01 December 2011

Harvest of Souls at Canaan Farm!

 

It is getting to harvest time in Uganda and farmers are getting ready for a big harvest this year. As farmers at Canaan farm and surrounding villages in Kiriyandongo prepare to start bringing in their harvest of corn, sunflower, vegetables and fruits they witnessed a different kind of harvest, a harvest of souls for the kingdom of God.

 

A two day Gospel retreat organized by Vicky Bentley for women involved in Rabuna Fi projects took place at Canaan farm on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th. The retreat specifically organized for ladies turned out to host men as well who turned up in big numbers after word of the retreat filtered through the village. As a result over 500 people got the opportunity of hearing the Good News taught. The theme of the retreat centered on the Church as the bride of Christ.

 

The presence and power of God was so real during the meetings and as a result over 30 people received Jesus Christ for the first time in their lives. At the end of the retreat believers faith in Christ was strengthened and more souls were added into the kingdom.  Praise the Lord!!

 

Please continue to pray for us as we continue to teach both the women and the men and disciplining the new believers. Pray that God will speak through us and us as vessels of his Love to the community.

 

Blessings,

Richard & Suzan

 

16 November 2011

Come visit us and get some Christmas gifts for friends and family

Rabuna Fi has been invited to MOPS Christmas Bazaar. If you are in the area please come visit our table and get gifts that will make a difference in someones life. 


18 October 2011

...You never know what you will see in Africa...

Vicky and I found this creature in our front yard of FRM Guest House in Uganda...

...you can see it's eyes...

...This is very brave of me...

In Him
Natasha..

17 October 2011

Sticky Fingers


It started out as a normal day, I was sitting eating lunch with Eunice when out of the corner of my eye I saw something move in the kitchen.  I at first thought it was a cat, but as we turned to see what had entered through the back door, there it was............a monkey.
Yes a monkey had not only walked into our house, but was sitting there quite content on the countertop eating my bananas. After yelling at it and chasing it back outside it sat at the top of the back fence finishing the banana it had stolen.  When I went back in the kitchen I saw the bunch of bananas left and there were holes in them where his fingers grabbed the banana.  So of course I was not going to eat them, so I fed the rest to it so the bananas at least would not be wasted.
Lesson learned that even though there is an electric fence around the compound when the power goes out frequently this allows for all sorts of animals to make themselves at home in my backyard and apparently in my kitchen. (That is Eunice's voice in the Video)    Hope this made you smile.                           Blessings~   Jamie
My Unexpected Lunch Guest
Image0140Image0141Image0142

13 October 2011

Seeing the Creator in the Creation By Jamie McKinley



Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. ~John 1:3
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. ~John 1:3

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.  ~Psalm 95:3-5
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. ~Psalm 95:3-5

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.  ~1 Chronicles 29:11
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. ~1 Chronicles 29:11


So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? ~Matthew 6:28-30

How great it is to just sit and watch a sunrise or sunset and see and soak in the vivid colors of the sky.  How treasured are those moments when I can just meditate on His Word and look out on a land or part of God’s creation.  To see a stream, a field of flowers, a few birds who eat from the crumbs I leave on the wall, the animals on safari, or even the stars; it is impossible not to praise the Creator.

Everything was created for God’s glory to speak and show His power and His majesty.  I love to find beauty in the secret streets or corners no one might look, like the small pots and gardens in the midst or a trash filled slum.  To see the child at play with a toy made of scraps and things thrown away.  The Lord uses and makes beauty from the ashes in our own lives and hearts (Isaiah 61:3).

I had the amazing opportunity to go with the Zavala family on a road trip to Kijabe.  The trip was to go for fellowship and to see the ministry and work of the mission hospital there.  I had never been and was a little curious to see what it looked like and know where it was located.  The blessing was that God did a mighty work in His creation and as we traveled we were blessed with views of fields, trees, mountains, and rivers.

The earth speaks of God’s beauty and power and yet I often do not take the time to meditate on it.  I find on days when I wake up with things to do or try to work things out without being still and resting in Him I forget He holds the Earth together in His hand (Psalm 46:10).  Everything, not just some, but everything is for His glory.  The hard times and the good, the beauty and the disregarded all can and will be used to display His glory. My prayer is that I would trust Him in every aspect of my life as He cares for the flowers He cares more for His children (Matthew 6:25-34).  When I fully yield to Him I can be that vessel that shines and displays His glory.

