This post was such a blessing I wanted to repost it on our blog. It’s from Steve and Kathy’s blog.
This Is Africa (TIA)
He Who Began A Good Work In You
As a new Christian, I was convinced that if I gave God permission to do whatever He wanted with my life, He would send me to Africa — not any specific country in Africa, mind you, but to some remote location on the African continent.
I remember sitting in the parking lot with Steve in 1999 after hearing a guest pastor speak about Sudan. We had visited Calvary Chapel Montebello to hear Pastor Pancho Juarez teach. Instead, a guest pastor had shared about missions. During the earliest stage of our walk with the Lord, Steve and I knew we were being called into missions. However, we were not at all clear what that call on our lives meant in relation to Africa.
During the service, Pastor Gary Kusunoki shared the appalling situation in South Sudan and Northern Uganda as a result of years of war, poverty, and disease. He told us about the work being done by Safe Harbor, and he spoke of the work that still needed to be done. One year earlier, in 1998, a cholera epidemic had erupted in the remote village of Midigo, in northwestern Uganda. This is an area near South Sudan where many Sudanese refugees were seeking shelter from the war. At the time, the village had a small clinic, but no medicine and no doctor. Through Safe Harbor, Pastor Gary and others responded in Midigo and hired a doctor (Dr. Emuku Juventine) who left a lucrative practice in Kampala to serve the local people in Midigo and to minister the love and gospel of Jesus Christ.
As Pastor Gary spoke that day at Calvary Chapel Montebello, the Lord laid a burden on our hearts for the people in Sudan and Uganda. After church, Steve and I sat in our car, reluctant to fully embrace the burden. We felt ill equipped to go to Africa, and the problems and needs there seemed so much bigger than the two of us.
Over the the next several weeks, we were in touch with Safe Harbor to learn how we could get involved in the work being done in the region. Interestingly, while we were willing to go to Africa, the Lord did not send us immediately. Instead, He called us to pray, to tell others about the situation, and to invest in the work being done there by God. It was not until 12 years later (in 2011) that Steve would have the chance to visit these ministries with Pastor Gary and a team of pastors. We thank God for all that He has done in Uganda since 1999:
A vibrant church plantthat started as a bible study under a mango tree by Dr. Juventine now has over 200 adult members committed to growing in the Word of God and a vibrant children’s ministry. CC Midigo serves as a ministry hub for training, discipleship, and church planting in the region. In addition to CC Midigo, three additional churches have been planted in this region.
The once small and ill-equipped clinic is a fully operational hospital providing maternal and infant care, HIV/AIDS, mobile medical care to remote areas, and surgical operations. This hospital serves 30,000 patients per year.
Education programs offer high quality, Christian academics to hundreds of children, many from non-Christian backgrounds; and
Agricultural projects now provide jobs, training, services, and outreach to the local communities.
Although we are thankful for the fruit flowing from these ministries, there is still much work to be done. This area remains one of extreme poverty, with many illiterate children. The churches, school, and hospital operate in an area that is 95% Muslim. We are convinced that the Christians have been allowed to remain in this region because they are demonstrating the love of Jesus practically by providing health care, education and jobs. So, in addition to saving lives daily, the hospital and school have opened doors to share the gospel.
Steve and I were disappointed that we were not able to travel to Uganda together this year. But, we are praying for an opportunity to go in the year ahead. In the meantime, we wanted to highlight two ministries for your prayers and consideration.
The Jeremiah Scholarship Fund
Anei was born into war and poverty in the midst of the civil war between North and South Sudan. In 1996, the village that Anei lived in was brutally attacked by the Muslim militia and Sudanese government troops. During the attack, his village was burned to the ground and his mother was beaten to death as she held his baby sister who was only a few days old. God miraculously preserved Anei, his older brother Majok, and his little sister Faith. Faith now lives with her adoptive family in the US, but, Anei, and his brother and father still live in Uganda.
Even though Anei moved out of the Sudan in 1998, he still faced a life of poverty in a country where most children grow up illiterate with no hope of an education. Through God’s hand of providence, however, Anei and Majok were able to obtain an education through a Christian ministry called New Hope Uganda. Anei grew up to know and love Jesus as his Savior and to trust Him with his life and future.
Although the chances of Anei having the opportunity to go into medicine were very slim, he has had his sights set on medicine since he was a young child. By the hand of God, Anei graduated from high school, excelling in math and science. When Physician’s Assistant (“PA”) School in Kampala, Uganda, accepted Anei into its program, the Jeremiah Scholarship Fund was established to assist Anei with the costs of tuition and books for his first year.
Anei desires to be a doctor one day, and he is working hard towards this goal. We desire to see the Jeremiah Scholarship Fund provide for Anei’s tuition and books throughout his 3 years of Physician’s Assistant School. We pray that Anei will be the first of many young men and women to become medical workers, teachers, business men and women, and agriculturalists. However, without a scholarship, most of the children in the Midigo area will not be able to go to school beyond the primary level.
Please consider helping a child receive the gift of an education, and their community the gift of a future. To learn more about the Jeremiah Scholarship Fund, please visit the following website:http://www.promisechild.org/anei-sponsorship.php
We are delighted to be serving alongside of Promise Child and CC WestGrove in Uganda. The folks involved in this ministry are truly kindred spirits in the Lord. We hope you will take some time to visit Promise Child’s website and learn more about their work in Uganda, Nepal, and India: http://www.promisechild.org
Fifteen years ago, the Lord stirred our hearts for missions. Initially, we were relucant. We had no idea how the Lord could use us. But, He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. So, if you feel the Lord tugging at your heart for Anei or the people of Uganda, read more on the above websites or on CC San Juan Capistrano’s website, and ask the Lord how He would like to use you. Steve and I would be happy to answer your questions about the ministries and work in Uganda. And, we hope to have the chance to go to Uganda in the year ahead. Perhaps, the Lord will call you to go too one day.