See how the OUTFLOW ministry began in this short clip. Join us as we reach out to three cities in three days this Christmas. Our goal is to reach over 1,000 children and make impact on lives of those that we interact with. We want to see Christ's name known everywhere we go. Our immediate goal is to hand out food and share the gospel message. In the future out hope is to one day open up a youth center where people can come get resources, learn the arts, and grow in their walk with the Lord. Please consider donating to The OUTFLOW ministry for Christmas this year.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
|Christmas On the Streets 2015|
When you think of Christmas what do you think of? Many of us think about the gifts, food, a warm fireplace, Christmas plays, and just getting together with family. We have a whole season dedicated to buying things for the ones we love and celebrating the birth of Christ with those around us. It’s a season that most everyone knows and loves.
- Over 10,000+ children are living the streets and that number is growing every day.
- There are children living on the streets of all over Uganda: Kampala ,Kisenyi, Jinja, Mbale, Arua. It’s a case that has spread country wide and it needs to be addressed.
- Many of the children are mistreated by the adults and community around them and are subject to all forms of physical and sexual abuse.
- A few of the street kids have had a chance to get help from NGO’S but many children still move and stay on the streets without food and proper care.
It all starts with YOU!
This year we want to take Christmas to the streets. Our hope is to feed 1,000 children. Create awareness and show the love of Jesus to these children who may not have access to all of the things that we are so privileged to experience year after year.
|Christmas On the Streets 2015|
Who, What, When and Where you ask?
• Theme: Christmas on the Streets
• Date:17th - 19th Three days Christmas experience
• A team of 100-200 volunteers will storm the streets and ghettos all dressed in Christmas attires
• Kids and their families will be given the basic needs to take them through Christmas season i.e.Clothes,food,soap, drinks
• Organized groups will be invited to join and participate in the cause
• Kampala, Kisenyi and Jinja are the towns to be stormed
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
1) BY BUYING A T-SHIRT FOR $25 WHICH WILL GO TOWARDS BUYING MATERIALS AND BLESSING THE FAMILIES AND CHILDREN AFFECTED
2) BY DONATING A ONE-TIME GIFT
3) BY PRAYING FOR US
4) SPREADING THE WORD AND/ OR JOINING US IN UGANDA
Friday, April 15, 2016
Spring is such a great season because everything is new and fresh. All the life that was dried up and squeezed out of everything is being reborn and made new. It has endured through the cold and treacherous winter and is now having the opportunity to see the sun again and have a chance to grow. I want to grow this season, do you?
During these last three month I have been a terrible blogger because I had so much I wanted to say but at the same time there was so much instability that I wasn’t sure what I could say to give you all the pieces that I wanted to give you. I was presented with making a decision and I didn’t know how to process it all. For your sake and mine I just became quiet. I wanted to have such a clear direction of where the Lord was sending me and I wasn’t getting a sense of that in the slightest. In all honesty I don’t think I will for some time either. I am in a refining period where the Lord is surrendering me to the fire and the flame to test my endurance and faithfulness. Where will I put my hope and my strength? Where will I find my sense of belonging and purpose in life? All of these seem like such deep and theological questions that are way out of my comfort zone and all a little bit too wordy.
Let me just give you a little recap….
January I got to spend at home with all of my home town family and friends and just be a part of the ministry that God is doing in Port Orchard. I was blessed with a great job that gave me the flexibility to have mornings with my momma and dinner with my family that same day. Also, I got to spend a lot of time at church and jumping into the ministry that God was working on in my family’s life. I don’t mean to toot my dad’s horn. But I am so excited to be following the leadership of a man that I get to call dad. I am so blessed by his message every Sunday and I am so thankful that I get to keep up with what he is preaching even here in Uganda. And that somehow it almost directly correlates with something that is going on here. It really seriously blows my mind how much I can get out of one sermon of his.
In February I got to go visit the Blair Family and see beautiful Italy. I spent one of the evenings I was there speaking to their Awana group on base and got to share the joy of living and pursuing Christ in Uganda. They were amazed at the place I got to live and had all sorts of questions for me but, in all honesty I wanted to sit at their feet and ask them all about living in Italy and getting to make childhood memories in such an incredible place. One of the families that lived on base ended up being from Everett which was pretty fun. It was such a great reminder that this world that we live in is not all that big. That the Lord provides the right encouragement at the right time to reveal himself to us. How great is that? We serve THAT God. The Blair family was so hospitable and introduced me to true Italian pizza, olive oil, and showed me around some of the sites. I had a delicious breakfast of a cappuccino and pastries in front of a beautiful cathedral. And of course bubbly water. Oh Europe.