Here is a little poem I read that just shows a man who saw in his seminary the beauty that surrounds drives us to praise the Creator.


Pied Beauty, Gerard Manley Hopkins


Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
PRAISE HIM.


I am so encouraged how the Lord works and shows me His glory and hand in life.

In Him,
Jamie

07 October 2011

Come Away With Me My Beloved


My beloved spoke, and said to me:
“ Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!”
~Song of Solomon 2:10-13

My November newsletter will talk a lot of the work God is doing in my heart.  Yet I still can’t help but share just a small piece of what God has shown me just today.  These last few months have been a true refining time for me and I feel the Lord sifting through my heart and cleaning it out so that He can fill every area.  Needless to say it is still a work in progress, but the Lord is faithful to continue to cleanse me and make me into His pure bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).  I am humbled as the Lord reveals things in my heart and life that He desires to purify.

Yet as I have discovered in my Christian walk whenever the Lord is working and trying to shape me into a vessel that will shine more of His glory the devil is waiting and lurking to see if he can destroy any progress.  As I have seen God’s hand and His changes have been seen in my heart and His glory shown in it, this last week I have also seen the devil trying to distract.  This is nothing unexpected, but definitely a thing that brings me to my knees in prayer.

For it is in prayer that victory is found, for we are not fighting physical powers but spiritual battles.  As I have been setting aside more time and trying to be more diligent in growing in my relationship with God and giving Him my whole heart the world tries to come in between.  I know we face the battle everywhere not just in the mission field, but I see how technology, entertainment, activities, and people can draw the focus off the eternal things and off Him and steal time.  As I study Revelation with our youth group and dig into it, and look at the lost around me I feel an urgency to reach as many as possible for His Kingdom since the end is near and life is a vapor.  Yet how often time is wasted on distracted thoughts, pointless entertainment, and technology.  Even ministry can become so busy and demanding that something good can cause me to loose focus on why I am serving and Who I am serving.

However, today as I woke up I just felt that desire to not make plans but listen to His voice the calling me to “Come away with Him.”  These days are always nice to just read His Word, pray, listen to a teaching, read a study, and just sit and hear from Him.  Today I was so blessed, so refreshed and encouraged.  After a week that seemed to have different and odd distraction, I was able to drive, not face traffic, not get caught up in work, and just set aside time to refocus and be refilled by His Spirit.  God will not relent until He has all of my heart and by responding to His voice today I am just overwhelmed with peace and joy.  For it is not by my own strength I can live day by day but by His Spirit! (Zechariah 4:6)  I encourage you answer His call and come away with Him, you don’t need a whole day like I had today; but just time that is dedicated to Him alone, He is a jealous God!

Please continue to pray that my focus would be on God and His glory and that these distractions would fade and be at a distance.  Thank you so much for your prayers, you are truly a blessing!

In Him,  Jamie

03 October 2011

Update: from Natasha!

Dear friends and family,

I’ve been reading the book “Love, a Holy Command” by Oswald Chambers… and I really want to share a few thoughts with you. “Whenever God has given you a blessing, take time to meditate beside the blessing and offer it back to God in a deliberate ecstasy of worship. God will never allow you to hold a spiritual blessing for yourself; it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others. If you hoard it, it will turn to spiritual dry rot. If God has blessed you, erect an altar and give the blessing back to God as a love-gift.”

