Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Journey to Otino-Waa

The Sunday before we left for Uganda we had the privilege of meeting Bob and Carol Higgins. 

 They are just amazing, but regular type folks that are from Central Oregon, and have done amazing work in Ug@nda.
  Their ministry is pathministries.net and we were so blessed to get to go and see, first hand, their work in Ug@nda. 

 I'm amazed at how the Lord can use people to do amazing things if they are just willing to say yes to Him.

                          


If you click on the above video...you can watch part of a documentary done on Bob and Carol Higgins and Path Ministries.

We met Bob and Carol,  just 3 days before our departure to Ug@nda, at a small church gathering right here in Powell Butte. 
As we visited, they invited us to go and see Otino-Waa, even though they were going to remain here in the states for a few more weeks on a much deserved and needed break. They told us they would make arrangements for us if we wanted to go check it out.

   Once we got to Ug@nda and we mentioned going to see Otino-Waa to Kathy from Redeemer House, she was so excited and said she has always wanted to go there.

On that note, we decided to go.  


  We loaded up, and took a 9 hour drive up North.
  It was WELL worth every second of the drive. 
There were many divine appointments and conversations that took place during the journey.

  We were blown away and blessed to the bones by what 
is all about

 I can hardly put into words how amazed I am by what the Lord has done through these down home  folks.  

Kathy was beside herself with joy and excitement.
 Seeing the orphanage and school and clinic in full operation gave her a vision of what is on her heart for Redeemer House.  

 Besides, we made good use of the 9 hour (one way) drive, we got to see some monkeys, some beautiful country, and I got to let Simon (my Ugandan teenage son) know all the reasons he needs to stay away from girls and continue to get a good education.  :)  




  As the Lord would orchestrate it, the guy that helped do a lot of the building at Otino-Waa, his name is Joey, just so "happened" to be there leading a short term mission team and he was the one that  showed us around.
 He had moved his family there for 3 years during the beginning building process, so he knew that place inside and out and knew the staff and the children and he could answer all our questions.

 Charlie was THRILLED to get to ask him all sorts of *building in Africa* questions.
  He was a great guy, a builder, and loved Africa and orphans. 
He is a total  Jesus lover. 

Sounds a lot like my man!!




Joey and Charlie talking building.

The details of all they have done at Otino-Waa are fabulous. 
 They have homes for children, 8 orphans to a house, and a widow that is the house Mama. 
 I believe they have over 200 orphans being taken care of right now, they are all getting an education, and any needed medical attention and most importantly they are learning and expriencing the love of God. 
 It feels a lot  like a big fun family, there was nothing "institutional" about it at all, and yet it was very orderly and clean and well ran, with happy children everywhere.

It honestly doesn't get any better than that!!!

There is a school and a clinic right there on the property.  They raise a lot of their own food, and they teach the children all kinds of Vocational trades.
  
 It is just astounding all they have done there in a 10 year span.  If you want to help a child and you want your money to go as far as possible....sponsor a child from Otino-Waa.

  It is an AWESOME investment into precious lives.  

Charsie and Charlie snuck into Carol's office and left her a note.  I took a picture for evidence against them.
  I got your back Carol.  hehe

On the way home is when we got to pick up our friend Mollee Robinson.  So, our journey was a blessing in so many ways, and the long drive "home" went quite fast because we had a year of catch up to do with Mollee, and we had to digest all we had seen and learned about at Otino-Waa, we got to see baboons, and I had to remind Simon of all the reasons to stay away from girls.  :)

Baboons.  Look how close they are.  

Here's our Mollee!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012





Merry Christmas from our house to yours.








Tuesday, December 18, 2012

He Opens Eyes and Ears


1 Samuel 2:1

English Standard Version (ESV)

Hannah's Prayer

And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;

    my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
    because I rejoice in your salvation.


This is my friend Hannah and her 3 month old baby.  We met Hannah on Friday, Dec. 7 while we were doing our Christmas program in a slum.

It was a wild day, and there were many excited children and we were right by a very busy road.  Let me share with you what the Lord showed me on that day.


Matthew 13:10-15

The Message (MSG)

Why Tell Stories?

10 The disciples came up and asked, “Why do you tell stories?”
11-15 He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it. I don’t want Isaiah’s forecast repeated all over again:
Your ears are open but you don’t hear a thing.

    Your eyes are awake but you don’t see a thing.
The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears
    so they won’t have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
    so they won’t have to look,
    so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face
    and let me heal them.


When He opens eyes and ears to His Word, when His timing is right, no amount of noise or distraction will stop His truth from being planted in a ready heart.

Hannah came to see what was going on as the Redeemer House kids were leading the kids in songs and acting out the Christmas story.

  Hannah was a musl*m on that Friday when we met her near her home, and by Sunday God had done a work on her heart and she showed up to go to church with us.
   On the way home from church Kathy shared The Gospel and what Jesus came to do for everyone who would believe and receive His gift of salvation.
  Hannah wanted that gift. 
 She prayed and asked Jesus to be the Lord of her life and to forgive her for her sins. 

