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O Taste and See

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Greetings from Uganda!
Psalms 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”
We’ve been tasting and seeing God’s goodness here in Mbira. What a privilege to serve the faithful God Who alone deserves our trust!

In our last newsletter, we requested prayer for the results of the exams that our P7 and S4 students had taken. We’re happy to report that they all passed with good grades. It was an especially big accomplishment and answer to prayer after the year they had preceding their exams. Thank you to all who prayed! Now our next P7 and S4 classes are busy preparing for these same exams that they’ll take in the fall. It’s a long, intense year of preparation for them. They would also appreciate your prayers.

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After our former S4 students got their results, it was time to decide on their next step. They all decided to continue their secondary education, and they all chose the same school for S5. It felt like we were dropping our own kids off at college when we dropped them off for their next adventure. We’re thankful that the school, which is a boarding school, is close enough and allows them to come to Mbira for church on Sundays. The school also had a visitation day March 31, the day before Easter. It was nice to see them with their new friends. They’re adjusting well. It was a special treat that it was the day before Easter, and we were allowed to bring them back with us for the holiday weekend. (They also have Easter Monday off here.) The kids here were very excited when they saw them get out of the van!

Jim started a Leadership Bible College this year. This class is a more intense class. It will follow the same school schedule rather than going at a slower pace for understanding like the other. The students are all English speaking and have a desire to serve in the church. Each of the men have signed up to help with services on Sundays and/or to preach on Wednesdays on a rotating basis. The women are helping with teaching Sunday school or Wednesday night kids’ club once per month that Alexandria and Michelle otherwise teach. It’s been exciting to see them all getting more and more involved.

It’s also been exciting to see more of our older students realize that they had never truly been saved and getting that settled, then to see them teaching the younger ones with a renewed excitement. Michelle teaches devotions in the older girls’ dorm during the week, but now the older girls are teaching on weekends in each of the dorms. To watch the older students training the younger students is so encouraging. When we imagine the future of this ministry, we can clearly picture many of these students among the leaders here. Please pray for our students to stand firm in their faith and to continue serving God with fervent spirits. Also please pray for any of them who have not yet been saved.

Jim was blessed with the opportunity to go to Israel with a group from our sending church. It was an encouraging time to walk where Jesus walked and to gain a more realistic perspective of what we learn in the Scriptures by seeing it all first-hand. Of course it was also fun to see friends from Bible Baptist Church.

God has blessed our garden project this past year. We are growing maize and beans on 2 acres and bananas on 2 acres. We have harvested more than 1,500 lbs of maize and 1,300 lbs of beans in 2017. The bananas were recently planted and take a year to produce. We have an opportunity to purchase an additional 2 acres adjoining our current garden. This land is very fertile and will help feed our school. The labor we use is mainly students and parents who cannot afford school fees, by working in the garden their children can attend our school. If you are interested in helping with the purchase of this land, please send me an email. Please continue to pray for our garden project.

Good Friday marked the one year anniversary of the death of Pastor JJ. We praise God for faithfully and lovingly bringing us through this first year. As you know, we’ve had many adjustments to make. Once again, thank you to all who have been praying! Please continue to pray as we are still learning and striving to understand all that needs to be done, especially with the government, to keep the ministry functioning properly.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in all that God is doing here. We’re thankful for the opportunity to serve Him here, and we’re thankful for each one of you that makes that possible.

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Our church’s anniversary is on Christmas Day, but we always wait to celebrate until our students return from holiday. We celebrated our 8th anniversary in February. The members who had been at the first service cut the cake. That first service was under a tree at the home of the lady towards the back with the big smile.

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