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Forgiveness & Identity

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Monday our team started the day meeting with the Mercy Network, the material aid arm of Mukono Community Church. They choose families- currently 16- in need of food and practical help, from both the church and the community.  They meet twice a month for Bible Study & prayer, teaching & training hygiene, job skills, wellness, etc, and leave with a very large bag of food & supplies for their families. There are many elderly widows, people with chronic illness, single moms, and others who need some help & encouragement. There is a new church member who is training the women to knit and she has plans for a great business! Hearing the many needs, the heartfelt thanksgiving for New Life’s help and love, and their relief in God’s provision for their families was very impactful.


Similarly, the New Life Bakery is the business created through the Mercy Network to employ these people, to train them in job skills, and to provide income to support the poor in the community. Over the past few years the bakery has been up & down, flourishing & dead, on & off, but Praise the Lord, it is open & thriving right now! They are making bread for Awana & the church school, they sell bread products to local stores, and they have hit the jackpot with...DONUTS!! People are driving over to pick up the donuts & refuse other brands - they WANT New Life donuts!!


After a delicious lunch at the CDP office, the women hosted a Ladies Tea where Laura & Mary spoke on Identity & Forgiveness. These 60+ women live in difficult circumstances, much like women around the world- infidelity, abandonment, poverty, substance abuse- so many things. We often wonder if they “understand” all that we are sharing with a translator and foreign speakers and women from a different culture, but Mary asked them to forgive those who have offended them, write down their names, then bring those names to the altar. The aisle was flooded with women of all ages bringing their hurts to the foot of the cross and it was a beautiful moment of freedom.


Tuesday morning we drove into Kampala to attend BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, with several hundred of our Ugandan sisters. We studied the book of Ruth and I was thrilled to see that these women are indeed learning the truth of the scriptures. Women all over the world are studying this same passage of scripture together every week and it is truly a work of the Holy Spirit.


I’d just like to share an experience we had today to show you how hard daily life is in this part of the world. All we needed were certificates copied. The men folk dropped us off at BSF then drove across town, in super heavy traffic, to find a copy shop. Joseph attempted to park when an angry shop owner shoo’ed him away and he had to move his van 3 times during the errand. Jason seemed to pay the same price?? for 100 copies on plain white paper that he paid for 100 fancy parchment paper certificates?? You just never know really what you are paying or why? Making these copies probably took them 2 hours -yikes!! This is EVERY task! You walk, you wait, you carry, you stand, you go to 10 shops to get what you need, the traffic is backed up for hours- we begin to miss our suburban Amazon-delivery life!!


Tomorrow is meetings with the church & CDP leaders, lots of preparing for later this week, lots of unpacking & travel & hugging on zillions of kiddos! Keep praying!! We are doing well and God is moving and we KNOW that is the prayers of the saints! Pray, too, as Carol & Joyce serve in Kenya right NOW-  seeing pictures from their trip made us all weepy & we cheer them on!