Next stop was Scotland to see my roommate from Uganda. I met Laura at the Glasgow airport and I had to actually pinch myself because I felt like I was dreaming. But I wasn’t. I was actually in the flesh. In Scotland. I walked through the city with my head tilted back looking up at all the beautiful architecture and realized how boring we actually are in the states. Everything there had so much beauty and architecture. That evening we stayed in the train station hotel that had a very harry potter esque look to it and I was awestruck. We spent the next couple of days enduring sunshine and snow and touring around Edinburgh and staying in the cutest little snug on the top floor of a red door apartment. I had such an incredible time of just being able to relax and reconnect with someone who had lived in Uganda with me. I was so blessed with the time we spent there and I cannot wait to go again.
Valentine’s day I hopped on a train and said goodbye and made my way down to Northern England- The Lake District to be a bit more exact. Porsche and her mum met me at the station with flowers. I love flowers. As we drove home I could smell the ripe smell of sheep. The next 6 weeks were spent in ministry with Porsches pastor and family. Travelling to different Primary and secondary schools and sharing about Uganda. Every Wednesday night they had a group of teenagers come to their home to share a meal and have time fellowshipping together. Similar to youth group but in someone’s home so it felt way more personal. We spent the mornings going to prayer meetings or home visits and just sharing what God was doing in our lives. Every time I opened my mouth someone would comment on my accent. It was so fun to be in a place where I had the cool accent.
Porsche and I travelled to London and walked around all of the beautiful sites. We got to meet up with an amazing group of Ugandan women who are living, working, or studying in England. We spent a whole night praying and worshipping together to see the Lord bring revival back to England. We travelled to Oxford to see another friend from Uganda and spent two nights in her flat within the gorgeous old town. We walked past the doorway and lamppost that is meant to have given CS Lewis his inspiration for Narnia. We attended church in a beautiful old cathedral. And again spent time in prayer. Caragh was an incredible host and we got to worship again with her the same way that we had in the little backyard all the way in Uganda. Again, it is so overwhelming to see how the Lord brings people into your life to encourage you and see you grow. I would have never met people like Caragh and Laura and Porsche if I had not followed the Lords calling to Uganda in my life. Then it was off to Hungary for Porsche and I. We got to spend the better half of a week in Budapest with yet another friend that we had made in Uganda. It was such a beautiful place. To be honest I do not think it would have ever been a place on my radar to visit if I had not met this friend of ours. Again these architects must be doing something right because EVERYTHING is absolutely breathtaking. All the detail that goes into one building. Even if just the molding around the top of the building had so much detail. Your brain does not even know where to focus. Now one thing I will say throughout my travels I learned so much about prayer and the importance of it and that it is always necessary at every moment of every day. When we landed we got out of the terminal and the first thing we did was stop and thanked the Lord. That is so how I want to be known and how I want to live my life. There was one fellowship that we got to attend that was an 8 hour worship session in Hungarian. At first it was a bit overwhelming and I didn’t know if I would be able to be sustained for the whole fellowship. But the Lord was so present and so faithful. Porsche and I recognized a few of the songs that we sang and sang the English version alongside the Hungarian version. We got to see all denominations come together just for the sake of surrendering all to the Lord and giving Him all the praise he deserves
That is just a little recap of what the last few months have held.
As I got on a plane to come back to Uganda I really had to seek the Lord and ask for strength and direction. It is so easy for us to lead with our hearts. I wanted to listen for the groanings of the Holy Spirit.
The elections in Uganda were a lot smoother than they had anticipated and thankfully there wasn’t too much disruption in the country. All of your prayers were and are so greatly appreciated. Uganda is such a beautiful place filled with some amazing people that I get to call family. There is something so rich about this country. Rich in life and love and joy. Something that we could use a lot more of. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be serving back in this place that is so full of Gods face. The sunshine has been ridiculously bright lately and therefore has been a lot more humid than I remember. It’s a full house being back and we have volunteers from Ireland, Australia, America, and England! It is so fun to have such a diverse group here.