Do I stop and meditate over spiritual blessings that God gives to me? Am I ready to give them back to God or I am trying to hold them for myself? These are the real questions that I am asking myself…

The Lord brought me to a place in my life where I am like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from Him…and honestly, I am telling you that it’s not easy for me… I am more like Martha… I like to be busy about my Father’s business…and I understand that there are different seasons in our walk with Jesus, and there is nothing wrong about being busy in the ministry…I am just saying that I am in a season in my life right now when God wants me to be quiet and listen… so I can embrace everything that Jesus has for me…It’s amazing how deep He can take me if only I am ready to receive…I hope it all makes sense to you and encourages you to get on your knees and let the Lord draw you closer to His Heart full of Love…

The warfare is so strong that it is hard even to explain…I read again and again Matthew 17 and see the warfare that the disciples faced after their experience on the mountain…We are all fighting; not against flesh and blood but our fight is in the spiritual realm…I cannot forget about it, you cannot forget about it…It does not matter how hard it might be…Jesus is my Victory, His Precious Blood covers me…His Love covers me…I can rest in Him, it gives me strength to move further...It makes me want to yield to my Beloved even more…to let Him do whatever it takes to make me like gold for His glory, for His pleasure…

I know that Jesus is writing His story through my life and it’s an amazing story of His Love and Faithfulness…

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; it’s flames are flames of fire,…many waters cannot quench this love…” Song of Solomon 8:6

in Him,

Natasha

 

21 September 2011

Photo Slideshow: Bud Stonebaker


Check out this slideshow from Bud Stonebaker!


Bud was just recently over in Sudan and was kind enough to put this slideshow together for us all to enjoy!

19 September 2011

Update! from Natasha

Dear friends and family,

Wow, it’s been awhile since I sent my updates out…You probably though that I was dead J in a sense you are right…but let me start from the beginning J

As you probably know that the Lord opened an opportunity for me to go to Sudan…and it was a great time…so stretching and challenging and yet amazing!!! Full of God’s faithfulness and love…

I might share with you before that it was my dream from the beginning of my ministry with FRM to go to Sudan and serve the Lord there. In God’s Sovereignty, He took me through an amazing time of ministry in Calvary Chapel Nairobi, knitted my heart together with the people in the church and missionaries there…

When I finally arrived to Sudan, it felt like home, I wrote about it in one of my newsletters that I called it my earthly “promised Land” I even kissed the ground J Yeah, and arrived in a military caravan with guns and everything… but that’s a whole nother story.  Just makes me smile to think about it.  J

Being there slowly but surely the Lord started speaking to me that He called me to Himself and not to a certain geographic place on the planet…Jesus took me to a place where I realized that it does not matter anymore what I want…it’s all about what He wants…You know, those moments with Jesus you can never forget…I loved the ministry in S. Sudan, I’ve seen this country celebrate its independence and  I’ve seen how much more needs to be done there…I’ve seen God’s glory!!! It was a mountain of transfiguration for me…And I felt like I was Peter who was asking Jesus to stay there…This is how amazing it was, yet, Jesus spoke clearly to me…,” you are going back to the valley”…Everything in me cried out to God for mercy, I asked the Lord to give me a sword (a scripture that I can stand on) or a song that I can sing to Him, and He gave me both…This passage from Matthew 17:1-8 became alive to me…How faithful and amazing the Lord is!!!! And even though I had to give up my dream…He gave me peace that passes all understanding…I started my updates with the statement that you probably though that I was dead…and this is true, I had to die, so Jesus can live through me…isn’t it a prayer for all of us…It was not an easy time for my flesh…nor for people around me…but I appreciated their prayers and support!!!

I arrived in Nairobi on the 26th of August…I had such a great time of reunion with people in the church and my fellow missionaries…The time went by so fast and on the 13th of September I came to Uganda to serve here and help with a guest house…And a question came up in my mind: “Why, why did the Lord move me again?” In His perfect love He wants me to obey Him in everything…and I know by my obedience to God that I love Him…

There is so much more to tell…I am in a place where the Lord took all my dreams, all my secure places that I had in my heart and left only Jesus… “When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” Matthew 17:8

Prayer requests:

·         Please pray for the Lord to continue to lead me the way He wants to…

·         Pray that He would give me wisdom in how to help with the guest house in Kampala.

·         Please pray for my daughter Masha and my Dad, Vladimir that they would come to the Lord…

 

~Natasha

 

12 September 2011

New: Follow by Email!


Check it out! Now you can follow by Email! Simply enter your email in the “Follow by Email!” field, click submit, then check your inbox for a confirmation email and a link to confirm your email address. FeedBurner will then email you with updates to our blog for every day that there are new posts!

