24 March 2010

Trudy in Haiti

Howdy All,

We are so glad to get Trudy back here in one piece!  Sending her to Haiti seemed like a good idea.  Plenty of lifting accompanied the decision.  She was certainly the right person for the job.  It wasn’t until she was in the US, getting supplies together and training the Operation Safe leaders that I was reminded that I had okayed sending my wife into a war zone.  I’ve been involved in two massive disasters.  Both places, Thailand and China, had a strong central government directing the relief efforts.  Haiti does not have that.  The government was on shaky ground even before the quake, though there were signs that things were getting better.  

The quake devastated the island nation.  The government, the nation’s infrastructure, everything game down in an heap.  While they make an effort to sort out the political and logistical mess they are in, one thing is certain; there just isn’t enough of anything.  There isn’t enough shelter, water, food or medical care.  People are desperate.  In the midst of their circumstance they are even beginning to turn on one another.  The stress and trauma are a catalyst for violence.  The medical team that Trudy travelled with saw evidence of spousal abuse, rape and child sexual abuse.  As news coverage from Haiti wanes, please remember to keep them lifted up.  At the same time, go before the boss and ask what you might do to share the love of the son in such a dark place.  Long term commitments are must.  Some will send and some will go and the boss will get the glory.

Thank you for keeping us lifted.

In the vine,

Natasha's Passport

It seems that I am going through a time when I am walking on water…I believe that the Lord called me to serve Him in Africa, so it is a road of faith…step by step I see God’s faithfulness in every situation…Now I am in the process of renewing my passport. The Russian embassy here in Nairobi told me that they will do it but it will take three months…my visa expires on the 16th of April and my work permit is not approved yet…If my work permit is approved I can stay in the country and wait for my new passport, If not I have to go back to Russia and work on my new passport there. I can see so clearly that I have to trust Jesus in all of it…I am this kind of person that wants the answer right away and over and over again the Lord is teaching me patience, I am learning how to trust Him minute by minute…The only way I can do it is to fix my eyes on Jesus…I can see how easily I can be distracted by the “storms of this world”…It’s so true that I am living this passage of the Scripture literally J.
I want to encourage you my brothers and sisters…it does not matter what surrounds us, not how strong the “wind” nor how big the “waves”, if we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can walk on waters…
I love you all and thank you again for your faithful support and prayers…
When it’s over, I’ll let you know what the Lord has done J
Please continue to pray for God’s will to be done in all of this…

16 March 2010

Canaan Farm

The past few weeks, families at Canaan Farm have been busy clearing up farmland for the first season of cultivation. The families at the farm grow their own food and build their own shelter using the agriculture and the resources of the land. Not only are the people clearing up farmland for production (as has been the tradition for so many years in the past), they are involved in an exciting empowering project that is transforming lives in the community. This project is making jewelry out of native bamboo plants. The bamboo project has given the opportunity for many involved to see the providence and love of God, especially to those who are recovering from 20 years of war and suffering. Through the bamboo project not only are the families getting an income to meet their basic needs but building relationships with brethren in Christ who are buying these products.

This has been a month of twins at the farm. March is usually a month of births at the farm. This is the month that most of the cows produce their young. Interestingly enough, this month one of the cows produced twins which is quite unusual. What makes it more interesting is that one of the ladies at the farm gave birth to adorable twin girls. Suzan and a local midwife were on hand to help her give birth.

Below are some pictures.


Jennifer and Suzan

Working with bamboo

Adult Literature

15 March 2010

Jonah Mural

Here we present another magnificent mural by Austin Priest!  It’s the story of Jonah. The scene just before Jonah is thrown into the water really touches my heart. At times my life feels as chaotic as the waves in that storm. I feel like jumping in to stop the madness! But God is so faithful! At just the right time He says, “Peace, Be still, ” and I find His strength to press ahead. Many thanks to Austin for blessing us with these awesome murals!