My first week back I went to find some chocolate cake. As many of you have probably already heard I got into a little tussle with some gravel and a boda (motorbike). I got my knee scraped up pretty good but I am very okay. We are in the healing process still and it is beginning to itch so much. I am constantly finding myself sitting in meetings or at projects just itching my kneecap. It’s the left one in case you want to add it to your prayer list.
I have dove head first into going to projects with the rest of the team and just pouring into the ministry side of things. Last week we planted grass. Yes. Grass. Barefoot in the hot sun with some music and a hoe and got six blisters. Blisters that I am oh so thankful for. I have found a new love for manual labor. For those of you have come to Uganda you can totally vouch that it has not been a strong suit of mine. But how the Lord has made something new in this girl of his.
Let me just brag on the amazing team that we have on ground right now. It seems that is in every moment of everyday we are always challenging each other on things that God is working on in our lives and I have been absolutely and completely challenged by each one of them. It is so fun to have some of our core group still the same: Lindy, Porsche, Anna, and Kelsey. Reuniting with them has been pure bliss to be able to look forward to what God is going to do in this new season. I also have a sweet roommate from Australia that is such a gem. But unexpectedly have had the blessing to meet another pastors daughter. It’s funny how when you meet someone like that there is just an immediate bond and a connection of “you totally know what it’s like to grow up as a PK” its unspoken but there is a connection there for sure. We have had several spontaneous worship and devotion nights and have been able to really allow the spirit to work in ways that are so beautiful to be a part of.
I have read several books since I have been back and I totally want to share them with you. If you are looking for something that will challenge your faith and make you want to step out of your comfort zone and make yourself aware of what God wants to do in your life than these are the books for you:
The first one is called Scary Close and Ican honestly say that it may very well be one of my most favorite books ever written. Written by Donald Miller it is a book all about relationships and getting off of the stage of life and be you. That people want to love you for who you are and love without boundaries. Stop hiding behind the hurt and the guilt and love relentlessly like Christ has called us to. Its all about finding real and true intimacy in all of our relationships.
The second one that has really stood out to me it called Lets All Be Brave by Annie Downs a book about living life to the fullest and really being brave in whatever the Lord has called you to. Whether it is to move across the street or around the globe. Be brave in what he is convicting you of. To stand up and stand out for your faith and where your heart on your sleeve and see the name of the Lord be preached in all areas of the earth.
Both books are incredible and have been so challenging in my walk as I have come back to Uganda. I am so expectant to see what is in store for these next couple months before I come home for Megan’s wedding. It has been so fun to wedding plan from a distance and I cannot wait to spend a couple weeks with her before she says I do to the man of her dreams.
To all of those who are still with me on this post as you can tell there is so much going on and so many new and exciting things that God is doing in my life. What tomorrow looks like, I do not know. But I DO know that I am HERE today and that I am going to serve the Lord with my whole heart and stand firm in every conviction that the Lord has given to me. I want to see his name praised. I want to encourage. Mentor. Teach. Learn. Seek Him more. See Him more.
And I want to grow.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Often times since being home people ask me the same handful of questions. Probably for lack of knowing where the conversation should go. What do you ask a long term missionary that visits home?
Q: When did you get home? How long are you around THIS time? When do you go back? Will it be safe? When will you get to come back “home” again? Do you like it over there?
Isn’t it true that we are always jumping to what comes next? Though, I have a question for myself… something that I am waking up every day and asking since arriving in Port Orchard:
What am I doing while I am here? What is MY home assignment?
How am I being used and letting God use me for His glory in this unplanned endeavor? How can I continue to serve and be a missionary even while I am on “furlough”? My job and my mission don’t stop and doesn’t depend on which side of the globe I am currently on. Truth of the matter is I have been just as called to Port Orchard as I have to Uganda. What makes this any different? Culture? People? Weather? Well if we are being honest the answer to those are a loud yes. But my call to be used for the Lords glory and to further the kingdom is just as strong here.
First of all we need to address the elephant in the room: Why am I home?