Feel free to forward this information on to others! :)

May the LORD richly bless your day!

~ FRM

07 September 2011

2011 FRM Chaplain DVD!

Our newest video, the 2011 FRM Chaplain DVD, is now uploaded to YouTube!
(Here's what our DVD face looks like!)
CLICK HERE TO WATCH!

- or -
copy and paste the following URL into your browser:

Be blessed!  :)
~ FRM

01 September 2011

Chaplain Graduation


August 22, 2011
The 8th class of Chaplains graduated! I am excited to see more of God’s men out in the world preaching the gospel! The Ceremony looked like this: 2:00pm-2:15pm Prayer and Worship. 2:15pm-3:00pm Chaplains March In and Speech by Wes Bentley 3:00pm-3:05pm Interlude, 3:05pm-3:20pm Speech By Inspector, 3:20pm-3:30pm Speech by Army Officer / CDR Nimule Garisons, 3:30pm-3:40pm Army Officer From Juba, 3:40pm-4:00pm Presentation of Songs From the Youth and Women, 4:00pm-4:20pm Pastor John Sharing theWord of God, 4:20pm-4:30pm Speech From Immigration Police, 4:30pm-5:00pm Conclusion by Wes Bentley, 5:00pm Dinner Feast. I thought it was so powerful that the chaplain’s read the knight’s code. I was so blessed that God has more instruments well equipped to share His glory to the world. The part of this graduation that hit me the most was that these men would be going to the Nuba mountains where there is fighting and unrest. The gospel and Jesus is the only hope these men have. Nothing saves like Jesus can. Jesus gives men courage to face what doesn’t seem survivable. Death no longer is the end and all these men have a calling. It inspires me, an American woman who doesn’t have any immediate threats on my life, to live each day as an adventure that God increases my courage and faith. Why do we have to have the end in sight for us to start being who God made us to be? I want to be that woman today. Don’t you? 
-Haley Jalinski

South Sudan - Arrival & days leading up to class 8 Chaplain Graduation


On our way to our final destination of Nimule, South Sudan we stopped in Kampala, Uganda at the guesthouse. We stayed there for two nights and fellowshipped with Bob and Susanne, Keith and Lisa and their son Jonathan, Brian and Jill, Giftie, Michael, and James Olal. We drove from Kampala, Uganda to Nimule, South Sudan. It took about 8 hours. On the way we stopped and got chapotie which is like a tortilla, and fresh pineapple. They were so delicious! When we got to the compound in Nimule we were greeted by singing and cheering by the Chaplains. It was great seeing some familiar faces. We got right to work with the Chaplain sponsorship letters and preparing the sanctuary for the day of graduation. We painted the inside of the chapel and made the compound spotless. The Sudanese television would be filming the graduation. We also have been doing some interviews for the chaplains so that sponsors can hear and see their chaplain. Working with the chaplains and ministering to the ladies and the youth here has been such a blessing. God has granted this nation’s independence and I would not be surprised if it was because of the obedience of His children here. Kevin and I talked to the youth about purity and what it means to be a Christian in your youth. We have done team building games with the youth and chaplains. We pray that God unites them more as brothers and sisters in Christ. More to come!
-Haley Jalinski

Safari day 3


Tuesday- Final day


Our last day on the Masai Mara was a bittersweet ending. We went out on a morning game drive. We saw so many hot air balloons in the sky so early in the morning. It was quite a sight. The sweet part of the last day was knowing we had a busy week ahead and we could relax for one more day. The bitter part was the busy week coming up. The Chaplain Graduation means having to do a lot of preparation. God really blessed us with sweet fellowship and just an overall relaxing time at the Masai Mara.  

