Thank YOU!!!

This blog has been created so that you, our family, friends and senders can keep up with the happenings on our mission trip to Sibanga Village, Uganda, East Africa.

We would like to thank each of you for praying, giving, and loving us well, onward and upward, before, during and after our trip.
Your prayers over us are so important. We ask you to pray for safety and good health (for us and our families), wise choices, and most of all, for the Holy Spirit and the Love of Jesus to be evident in us, with each other, with the people we encounter on the planes and in the airports, and with everyone we meet in Uganda.

We would also like to thank you for your monetary support. The Lord has provided through YOU and continues to do so!
Thank you...
from all of us to all of you...
for giving to the Lord.

Prayer Requests

Village Evangelism – Sibanga Village

Ministry to Orphans – Lulwanda Children’s Home

We ask you to pray:
... that each team member would taste and see that the LORD is good.
... that we (both, as team members and as individuals) are obedient to the Holy Spirit's calling, orchestration, mercy, and love before, during and after the trip.
... for team unity and that we would be obedient to our team, and mini-team, leaders.
... that we would be used as the LORD's instruments to minister to and share the gift of salvation with the people of Sibanga Village and the surrounding schools and prisons that we may visit throughout the week.
... for softened hearts (their hearts AND ours!).
... for the safety, good health and peace for the loved ones we are leaving in the U.S. for the two week trip.
... for travel mercies and good health for all team members (before, during and after the trip!).


June 24-25 – Please pray for travel mercies on KLM Airlines as we depart Houston and arrive in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and then on to Entebbe, Uganda.

June 26 – Pray as we travel 2 hours to Mbale, Uganda (via van) and for recovery of jet lag.

June 27 – Pray for our teaching and encouragement for Pastor Morris Ogenga, his wife Aidah, the Elders and congregation of Mbale Presbyterian Church.

June 28-30 – Please pray as the team will daily share the Gospel (hut-to-hut, in public schools and in prisons) to the people of Sibanga Village. Team members will be sharing testimonies, teaching children, and preaching at afternoon crusades, local high schools and prisons. Pray also for the new pastor of Sibanga PCU, Pastor Emmanuel.

July 2 – Please pray for the team as they conduct a soccer camp for the orphans at Lulwanda Children’s Home and local school children. Pray that the soccer balls and uniforms are well received.

July 3 – Please pray as Pastor Timothy of Apokoro PCU (Tomball Bible Church 2006 church plant) is joined in marriage with Beatrice. Pray for the two of them as they begin their life together as husband and wife. The team is excited for the opportunity to attend Pastor Timothy and Beatrice’s wedding!

July 4 – Pray for our teaching and encouragement at Kidoko PCU. And pray also for travel mercies as the team makes their way from Mbale to Jinja (via 2 hour van ride).

July 4-5 – Pray for rest, refreshment and renewal for the team members at the Jinja Nile Resort.

July 6-7 – Please pray again for travel mercies on KLM Airlines as we depart Entebbe, Uganda and make the way back stateside, by way of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and on to Houston.

Thank you for praying for Uganda Mission 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I am no longer in de Nile

We have our bags packed and are ready to head off to our airport departure time tonight at Entebbe International Airport. We enjoyed our day of relaxation and “winding down” yesterday at Jinja Nile Resort. Most of the team went whitewater rafting on the Nile river rapids and had a lot of fun. That afternoon we relaxed by the pool and in the pool cracking jokes and reliving all of the wondrous things that God has done on the trip. We also discovered that Schweppes makes a great orange soda called Novida. The Internet here at this resort is horrible and the computer is completely infested with viruses and spyware, so if this even gets posted it will be a miracle. Before takeoff, we will head over to buy some gifts, and then we will be headed towards Amsterdam on our trip back home. We are all very excited to see all of our friends and family once again. It has been such a great trip. I will also attach some thoughts I wrote down yesterday on this blog as a post script.


P.S. Uganda has been like a blessing to me: greater than I have could have imagined. God has led me to villages where the poverty was much greater than I could have imagined, yet their dependence on God allows them to have greater joy and less stress even though their situations are more dire than anyone’s in America. The loss of simplicity and innocence in America has created a false urgency in daily life about things that are not very important in the grand scheme of things. I gain greater perspective on what is important with every time I visit here. These two things from earth will last for eternity: the souls of human beings and God’s Word the Bible. All other things such as beauty, comfort, excellence, money, power, and fame are all temporary. Most of them only serve as distractions away from God’s purpose for our lives: to grow in our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. With the right perspective, the rest of our life is meant to show God’s glory so that we grow in our faith and trust in God all of the time with all of our hearts.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Timothy and Beatrice

Wedding Bells were ringing

Well, today was a different kind of day for the team. Don and Larry began the day with meetings at Mt. Elgon Hotel with representatives from Living Water and Sanitation to discuss options for adding a bigger drilling rig to the water well drilling ministry here in Uganda. The meeting went very well and we are looking forward to exploring new opportunities through this ministry. By noon the team was dressed in fancy African dresses or nice American dresses and the men all were looking "smart" in their suits and ties. We were heading to an African wedding. Pastor Timothy, the pastor of the 2006 TBC church plant in Apokoro village, was to be wed today to his fiance Beatrice. The congregation gathered together in the Apokoro church and with much fanfare, the man of the day, the groom, arrived in the church through a slow procession down the center aisle attended by his groomsmen and best man. Later, the bride arrived escorted by her family as they made their way down the aisle again to much fanfare and alot of eyiiieyii... from the ladies. Once they were seated, across from each other across the aisle, the Word was delivered with much animation and passion by Pastor Morris Ogenga. I won't even try to explain what happened during this part of the service but suffice it to say that Jamie wants Pastor to oversee his wedding and Mike said he would want Pastor to perform his daughter's weddings...years from now. Once they and the congregation were throughly convinced that "the door was closed" for Timothy and Beatrice concerning other men and women Pastor went on to tell Timothy that Beatrice was not marrying him for his food but because she desired a husband and for him to care for her and attend to her needs. OK, you had to be there. Ask one of the team members about this ceremony when they get back. It was a joy to behold and a true celebration of marriage. Once the rings were exchanged, the wedding proceeded outside where a tent was covering the cakes. Both cut the cake, served each other cake and Fanta Orange and then it happened.... The skys opened up, the rain fell, and the party was washed away. The team got soaked to the bones along with most of the crowd even though we had party tents set up to cover us up. As Forest Gump would say, "it was big ole fat rain" that was blowing and swirling. Once the rain subsided, the team had time to visit with Timothy and Beatrice before heading back to Mt. Elgon Hotel for our team dinner together. Tonight we received our coffee, packed our bags and will load up the vans for our trip to Jinja tomorrow.

Scott will be preaching, Don will teach the men's sunday school, Rose will teach the women's sunday school, and Melissa will teach the children. We will be holding church services at Pastor Charles' new church called Kidoko. This is the church that TBC sponsored and opened last November on our mission trip. It will be good to go back and visit the people whom we shared the gospel with last year and who are now making up the congregation of this baby church.

All will sleep well tonight after a full day of life in Uganda.

Larry Hoelscher

Friday, July 2, 2010

Scott Z shares the gospel with soccer participants

Lulwanda Boy's Showing Off Their New Soccer Uniforms and Shoes

Lulwanda Children’s Home Invitational

Today was a good day! Lulwanda Children’s home hosted a soccer tournament. Nine schools from around the Lulwanda region attended this event. Don and Mike officiated the games, and Scott shared the gospel with approximately 400 students and spectators. Scott threw a stick to illustrate how God has cast our sins away from us as far as the east if from the west. Many children prayed to receive Christ. After the tournament 2 soccer balls were given to every team that attended the tournament. One would have thought these balls were plated in gold by the way the children (and coaches) reacted to this gesture of grace. We awarded the Busiu team with three soccer balls as they were the champions of the tournament. With some help from the Dallas Texans – Houston Division, the Lulwanda team certainly was looking sharp! In an after game interview, star player Emmanuel commented, “They had big players.” The day ended in sweet sorrow as we exchanged goodbyes with our favorite 90 children in the continent of Africa. Leaving Lulwanda is always difficult because we fall deeper in love with these children every time we visit.
Earlier today, Jamie, Scott and Alicia visited 2 schools. Jamie preached at the first school with Scott and Alicia testifying. At the second school, Alicia and Jamie shared their testimonies as Scott preached a powerful message on the need to rely on God instead of ourselves. Many students were moved to trust in Christ at the secondary school that was the alma mater of interpreter Ben (Mike and Jamie’s favorite). They were able to get back to Lulwanda before the first soccer match expired.
Tomorrow the Mzungu (white person) choir will grace the stage of Pastor Timothy’s traditional Ugandan wedding (complete with tribal dancers). Please pray that our songs aren’t too boring for our upbeat African audience (we will not be dancing).
God has been clearly present around us in Uganda this week. Thank you all for your continued prayer support and we pray that God is blessing you as well. Continue to pray for everyone’s health which is currently good. Please also pray for safe travel to and from the wedding.
For now, keep it real and Godspeed.

Mike and Jamie