“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” —Rev.21:4
Dear Friends and Family,
This month has been quite of a whirlwind of activity and emotion. We finally have been able to travel to the United States as a whole family. It has been a long 5 years in the making. It has at times seemed impossible and like it would never actually come to pass but as we all should know “nothing is impossible with God” We are very thankful to all of you who have been praying and helping to make this come to pass. It couldn’t have been more according to God’s perfect timing.
There is a bitter sweet beginning to our time here. Liana was finally able to meet her grandma, my mom, but not long after she passed away. When we first arrived in Ohio my mom was very alert and talkative with the children. They were able to tell her stories, sing for her and there were lots of cuddles. Very soon after that she became less and less responsive. The second to the last day we saw her she managed small hugs to the kids and the only words she spoke were “Brian, please pray for me”. The day before we left Ohio we went to see her and she was not responsive at all. Right before we were leaving the nurse came in to give her her meds and Luke said to her, “Can you give grandma a pill that will make her talk and play with us like she used to?” I started weeping and even the nurse looked as if she was going to cry. As everyone was saying their goodbyes before leaving I really cried. I knew this was not just good bye because we were leaving Ohio but I knew in my heart this was the final goodbye and we’d never see her alive again. We left early the next morning for Illinois but in less then a week we were making the 6 hour car ride back to Ohio for her funeral.
Here is the Obituary in case you’d like to read it.
Phyllis L. “Susie” Wiencke (nee Bohn), age 80, of Lorain, passed away Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at Autumn Aegis Retirement Community, following a lengthy illness.A life-long resident of Lorain, Susie was born April 15, 1938 in Lorain and graduated from Lorain High School in 1957. Susie and her husband, Gary owned and operated Quik As A Wink Carpet Cleaning for 35 years, retiring in 2008.She was a member of the former First Congregational United Church of Christ in Lorain and a member of Community Congregational United Church of Christ, Amherst. She enjoyed reading, word searches, and playing board games. Susie loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Surviving is her husband of 62 years, Gary; daughters, Julie Bober, of Sheffield Village, Jenny Riddle, of Cornell, Illinois, Jan Bailey, of Elyria and Jill Kanyike, of Uganda, Africa; grandchildren, Dean, Aaron, David, Jesse, Rafe, Lillian, Luke, Laylee, and Liana; great-grandchildren, Cole, Logan, and Olivia; She was preceded in death by her parents, Ellsworth and Helen Julia (nee Kish) Bohn.
While we have been having our own time of mourning in the States, things have also been a bit crazy in Uganda. One of the members of Parliament has been speaking out against the president of Uganda which has led to riots and acts of violence on both party’s sides. The parliament member is from near our neighborhood so much of what has been happening is near to our home and Arise Christian Fellowship. It is hard to be away when people you know and love are suffering yet at the same time feeling relieved that I am not there with the children right now. Please be praying for Uganda and for Brian’s safety as he has returned and is there without us right now.
In the midst of all the suffering that is going on there is one thing that is certain: we serve a God who is worthy to be praised. Not long ago we had the privilege of Worship Leader Jeremy Camp coming to Uganda. He first hosted a worship conference which all of our worship team was able to attend. He also held a free worship concert in conjunction with some local Christian artists, to which thousands attended and at least 100 received salvation. Here is what some of our worship team members had to say about the conference and meeting him:
“He mainly talked about the reason we worship, the reason being God’s love for us. That is what causes us to worship, when we realize that His love is enough.”
“He said the Lord wants us to worship Him in every state of emotion we have. We don’t have to wait to have the right words, we can just cry out to him, and half way through, He changes our song of sorrow and turns it into a cry of victory. Even when we are weak and we fall, we still fall into His arms and there is no safer place for us to be.”
“He talked about the danger in worship, the fact that as you stand before the congregation to lead them in God’s presence, it is easy for people to fix their eyes on you and instead praise you, because of your talent. He talked about the real dangers of falling into pride. He said as we serve the Lord, it is important for us to remember that HE is THE Lord, not us! Whatever the crowds say, at the end of the day, God is our audience of one.”
They were blessed by this opportunity and I believe have blessed us through their worship of God.
Thank you for praying for us and for the ministry in Uganda.
- Praise the Lord for allowing our whole family to travel to States.
- Pray for Jill’s family, especially her father as they mourn the loss of her mom.
- Pray for provision for the Kanyikes to spend Christmas in Ohio with Jill’s family.
- Pray for Jill while she continues getting treatment for her thyroid while in the states.
- Pray for the Kanyikes and their time in the states with family and friends.
- Pray for Uganda, there has been some unrest and many riots. Pray for safety and stability in the country.
- Pray for Arise Christian Fellowship to be a light in the darkness as they worship the Lord in Spirit and truth.
- Pray for all the ministries of Arise Christian Fellowship as well as the other ministries we partner with..
- Pray for Brian as pastors and leads our ministry team at Arise Christian Fellowship.
- Please prayerfully consider becoming part of the Kanyike Family support team.