5 years ago today John and I were walking through the lobby of Grace when we met a man from Uganda. Some could say it was a chance meeting....but we know it was a Divine appointment. His name was Richard. He noticed a necklace I was wearing and asked where I got the beads. They were paper beads from Uganda. He informed me that his father had a ministry in Uganda with women who made the beads. After service, we exchanged emails. Several weeks later, I received an email from him saying "when you come to Uganda you may stay at the home of my parents". I very politely thanked him and said I wouldn't be coming to Uganda anytime soon.
6 months later, myself and my dear friend did what no one would ever recommend we do.....we got on a plane to go to a foreign country to stay with people we'd never met.
Our lives would never be the same. Of course...at the time, I really believed I was only there to buy beads.
God was planning something much bigger than any of us could ever imagine. 3 months after that trip, John and I started praying about adoption. Around the same time, True Vine ministries in Uganda was praying about the need for a medical center. In February 2012, we received a referral for our son Joseph. In March 2012, Richard contacted us and asked if we thought funds could be raised to build a medical clinic. In May 2012, Richard came to Austin and within one week, $40,000 was raised to build St. John medical clinic. On memorial day, 2012 we received word that we had a court date on July 5th, 2012 in Uganda for our son Joseph. And as the Lord would have it, ground was broken on St. John medical clinic on July 13th, 2012 while we were there.
St. John medical clinic opened it's doors in April 2013.
If the story stopped there....It would be an amazing story and God would have been glorified. But, it didn't stop there. God was far from finished.
Since then, everything that has transpired has been nothing short of miraculous. Not one person can take the credit because God alone orchestrated events and stirred in hearts that no one can explain.
Funds were raised to build Bibbo school....TWICE. And what I mean by that is that when the school was finished....families flocked to it and they quickly outgrew the first building. Plans were drawn up for a second building and God built that one too! Bibbo church was also built.
Was God finished? No. Not by a long shot. City of the Lord church was also built. The church was previously a 20x20 brick structure that felt like it was going to collapse on us during a rain storm. The pastor had a budget to build the church and it was going to take them 14 years to do it.
Here is the City of the Lord church today.
And let me tell you....worship in that church is an amazing, beautiful experience.
Surely God was finished right? Nope. Not even close. Not by a long shot. He is in the business of miracles after all.
In September 2013, God provided the funds to build True Vine church. Never in my life have I witnessed gratitude like I saw the day Pastor Stephen found out the funds had been received to build the church.
In April 2015, True Vine church was finished as well as construction of The Timothy Center...a pastoral training center.
In April 2015, construction began on a borehole for Nakibole.
As of February 2015, 3 pit latrines have been built for HIV+ families.
As of April 2015, 90 HIV+ mamas have been able to start small businesses through the HOPE+ sisterhood and almost 60 children are now being sponsored allowing them to receive an education.
As of April 2015, Village of Grace reached it's 1/2 way mark! The Kigongo boys are SO close to having a home to call their own!
And we KNOW God isn't finished.
This month, John will travel to Uganda with Jason Huddleston, the senior pastor from First Baptist church. Together they will teach a 3 day workshop to Pastors on how to read and understand your bible and how to prepare a sermon. They will also be teaching at several Pastor and marriage conferences.
In July, a team will be traveling to Uganda for our very first medical mission trip. The Lord has graciously blessed us with 4 doctors, 5 nurses, 3 paramedics, 1 EMT and a videographer. Free medical care will be given to 750-1000 patients but more importantly, Jesus will be shared!!
Please consider joining us on the amazing adventure God has called us to. We would be delighted to have you partner with us financially, spiritually and physically. We can not wait to see what the Lord has in store for the next 5 years.