He will move Mountains for you…

It is almost Saturday here in Uganda…June 18th. This marks the day of my sweet friend Casey’s birthday, she would be 28 today. I can’t believe she has been gone a little over a year…it seems like yesterday. I wanted to share what I wrote right after she went to be with Jesus. I love that I am celebrating her in Uganda because the Lord revealed His heart to me this time last year with Casey and Africa. I hope you are encouraged.

 I was so upset and disappointed to get on a flight to go to Africa, only to have to turn around and come back home due to the volcano is Iceland. I did NOT understand why God would allow our team to get prepared and head over, only to have to let people in Africa down and wonder what the reason was. Jesus, who is so precious to give us the desires of our hearts…not only sent me back to Austin, but I was going to be missing a weeklong meeting in Lubbock, so because my trip got cancelled I went to Lubbock to work for the week. On Monday Casey had the stroke and I was able to spend Monday-Thursday with her. He took care of the smallest details and gave me the most precious gift I have ever received, being able to hand my friend over to our Father.

Casey fought with incredible strength until her last breath. For over 2 hours I along with her parents and sweet boyfriend and another best friend stood beside her bed and prayed over her as she prepared to meet Jesus. At one point it was just her other best friend Ann and I in the room with her and I asked her if she could hear and understand me to squeeze my hand and she did. I was able to tell her how much I loved her and what an inspiration of strength and courage she is, I got to tell her to go home and meet Jesus but to tell him to hurry and come get us as well.  To see her eyes, made me wish more than anything that I could see what she was seeing!! About 6:00pm she had finally calmed down and was starting to sleep…I was about to leave when her dad asked that I would pray over her again…and so I did, and it was about 15 minutes later she left this earth. We had Chris Tomlin playing all day and when she passed “Amazing Grace, My chains are gone” was playing.  I was able to go back into the room after the doctors left and I was very leery to go but I am so glad I did. It was just her and I and there is no words to describe my last moment in that room with her body…this is what was playing in the background,

“There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You’ll see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love? How can I keep from shouting your name? I know i am loved by the king, and it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing ‘cause You pick me up
Sing ‘cause You’re there
I can sing ‘cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I’ll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

I sat there with her earthly body and it was overwhelming to hear this song playing and knowing that 5 minutes before she was here with us and now she was singing with the saints and angels around the throne. I could not get my head around it, and more than ever I wanted to talk to her to see what she saw, how He came for her and see her in her healing. Casey texted me just over a month ago saying..”I don’t believe God is done with me yet, I believe He is going to heal me” well He healed her in the fullest and at her funeral yesterday…He was not done with her story.

She left a precious piece of her here, her daughter Ashlyn…I watched her during the service yesterday and with a child like faith she sang at the top of her lungs when we sang “Amazing Grace” and cried when the slide show of her and Casey was played. She expressed yesterday that she wants to be baptized because she wants to be able to go and be with her mommy. He is so sweet…even in the storm.

 I have learned so much….the value of friendship and how God really does care beyond our imagination about the desires of our hearts, that he would literally shake mountains for me to be in His presence with my sweet friend when she made it Home.

Thank you all for praying and I ask you continue to pray for Casey’s parents and Ashlyn in the coming days and years…I am now even more ready and excited to hear the trumpets, Casey and I will have a lot to catch up on!
Be encouraged…for He is in the details and He comes for us, always.


Africans know how to Pray!

I woke up this morning to people yelling. It scared me so I sat straight up a little disoriented. The walls in our guesthouse are paper thin so I could tell it was coming from the room next to me. After being in several church services here in Uganda, I have come to recognize the prayers of these people. I laid my head back down and had a waive of conviction come over me. I have never prayed like what I was hearing. Even though I had no idea what they were saying I could hear the dependency in their voice…it was like they were begging God to save their children. 

I started to get dressed and I went to turn on my iTunes for a little P&W music but I could not drown out the sound of these precious souls in the room next to me pouring out there hearts in prayer. It reminds me of how Jesus said in Luke. “If you do not cry out the rocks will”. That thought made me stop this morning…

I do pray. I do believe in the power of prayer but do I pray like I honestly mean it. Do I get up even before the sun rises and start speaking to Him like my day depends on it? I know there are many days that I do not than so, where I just give Him my little prayers throughout the day. So in my silence…the rocks are crying out.