Currently Uganda is holding presidential elections and as a safety precaution Empower a Child had asked us to leave the country until elections are over (Lord willing in the beginning of March). In the past there have been riots, street mobs, tear gas, abuses of internationals, and they just want to be over prepared. This also gives all the volunteers a break and a chance to see their families. It is proving to be a lot less stressful than I had imagined. I was really battling with whether or not to come home and the night before I got on an airplane I had no peace about coming back to the states. I knew that the Lord would lead but just felt like there was not going to be anything for me here. I struggled to pack up all of my things on the other side of the world and fly all the way home after I had just been here in October. I was looking forward to spending time with my family over the holidays but I wondered if I would find a good fit while I was home. If I would be able to pick up a normal lifestyle without feeling completely lost. Would I be able to voice my opinions and be heard? Would the cultural differences scream at me? Would the worship services at home differ from Uganda? Would I be able to adjust again? Would I find myself being THAT girl that goes on and on about Uganda and people would avoid spending time with me? Even though I have travelled home so many times each time I come there are a different set of challenges.
It seemed all too much. The better option in my mind upon receiving this news was to rent a small room in the middle of a village in Uganda and hide out from all the crowds for a couple months. That would have seemed to be the most logical option in my mind at that time.
But away I went and found myself on Christmas Eve- standing on the stage of my home church. In front of all of the people that have invested into my life and who have encouraged me in every stage of my life. What an overwhelming rush of thankfulness that covered me that night. I look back to every stage of my life and see different faces of people who challenged me to be who the Lord has created me to be. It is so beyond me to be able to be here and look at what the Lord has for me.
While I am home I have been given the awesome opportunity to work part time as a nanny for a sweet family that has two kiddos. I am blessed to spend three days a week getting out and earning a little money to be able to move around a bit. Because I am only working a handful of days a week it has opened up some time to spend with family and friends and catch up with the people who I love over here. The only challenge I am facing is that I am really bad at sitting still and being idle. So I am finding myself constantly standing in front of my calendar and filling every hole. My calendar is right on the wall next to the family calendar and we are constantly cross referencing our programs (Or schedules as you say in America) during the week.
I have also had the privilege to help Megs and Gates do a little wedding planning. A special time that I did not think I was going to get. Last week Megan and I got together with one of our childhood best friends to plan for the bridal shower and other wedding details at the Victorian tea room, for those of you that know the spot, know it’s a place that we have visited every year on our birthday since we were toddlers. It was so strange and sentimental to sit in the building that we have sat in for years and now we are planning her wedding. I walked through an all too familiar and favorite department store- Target with Gates and Megan! As we walked through they pointed out different things that they hoped would one day be in their forever home. It’s the moments like this that I realize I miss so much of when I am in Uganda. Getting to spend this month at home has given me the chance to watch Megs grow up so much and I have such a pride for the woman that she is growing into. She turned 20 years old this week and we are Irish twins which means from January 11th to January 26th we get to be the same age. How cool is that? How could God create two completely different people and have them be the same age in the same family for two weeks out of their lives. Okay. That was a bit dramatic. But seriously? How cool? So cool. K I am done.
What’s the plan you ask?
I will be here in Port Orchard until February 7th and then I will fly to England for a month to hang out with my best friend Porsche and her family. On my way there I am going to take a pit stop in Italy to see the Blair family. We are gonna run around the country wreaking havoc on the country. I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for our time together.
Havoc: To inflict or execute, especially in vengeance or passion; to hurl or drive; as, to wreak vengeance on an enemy; to wreak havoc. I had to Google the definition because it sounded super cool in my head but I wanted to be sure that I was getting the right thoughts out on this blog without getting too crazy or out of hand. I read a quote earlier this morning, “A friend who guards her words is a gift. May we thank God for that kind of gift, and may we BE that kind of gift.” Lysa TerKeurst, Author. This is the kind of friend that Porsche is. Even when we are thousands of miles apart and our what’s app call is cutting in and out. She challenges me to be this kind of friend on a regular basis! Can you say that you are this kind of friend to someone?You can also be keeping her in your prayers as it would be so awesome for her to be able to make her way over to our neck of the woods so she can meet all of you at Megs’ wedding!