Safari day 2


Monday- August 8, 2011
The second day to our safari was a blast. We spent the whole day out on the Mara. We ate our breakfast and lunch among the wildebeest. It was a great time for Kevin and I to spend with Aunt Vicky and Uncle Wes. We laughed and were awed by God’s creation around us. We learned on the second day that every animal on the African Savannah was useful for one reason or another. The vultures cleaned up and keep things sanitized. The elephants eat the acacia trees. So that is why there are only a few that pop up. The zebra and wildebeest eat the tall grass. The lions keep the population of wildebeest down. The list goes on and on.  I just think that is so amazing. We serve a resourceful God. How much more will the God who gives purpose to the elephants give you a direction and a plan for your life. I like to dwell on this because being 19 a lot of life decisions are coming up. Including me getting married in December. Going to college also gives a lot of opportunity for God’s will to become more and more evident. So I have faith that He will direct me as I learn to surrender more, listen to Him often, trust and depend on Him solely, and have my hope resting in Him only. Then just be obedient. 




29 August 2011

The Tent Is Up!

The first tent of many went up last week!  FRM is planning to have traveling ministry groups in Sudan take the tents and a team to set them up to preach the good news of the Gospel, and hopefully leave it there as a church plant!  Keep this project in prayer!

 

Here’s the word from the mouth of John Eastham:

Half way through putting it up, there was a thunderstorm.

We got soaked and very muddy.

I was muddy from head to toe.

 

I worked with 9 Sudanese chaplains.  they were awesome.

God gets all the credit since He sent an American pastor with me who could teach the chaplains how to use a trucker's ratchet.

 

We will put the side walls on the tent tomorrow.

 

After that we will take the tent down, pack it up, take it out, and then put it up again.

It's all to train the chaplains how to put up the tent.

 

thank you so much for the prayer support.  I really appreciate it.

I found the instructions in the tent materials, however, they were not nearly as helpful as I had hoped.

Anyhow, it is up.

 

Plans for the tent are to use it for evangelical crusades with the FRM chaplains and (possibly) it will become the church

 "building" for Calvary Chapel Juba (capital of South Sudan).

 

That is why putting up the tent and training the chaplains is so important.  Many, many people may be saved because of how it is used.

 

 

john e.

 

10 August 2011

Masai Mara Safari Day 1

Us fueling up for our first game drive
We landed at about 12pm and we were so excited to be there! Our drive from the airstrip to the lodge where we were staying was amazing! Everything that you see and know about the African savanna came true. The zebra and wildebeest were everywhere. We stayed at the Intrepid lodge. We checked in and got settled for our two day safari adventure at around 12:30pm on August 7. At the lodge we found this suspension bridge that was straight out of the old jungle book cartoon.


Kevin and I on the jungle bridge



Our first game drive was a huge success. We saw a momma lion and her cub feeding on a wildebeest. In Uncle Wes' eyes that was a beautiful beginning to our safari. After we crossed paths with a herd of elephants. There were about five in the herd. If I remember right there were two adorable little babies and three grown up elephants. The guide said that if the babies can still pass under the mother's stomach that it was under one year old. We would see a baby elephant later on in our journey that would be smaller and closer to the one year mark. There were plenty of zebras, wildebeest (1.3 million were there due to the migration), Thompson gazelles, warthogs, mongoose, impalas, topis, and safari trucks. We really wanted to see cheetah, lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, and giraffe.
-Haley Jalinski










26 July 2011

Postcards from Africa

So here I am.  Africa.  I have been hearing about the ministry since about 1996, coming on staff in 2007.    After all these years of reading the FRM newsletter and reading all the missionary newsletters and seeing the photographs and reading the prayer points and all the other things at work that make me a part of the ministry, I am finally here. 
Kelly and I flew into Entebbe where Vicky and Natasha picked us up and we left the following day for Gulu, and onward to Kitgum.  We visited Keith and Lisa Coggin at Sanctuary of Grace, and then onto visit Lois at Tender Trust.  We have been working on updating the photos and the information for the children that are sponsored.  We have also visited Kitgum Infant Orphan Care and Sister Teddy at NUCBCD.  We have had a chance to worship together, make ‘smores with them, and love on the kids.  Your kids are well.  J  And they are so sweet.  They shake my hand and greet me as I pass by.  And they know that their life is different because of you. 
Today Kelly and I shared with the kids from the 23rd Psalm.  The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want.    He goes before us.  He cares for us.  He walks with us through “the things that can make you dead”—according to one of the kids here at Tender Trust.  What a great reminder that no matter what, when I choose to follow Him, He takes care of all the details.   I’m looking forward to see where He’ll lead me next.  In the short term, its back to Gulu and then on to Sudan on Monday.   Looking with expectation toward the future!        
Because of Him,
Sheri
Tender trust....



