October 2019

“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “in repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.””  Isaiah 30:15a

I love October. The temperature change, the leaves turning, apple picking and processing, and especially getting the family together and you all bring your own meat and too many marshmallows and just sit around the fire late into the evening. But here, October just feels like another month. No significant change in weather; it’s still rainy season, no change in the leaves; although people are harvesting things here and there. No real change to mark the time of year. I do miss that about America. But there were significant events throughout the month, even if they were not particularly seasonal.

Early in the month, Matt had the opportunity to teach at a multi-church conference in a neighboring district. Originally scheduled to teach for the entire conference, he ended up teaching only two sessions, as God kindly provided two other teachers, one being our good friend Luke, the other being our pastor here in Gulu, Pastor Fred. They taught the churches about marriage, both for those seeking to be married and those already married, about leadership, and also about Salvation. There is great need in the church to be reminded that there is nothing we can do to earn Salvation, but that Christ offers it freely, the price already having been paid by His blood. What grace! Needless to say, preparation for these teachings was exciting.

Noah spending some time with the pastoral students during break

After 2 weeks of brief study and 1 week of deep study as a group, Matthew and the other teachers taught through the book of Isaiah at the pastoral school. As it is a long book of 66 chapters, it proved difficult to squeeze that much into 5 days of teaching. But we give God praise for His help both for the teachers and the students, not even one of the students failed the final test on the book of Isaiah. 

Emma, Madeline and their friend Scarlet watching some monkeys.

Before the week of Pastoral class ended, Matt and I took our kids for a short respite at a Bible Camp on Lake Victoria. We have decided to take a similar trip annually, away from the daily pressures of life, work, and ministry, and all the things that fall in between those categories, to refresh our vision and focus, and to seek God’s will for the next year. This year we were joined for a few days of our trip by Luke, and the Cochran family, friends from our training at New Hope Uganda. All of us together made for a very exciting and encouraging time, and I think each party was sharpened better for the work God has for us, our family for His work here in Gulu, and the Cochrans for their new work as they step into a different mission field far from Uganda. 

Noelle and the kids enjoying a waterfall

Throughout the month there have come up several things that need prayer, if you would take a moment to ask our Father for help in them. 

Please pray for our friend Luke who has been battling sickness for 2 months, but has now been admitted to the hospital with a serious and mysterious lung infection. Pray for wisdom for the doctors, and strengthening, healing, and peace for Luke.

Our friend Luke

Please pray for the pastors in our community of Adak, as they gather very soon to receive training in counseling to better approach the rising rates of depression and suicide in our area.

Pray also for the Cochrans who are leaving Uganda with their children, and heading to a training for church-planting among those who have no access to the gospel, who the church commonly calls “the unreached”.

Our good friends Russel and Kelsey Chochran

Please pray for us also, that we would continue on with the vision God has given us for our part of the ministry here, that we would preach the gospel with eagerness, and seek first Gods kingdom and His righteousness.

With love and care,

Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline and Noah

Published by Matthew and Noelle Harris

Matthew, Noelle, and their children Emma, Madeline and Noah, are Colorado natives. They have a passion for the Word of God and a desire to see people fully equipped with scripture. They are consumed with Christ’s command to go into all the world and make disciples; to baptize them and teach them to observe the full counsel of God, eagerly awaiting Christ’s return, and going wherever He would lead them. The Harris’ work with Terebinth Ministries, whose focus is the spiritual and physical health of the Acholi people in Gulu, Uganda. Training local pastors to interpret scripture with scripture, taking them verse by verse and chapter by chapter through the whole of God’s Word. They also work closely with Terebinth’s medical clinic and agricultural projects, which help provide for the physical needs of the community.