We are planning on returning to Uganda on February 29th (Yay for a leap year) and continue in ministry. 2016 is going to be a big year with lots of big changes and I am so excited to be a part of it. Thankful the lord has been gracious enough to allow me to have another day to serve Him. To bring him glory in a way that I could not have yesterday and I will not be able to tomorrow. I am looking forward to letting the Lord lead and just follow in the direction that he has for me. 2015 was a year all about seeking the Lord first. Pausing amidst any trial that I faced and seeking His face. As we enter 2016 the theme for this year is all about being genuine. To really pour into people. Can you say that you have genuine relationships with the people that you interact with on a regular basis?
So as I close out this blog and as I sit here in the Port Orchard Coffee Oasis I want to challenge you to be bold in your faith. Be a missionary right where God has called you! Ask me hard questions. Grow deeper rooted relationships with those people that you interact with on a regular basis and be a leader among your peers and in your community. Share Gods love with that person sitting next to you. We need to stop the church from becoming dead. God has called us to something so much higher than ourselves. If there is an area of service that he has convicted your heart towards- go for it! Serve and set the example for those that are looking up to you. Meet with fellow believers and challenge each other to have real authentic faith.
We all have a Home Assignment. What is your Home Assignment?
Friday, November 13, 2015
Mukama Yebaziwe-‘Praise the Lord’!
*NEW: Well, we have unexpectedly had a bit of change of plans. Due to the increasing risk of violence and rioting because of the upcoming presidential elections in February, Empower a Child is taking all safety precautions necessary in protecting their volunteers. For this reason they have asked us to leave between the months of February- March. I am in no immediate danger and as I said it is just a measure to ensure our safety. This is one thing that I did not financially plan for. I am still in the process of making a decision on where to go over this time.
Currently, I am looking into going to the UK, to stay with Porsche’s family because it is closer than flying home. With this being said I am looking for $1,500 to help cover the cost of the flight and necessities during this time. If you feel led or are able to give please let me know. Thank you!
Keep Uganda’s leaders in your prayers during this time.
Choosing extraordinary when things are less than that.
· What pushes you to be stronger and stand out when everyone else is pushing you to conform and be just like everyone else?
· Why is it that we settle for less then what we deserve?
· We sell ourselves short? For what? Approval. Personal gain. Outward appearance.
· Where does spiritual conviction come from, what is it, and how should you respond?
Spiritual conviction: is the judgment or discernment that we have on those things that come up in our walk/ relationship with God.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please. Or worse, to avoid trouble.”
Every morning of the work week as a team we sit together and share in devotions. We spend some time singing praise and worship songs and then someone in the team shares what God has been teaching them in this season of their lives. It is great discipline to sit down as a team and to be seeing all of these things that the Lord is teaching us both individually and also as a team.
Typically, Tuesday mornings are “My” day. I usually lead the team in a team bonding activity and tie a spiritual/ biblical element into it. Something that will get the wheels turning but also brings the team closer together. This week I woke up late on Tuesday morning and decided I was going to be a little more relaxed and we were going to play a game just for fun and because I had failed to plan a better activity. It was a last resort/ go-to game. During worship I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit more vividly then I ever had.
How? I was tired and unprepared to enter into the presence of the Lord during worship. Unengaged. And to be quite honest in a bit of a mood. You know the kind that you just don’t want anyone to mess with because you just might crack or have a mental breakdown?
As I sat there, the team as trickling in one by one along with the rain. It is currently rainy season. (If you read in my last post, you would have seen my other story about getting caught in the rain. It’s a good one.) I began making lists. I am a list maker. If I can write it down, I will. I started looking around the room looking at everyone’s outfit. “Oh, I wish I could have showered today”, “Does my dirty shoes match my outfit”, “I can’t forget, I have to write an article about a staff member”, “I wonder when I will have to go to the ATM again”, “Where did I leave my favorite pen”, “Should we play four on a couch or fish bowl?”…some of the many thoughts literally while I was singing. These were the words that flooded my brain. So distracted in the time that I should have been looking and seeking the face of the Lord. I was distracted with trivial mindless thing that were not only distracting me but were completely senseless. I couldn’t get my mind off of me for more than five minutes to focus on the most important part of the day and just seek Him. By the time I caught on to this conviction I was mid-way through a song and was missing what I was meant to hear this morning. We were singing lyrics like “My one defense, my righteousness. Oh Lord, how I need you” and “The colors of the sunrise are inside of your eyes…you’re beautiful”, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about you. I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it and it’s all about YOU”
How can we sit there and miss out on lyrics like that?