~Alison Jalinski~
FRMA intern missionary in Nimule, Sudan

Womens Ministry News

Our Women Ministry is booming in numbers and in faith. We are averaging every Bible Study about 100 ladies. Praise the Lord for them! The ladies and I have been bonding so well and we have really grown to love each other deeply. I am attached to them now; they will always remain in my heart. I love seeing their joyful attitudes and the smiles on their face as they enter our compound. We often greet each other with hugs and Arabic sayings. They love when I call their name from memory and hold their babies so they can listen to the word. I also love visiting them at home, praying for them, and sharing simple bits of health advice that I have learned out here on the field. I love having fellowship with these ladies and can’t wait until we get to heaven! I believe we will be dancing together for our Lord with all our might on that day! We will keep you updated with more testimonies of what is happing as the hand of God is moving; until then, please keep us in your prayers!

~Alison Jalinski~
FRMA intern missionary in Nimule, Sudan

12 March 2010

Praise Report and Prayer Request

There are times when the spiritual battle is not very subtle….this afternoon was one of those times….we had an awesome time in the Word. We are in Philippians 4:1-9, and I was talking about how to rejoice in the Lord always. We got practical and were really honest about our struggles with discouragement as women. We closed our session by having the women share something good, and worthy of thinking about. The answers were great:

- God changed my life, I used to be a drunkard and he set me free.
- Jesus has given me strength in my heart, no matter how hard things get I know He will not fail me.
- God gave me 6 beautiful children.
- God saved my whole family, we are all walking with Him!

It was glorious to watch them testify of His goodness…when I know the depth of the struggles they faith. We had about 80 women in our group and were down to the last 10-15 women who had not yet shared when all of a sudden two women burst into tears. One even collapsed on the floor…I asked Gifti, “What Happened?” She said we just got news that a fire has destroyed many homes near the market and these two women lost everything….  They lost their homes, the food they had for the rest of the month, their few clothes, saucepans, water containers...EVERYTHING….

I prayed and cried with the ladies. I was blessed to hear Mary and Betty encouraging them to stand firm and to forget about any earthly thing because they have Jesus and He is more than enough. The enemy was trying to snatch the seeds planted in their hearts, please join me in praying he will not succeed.

~ Agape,

10 March 2010

Rabuna Fi in Masindi, Uganda

We are preparing to minister to 800 students at a primary school in Masindi Uganda this fall through Love Covers. The school is near to the Canaan Farm where our tractor is being put to work. Our dear friend  and faithful supporter of the ministry, Nadine, is pictured here doing a mini-Love Covers in February. She raised the money to give 100 children a Love Pack and shared her photos with us! Nadine and  a team from her home church, Calvary Chapel Billings, Montana, are planning to facilitate outreach in September. FRMA has committed to providing 400 Love Packs.

The families of these children have all fled Northern Uganda due to the violence of the LRA. Wes and I had the honor of meeting with a group of moms who are part of Rabuna Fi Masindi in January (these ladies make the lovely bamboo jewelry we offer). They shared their testimonies – I can’t wait for all of you to read about them in the upcoming newsletter. The stories broke our hearts but at the same time made us worship the One who can save to the uttermost! God has strengthened these saints in the face of unthinkable tragedy. They are pictures of resilience and grace.

I ask you to pray that Jesus will begin to soften many hearts for the outreaches. Our hope is that every child who receives a Love Pack will invite Jesus to live in their hearts. We are hoping that revival will come to Masindi. Pray for Richard and Suzan to be empowered for the daily labor of love at the farm. Pray for Nadine, Pastor Wayne, and the saints joining us on the team; ask God to speak to them and give them vision. The team will be here for two weeks, but their labor of love will be a memory these kids cherish forever….and Lord willing it will mark Spiritual Birthdays for hundreds!

If you would like to donate specifically to this part of our ministry, please click here!


