Monday, October 29, 2012

The work of UAOG Rescue

Many people have been asking what exactly the work is here that we’re doing and I’ve intentionally delayed in my response because quite frankly, I wasn’t sure of all the details myself! I thank God for the desire of Pastor Danny and Dovie to inch me into the work slowly, so I can effectively take on what’s being asked of me. So here it is… right now I’m taking on the position of Program Administrator of Uganda Assemblies of God (UAOG) Rescue, which is a humanitarian wing of UAOG. UAOG Rescue was a byproduct and response to the floods in the North back in 2007. Now, UAOG Rescue continues with it’s office in Hoima with Pastor Danny and Dovie as the Program Directors. Since their move to Hoima in 2009 they have developed an array of social projects under UOAG Rescue.

Right now they have a project called F.A.I.T.H. (Food Always In The House) that has two programs and beneficiaries to it. The first is a group of women who are HIV positive (formerly known as the Restore Hope women), who gather every Sunday evening. This project offers microfinance loans for the women with existing businesses, helping them with their savings and growth of their businesses. While the microfinance loans are a small piece of what we’re offering, our goal and aim of this project is to give these women a community where they can learn how to live with hope with their condition and illness. They gather for fellowship, counseling, and discipleship and are some of the sweetest, most loving ladies I have met yet! Also within our F.A.I.T.H. project we have a livestock program where pigs and goats have been given to members in the community.

UAOG Rescue also has HIV/AIDS prevention which is part of our health project within the community. We target many of the secondary schools and trade schools with our health promotion program. There is also a self-sustaining medical clinic out in the village of Kapapi which existed far before UAOG Rescue made its base here. There are currently three nurses at this clinic, including my roommate Julia. The clinic is equipped with a small pharmacy and inpatient care.

One of the biggest and fastest growing projects under UAOG Rescue is our Fish Development Project. This is where Pastor Danny (in his expertise of aquaculture) has created fish cages to replenish the lakes with a main staple food here, Tilapia. I believe we have three model farms right now on two different lakes (mind you, Lake Albert is over 100 miles long) and some other private cage owners. As we place the cages in different areas, the effect is far reaching, benefiting many within the community. The fishing community and local leaders are being provided with training about the fish cages and then offered income as they raise up the Tilapia fish. Then as the lakes are replenished, this offers a greater market for those selling and product for those receiving. I look forward to updating you more on this sustainable livelihood project since I am currently in the process of reading 15 page documents all about it!

Finally, UAOG Rescue has a nursery school called Precious Children. There are 6 different classes: homecare, middle and top class, with 5 incredible teachers (one is about to give birth so she left and her class got combined with another). Our office is actually one door away from the classrooms, so I have the joy of hearing the lessons, songs, and chatter from those kids every day. One of my favorite parts is watching them gather for “assembly” in the morning where they sing and dance together.

So beyond the social projects, Danny and Dovie also pastor at Victory Family Church which also has an array of ministries. This has been the bulk of my work since these first six months are acclimating me to the work of UAOG Rescue so that I will be able to fully take over the administration of each project. Right now there is morning staff devotions each day at the office, Tuesday night praise and worship practice, Wednesday night Bible study, Thursday evening home Bible study (that I’m leading with 4 ladies at their house), Friday prayer meeting, Saturday praise and worship workshop and church home visitation and Sunday campus ministries (where Christian students gather at the secondary schools for a service), and service at VFC. So things have a way of being very busy yet open here! For the month of November I am preaching on Romans 4 at VFC and preaching for the campus ministries before our main service. I am constantly in awe here of the devotion of our staff and fellow co-laborers. The work here is such a gift from God and testimony to His power and influence within a community. Now as I write you can follow all the odds and ends here of our work in Uganda!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

He made for us a home

I wake up and walk down the dust filled roads of Hoima, they’re bustling with motos and a million different staring faces. The children in school are full of song and laughter. The young giggle and shout at us as we pass. At the school we’re greeted by the most adoring precious hearts. They are full of the desire to be held, tickled and loved. My desk is bathed in sun and the banter of the kids echoes throughout the office. This is home… and I couldn’t ask for a place of greater beauty.