I went on to spend the rest of the day in a café and continued to ponder this idea of spiritual conviction and how it related to me and if I am truly seeking the Lord in all things.
It came to my attention that if this organization is going to grow our team needs to be unified and in order to be unified- things are going to change. I, as Shannen Kennedy, cannot bring conviction but I can share mine and plant a seed that the Holy Spirit can use to bring that conviction.
How are you letting the spirit work in your life?
I want to challenge you today. Keep each other accountable for the things that you are studying in scripture. Ask hard questions and let’s not be shallow with one another. Lets seek God in a bigger way and share His love. Let’s let His love manifest in our lives.Follow your convictions and stick with them.
We are running into a new season here at Empower a Child and going into a time of planning so our management team has been working on an outline where we can be perfecting the way we plan and we can have a smooth transition into the new year of 2016.
Next week we are headed to the village where we can be far from distractions and we can be focused on what we want to accomplish and see the Lord work in for next year. I am excited to reflect on this last year here in Uganda and see how I can take what I have learned from volunteers coordinating and use it towards the Marketing and Media department. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to plan and prepare for the following year.
2016 is not only going to be a big year for Empower a Child but also for Uganda as a country.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
*September 26th (My last week in Uganda before visiting home)
Last week I got stuck in the middle of a downpour in downtown Kampala and found shelter at a small café where I could wait out the storm. I don’t usually wear tank tops and had pulled out my white tank top just for something different. It was so hot outside and I wanted my shoulders to meet the sun for the first time in a long time. The dark clouds rolled in with the thunder and the rain began. I ran across the street looking for a safe and familiar haven at 1,000 cups coffee shop. I found myself getting frustrated because there was no wifi, I didn’t carry my bible, and I was freezing because foolishly I had chosen the tank top instead of my go-to t-shirt. Just my luck. I had places to be and things that I wanted to get accomplished, but the Lord quieted my spirit and told me to sit down and stop making noise. (My loud clanging symbol was ringing at this point). Sometimes I get caught in crossfire of work and being so focused on the tasks at hand that I don’t stop to realize the opportunities that the Lord is allowing in my life. I want to be more observant.
How do you recap the busyness of life in a few short and simple words? Words that are meant to bring impact to somebody somewhere in the world. It is most possible that these ramblings are completely and perfectly for my own brain and that would be plenty enough. I am thankful that this is not a forced thing but an output to be able to fill with what God is revealing in my life. Through every valley and every storm He allows things to come into my life and still carries me to the next season. These blogs sometimes start so vague and can drag on like this forever so I want to cut to the chase and get straight to the point. How can I make my relationships more meaningful and deep rooted?
What is God teaching me right now?
-To rely on Him in EVERYTHING
-Even if I don’t have all the pieces I can still wait on the Lord while working towards a goal/ dream and be utilized by God in a specific way. To not lose my passion for Christ even in the busiest of seasons or experiences
-He has asked for my heart and I have willingly given it to him as a gift and I cannot take it back or modify my gift giving in any way. It belongs to Him wholly and completely.
-To not get caught up on the little distractions in life. If I am chasing after His heart- the rest will follow after: whether it be a job, family, or income.
-To guard my heart and thought life. I have total control of my mind and what I think about others and how I let them make me feel.
-How to make a genuine difference and utilize my gifts and talents to the best of my ability and to its fullest potential.
-To not rush what God is trying to do in my life- don’t move where He is supposed to move. Be still and quiet and calm. Wait on Him in all things.
The one that has been the most highlighted in my life right now is that the Lord has blessed me with relationships like that of David and Jonathan. It has challenged me so much to think about all of my friendships. Like I said earlier, how can I make these relationships more meaningful and deep rooted?
1 Samuel 18
“Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”
-Saul took David in because he realized how much his son loved him and scripture says he did not allot him to go back to his father’s home
How can Saul become so hard hearted towards David in such a quack amount of time and how can we learn from their relationship?
Scripture says that Saul was in fearful awe of David and the favor that fell upon him and he was in awe. I think of the word awe and it is a beautiful picture of just amazement almost to a point of disbelief. So much so that he just wanted to see David fail. He gave his daughter Michal to him and David loved her and she loved him very much. He went and killed 200 Philistines as the bride price for her. At one point while Saul was plotting against David- Michal heard of the plan and helped him escape and put pillows and goats hair in the place that he should sleep. Jonathan continued to keep tabs on his father’s plan and made him aware of what was going on.
