Lord’s comfort and peace that passes understanding as we prepare to leave and depart.

– Pray that we all will process our feelings and grief over the distance that will be between us, together and with a God honoring perspective.

– Pray that the Lord would draw them close to Himself and that He would make His presence known to them.

– Pray for their marriages to be strong and that they would support each other with kindness and grace.

– Pray for our Skype dates, that the children would quickly adjust to talking on the computer, so that our electronic dates can be meaningful.

– Pray for the Lord to guard their hearts and for wisdom in response to negative opinions about our move to Uganda.

– Pray that our relationships can continue to despite the distance.

– Pray for creative ideas of how we can still be involved in holidays and birthdays from a far.

Thank you so much for praying! Continue to pray for them as you pray for us. We know that “apart from God we can do nothing.” But if we abide with Christ, we will bear much fruit. I am choosing to believe with eager expectation that God is going to do exceedingly abundantly more in our parents than we could ever think or ask. My hope is set on our Solid Rock who loves to give good and perfect gifts to His children if we will just ask. And I am asking with faith these blessings over our parents. Thank you again for going to the throne for them with us!

www.macedoniancall.com

Abundant Blessings

The Lord has been doing some incredible things. We are moving at the speed of light and just when I think…. I need to write about that, something else happens. I want to give you an update though on all of God’s goodness. Bear with me.
PENNYS FOR POSHO BLESSING Pennys for Posho is a ministry in Uganda that raises money to feed orphans mainly in South East Uganda. They have a children’s choir that travels the United States for awareness and fundraising. We found out that this choir was coming to Gloucester and WE HAD TO BE THERE. We needed a little taste of our second home. We went to be blessed by their worship and the Lord had other plans in mind. We introduced ourselves to the head of the organization and shared what we were heading over to do. He commented that pastor training was one of the biggest needs in Uganda right now. During the service, when it was time for the offering. he felt the Lord’s leading to give the entire offering to us to help us get to Uganda. Isn’t that incredible! We just stood there and cried.

 
We had the opportunity to spend some time in Charlotte, NC with the director of Macedonian Call and his dear wife. We had some administrative things to wrap up, but mostly we rejoiced in the opportunity to get to know them better. We feel so blessed to know that we have the support and care from this organization and these people. Macedonian Call is our sending organization. They are our 501(c)3 organization responsible for the administrative side of the funding of East Africa Outreach as well as accountability.
WHATS COMING UP

Here is our church schedule for the next few weeks we have left. If you would like to schedule some time for your church or group, please let us know at briandavidwhite76@gmail.com. Please be in prayer for these events for us.

May 10th – Petsworth Baptist Church, Gloucester Va

May 24st- Tipton Baptist Church, Tipton Pa
May 31st- Grace Baptist Church, Tyrone Pa
June 1oth- Bethany Place, Richmond Va
June 21st- Seaford Baptist Church, Seaford Va  (Send Off)
June 28th- BridgePoint Church, Gloucester Va  (Send Off)
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SUPPORT UPDATE
We are close to fully funded in our START UP FUND. Once we sell our remaining vehicle and furniture, we should be close to fully funded. We may have about $5,ooo remaining in the START UP FUND needed. 
 
In our MONTHLY MINISTRY or GENERAL FUND we are still trusting the Lord to provide the remaining 38%, which comes to about $2,000 monthly. This amount will go to cover our rent, electricity, water, internet, phone and guard services.  Would you consider giving to fund these needs? 
 
To begin giving your monthly support today, CLICK HERE.