Tuesday, September 25, 2012

unsent prayer letter

Eating at our favorite (and the only one!) local restaurant; Aidan grabbed the fried tilapia and bit its head off!

Patton with his newest pet, Mr RhinoBeetle

Now Eight Years Old!

Travis preaches at Bundimalinga New Life Presbyterian Church,

Amy teaches about the life of Noah at Kids' Bible Club on Thursday.

Work is underway at CSB for the Rainwater Harvesting Project!

Here's the prayer letter that has sat on my computer for weeks now...better late than never, I say!

"There is nothing like being knocked flat on your back to get you thinking.

On Monday morning, I (Amy) could not move out of bed due to severe back pain. It was the first day of the workweek, one that I had both a written and mental checklist of all the varied mundane and important things that I planned to get done: make breakfast, get kids to school, pasteurize milk, have ministry meetings with teammates, entertain Aidan, email new teammates, sweep the very dirty floor, meet with the librarian, write a prayer letter, the list went on and on…none of which I could now do.

It was no coincidence that our women’s Bible study was on Martha and Mary. A recent sermon (http://marshill.com/media/luke/mary-and-martha#downloads) asked me: Are you trying to live up to your potential or living to your calling? My potential? Oh, you mean: Make my life more efficient, create a logical plan to fix the many obvious problems here, or put 36 hours of work in a 24 hour day? Calling? Oh, do you mean: Love my husband, nurture and teach my children, gladly host people in our home, greet neighbors in love, and seek justice in a way that honors the Lord?

I have been heavy on the potential and low on the calling; rushing to be capable hands of Martha without the reflective heart of Mary first.

Living in Bundibugyo can be very overwhelming. The problems are complex and confusing. The sickness is intense and numerous. It seems that everywhere you turn, there is a need.

A need for food. A need for medicine. A need for health for your child. A need for money to go to school. A need for safety from rebels. A need for peace among tribes. A need for clean water. A need for a repair on your mud home that just washed away. A need for children to hear the gospel. A need to encourage teammates to persevere. A need to empower people in their ministries. A need to recruit more faithful saints to join in the work. A need for rest. A need for gospel perspective among all of the needs.

So, what to do?

Well, pray for us to know our calling and then live accordingly. Simply that.
Daily, we are more convinced that only God can change hearts and situations."

Update on what has happened:
*The tribal conflict seems to have settled down. Yesterday, the heads of the clans met at the WHM community center for discussion and have elected a cultural leader to represent them.
*Things on the border with DRC appear to be calm.
*Thanks to generous donations, Dr Josh Dickenson has now begun the Rainwater Harvesting Project at CSB so that the students will be able to have drinkable water when the road construction disrupts the water lines. The water lines to the nearby Bundi Town have been restored as well.
*Uganda has been officially declared ebola free!
*Weekly Kids’ Bible Club has begun.
*CSB students successfully ended term 2 and have begun term 3 and RMS began a new school year.
*Our family enjoyed a wonderful week of family time! Upon return, Lillian developed an infection that spread to her kidneys. It was such a difficult time. She is now completely healed and celebrated her 8th birthday on the 24th!

Update for prayer on what is happening:
*For total reconciliation to service in the local church for a Ugandan brother. Culturally, this reconciliation involves public speeches and a shared meal. Pray for humility on all sides of this situation.
*For Travis to continue to have stamina, joy, partnership, and perseverance in serving in the local health center. Yesterday as he was seeing patients, 12 more mothers brought in their little ones who have malaria or are malnourished. Last week, we grieved with the family of the CSB kitchen manager as they buried their deceased baby girl. Two years ago, this same man’s two boys died of sickle cell disease. Travis and Dr Jessica fought for the life of the little baby girl, even creating an impromptu breathing machine. Travis is partnering with a WHM sponsored medical student Amon to do a study on the prevalence of sickle cell disease in order to gain attention of others about this deadly problem that is overwhelmingly high in this region.
*We are grateful for the healthy lives of three mission kid boys, Patton, Aidan and Finch and will celebrate their birthdays in the next weeks!
*For our teammates as they lead water projects, the fence project, the last term of CSB, the agricultural project, Bundinutrition outpatient program, RMS, and leading two incoming interns.
*Travis and I to have wisdom as we plan the Renewing Mission Retreat in November for WHM teammates.
*Our family will be in Charleston SC from Dec to midMay for a furlough/home ministry assignment to reconnect with supporters, for professional development, and to enjoy our families. We look forward to meeting our new nephews Oliver Lang Cass and Elliot Courage Johnson! Pray for us to find a grace-filled balance during this time.

These are the details of life here. Mostly, we ask that you pray that, like Mary, we sit at the feet of Jesus to know His heart. It is only from that close companionship with Jesus that we can have energy, love, endurance, and perspective to serve here.

Thanks for partnering with us. We love you.
Amy, Travis, Lilli, Patton, and Aidan
PS Click here to see a video of highlights of this summer.
PPS My back is improving.