Friday, November 16, 2012
It seems our blog posts have become an annual event! The day-to-day intensity of the work the Lord has put in our hands really does seem to squeeze out most non-essential activities, but we know that the testimonies that God is bringing forth here are powerful, and we pray that they will bless and encourage you as well as glorify God. Here are some brief highlights from this year. If you would like to receive more regular communication from us including urgent prayer requests, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our email update list.
At the beginning of 2012 we took in a new class of students, a total of 13 from three African nations. Eight of the students from last year continued on to the second year of training in leadership and missions. Each one of these students are very special, and have really laid hold of the call of God on their lives. It has been our honor to work with them over the past 2 years.
In July of 2011, our long-time friends Bob and Patty McGowan and their daughter Bethany moved to Tororo to take over for Paul and Jean McFate. The McFates were the original IAM missionaries in this town and were the forerunners of IAM in East Africa. As they retired, the McGowans came in at just the right time. It has been so sweet having friends from home become our neighbors.
In August of 2011, we had a wonderful addition to our Youth Ablaze Africa team. The Hodges family: Paul, Karen, Lucas, David, Melodie and Aimee, moved to Tororo from New York to work with us. They have now been here for over a year and have really been a God-send! They are so helpful in the ministry, but it has also been lots of fun having more Americans around for us and our girls :)
This June through September, our family travelled to the United States sharing about the African missions movement and the unreached people group task. It was so encouraging to meet with so many believers who are praying and sowing into the great commission.We stopped in 12 different states in that time, and connected with many churches and houses of prayer. At the end of the trip we had our first ever Youth Ablaze Africa fundraiser banquet and silent auction. It was a blast and very successful! We raised about $10,000. Thank you to all those who helped make it possible, we couldn't have done it without you.
Right now we are bringing our 4th year of the Discipleship School to a close and the students are graduating on November 24th. All the first year students are on a mission trip led by Paul Hodges in Pokot, Kenya, a tribe where they went last year and planted a brand new church. They will be ministering there for 12 days and officially opening the newly built church building! The second year students are ministering in a mostly Islamic town of Kenya called Isiolo. Please pray for God to lead, guide, and protect them each step of the way as they share with these precious people.
We now have seven full-time missionaries working among least reached people groups. We have teams in Karamoja, Uganda; Teuso, Uganda; Toposa, South Sudan, and Eastern Ethiopia. Now, as these new graduates are sent out, we believe that we will be reaching into the Nubi of Uganda, the Swahili of Tanzania and the Garreh of Kenya, all Islamic tribes. We continue to ask the Lord for grace, favor and open doors for each of these native-missionaries.
This December Jesse will be travelling with a friend from the ACTS Missions School to Ethiopia and Djibouti. The trip is to pray and plan on how to effectively reach the least reached people groups of the Horn of Africa. God has continually been laying this region on our hearts and opening doors to minister there. We believe this will be a very strategic trip.
Well, I think that is enough for now. Thanks for your prayers and support, great things are happening!