Their prayer went before the team that is here from Virigina. They did Medical, Primary  & Secondary, Prison, Pastor and Wives conference and University Ministry today. I was able to attend the University Ministry. We traveled to a University of the Arts here to share the Gospel by opening up a discussion with them. As one said it best today….God is not only the God of America and the God of Uganda…He is the God of the whole universe. We had such amazing discussions with these University students, who asked us very challenging questions. Questions that I have thought about many times. ( I will share one of the questions tomorrow that I get over and over here and I think it will break your heart like it does mine.) The background of the school is Catholic so we as humbly and bent low as possible presented them with the Relationship with Jesus.There was one who was a believer and we left Bibles with him and he is going to start a weekly Bible Study. 🙂

I want everyone to ask me on Facebook tomorrow if I got up and joined the intercessors in prayer. I want to pray like a woman who has my whole life depending on that one prayer….everytime.

Jambo ya’ll! Thank you for praying for me!! I leave to go spend the weekend with the precious babies tomorrow. 

Eat more Chikin…you know I love me some chicken…

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I met a sweet young lady yesterday at the Guesthouse. Her story testifies to His faithfulness and how He is always working for our good, even when we are far from Him. She had a son named Moses at a very young age. She had nothing to sustain this baby moreless herself. She did not want to see her son die on her own hands and so she left the baby Moses in the Sugar Cane fields. God in His goodness allowed Moses to be found shortly after and they delivered Moses to the Babies home in Bukalaba. The mother went to Prison for leaving her child abandoned. 

While she was in prison God was working together for the good of her and her child. Her baby was adopted by a wonderful family in the states and when she was released from prison she accepted the Lord as her Savior. Now the family that adopted her son now supports her to go to school. I met her yesterday and she is such a beautiful girl. What a testimony of the Lord’s grace even in the midst of our failure. It is in those moments of sin, the sin that haunts you and feel like you can never overcome the weight of what you did, it is in those moments and that sin that He went to the cross. It wasn’t for the moments when you had it together…when you are on the mountain top. It is for those moments where our hearts are so dark that He overcame and saw you in that moment and wanted to go to the cross for that sin. 

Romans 3:21 But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight-not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we ALL can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.

I hear story after story of God’s faithfulness here. I often have wondered why do we in the States have such an abundance of everything? Food, comfort, homes, cars, good things…what have we done to deserve it? Why does Africa not have the same? The answer is so clear to me…It is his grace and faithfulness. I will never look at my meals the same. It truly is God’s faithfulness to you that you have options and abundance in food so when we are full and we still have much on our plates, it is His faithfulness to us. Here in Africa they are thankful for little and they never cease to amaze me with their thankfulness. They truly depend on Jesus for EVERY provision…they have nothing else to lean on. My heart struggles with how our blessings become our enemy in the States.

As you start your day I hope you remember as I am remembering for every single thing that is given to me today…food, protection, water, shelter it is only His faithfulness and mercy upon us.

“Great is Thy Faithfulness! Morning by Morning new Mercies I see! All I have needed Thy hand has provided…Great is Thy faithfulnes Lord unto me.” 

Learning to Bend Low

Many people have followed Katie’s blog she is a young woman who lives 3 houses down from my house in Jinja. She has encouraged me every time I read her blog…it has always confirmed that my heart was being called to come serve in Uganda. Today her blog struck me to my core. 

I have asked the Lord to break me and pour me out and that I would live every minute of each day that I am here “bent low” and serving. My human flesh fails me. Yesterday was a hard day on me not emotionally but physically. Several times during the day I did not have a heart bent low attitude, I was ready to meet my team in London and go home. It is so difficult to always have the heart of a servant. I know there will be many more moments that my limits are put to the test and I will cry for the comforts of home. But I am reminded that He went beyond his emotional and physical limit for me and me alone. So it is those moments I will pray for…moments where I am pressed to the limit and He comes in and gives me the strength to keep going. 

I have already seen Him work. I had a huge waive of fear come over me a few nights ago. I have never been here as the only mzungu and so naturally as a woman it is a little scary travelling far into the mountains and staying in foreign places. I could not sleep so I got up and picked up the Word and opened to Matthew 10:15 “Even the very hairs of yourh head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”. His love is my security. I need not to fear people but fear God. The worst that can happen is that I lose my life…”To live as Christ and to die is gain”. He is my reward. He is so faithful to speak right into your fear. This allows me to bend low, because I know that bending low might involve great risk but that risk is my reward. I am truly living, only to die?

I am now sitting in a room full of Ugandan Pastors that have travelled longer distances than we would do driving and they have walked. I can hear their language and hear in their soft voices that they are here only for His glory. This encourages me to bend low. They have nothing, yet they find His joy fulfilling on the dirt floor praying. They pray with power and expectancy. I want to bend low to pray with such power. Around here, they live with lives bent low.