At the house, everything is shared. From the shouts, laughter and cries from little Abby, to the food, toys, space and song. We don't all speak the same language but the love of our King sits us all at a table together. Power scarcely proves itself reliable and electronics often lay dead but that doesn't stop us from running around by candle light, fiercely fighting in an imaginary world of our own. Once the screaming and rough housing calms, we sit in an intense game of cards with the boys, until we are too tired to keep our eyes open. As we slip into slumber the howling from our eight pups stirs us awake until we drift into the next day ahead. This is my lifetime of adventures. It's rich, full of love and incredibly raw.

Thank-you God.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“the shoes set out are far too big”

A friend once used this to describe the work she’d been asked to do…

There hasn't been a day yet where I haven’t felt like I’m just stomping around in an oversized pair of sneakers. The shoes set out are far too big, in my natural understanding of what I’m asked to do. As I look at the work set out before me, both with UAOG and with the church here, I know I’ve been called to respond, not by the current set of abilities and talents that I have, but from the deficient space that exists that requires growth and a vision beyond what I can offer. I don’t want a smaller pair of shoes or something more comfortable. I want to see growth! There’s something so beautiful when those around you call out what they know exists, even when it may be cluttered with insecurity and the feeling of inadequacy. That is the same heart and voice of Christ.

N.T. Wright once said,
“worldview which is about ideas and self realization, which is rather popular in our day and age... discovering who I really am... for goodness sakes, Jesus didn't come to help me discover who I really am! He came to tell me who he knew I really was and to do something about it. And that is much better news.”
I can only thank God for these shoes that seem too big to fill, because He makes no mistake with the precision of size. He’s just waiting for us to walk with Him and see the miracle as He fills our shoes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Welcome Home!

It is very exciting to be writing to all of you from my new home in Hoima, Uganda! All the anticipation and preparation has lead up to this point and now me and my dear friend Julia are finally here! Our first full day in Hoima was spent in the company of our friends here at the church. It was another warm welcome and return to the faces and hearts of the ones I love. The second day we spent at the school and around town running errands. Another glorious welcome from all the children at the school… there really couldn’t be a better welcoming party than having classrooms of giggling children wrap themselves around your waist. It’s been so nice settling in, relaxing and getting re-accustomed to life here.

I also want to take this time to make a note to anyone who received my support letter and is now reading along… there was so much more I wished to write to all my friends and family members who received one but space limitations really condensed my writing. First things, although it was a long process of getting out over 180 letters, I want you all to know that there was great joy in writing to you, whether I know you well or not… know that I prayed over each person I sent a letter to and will continue to be praying for an overwhelming sense of God’s presence to follow you in this next year. It is really such a joy to me to invite you in on the work we are doing here in Uganda.

Since my time in Rwanda, God really challenged my ideas and plans when it came to moving overseas. I thought what was responsible would be most noble after graduation, get a job to pay off my student loans so I could be free to live overseas without any burden. As if God would not free us of the burden to carry out His mission. My heart was quickly challenged in the area of raising funds to volunteer my gifts and abilities, wherever needed. That journey of removing the financial confines I had placed God in has led me to where I am now… completely relying on Christ and His provision for all my needs and believing that He will fulfill all He has called me to.

Knowing now that God has not created too many people and not enough resources, I walk boldly and confidently into this next year as a volunteer with UAOG Rescue. I am honored to take this position, move my life here and serve people passionately with a full love, given to me by Christ.

It has also been such a humbling journey receiving God’s provision through those around me, through many of you… There hasn’t been a single gift that has been given that hasn’t been received with a heart sopping with gratitude and joy. I’ve watched God provide for me and build my confidence in the work taking place here through the financial blessings that has been given through my support base. Thank-you for always giving generously, in prayer, finances and encouragement. My heart continues to be filled by the words and love from many of you!

A few last things before I close out this novel…
if any one would like to be added to my email list for updates please email me at
My desire is to invite you in, as closely as possible to the work here in Hoima, so I’d love to answer questions, keep you updated, pray for you, etc. through this medium.

  • There is still about $1,700 left to raise in order to cover my budget for this next year. I’ve been in awe as over $4,000 has already been provided for!
  • If any one would like to come alongside and partner financially you can easily do so through the link on the right with PayPal. You don’t have to have a PayPal account if you’d just like to pay through a debit/credit card.
  •  For tax deductible giving you can make your checks out to International Christian Center with Lindsey Wessa in the memo and mail it to this address:

International Christian Center
3614 NE 7th Place
Renton, WA 98056

(The funds will go directly to my account for missions)

Again, thank-you to every one who has participated in the process of getting me here. I am continually amazed by how well loved I am by those around me!