08 March 2010

Update from Vicky: Pray for Mary

Sudan still follows a dowry system, whereby a young man purchases his bride from her parents. If anything in the course of the marriage goes wrong the father can intervene and even take his daughter back home.

Mary has been suffering at the hands of her husband for the last several years.  She comes to Bible Study and makes crafts to earn enough money to feed her children because her husband won’t help, and she built the home the children sleep in because he spent every shilling he earned on alcohol.  This evening Mary’s father is going to confront her husband.  He has watched his daughter suffer for too long and he is tired of waiting for change.  Tomorrow morning Mary and her children will be taken back home to stay with her father… 

Mary asked us to pray because this remote village has no born again believers. She is afraid the pain in her heart will never go away without believers to encourage her and pray with her. I told Mary the Holy Spirit inside her will go with her and teach her all things, but it was hard to see her fear. In some ways I wish I could go…for if we did carry the gospel to every village it would mean Christ’s return is that much closer and Mary and thousands of others can pass from suffering to glory…


05 March 2010

Photo's from Natasha!

I don't know how they do it, but ladies here are very good in caring things on their heads...

I tried too :) Mama Lucy and me...

New mattress,Mama Lucy did not have one...and was sleeping on the paper boxes

This the job I was given...to burn old cloths...I thought it is a good way of washing cloths...


Greetings from Gulu, Uganda

Greetings from Gulu!

Ocuka is now getting back to normal after the rocky episodes of the New Year.  All the children are back in school and the Lord has opened so many new doors.

Praise the Lord !!! We have now purchased a new generator!!!  A great Big thanks for our sending church, First Baptist Wilmer, and Adaton Baptist church in MS and to Kathy at Palm Desert Community Presbyterian for raising the much needed funds.  We bought a 16.5k CAT.  Imagine, we can now use our coffee maker and iron at the same time, while the refrigerator is on!!! (Keith told me today that we might even be able to get ice in our freezer!!) What luxuries!!

We have been contacted by many people who are asking us to start Primary schools in other areas. That would be a long term plan, But God is able.  Also I, Lisa, have started a Bible study for women in Guruguru.

But right now we want to introduce to you our new friend, Silas. About a month ago a woman came to our gate seeking help because her hut had burned down.  She had a baby in her arms who was severely malnourished.  As we began to inquire about the situation this is what we learned:  

She and her husband have three children, all of whom are malnourished.  The oldest one is almost 4 years.  The next one is 2 years, and the baby’s age is hard to tell because he is so small.  The mother does not know how old he is.  She is not producing milk. Upon further investigation we found that the husband is mentally ill and this woman is very handicapped with a birth defect and also due to childhood polio. Wow we were stunned to find out that they live not very far from our compound.  But the baby was our greatest concern because he had fever and was so weak.  We tried to give them formula to feed the baby but the mother kept losing the bottles and could not remember how to mix it (she could not count). So I went to the probation director in town and explained the situation.  It was decided that we would take the baby temporarily, for a short time, until a decision from the Govt. could be made on how to help this family. They are now investigating.  For the last several months we have had with us one of the older girls who grew up in GSF (Good Shepherd’s Fold) orphanage. She is preparing to go to the university.  Her name is Alyssa.  She is now caring for Silas.  He only had one name, Ojok, which means in Lwo, “bad spirit’.  So, we named him Silas.  We are not sure how all this will work out, but we knew that we could not risk little Silas’s life as his parents are not able to care for him.  The other two girls are also at risk. Please pray for this family.

We will be coming back to the States for furlough, on April 14. We would love to visit with as many of you as possible and speak about all the opportunities for building the Kingdom of God. We need your prayers in these specific requests:

·        Healing for our hearts from the crisis we recently experienced.
·        Direction from the Lord regarding the family of Silas.
·        Many churches and friends to partner with us in the rapidly expanding work of the Lord here in Northern Uganda.
·        Funding for the next wings of the school (we have maxed out our capacity this year) and funding for the teachers houses to be built.
·        The proposal that was sent to the Govt. regarding a pilot school using the new Christian curriculum!!