Hannah went from musl*m and death on Friday to Christian and life on Sunday. 

****ONLY GOD*****

To Him be the Glory.

Hannah can read, and the Lord provided a Bible for her to read and learn more about HIM.

It was my Bible that I have had for a while  but never even wrote my name in it for some reason....and now I know why....it was for Hannah.

Praying Psalm 121 for my new friend and sister in Christ.

Psalm 121

English Standard Version (ESV)

My Help Comes from the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

121 
lift up my eyes to the hills.

    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;

    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;

    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;

    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.   
  

PS.  I used different names and misspelled words on purpose so my friend is protected.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Box

We left home with a very sweet assignment.  

We have a friend named Kennedy, better known as Pookie to us.


She is a precious girl that we have known since the day she was born.  

She is one of Esther's best friends.  They act like they have known each other their whole lives.  Her parents have been some of our  very bestest  friends for about 20 years and will be for  all ETERNITY!!

The night before we left Kennedy brought a Christmas box for us to give to a girl.

Well, the hard part is wherever you go in Uganda there is never just 1 kid, and if you don't have enough for the "group"....you better not give it out.

  There is many many many children everywhere you go, and if you get out of the car with something in your hands....there is many many many more.

We drove around for several days with this perfectly packed Christmas box for the perfect girl in the dash of our car in Uganda.

One day, we were looking at a water project that Robert, Kennedy's dad, is interested in,  and we saw Agnes.

  Agnes was the girl that the Lord intended this sweet Christmas box to go to.  
When we met Agnes, there was only one other child around and it was her baby brother and we had some gifts for him as well.  



This Christmas box meant so much to Agnes and her mother. 
 They are so grateful. 
 The highlight of the box and it's contents was the picture of Kennedy. 
 I can guarantee you, Kennedy will be famous to that family as it will be the only picture in the whole house and it will be treasured for years to come.

Romans 12:6-8

New International Version (NIV)
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Answering the Call


Matthew 9:36-38

New International Version (NIV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”


John 15:12-17

New International Version (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Kathy Vaughan is a living example of what the Lord has called us to on this earth.  God has chosen her and she has answered the call in a beautiful way.  She is loving orphans, widows,neighbors, and friends all around her.  She is bearing much fruit.  
Fruit that will last for eternity.

  




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Celebrate Good Times!

Psalm 105:2-4

English Standard Version (ESV)
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!


 

Matthew 28:19-20

English Standard Version (ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”




 



The Angels are in heaven having a party and we were in Uganda having a celebration as well.

On Saturday, 17 people were baptized. 
 We did it in the hotel pool and there was mocking and ridicule from some of the customers because the manager turned the music off for the baptism service. 
 The manager lady that turned off the music and caught some flack from the customers turned to me and said, "I am a born again, and the work of the Lord is much more important then their music."

AMEN MADAM. 

As we finished up and the very brave and bold people made their public declaration of their commitment to follow Jesus, Charlie turned to the mockers and asked if their was anyone else that wanted to be baptized? 

 I'll tell you what.....you could hear a pin drop for a moment.  Nobody stepped up, but they were quieted.  

We went back to RH and we ate cookies and celebrated what God had done on that day.

This is Jessie.  She is an adoptive mom that is waiting to get the rest of her paperwork so she can take her daughter home.  She is not wasting a second.  She is embracing Uganda and all RH and she is a doll.  We fell in love with her.  We called her Aunt Susie because she reminded us so much of Charlie's sister Susie.  By the 3rd day...Charlie and her were even acting like sister and brother.  "Aunt Susie" was throwing things at Charlie and keeping him lined out...or as lined out as a sister can.




 We handed out certificates to those that had been baptized and let me tell you, for these folks that DO NOT have any document with their name, this is a treasure that means so much. 

 This will serve as a physical reminder of what the Lord had done for them on 08 December 2012.

Most of them do not even know their birthday or their age, but they do know the day they took a step of faith and made a public declaration of their desire to follow Jesus!!!




For those that did not have a Bible, Kathy also gave them a New Testament.  

Praise God Church!!!!  Amen!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dan Bowling and The Gospel

Redeemer House kids and Kathy Vaughan are total rockstars!!!

  We decided to do an outreach in Jinja in a very tough area.  We didn't have a plan *imagine that* until hours before.  We decided to hand out soap and toothpaste to the families and to play
 Dan Bowling (Dan Freeauff came up with a great bowling game with a ball and water bottles filled with dirt).  



We jumped out of the van  and there were even prisoners working just a few feet away, and we ran out like a

  Dan Bowling Flash Mob

We began playing and within about 7 minutes there were close to 100 kids ready to play.


Who knew Dan Bowling could be used as a ministry tool.  :)








We then took our crowd over to a different area and sang songs, shared the Gospel and acted out the Christmas story.





Here is our amazing cast and our interpreter, Simon, and the story was narrated beautifully by Mollee Robinson.


