Over the past few weeks God has really been encouraging Kelly and I to get more serious about our prayer life as individuals and as a couple. We have been traveling around for over a year now asking people to join us on our team to Uganda in prayer and finances. We look back over this year and realize just how little we have been praying, all the while asking others to pray for us. How hypocritical!
We had the privilege of spending the week of June 27th-July 3rd at Delanco Camps annual Camp Meeting. Ron Smith was the evangelist and Andy and Lizette Bowen were the missionaries. God really spoke through Ron and Andy and used them in powerful ways during the week. For me (Josh) personally it was during this week that God finally got through to me about becoming more serious in my prayer life. I want to share a couple of ways I have seen God already at work through my prayers now that I am a bit (still have a ways to go) more serious about my prayers. God receives all the glory for this!
God has been impressing upon Kelly and I to pray BOLD prayers. Praying against the status-quo and praying expectantly. One prayer we are praying now is that we will have all of our funds for Uganda by the end of October. We are sitting at 50% (49.2% to be exact) as of today and it has been over a year. To expect all of our funds by October, in our minds, seems impossible. However, God has impressed upon us to pray this prayer and so we are asking people to pray with us and let God do the hard work. Part of this prayer I have been praying is that people who we have already shared with will be inspired to come on board with a pledge. Since Camp Meeting we have had 2 individuals and a church come on board with a pledge. The first individual is an elderly lady from my old church in Clayton who we have not spoken with for over a year. She "randomly" sent us a card with a pledge and half of her annual pledge in it. Praise God! The second answer was a church that we spoke with back in the beginning of this year. We woke up to an email on Saturday morning from this church saying that they wanted to make an annual pledge. Praise God! The 3rd individual was from a church we spoke at back in May who sent in a pledge card to WGM. Praise God! It's not all about money because many people are joining our team in other ways but these are clearly answers to our prayers and for that we praise God!
Another example of how we have seen God at work through our prayers comes in a way that is not so pleasant. Many of you have heard about the terrorist attack in Kampala Uganda on Sunday evening at the end of the World Cup. A rugby club and a restaurant were hit with bombs and over 60 people are confirmed dead (1 American working with Invisible Children) and many injured. This event hits home for many reasons because it is in Uganda but even more so because the restaurant that was struck is owned by a family who sends their children to Heritage School which is where I will be campus pastor. The restaurant is also located in an area of the city that most likely will be our "neighborhood". When Kelly and I found out about this I said to her that had we been there by now (which was our initial prayer) it would not have been unlikely for one of us to have gone to this restaurant to watch the ending of the World Cup if indeed we wanted to watch it. Since we have a personal connection to the owners that is a place frequently visited by the missionaries. In our prayers of asking God why we are not in Uganda yet I have been thinking that maybe God is protecting us from something. Could this have been it? I have no idea but it really could be one of the reasona. Keep praying for the people of Uganda, for the families who have lost loved ones, and for those living in fear now after these attacks. Praise God none of our WGM missionaries were injured!
This is getting long (one reason Kelly does most of the blogging) but I wanted to just share how God has been working in our hearts when it comes to prayer. We invite you to join us (truly joining us) in prayer for this ministry in Uganda. Pray boldly and expectantly that by the end of October all of our funds will be in and we will be released to go serve in Uganda. We covet those prayers! Pray for the people in Uganda during these uncertain times. Pray for Heritage International School and Kampala International University which is where we will be serving. Bottom line: PRAY! Thank you so much for your support and your prayers.