We can never thank you all enough for your generous support and donations, but remember that God is using your faithfulness to build His kingdom here among these vulnerable people. Praise HIM!!!!

In Jesus’ Name,
Keith and Lisa

03 March 2010

Rabuna Fi - "God is Here"

The last three weeks God has done a radical stirring up in the women of Rabuna Fi. Our study groups have surged in attendance, but even more importantly, there is a new hunger compelling the ladies to seek hard after God. We opened a leadership training last Saturday. There is no craft work available - this group is just for in-depth discipleship….I was hoping for 12 women to come....we had 48! Forty eight women who spent four hours fellowshipping, sharing their heart, and seeking to please their heavenly Father! Each woman all told us she wants to learn how to teach others! Praise God!

Today our lesson was from Philippians 3. When we closed I asked the ladies, “What one thing do you want in your relationship with God right now?” Here is a list of some of the responses:

“I want God to open my eyes so I can read and understand His word and then go and teach others.” Grace Abalo
“I want God to give me strength so I can serve Him all of my life.” Monica Yar
“I want God to change the heart of all the people here in Nimule in bondage to alcohol. I want them to be set free and to know Jesus.” Joska Auma
“I want God to give Vicky strength so she can take God’s word all over Sudan and reach every woman.” Rebecca Achol
“I want to have understanding of the Bible so I can teach others about the goodness and power of God.” Sabina Anyango
“I want God to teach me how to win the children of my family and in my neighborhood for Jesus.” Rose

These are just a few of the comments. As each sister shared her heart I wanted to jump for joy! They are growing in faith. After ten years of sowing seeds I am seeing an amazing harvest. We would not be here if it were not for all of you who stood with us and prayed! Thank you to all of you who faithfully support us. The simple crafts that you purchase literally provide daily bread for these women and their children. Your gift enables them to sit here and learn His word, to attend literacy classes, and then fellowship for up to six hours each day. Without your support they would be out cutting firewood, going to the market, and sadly even brewing alcohol just to survive. You have truly given them a new life….THANK YOU! From every woman of Rabuna Fi – THANK YOU! May God bless you and reward you for all your kindness to us!

~ Agape,

Grace Abalo and Joska fellowshipping at break

Betty giving testimony

Literacy class

01 March 2010

Fireworks and Haiti

We’ve just come through Spring Festival and tonight will be the first night of sleep not broken up by random barrages of fireworks.  I like fireworks.  I like blowing stuff up but two solid weeks of fireworks tends to knock the wow off the experience.  As I was writing that last line I had to laugh.  Somewhere off in the distance someone is setting off a huge aerial display.  We’re at the point that it feels like the explosions may never end. 

Despite the never ending fireworks, nearly everyone is back from the holiday and classes began today.  Phoebe is still up north.  She had to get some dental work done.  Barbara headed back to the states on the 28th and I’m missing her a bunch.  Finally, of course, Trudy is getting the last of the Operation Safe Camp preparation done in Texas. 

The mixed team of kid helpers and medical volunteers will begin flying out to Haiti on March 4th.  Prior to the quake, the country was in terrible condition.  Now, things are just about as bad as they can get.  Trudy writes:

"I did some research on Mizak.  You can look it up on the HAPI site and also google it.  It is a pretty hopeless place.  There is no electricity, no sewage, no running water, and not much food. They lost 325+ homes in area that was already poverty-stricken.  They have no hospital and no doctors or nurses.  We have our work cut out for us. Lots of kids and orphans who need lots of love. I guess that is where I fit in."

Please keep the team lifted as they gather together in Texas and head for Haiti.  They are going to be stretched in a number of ways and they need our support.  Thank you for keeping us lifted here as we cope with Trudy’s absence.  She does an awful lot and is sorely missed.  The next few weeks are going to be very challenging.

In the vine,