Can my friendships be this genuine?
Where would you draw the line? How far would you be willing to go for the sake of a friendship? What does it take? What does that look like?
Seeking the kingdom first, building your relationship with Christ, and modeling the love that Christ has for the church. It looks like laying everything down and humbling yourself and putting others before your desires. Sometimes these simple truths that we hear so often just go in one ear and right out the other. How do you make it stick?
Can you be genuine in every action? Thought? And response?
David and Jonathan had every right to be jealous of one another. They both were heirs to the throne one by birth the other by marriage. They were both great and courageous soldiers. But they put everything aside and above all odds became the best of friends:
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:13-15).
*October 26th , Present Day
One month later:
After finally (8 long months) getting my approved work permit I thought that it might be a fun idea to take it for a test drive and get the opportunity to leave the country and not be questioned or probed in any way. I was so excited I could walk through immigration with confidence knowing that I know hold a piece of paper in my hand that says I temporarily belong to the country of Uganda. Through a series of Skype calls with my dad and texts from my recently engaged sister, who is only 11 months younger than me, I decided after being away from home for nine long months I would walk through that airport and take the long journey to the other place I call home and catch up. Surprise! It was a quick decision that I made in an instant with my dad and we kept it a secret from the two people I connect with most: My mom and my sister.
I got to the airport in the early afternoon and walked to my gate while I was texting my family in both places. Sat in limbo sort of I guess you could say. After a quick 5 hour flight to Dubai followed by a 14 hour flight to Seattle I was home. As I flew into Seattle and all of the evergreen trees peaked out of the clouds that were covering above, tears filled my eyes, and my heart ached already for what God was going to be doing in my life over the next three weeks. It did not last long I assure you as the young girl in front of me turned around and peered through the crack in between the seat and the window. She stared at me until I shook my head and looked at her as if I was asking what she wanted. I wiped away the tears and walked with confidence through the airport that has seen my footsteps so many times. The escalator carried me to the lobby where I could pick my bags and met my dad standing there.
The days that followed were full of seeing people unexpectedly and watching their expressions when they saw me in a place that I shouldn’t be anymore. One thing that was on my heart so heavily is that I did not want to just come and go like the rushing wind. I wanted my time to be intentional and a time to encourage and equip others with what God has blessed me with. To all of you who I did not get to run into randomly or intentionally I am so sorry I missed you and I wish I could have packed more visiting in the three weeks I was home. I had the blessing of getting to have several speaking engagements and encouraging the children from my home church from 3 year olds all the way up to senior citizens in church. Let me tell you—I much prefer the three year olds. My story telling skills at the level is way more fun for both parties involved. My conviction was really towards the youth this time around. I wanted to leave something that had meaning. Something that they could walk away with and use in their everyday lives. Something that I wish I could have had at that age. Someone who wasn’t much ahead of me. Encouraging. Sharing life. Someone who was doing life. So to all the youth reading this…ACCOUNTABILITY AND MENTORSHIP is what I want you to hear as much as I want to hear it for myself as well.
I am humbled and so incredibly beyond blessed to be able to be back in the country of Uganda serving alongside my “Jonathan” and building team unity amongst our ever- growing and changing team. What I want is for all of those who watch what I am doing and the things I am writing that it is absolutely and completely beyond me. The Lord is interworking in every area of my life. I fall short of His glory everyday and yet he picks me up and carries me to the places I did not think I had the strength to go.
What area of your life is God trying to get ahold of?
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Reunited and it feels so good! I wish I could truly put into words the happiness in my heart at this point. My visa had expired in January while all of the paperwork for the work permit was being processed. Porsche and I have walked a long journey together of countless hours of stress and tears. Times where the devil was clearly trying to convince us that Uganda was not the place for us. Other times of just laughter so we wouldn’t go insane. While there were truly moments where I was ready to give up and walk away from that internal affairs office full of corruption and bribery- I am so thankful I got to do it alongside the most patient and humble Godly woman I have ever met. (for those that know me you know I don’t do so well with being patient). I am happy to say that I am an official volunteer at Empower A Child Uganda and have a valid work permit for a whole year. Thank you for all of your prayers and support you have no idea how much peace it brought into my life.