Time with precious kids...

Teaching the Bible...

12 July 2011

Whispers of His Wonder

Two new posts to the Whispers of His Wonder blog. Please check them out 
there are precious truths to glean. 

~heart of Far Reaching Ministries

07 July 2011

Whispers of His Wonder Posts

Please check out our new Whispers of His Wonder blog. It is located to the right. All you have to do is click the  photo. We have some little treasures that are sure to bless your heart. 


~from the heart of Far Reaching Ministries

04 July 2011

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...


When Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” He was not joking. Being here in Nimule, and seeing what the Lord had done in the last 13 years, I am so encouraged… The name of the women’s ministry here is Rabuna Fi, and it means “God is here.” We have six Bible studies a week. Women from different language groups are coming every day. We have ladies from Dinka, Madi, and Acholi language groups; we also go to Loa and Mutuwa where we gather under trees to study the Word of God!!! It amazing to see the Lord is working in the lives of these ladies…
The Bible study in Mutuwa was born from an evangelistic crusade the Sudanese ladies led in June. The Word comes alive here. These sisters have great faith and do great exploits for Jesus.
I noticed right away the difference between ladies of Rabuna Fi and the new believers in Mutuwa.  Gift Mura, the Project Administrator for Rabuna Fi, taught about a sin and God’s attitude toward sin. Most of these ladies had no idea that God hates sin, that we are lost in our sins and that only in Jesus can we defeat sin. Please pray for us as we teach these sisters the foundations of the faith. I look forward to watching God move! It’s exciting to teach those who are ready to receive! Please pray for Gift, while she is getting ready to teach every Friday. Pray that these ladies have a hunger to study the word of God. Lastly, most of them don’t have a Bible in their dialect, so please pray the Lord will provide for everyone to have a Bible. 

... Bible study ...

... teaching the Word of God ...

30 June 2011

Sudan News: Read All About It!

I would love it if you would read the following article for a news update on Sudan!

 

Click here!

- OR -

Copy/Paste this link into your web browser:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/11/world/africa/11sudan.html

 

~Agape

Vicky

27 June 2011

Urgent Prayer Request for Far Reaching Ministries!!!



Dear Prayer Warriors, please pray for the situation in the Nuba Mountains and for Chaplain Haknock Kalbas Kuri. 

The Nuba Mountains are being bombed around the clock.  Chaplain Haknock, who is currently in heavy combat, lost his wife and eleven members of his family when his home was bombed.   

Ask the Lord for His divine hand of protect and the peace and comfort that passes all understanding for Haknock.  Pray for an end to the bombing and safety for those affected.

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

23 June 2011

Updates from Natasha, Sudan!

Dear friends and family,

For so long I have not updated you with the great things that the Lord is doing in my life…

Ok, let me start from the time when I had to leave Kenya in order to receive my visa. My work permit is not approved yet but it is not rejected either, so please continue to pray for it J.

I left Nairobi on the 14th of June, traveled to Uganda, and had an awesome time of rest in Kampala. It was good just to stop and wait on the Lord, just to sit at Jesus' feet… On the 25th of May I started my journey to Sudan…and some of you know that it took me 5 days to get there…Usually if you travel straight to Sudan from Kampala it takes around 8-9 hours…

It was a journey of God's faithfulness and I was learning again to trust and follow the Lord not to try to run ahead of Him. Now I am in Sudan, I call it my earthly "promised land" J…my first impression of Southern Sudan is that it is so peaceful here, you cannot tell that this country could go into war at any minute… I was also very surprised that Sudan is so beautiful…You know how sometimes you have an idea of how something should look…so Sudan does not look like I thought it would look like J. It's greater!!!

