Sunday, December 29, 2019

Coming Back Around

An interesting development has taken place this term in Uganda.  When new people come, one of the first questions they ask us is, "How long have you been here?"  When we state that we have been here since 2011, we get "the look" and are told how long that is.  Even when we meet Ugandans or others from around East Africa, the same thing happens.  I guess 8 years is indeed a long time!

One fun development that has happened due to being here for 8 years is getting the chance to reconnect with some of those first people we journeyed with.  There have been quite a few who have moved on from Kampala for different reasons and every once in a while they come back for a visit.  If you have followed us at all since 2011 than you have heard me talk about Edwin Eregwa.
Edwin and I - 2013
Edwin and I- 2019
Edwin was without question my first friend here in Uganda and ministry partner.  Edwin is from Kenya and worked at the university ministry we spent some time working with.  Edwin and I were in the trenches together, took a few hits alongside one another, and spent a lot of time before the throne of God pleading for His transformation in the lives of those we were ministering to.  Nothing else draws you closer to someone than that!  Edwin now lives in Kigali, Rwanda with his little family and we miss him terribly.  How exciting it was though when he came through Kampala and made a point to spend a couple days with us.  It is a joy to hear how God has provided for Edwin there in Rwanda and how Edwin is finding many opportunities to use his ministry giftings to serve God.
Mary and Kelly- 2019

Mary came into our lives as we served with the University Discipleship Movement 2011-2015... but I had no idea she was still in Kampala until I happened to drive by and see her walking on the road. She reached out online and asked if we could start meeting weekly. From there we took a deep dive into learning what it looks like to walk with God, how to navigate relationships, and what surrender looks like. She asks the best questions and is really hungry to know God more and experience His best in her life. I've seen her lay down some big things, pray bold prayers, and seek His absolute best for her life. She is shifting to Kenya, and I'll really miss her. He is doing a beautiful work in her life and I know He is not done yet!

Johnson and I - 2017
And then there is my friend Johnson who comes from Nigeria.  If you follow politics in Nigeria, keep a lookout for this guy!  I met Johnson when Edwin and I started ministry at a university nearby.  Johnson was the student guild president and we needed his support to start the ministry.  Thankfully, Johnson loves Jesus and quickly became a huge ally for us.  Eventually, Johnson also joined the men's group I was leading and was a great source of encouragement to us all.  Johnson goes back and forth between Nigeria and Uganda and so I get to see him every few months.  The other day my phone rang and I did not recognize the number.  When I answered I heard the distinct voice of my friend and was very excited to learn he was back in Uganda.  Johnson asked to see me as he was about to return to Nigeria but had an issue he was dealing with and he desired our advice.  And so Kelly and I spent close to 2 hours with Johnson around our dining room table listening, sharing, and praying.  We believe God has great plans for Johnson and these trials he is facing are part of that journey.

I share these stories because we are at a fun point in this missionary journey in Uganda to begin seeing the ripple effect of the ministry we get to be a part of.  Because of your partnership, we are able to partner with the likes of Edwin, Mary, and Johnson and now have a reach into Rwanda, Kenya, and Nigeria.  Pictured below are also Habu and Demian who are UDM alumni and now involved in our Home Fellowship- it's such a blessing that we get to see them every week even after they graduated university! All praise and honor to God above!  Thank you for standing with us since 2011.  Your partnership is having a great kingdom impact!
"Alumni" who came to visit us this year!

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