Round two comes next July- mark your calendars! J
Like I talked about in my last blog post- this summer was a crazy adventure. I am so thankful I have been here in the busy season to see all of the passion, talent, and energy that short term volunteers really bring into this organization. I have been currently working as the MST (or volunteer) coordinator on ground as well as a communications intern. Communications has been a journey of keeping stories up to date and posting content on Facebook. As far as the volunteers go- I act as a middle man in between staff and volunteers, share insight/personal experiences, and just answer questions as they come up. My bed is an office 24/7 open for encouragement or just someone to talk to for many volunteers that have come through. God has taught me so much about what good leadership looks like and, unfortunately, what it doesn’t look like. That a good leader is one who is the first to do the work. A good leader gives Godly insight in a humble way. Correction comes with a gentle word. And patience above all else is a must. At 20 years old I have seen so much of God’s hand so clearly move in my life. When I arrived last summer I missed a great team that came through but thankfully this summer was a lot of repeats from summer 2014 and I got to connect with the rest of the family.
Every volunteer that comes through sees what I get to see every day and every month in and out. That this place is more than a mission field, more than a destination for someone seeking some adventure. It is the very place that Gods kingdom is being built and grown. It is a place where people find peace where they think they are going to fulfill some humanitarian desire. In the end they find that this place draws people closer to the Lord. It strips down every fear and every comfort zone. It pulls you into a place of unknown territory. Languages you can’t speak. Food that you may not recognize. Spiritual warfare that goes far beyond our reach and scope from the state side.
Last week we visited Pastor Fred and his family at their home. It is a beautiful 25 minute walk away from the church through the bush and through pineapple gardens. The hot sun beating down and little footprints left in the dust on the travelled road in front of you. Fred’s wife and children have been suffering from being sick from Malaria to measles and everything in between for the past 3 months. As a projects team we wanted to go pray with them and just let them know that we are thinking of them and that we miss seeing them around. Freds wife (Ruth) works in our women women empowerment program as well as acting as the church treasurer. They have 9 children so they are very close to my heart as I am from a family of 8 children. A few of them are sponsored while others are not yet on the sponsorship list. Anyway when we arrived Ruth was very open with us about her story and just had shared how the doctors tried to inject her with meds or pull blood but were not able to do either. They couldn’t explain why she was sick. When they got back a home a pastor from Kampala came out to pray over her and her family. It is assumed that there is an older woman in the community not too far from Pastor Fred’s home that is heavily involved in witchcraft in hopes of being rich has brought some demonic spirits into the area. Ruth has had several manifestations where she was told that her children would fail exams and that it would kill her and her family. This being a God fearing home committed to praying for one another. Her children all fell very sick but after lots of prayer they are on the mend. This is one testimony of what our children and families here in the community of Zirobwe endure on a daily basis. Living in complete fear of what the devil is a part of. Something that our eyes are so shielded from in the states has such a heavy a saturated presence here.
SOOO….FOR THE BIG NEWS!
I am moving into a completely new season here at Empower A Child. I will be moving away from working with the international volunteers and focusing on the media aspect. We are starting up a Media and Marketing Department. Our purpose is to find local market within Uganda to be able to boost EAC and gain supporters. We will be working primarily on branding Empower as a whole and really bringing out the name of EAC for the community to recognize. We will also be working with external organizations to fundraise for our department- making documentaries and taking photos for them. This is a small department with BIG dreams and I am very confident that the Lord is going to big things through this department. I am looking forward to learning new things and gaining some new experiences. As many of you know our hope is to be relocating to the village as an organization and that will be coming up in the next few months. I will not be moving to the village and will reside in Kampala and work to build our name in the city. As this is a big change to what I had thought I am so excited and really looking forward to this new season. If you have any advice or encouragement as far as marketing goes I will take anything I can get. With this being said I would love to be able to get some new equipment and update my own personal software to be able to work on personal projects in a more professional way. I would like to update my camera and be able to present more quality work. I am looking for $3,000 to update everything. If you feel led or know someone who would be interested in helping me reach my goal I would be so grateful. Please share this on Facebook and pass it along to those via email that may want to give towards this goal. If you would like to give a one time donation please follow this link or scroll to the top of the page and click on the DONATE NOW button: