Hello friends! Hope this finds you all safe and sound. Since our last update much taken place in our lives. We have made the decision to stay on with YWAM and become staff here at the Arua, Uganda YWAM base. That being said we wanted to share with you a bit about YWAM. YWAM is an inter-denominational, non-profit organization that was founded by Loren and Darlene Cunningham in 1962. YWAM's stated purpose is to "know God and to make Him known". YWAM includes people from over 180 countries and a large number of Christian denominations, with over half of the organization's staff from non-Western countries. YWAM has over 18,000 full-time volunteers (staff) in more than 1,100 ministry locations. They train upwards of 25,000 short-term missions volunteers annually. Please check out www.ywam.org
As staff we are involved in different ministries on and off the base. I (Sid) am staffing the Discipleship Training School (DTS) which started Wed. June 10th as well as serving on the compound maintenance team responsible for making sure things are “kept up” on the base. As a DTS staffer I will be in charge of the budget, leading a small group and doing weekly “one on ones” with a student. The 1-1 is a vital part of the DTS where we form deep relationship with a student in the process of discipling. The lecture phase of the school lasts 12 weeks followed by 8-10 weeks of outreach in a neighboring country practicing the skills learned in the classroom.
Wendy is involved in a several ministries; Parent/Child United…..a weekly trip to nearby villages to facilitate a time of parents reading to their kids with the intent of building a stronger bond between parent and child (an activity that is not prevalent here). Additionally Wendy and Charlie go on Saturdays to Eruba Deaf & Hearing School where they minister to the children promoting inclusion of the deaf. The 3 hours there are spent playing games, bible skits and engaging in conversation with the students. Wendy & the older children will also be joining Megan Elkins at a local Clinic to help train the current staff in better management and care of the patients.
We really love the model of missions that YWAM provides and believe it is a great fit for our large family. Helping to train the next generation of disciples who will GO and proclaim the Word of God to the nations is really exciting! Our future plans are to stay in Arua approximately a year to train under the leadership as we have much to learn about YWAM community life, adjusting to culture and learning a new language. The next step as God leads would be to transition to South Sudan where God has called us to work on the Yei, South Sudan YWAM base. Beyond that we have plans and dreams but we know God will direct us as we take “the next RIGHT step”.
BIGGGG NEWSSS …….We have moved into our HOME!! After a 3 month ordeal with a house that we thought was “the one” we threw in the towel and God led us to our new home within a couple hours. Formerly a guesthouse…we will be making our home in this 6 bedroom house!!! YAY….Go God!
We have been in our new home for 2 weeks. We have had many trials but the Lord continues to be faithful, and although we have been weary we feel God calling on our family to minister here even more. The following is an excerpt from Sid’s journal:
“What a horrible week! Levi, Tate & I all had malaria this week and to top it off we lost Toby (Charlie’s Service Dog) to Tick Fever. Word’s cannot express the loss I feel. I cannot look at a picture of him without crying. I laid in bed and thought of him for hours last night and woke up thinking of him. We had a special connection. He was always there for anyone in the family and was loved by all. Lacey pointed out, Toby had unconditional love and was loyal to everyone of us always. She challenged us to be more like him in our daily lives to love each other more unconditionally. We accepted the challenge with great honor followed by a stake in the ground moment on 6/19, we declared Isaiah 54:17, Romans 5:3 and that we are children of the One True King standing in faith, believing in our calling and that we WILL persevere through the trials and tribulations. We held hands, prayed and ceremoniously stabbed our “stakes” into the ground and declared to remember the past but to move forward trusting and leaning on God for all things. He is our strength, our power – the reason we live – the reason we breathe – He is our All in All! He gives – He takes away – there is joy & sadness – tears & pain – But He is Worthy of it All! God, Thank you for freely giving to your kids & for loving us unconditionally! Lord help me to be more like you. - To be more empathetic, merciful. – to give more grace to all. Thank you for being so good to my family – may all we do bring you glory Lord!
Sunday morning church at Elim Pentecostal listening to Dad preach
Missing Toby terribly. Please pray for Charlie & the rest of the family.
Meeting our neighbors
Scriptures that we have been clinging to:
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” ~Romans 5:3-5
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” ~ James 1:2-4
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord. ~Isaiah 54
Thank You for your continued prayer for our family as we serve in Northern Uganda and South Sudan. Please continue to pray for these current prayer points. Blessings to ALL of you!
Pray that we can eliminate the mosquito issue in our new home
Pray for Charlie as he is struggling with Toby being gone
Pray for Health for the WHOLE family
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