I will leave you with the challenge that I had today from Katie:

At the end of the day I bend low, asking for him to bend me lower. 

Because I have a Savior who came to be a servant. He lived bent low. And bent down is where I see His face. 

He lived, only to die. Could I?

Die to self and break open only to love. This Savior, His one purpose to spend himself on a messy us. Will I spend myself on behalf of those in front of me?

Will I get tired? Yes, I will. But when you are face to face with Jesus in the dirt, and the more I bend the harder and better and fuller this life gets. And sure we are tired, but oh we are happy! 

Because bent down low is where we find the fullness of joy. 

PRAYING FOR YOU AS YOU BEND LOW FOR WHOEVER IS IN FRONT OF YOU. HE WILL MEET YOU THERE. 

Please commit to praying

So much to share! Today my mom and team left to head home. I was suprised with how hard it was to send everything that had been normal on a bus back across the world. The realness hit me like a ton of bricks. But after the tears came the reassurance from Him that this is where He has placed me…for such a time is this. I know this because of what is lying ahead of me. 

I will be helping manage the babies home while I am here. I am going to be in Jinja during the week at first while I am working with the pastors and learning to live their lives so I can share with everyone their needs from first hand experience when I return. My desire is to see all 200 pastors sponsored. I will be giving more details of their stories as I go and visit their villages. On the weekends I will be going to the babies home to relieve Allyson, who is also here from the states and will help manage on the weekends. When my work is completed with the Pastors I believe I will be staying at the babies home full time.

There is great work to be done there. I cannot begin to tell you…51 babies, you cannot imagine all that goes into running an orphanage. It is hard to put into words because just the records, business, farming, medicine and small details is enough work for 5 people not to mention needing to have 7 laps, 12 arms to hold each of these babies that are craving attention…but there are 2. We have amazing aunties that are there that are tremendous at their jobs. I ask that you would pray that I would have wisdom beyond my years, that God would multiply the work of our hands and that I would find time to spend with each child to pour Jesus love into their hearts. 

What I am about to share will not even scratch the surface of what the real story is but for the sake of this sweet boy I will only give the information necessary for you to pray. Yesterday we received a new boy, Damian. He is 10 years old and the oldest child that is at the orphanage. They have not taken in a child that old but Damian is in great need. He witnessed his father kill his mother and then take his own life. I cannot begin to tell you what this child has seen…I have seen with my own eyes and it has caused me to be sick. No child should ever see what he saw. I met him yesterday as his guardian brought him with a heart that I have never felt before. I cannot begin to put into words what my eyes saw when I looked into this child’s eyes. He is old enough to where he knows that he should not cry so he would try to hold it in but he would wipe tears away. Ally and I tried our hardest to welcome him and tell him that we were so glad God brought him to us but even then I struggled because I knew how scary this was. He lost everything. He has no family, he has been pulled from his village, taken to an orphanage and now has two mzungu (white person) welcoming him. I cannot bear it but He has brought me here for this boy if nothing else. I want to love him and see the joy in his eyes like I see in the other children’s eyes. 

You will notice in the other pictures I will post the children are happy…I ask that you commit to praying for Damian that he will have the same joy. Please pray that Jesus will be near. 

I am depending on Him to give me the strength and the endurance. He is the ultimate authority, He does as He pleases. Let the children come unto Him, for theirs is the Kingdom. 

Damian

Proverbs 31:8-9

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, insure justice for those who are perishing.Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. 

Struggling on how to put into words

How do I put into words the images, the smells, the faces, the experience that I have had just in the short time I have already been here. Right now I am sitting here listening to the quietness of Africa. I love how their culture is so slow…they take in life, a life that is hard but they have the strengths of warriors. 

I love hearing “Jambo, Jambo” as we travel into the  villages with children running as long as their legs will let them alongside the bus waving both hands. I love looking into the eyes of these people who have experienced more than I ever will in my lifetime and seeing Jesus still giving joy to light up their eyes. 

God moments thus far: ACF team brought tons of children’s clothes and we were able to bring each child in one at a time and dress them in two new outfits. These children are craving attention and to be able to give this to them and see their eyes light up and occasionaly get a smile when you told them how beautiful they were. The team that is here from Austin had amazing stories that I cried listening to…5 people have come to know the Lord! He is so good. 

I will be spending Friday-Saturday at the babies home helping as the cooridnator. There is so much work to be done. I ask that you pray that the Lord will multiply the work of our hands, that he will take just my one lap, my two hands and arms and through them send His love to these children that is the ultimate Sustainer.

I covet your prayers…To Reveal and to Heal. 

At the Babies home. These faces take away all questions of why I am here. 

There are no orphans with our God!