Happy New Year
Happy New Year!
As most of us do at this time of year, we have spent time looking back on the year. Humanly speaking, we’re happy for 2017 to be over. It was tough. Yet through the toughest days, God gave us strength that we can’t explain & blessings that we might have otherwise missed.
We’ve also been looking forward to a new year. Many of us see a new year as a bit of a fresh start. Since we are on our end of year break right now with the new school year starting at the end of January, that is especially true here. We’re looking forward to a fresh start in the ministry as we move on with our new normals that we started finding in these last several months.
Our teammates, the Applegates, have gone on furlough & will be moving to Kampala to work with a new church plant when they return. Jim & Tony had been co-pastoring since JJ died, but Jim is now the pastor. It still amazes us to think about what God can do when you’re not expecting it. We didn’t move here with any intentions of being a pastor, but God led Jim to get ordained while on furlough. Little did we know then that he would need it to be the pastor of Mbira Baptist Church in just over a year from then. That’s why we love 1 Thessalonians 5:24, Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it. As verse 25 requests, we ask that you pray for us through this transition. Please pray for wisdom for Jim, & please pray for unity in the church as we all continue in our adjustments.
Our P7 & S4 classes that took their big tests at the end of the year are eagerly waiting for their results. The tests from all over Uganda are graded by hand. Please pray for the process, for the people to be accurate as they grade them, & for the tests to be handled properly & not lost in any transporting.
We have come to the difficult decision to not offer S5 right now. While we are confident that this is the direction God would have us to go, this means the S4 class must decide where God wants them to go next year. They have reached a point that they have several options - S5, vocational school, a certificate program, or work. Decisions might be affected when they get their test results, but for now they all seem to want to go to S5. We will do what we can to “parent” them through this process, but they still have much to figure out for themselves. We’re hoping they all go to a school close enough to allow them to come here for weekends & church on Sundays. Please pray for this class as they move on that God will give them wisdom, that He will provide for them financially, & that they will all remain spiritually grounded wherever they go
We enjoyed having our pastor, Pastor Greg Mutsch, come to visit & see our ministry firsthand.
He preached the Sunday he was here, & 15 people got saved that day! We enjoyed our time together. He was a great encouragement to us all.
We’ve been enjoying our Christmas season. It was extra special because we had Emily here for a week & Amanda for three weeks. How nice to have all of our kids under the same roof again at least for a short time!
We’re excited to see how God is working in Amanda’s life at Word of Life in Hungary. She and her friends spend some of their free time street evangelizing, & she’s been thrilled to see how God has been working through that. She will be going to Cyprus this month with a group from the school to help with childcare in a missionary conference, and she will be doing a summer internship at our home church. She’s excited for all these opportunities and all she is learning through them. Please continue to pray for wisdom for her as she figures out plans for next year. She’s hoping to go back to Word of Life if the Lord wills. We know He will provide all her needs if that’s where she is to go. We continue to thank God for each one of you, for your prayers, & for your support that allows us to stay & minister here. May God bless you as you continue to serve Him in 2018.