Court and I are both terrible in front of the camera, but Dad wanted a video update, so here it is…many tries later😂
Court and I are both terrible in front of the camera, but Dad wanted a video update, so here it is…many tries later😂
This week the Lord has been asking me how much I actually trust Him. The greatest desire in my heart is to love and please Him and bring Him glory! So He has asked, “Do you trust that I know you and love you? (you know I made you, right?) Do you trust that I will show you and bring you to the things that will honor me most?” My answer is “Yes, I do, and help my unbelief!” How does that translate into my everyday? How do I walk out that belief? What God has been showing me is that it is about trusting and following and not trying to figure out 10 steps ahead! Jesus didn’t say “follow me and figure out where I am going”, He said, “Follow me.” This morning I was reading in Matthew 4 about Jesus calling Peter and Andrew then James and John. Jesus called to them and IMMEDIATELY they left everything, their jobs, their family, their possessions to follow Jesus. I was struck by that word immediately…how often do we waiver or take time to consider what Jesus is calling us to before we obey? These men didn’t care what the risk or sacrifice, all they knew was that Jesus was different and they needed to follow Him and know Him! Are you following Jesus and allowing Him to lead your life? Do you trust that He is going to what is best in your life for your good and to bring His name honor and glory? God is more concerned about His name and His glory that we are, so why do we worry that He won’t show us what is best as we seek Him and follow Him? Why do we try to figure out where He is going instead of just keeping our eyes on Him and following where He leads? More and more God has been calling me to full and complete surrender. I have sat back and looked at my life and have seen His hand so clearly moving and directing me. So now, Jesus is asking me to take a step further and to let go of any thoughts, fears, or hopes about the future and trust that my loving Father will guide me to what He wants and give me what is very best for my good and His glory! (That doesn’t mean I let go of responsibility, but that I not cling tightly to my thoughts of how life should be and instead cling tightly to Jesus.) He’s asking me to let Him love me and fill me with His love so that I can pour out that love to others! To know and trust in the depths of His love! I don’t need to worry about the future, but only walk in the light that He gives me for each step! I pray that you too will be able to know His love and find that it is worth letting go of everything to follow Jesus! Only in Him can we find true love, joy, hope and purpose!
Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I need to go for now, but I will give an update on the hospital and how things are going soon! Thank you for your prayers!
We are just wrapping up our first week here in the hospital! The week started out on a sad note as they lost a young mother during a C-section on Sunday night. Thankfully they were able to save the baby, Emily. (named after her mother) Emily has had a rough start to life. Not only did she lose her mother and need to be resuscitated, but she was also having some seizures. She stayed in our very small NICU for a few days, but was able to go home with her loving Aunt on Wednesday. She was eating well and seizure free!! She is a little miracle.
There is a lot to learn as things run very differently then what we are used to at home. The nurses here are split between midwifes and nurses. But each one helps out in all the areas. There is a maternity ward with 2 delivery rooms, an Operating theater, an inpatient Ward that takes children and adults, and an Outpatient clinic with a pharmacy. Since there is no pharmacist here the nurses run the pharmacy too. This week Heather and I have been getting to know the staff and getting the hang of how the hospital runs. Improvising is the name of the game here! Today we spent the morning in the OR organizing the supply room. We cut whatever empty boxes we could find to look like bins and used the spare cardboard pieces as dividers. Then used tape to label the shelves. We spent the afternoon placing IVs using a glove for a tourniquet instead of on our hands. We love working with the wonderful staff here and are excited to learn from them and teach some nursing education classes.
Tonight we were blessed with good food and fellowship with some other missionaries in the area that go to our church. It has been great to make some new friends! Tomorrow we will have the day off to rest and go to the women’s fellowship at church.
Checking Abraham’s Blood Pressure
Our brother (Faith’s biological brother) Peter has just finished PA school and just started working at this hospital last week. It has been so fun to work with him!
Us with Peter in the outpatient clinic
Church today was so sweet. It was Calvary Chapel Soroti’s 3rd anniversary celebration. It was such a blessing to hear the testimonies of what God has done in the lives of the people here. Jesus is truly amazing and He changes people!
Dr J is not only one of the Drs and surgeons at the hospital, but he is also the pastor of the church. Today he started the book of Galatians just doing an introduction and going through the first 5 verses. The Lord was reminding me again that my calling, my joy, my salvation all comes through Him and not man. Again the reminder to not serve man or the ministry, but God and Him alone. To be a Mary as I serve Him. To give Him my whole heart. I know that I have given it to him, but I also know that I continue to sin and to hold back from Him. I want Him to have all of me and to do what He wills with my life. This trip I feel very much like I am walking with enough light for one step at a time. I am surrendered to His plans and purposes more than ever and am so excited to see what He wants to do. There has been such a peace surrounding this trip that I know He will be faithful to teach me and use me for His glory!
Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
After church and the celebration, we went over to the boys’ house. Faith’s father, Garang, her brother, Anei Peter, and Rebecca’s brother, Aguer Santino, are the only 3 at home right now as Faith’s other brother Majok Abraham is doing an internship and Rebecca’s sister, Abong Lydia, is at school. We all made dinner together. Chicken and potatoes and chapati. Our chapati making is a bit rusty, so we’ll need more practice, but they were “not so bad.” I also beat them all at a game of peanuts (nertz, Dutch blitz, etc). 🙂
Well, it’s bed time! Tomorrow we will visit the hospital and hopefully figure out a plan for what our time here is going to look like!
Hey All👋🏽We made it to Uganda after about 19 hours of plane flights and a 24 hour stop in Amsterdam. Thankfully our travel has been so smooth and none of our bags got lost! Once we got into Entebbe we had a few hour drive to Kampala and then today about a 6 hour drive to Soroti. Needless to say Heather and I are both thankful that we are done traveling for a little while. Currently we are just getting settled into our new home in Soroti and excited to see what the Lord has for us in the next few months. We had a great reunion with our friends and family that live in Soroti and are so grateful for this time we get to spend with them!
We love you guys and appreciate your prayers so much. We have felt them! Please continue to keep us in prayer as we adjust to the time, culture, and a new routine.
And we are off! Just finished our first leg to Detroit and now waiting for our flight to Amsterdam. It’s been a crazy 6 months and it is probably gonna be another crazy 6 months from here out! That being said, Courtney and I have had such a peace and a calmness this last 9 days that we still can’t believe we are actually on our way. God has been so good and there has been zero stress and I have really been able to enjoy my short time in So Cal.
I wanted to give you all an update on my transitioning from San Francisco. What I originally thought was going to be 3 months in the City by the Bay turned into nearly a year! So crazy how God works and places us where He wants us! My time in the Project Bayview Women’s home was amazing and challenging. I learned so much! If I had to pick the top 4 things I learned they would be 1) Trusting God fully and completely, 2) Learning the difference between my “need” for alone time and my “want” of it, 3) Learning how to lead in humility and not need to be perfect, and 4) Learning how to be a “Mary” in the midst of ministry.
God showed me so much of his power and sovereignty in bringing people in and out of our house at just the right time. After the first couple instances, He helped me just to sit back and rest in Him and watch Him work! Our God is so great and so wise. Over and over He showed me that I don’t have to worry, I just need to trust and obey!
I am a major introvert so living in a house full of women and sharing a room after almost 10 years of having my own space was stretching! The first few weeks were hard, but God grew my mental capacity and my love for the women in our house!
I also tend to be a perfectionist, but God has taught me that my intense frustration with not being perfect is based in pride. I am saying that I am able to do good, and my sin is the exception. The reality is that I am a sinner and it’s only God’s grace and His Spirit in me that allows me to do good. There were a lot of things we didn’t do perfectly as we started the house, but we learned from our mistakes and are continuing to learn and grow through God’s grace!
Finally, like Courtney shared in our first blog post, learning to be a “Mary” in the midst of ministry is essential to our success! There is nothing good in me! The only good that I pour out is from what Jesus has poured into me. I need to first be filled with Him before I can be of any use to the people around me. My favorite illustration is that of a straw…the girls in the house are probably tired of hearing me say it, lol…anyways, if you think about drinking an amazing smoothie or a milkshake, you never think, “man, this is a really good straw!” No! You think, “Wow, this smoothie/milkshake is so good!” You don’t even really notice the straw, it’s just how you get the goodness. In the same way, we are to be the conduits of God’s goodness. The straw never draws attention to itself when it is working properly, but if it’s broken, you notice the straw right away! In the same way, we are not to draw attention to ourselves and need to keep our hearts right with Jesus so that we can always be pointing people to the goodness of our God! We are all replaceable and God doesn’t “need” us thus we ought not think too highly of ourselves. However, we are given a blessing in that He chooses to use us. As we allow Him to fill us and do His work, His way, in His time, we will be successful and joy-filled and never burn out. The true and only measure of our success is our obedience to Jesus’ call on our life!
All that to say, I loved being in San Francisco and God blessed me with such an amazing church family! I have never walked in partnership with people who share my heart so closely and deeply! While I will deeply miss them, I am excited for this new season and what God is going to do in and through me and Courtney!
Now Court and I are off to be straws of God’s goodness to every person that we meet. Pray for us to have hearts that are soft and listening to His voice. Pray for us to be able to sit at His feet and be filled before we try to pour out His love on others! You can also pray for traveling mercies for the next couple days. We are scheduled to arrive in Uganda around 10pm on Aug 12. Uganda is 10 hours ahead so that would be around noon on the 12th West Coast time. We will have free txting in Uganda, so feel free to txt and say hello! Pray also for our family as we only had 36 hours with them before we left! We will miss them so much, but are so thankful for technology that will keep us well connected!
-Heather and Courtney