Kathy went prepared to put a few band aids on wounds and ended up treating quite a group for many things.  Charlie went back (he is now driving in Jinja) to get more medicine, and we even ended up taking a boy with a bad wound to the clinic and brought him back to RH for a little bit and fed him and gave him some new clothes and then took him back.

 He is an orphan.....it makes my heart ache when there is a boy that needs medical care and Kathy asks him where his parents are so we may ask permission to take him to the clinic for treatment, and he shakes his head no....no parents.  




Matthew 25:39-40

English Standard Version (ESV)
39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Only God!!



Matthew 28:18-20

English Standard Version (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


These beautiful ladies are friends of Kathy's.  She has helped them in several ways  and both of them have become Christians through the friendship and discussions they have had with Jaja Kathy. 
 These ladies are precious and beautiful.  Kathy had mentioned a few days ago that she thought maybe her friends Eve and Janet may be interested in being baptized on Saturday when we do a baptism because they have both recently come to faith in Jesus Christ.  

As the Lord would have it....they both showed up today at the same time (they have never been here at the same time before today) and Kathy gave them things that they are in need of, and as we were visiting she explained to them that we were going to baptize a few of the children on Saturday and explained to them what it meant to be baptized and invited them to join into the celebration.  

Well, they began to clap and cheer and said YES YES YES they would like to be baptized too.

  What a joy!!!!

Only God I tell you ONLY GOD!!!!


Glory to His Name!!!!!!

When Charlie asked if we could use the hotel pool to do some baptizing on Saturday.....3 ladies from the hotel asked if they could join in and be baptized as well!!!!

YES YES YES!!!!!!

Be praying for all these beautiful people. 
 They understand very well that this is not what saves them....Jesus saves....but since they have trusted in Jesus for their salvation they want to make a public declaration of their faith in Him!!!!!

Romans 10:8-10

English Standard Version (ESV)
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pictures in Uganda

We have spent hours and hours looking out the window.  There is so much to see and to take in .


We get to ride Bodas every once in awhile.  I told my boda driver that he had a fun job....he thought I was nuts....but then I explained that people in America pay a lot of money to go to amusement parks and get rides that were not nearly as exciting as the rides he gave.  He laughed his head off....I think it confirmed what he was already thinking....Americans are a bit crazy.  :)
We got to see many of these monkeys with their little babies...just a few feet away.

All 3 of these guys names are Charles.   

This is one of the best stories of the whole trip.  We met up with Mollee Robinson.  We  rescued her from a taxi which is made for 14 people and they had 22 in it and it kept breaking down.  We decided it was time to bring Mollee home.  So we tracked down her taxi of which we were 9 hrs away from our "home" at Redeemer House...and we gathered her up and her things and we are bringing her home to Powell Butte.  :)  Our joke is all our kids just need to "come home" and now we are tracking them down in northern Uganda to 
"bring them home".  Let that be a warning to all the Powell Butte kiddos out there....we will find you no matter where you are.....and we will bring you home.  (Even if it's for a while).  We are having a blast will Mollee.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Freedom and Talents

3 days before we left God blew us out of the water with a huge financial blessing that was totally humbling and amazing.

We have sought the Lord and told our church that we would be the eyes and ears for them and use it where He shows us. 

We have had many divine appointments and many God stories that would not even be possible if we had spent years and years planning the details and coordinating with many people.  

We came  because we felt the Lord wanted us to, and we had no real plan.  We had ideas of what we wanted to do, but no plan or even a schedule.

Everyday and every night we have sought the Lord and asked Him to show us where and what He would have us to do with the money that He has entrusted to us.

Here is my confession:
  I have almost viewed it as a burden because I'm fearful of making a mistake and not giving it where He would have us give.

My mind and heart got caught up in trying to be wise and responsible
 "PRIDE"
 to do the right thing.  

I forgot of the freedom we have when we are God's children. 

Galatians 5:1

The Message (MSG)

The Life of Freedom

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.



So this morning I could not sleep, *imagine that for those of you who know me*.

I was praying and thinking about all that we have seen so far and trying to stratigize and plan for the money He has entrusted to us.

The Lord very clearly brought to my mind the parable of the talents:


Matthew 25:14-30

The Message (MSG)

The Story About Investment

14-18 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’




I have repented.

  We learned at church yesterday that repent means to change.  

To change mind, heart, and feet.

My mind is not burdened, my heart is now excited, and there's a skip in my step.

NOW...I know we won't mess this up.

God has entrusted to us this money and He just wants us to do with it whatever is in our hearts. 

There is no right or wrong answer. 
 Just do something with it.

  And now instead of feeling a burden, I feel joy in the Lord and it is like this:

It's His money and He will bless it and multiply it as he wills.  

We have so many thoughts and ideas and now it's just fun.

  We get to take our Father's money and splash some love and blessing wherever we want to.

Psalm 37:3-4

English Standard Version (ESV)
Trust in the Lord, and do good;

    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.[a]
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.