We Arrived at the Lord’s Servants Home…Team #10

It was a pleasure to get back to the Lord’s Servants Home today.  Greg Perkins, Dr. Randall and Cheryl Thomas, and myself.  Our trip was good and we were warmly greeted by the kids.  I think they’ve all grown a few inches since I was here in January.

Flight to Kitale

Flight to Kitale

Happy greeting by the kids!

Happy greeting by the kids!

The home looks great.  The kids showed us their individual garden plots.  The older kids all have one and with mentorship by Ken Mudenyo, are growing vegetables of their choice.  The kids are learning a life skill and will have the joy of reaping their harvest for eating or selling.

Boaz with his sukumawiki (like kale)

Boaz with his sukumawiki (like kale) and cabbage

Elizabeth with her chickpeas (garbonzo beans)

Elizabeth with her chickpeas (garbonzo beans)

It’s raining again now as the season is beginning.  Brian, Austine, and Reuben are here helping me write this post and they say…”we are happy to see everyone and we welcome them and hello to Mark”… “Hello to Tony and Terri”…”Hello to Forrest”

Thank you for your prayers for a safe trip!!

Trip to LSH and SOH – August, 2013

Greg Perkins, frequent visitor, and the Thomas family, Dr Randall, his wife Cheryl, and daughter Susan, and I will leave on August 1st and return on August 17th.  We will all go to Kitale, Kenya and stay at the Lord’s Servants Home.  The children will be out of school on break during this time.  Cheryl and Susan will have lots of opportunity to love on and do activities with the kids and community.  Randall is an eye doctor and will use his skills among the children and community who likely have never had their eyes cared for.  We also have several projects planned around the home as well as work to prepare the new Lord’s Servants Academy for opening in September.

Greg, Randall, and I plan to take 3 days and travel to Uganda, visiting the Stream of Hope Home.  The kids will be out of school as well and we plan eye, teeth, and basic health checks.  Several facilities and operational improvements should be under way at this new orphanage and we will help facilitate them and plan for the next 6 months.

Of course our primary goal is to encourage the Pastors and Children and share the love of Jesus Christ in a real and practical way.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for wisdom, stamina, and provisions as we prepare.  Thank you!

Stream of Hope Home – Uganda added as a supported ministry of Mission Servants

After prayerful consideration and seeing first hand the need and heart at the Stream of Hope for the African Child (SOHAC) Home in Nawantale, Uganda, we decided to add them as a supported ministry.  See previous blog.  I am excited that we will be working in partnership with Rev. Kathy Bailey and Friends at Serving the Lord Ministries in Quinebaug, CT to serve SOHAC in Jesus’ name.

We have provided some funding already for weekly food for the 46 children currently at the home, medical assistance, and given direction on a few projects to improve the health conditions at the home.  Improvements are being made to the kitchen shelter and an agreement made with the landlord to allow him to improve the latrine and finish the floors in the house.  Pastor Isabirye Paulous is a loving and committed man to these children and he has a great team of people focused on them.  Some of them are in this photo below…Pastor Isabirye is 2nd from the right in the back row.

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Needs exist, beyond regular food and supplies, to help the kids with school uniforms and school fees.  They also need better cooking equipment, food storage, water storage, beds, bedding, mosquito nets, pest control, clothes washing supplies, and clothing.   They do have faith that God provides.

Being a supported ministry of Mission Servants means that we have the ability to funnel funds and support to them and will be providing direction on improving the safety, health, and quality of the home with a long-term vision for the children to fullfill God’s purpose in their lives.  You will see that some web pages and information has been added to the website  here.  Much more information will be added soon on the website and in blogs.

Thank you for your prayers for God’s direction, guidance, protection, and provisions.

46 Precious Ugandan Children…

We met this brave new mercy ministry…an orphanage that Greg, Moses, and I visited and served in Uganda.  Through friendships that God put together over the years, I was introduced to Pastor Isa and the Stream of Hope for the African Child (SOHAC) ministry in a small town about 75 miles north of Jinja, Uganda called Nawantale.  It was a brutal trip to get there from Kitale, nearly 10 hours total by vehicle plus a border crossing.

Pastor Isabirye Paulous and his team started a church and children’s home because of the needs in this community for spreading the Gospel and for children to be defended.  Traditional worship and belief in the spirit world is common.  An undefended child is at risk for exploitation in many ways.  The church building is a simple structure with open sides and grass roof but full of joyful worship.  It is the only church in the village center.  We spent a great Sunday giving messages and in worship with them.

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Stream of Hope worship

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Moses and I with the team at SOHAC Ministry

Rented house for the orphans

The kids and few caretakers are existing in a very cramped and basic way.  They can get clean water at a community well 1/2 mile away but all the children wake at 3:00am to stand in line at the hand pump so they can get water for the day, before walking over 3 miles to school.