I got a chance to see Juba the capital of Southern Sudan, but I love Nimule and the FRM Compound here. The ladies in the women's ministry are so encouraging. The name of this project is Rabuna Fi, it means God is here in Arabic, they have Bible studies throughout the whole week, sometimes even twice a day…It was very encouraging to see their passion for Jesus during the outreach we had and where a few ladies shared a teaching from the Bible. They have their prayer group and literacy class…and it's amazing to see how God is using those who are open to Him. When we had an outreach, I had a chance to share the Gospel and we gave glory to God for almost 50 people who got saved during that time…

We also had a one day conference for the youth… You know, like everywhere young people need a lot of encouragement especially at the time we are living in… Satan is at work and he wants to destroy youth with all kinds of stuff, but we, as the Body of Christ, should stand strong in prayer and discipleship for the young generation. It was very neat to see how many young boys and girls received Christ and rededicated their lives to Jesus. It was a one day conference and we taught them on the foundation of the Christian faith. Please pray that they will grow in their relationship with the Lord and would stand strong on the Rock, Jesus Christ!!! Especially at a the time like this when the war between Southern Sudan which is a Christian Nation and Northern Sudan which is completely Muslim nation can begin at any moment…

·         Please continue to pray for peace in Southern Sudan.

·         Pray for the time of preparation for the Bible Studies, protection while traveling, and good health for all of us here in the FRM compound.

·         Please continue to pray for Masha, that she would come to the Lord with her whole heart.

·         Please pray for good health for my parents.

Agape,

Natasha

Ministering to the youth in Nimule

This is Natasha and yes, I am here in Nimule, Sudan…serving Jesus in every way possible and impossibleJ. The Lord is so gracious; He brought Jamie, who is serving with Calvary Chapel Nairobi up to Sudan for a visit to ease my transition.
Vicky, Jamie and I, felt the Lord calling us to reach out to the youth of Calvary Chapel Nimule. We spoke to Pastor James Olal and the choir that meets here three times a week for practice. God gave us a theme of “In Christ Alone,” for a one day conference on the foundations of the faith. The youth invited their peers from all the other churches in Nimule to join us too.
Saturday June 18th we woke up to rain and prayed God would not let that stop anyone from attending. By 11:00am we had about 50 young hungry hearts. A friend shared his testimony and helped us perform the drama called, “Redeemer.” We gave an altar call and rejoiced as over 20 people came forward to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. After each of our five sessions we planned a short workshop, hoping to train them how to practice all the things they were learning. My favorite memory of the day was watching groups of five pray together. Some went to their knees, others sang softly, and all of them poured their hearts out without reservation or hesitation.  Seeing this future generation on their knees seeking God and crying out to Him for their nation of Southern Sudan and for their own growth in their relationship with Jesus will remain with me forever.
We closed with a promise for more in-depth discipleship on Saturday. Vicky and I will be taking turns sharing, please continue to pray for wisdom on how to minister to the youth here at Calvary Chapel Nimule and in this community.    
                                                                                 






25 May 2011

Outbreak of War in Sudan

People of Abyei, meeting in church to pray.


People of Abyei, meeting to pray and decide what to do.


Just recently, FRM sent relief to the people up in Abyei, Sudan. They are located on the border between the North and the South (which is the place with the greatest oil supply). We just received word that the Arab North invaded Abyei, declaring war. The whole community we were reaching out to are now in hiding in the bush. Our chaplains working there had given us word that everyone is safe, but they are all in hiding. They made time to assemble in a small church for prayer before having to flee. We know that all great revivals come in when the people travail in prayer even to the point of tears. Will you please join us and fast and pray for our brothers and sisters in Abyei right now?

17 May 2011

Potatoes for Grandmothers!

Here are some pictures from the "Potatoes for Grandmothers" outreach in Russia!

Food being divided and organized for each family!


stockpile of food to be delivered to families!


woman overjoyed by the amazing blessing of food supplies!


One of the families who received your gifts and blessing!