Village hand pump

Village hand pump

Stagnant water many use for washing

Cooking and facilities need improving.

Kitchen facility

Kitchen facility

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Sleeping quarters are safe but too cramped and on an unfinished floor with no mosquito nets.

20 boys sleep in this room

20 boys sleep in this room

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SOHAC funding is inadequate and they are just surviving.  We brought them medicine to treat the children for intestinal worms and diarrhea, we left some mattresses and mosquito nets, we bought a 2 week supply of food, we performed field dentistry and removed many teeth, and we purchased school books and supplies so the kids could go to school.  They were so excited to go to school that they did not sleep.

Administering de-worming medicine

Administering de-worming medicine

School supplies so the kids can attend school

2 weeks of food and supplies

2 weeks of food and supplies

Field dentistry to relieve pain

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Pray with us for the guidance and provisions for SOHAC Ministry, for the health and well-being of the kids, for God to be honored in all things, for the lost of Nawantale to see Jesus in the flesh through this work and wish to know Him, and for us to know how God wants us to proceed as Mission Servants Ministry to serve this mission.

Unengaged People Group … the Kenyan Teso

This is a neat story of some work for the Gospel made possible by God connecting a lot of different people…….I love seeing how God works.

A friend of mine, Randy, was investigating the ethnicity and language data available on the people in western Kenya, near the LSH orphanage and he noticed a people group named that Teso that existed along the Ugandan / Kenyan border, southwest of Kitale, the region where the LSH orphanage is.  On the Ugandan side, they are well engaged with the gospel, have a complete Bible and many churches. The data shows that the Tesos of Kenya are only marginally engaged with the gospel.  It seemed ideal that the Ugandan Teso could be helped and encouraged to evangelize their Kenyan relatives.

Questions were asked of Pastor Moses and The Lord’s Ministries (TLM) group that we work with in Kenya about this apparent opening for the Gospel and it was investigated.  Pastor Moses’ associate Pastor Ben visited the border town of Malaba and he met Pastor Godfrey of the Portable Bible Center (PBC).  Pastor Godfrey is a Ugandan Teso who moved across the border to Malaba and established the PBC in Malaba with a mission to train Pastors to reach the Kenyan Teso people.

We met Pastor Godfrey and several students of the PBC during our recent mission trip as we were traveling from Kenya to Uganda.  There are fledgling churches among them established in the past few years of effort.  They are a determined and passionate group.  Pastor Ben, from Kitale, Kenya has been led to adopt the Teso as his mission.  He will work to encourage and help them.  I hope that we can help in some way, possibly providing digital audio media and printed tools through Pastor Ben to help the PBC reach the unreached Kenyan Teso.

“…….I established  there are many  people  who have  a  zeal  for  the   gospel.  This was from  the way I  was received  and  found   out  from  a number  of   Pastors  around.    In   conclusion   brother,  there   is  a   great   task   ahead.    God   bless  you,          Brother Ben – Kenya TESO MISSIONARY”

From Wikipedia….In Uganda, the Teso live mainly in Teso sub-region, i.e., the districts of Amuria, Soroti, Kumi, Katakwi, Ngora District, Serere District, Pallisa, Bukedea and Kaberamaido, as well as Tororo District and Busia District. They number about 3.2 million (9.6% of Uganda’s population). Until 1959, they were the second largest ethnic group in Uganda.  As of 2002 they were the fifth largest.[2]  The Teso in Kenya, numbering about 279,000, live mainly in Busia District, Teso District.[3]  Teso traditions relate that they originated somewhere in what is now Ethiopia and migrated south West over a period of centuries.[4] They were part of a larger group of Nilotic peoples who migrated from Sudan in several waves.  A splinter of this group later formed a branch called the “Karamojong Cluster” or Ateker.  The Ateker further split into several groups, including Jie, Turkana, Karamojong and Teso.[5]  The Teso established themselves in present-day north-eastern Uganda, and in the mid-18th century some began to move farther south. During the course of this latter migration, conflicts ensued with other ethnic groups in the region, leading to the split of Teso territory into a northern and southern part. In 1902, part of eastern Uganda was transferred to western Kenya – leading to further separation of Teso.[4]

Please pray with us for Pastor Godfrey, Pastor Ben, and the Teso people.

Men from the Teso

Men from the Teso at the PBC

Showing the Jesus film as an example of media technology available in Ateso language.

Showing the Jesus film as an example of media technology available in Ateso language.

Greg and Pastor Moses giving a message to the Teso Pastor Trainees

Greg and Pastor Moses giving a message to the Teso Pastor Trainees