Russians in Kenya

How amazing is the Lord!!! I want to share with you about the team from my home church, Calvary Chapel Vladimir… The Lord opened a door for them to come and serve long side of us in Nairobi…You can only imagine how excited I was when I saw them at the airport in Nairobi. Seven people came on this first teamJ. It was very cool to see how they ministered to the kids (they had two VBS’s and FIC kids concert.  The FIC Youth concert went very well too).  We were able to go and witness to the people in the slums of Kibera and Kawangware. Everybody on this team recognized that the people are very open to talk about and listen to the Gospel! So, we used every opportunity to share the Gospel and you know what…one lady from the team, Tatiana, could not even speak English…her desire to share the love of Christ with the Kenyans was so encouraging… she learned a few words in Swahili and was so brave to use them!!!
It was great to see how the Lord used all of us for His glory, and how faithful He was when we had to be flexible in changing plans in ministry… You have to do what you have to do… For me personally, to see my family here was very special… I was very tired physically but spiritually I was so fired up…

Tatiana is inviting people to the FIC concert

VBS in the slums of Matumba

Edick was painting kid's hands and faces in the slums of Kibera...

This verse from Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shell I send and who will go for Us…” became alive once again…To see these guys step out in faith…was great!!! My prayer for them right now is for them to go deeper in their relationship with Jesus and share His love wherever they go…

09 May 2011

Update: from Extreme Missions Training Student, Christina!



A few weeks ago on our day off, Jamie and Natasha took us to a place near Nairobi, where a huge amount of tea is growing in the fields.

It was a relaxing day of fellowship and afterwards I felt spiritually and mentally uplifted. We are usually doing ministry six days out of the week, so it's good to spend our day off just relaxing and having fun with the team.

In celebration of Good Friday, we planned a day of food and fellowship with the ladies of Calvary Chapel Nairobi. In Kenya, eating chicken is considered a luxury, and killing a chicken is only affordable for special occasions. In order to have enough chicken for all the ladies, we had to kill and prepare three chickens. Jackie, Ana Marie and I learned how to cook chicken literally from scratch! It took a few hours to prepare along with some traditional Kenyan side dishes, but at the end we had a feast in honor of Good Friday. Before we ate, we took time to pray, sing a few worship songs and then Jamie read a passage of scripture about His death and resurrection. It was a good time of fellowship, and an opportunity to continue to get to know the ladies better and build relationships with them. My favorite part of that day, was seeing the reaction of the ladies as we helped them prepare the food. They were blessed that we were willing to learn from them and to prepare the food the way the Kenyans do. Even though it was more work than we are used to in our fast paced Western culture, it gave us the opportunity to spend quality time with these ladies.
On Easter Sunday, we hosted a party for the FIC (Fellowship in Christ) youth group at the church. Our vision for this was to allow the youth to fellowship in Christ, while at the same time challenging them to learn more about Jesus. We had them play games to challenge their knowledge of Bible scriptures and also to remember the significance of what Easter means to us as Christians.

We've spend a lot of time these past few weeks praying and preparing for the arrival of the Russian team that finally arrived a few days ago. They will be serving here with us for about a week and a half, and so far they have been a total blessing to Calvary Chapel Nairobi.

Yesterday, the Russian team lead worship alongside Natasha and the entire church was blessed with the worship they lead in Kiswahili, English, and Russian. After service, they held a special concert for the children of Calvary Chapel Nairobi, as well as the children we handed out flyers to in the slums behind the church. The children enjoyed a variety of singing, games, puppets, miming, and even rapping, all relating the gospel message that Jesus is the way to life. It has been a blessing so far to work with the Russian team, and fellowship with them at the guesthouse. I have the opportunity to learn about Russian culture, while living here in Kenya.

Our schedule over the next week and a half will be filled with evangelism, outreach, home visits, debates, and children's programs as we serve alongside the Russian team. Please continue to pray for Jackie, Ana Marie and I to finish strong and to serve well as we are sometimes distracted with thoughts of what the next season in our lives will bring.

Pray also for the family of the lady I am discipling named Damaris, that her husband will be saved. Please also pray for:
1. Team Unity with Russian Team and Jamie, Natasha, Ana Marie, Jackie and I
2. Good health and specifically for Ana Marie's health to improve
3. Wisdom for Pastor Dave on decisions of where we do outreaches
4. The Holy Spirit to help us bring people into His kingdom with the many outreaches this week!
5. God's provision for moving back to America:
If you desire more details please contact my friend Diana Gutierrez for more details on this via email dianagutierrezsd@gmail.com

In His Service,
Christina