“...And you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” —Matthew 1:21
Dear Friends and Family,
As the holiday season has come to an end and we are jumping into the new year, we wanted to take time to share about the Christmas outreaches that have taken place.
As part of our church ministry, we reach out to the market place and the people who work there. This is actually how Arise Christian Fellowship began. Many men came to the Lord and the church was born. The women in the market place have been harder to reach. Many of them have had very hard lives and are caught up in practicing witchcraft. As I was preparing for this year’s women’s Christmas tea the women from the market place were really on my heart, that they would really understand the true meaning of Christmas and why Jesus came. There are a couple of ladies from church who come from the market place so in the days leading up to the Tea they were really helpful in reaching out and inviting other market ladies to come. I planned for 2 teachings and a light meal, as well as Christmas cookies and tea.
The first teaching was looking at Mary and her finding out she was going to be the mother of Jesus. It was designed to help the ladies to relate better to what was about to happen through the birth of Christ. I invited Kim Wargi to come down from South Sudan and share this teaching with the ladies. When I was sharing with her about the theme I shared how the first teaching I wanted to be about the human side of the Christmas story and the second teaching to be more evangelistic focusing on Matthew 1:21 where it says, “And you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”. In my heart, I really wanted to teach the evangelistic message but since I was inviting Kim to help teach I let her choose and immediately she asked if she could teach about Mary. It was a beautiful confirmation.
On the day of the conference, we had a huge tropical storm. I was afraid the market ladies we reached out to would not come because even the ladies from my Bible study were 2 hours late. We began the tea with Christmas carols and food and eventually as the rain slowed down more and more ladies began to come. Kim’s message really touched the heart and emotions of some of the ladies who came and they shared with us after. My evangelistic message on why Jesus was born was also well received and a handful of ladies from the market stayed after and Brian was able to talk to them in their language more in detail about salvation.
Leading up to Christmas we also had a desire to reach out to the community around the church. On Christmas Eve we planned a day of outreach in the community, games, and activities happening back at Arise Christian Fellowship, and to end the day with our Christmas Eve program and message. So many people came to the outreach. At first, it was mostly children and it was so fun to see all the kids playing on the bouncy castle and receiving gifts from “Father Christmas.” After some fun and games, we served everyone who was there a meal. Laylee wanted to help serve the children to be sure there were no “starving children in Africa.” It was a blessing to see so many children and even adults who most likely were not going to get a Christmas dinner all eating and enjoying Christmas together.
Towards evening we began the Christmas program. All the youth from the baby class up to young adults performed a Christmas cantata of sorts with songs and dances as well as performing the Christmas story. The worship team led us in Christmas carols and Luke joined them to play Mary Did You Know on the piano.
By the time Brian came up to share the Christmas message the hall was overflowing and most of the gardens were filled with people. There were about 400 adults and children from the community there to hear the “True Meaning of Christmas,” which was the title of Brian’s message. We could not have even imagined the turnout we had and pray for all who came to make a personal choice to follow Jesus. After the message, we had a baptism and we are very happy to tell you that Luke publically declared his faith in Christ and was baptized as well. We ended the evening by cutting and sharing Christmas cakes with as many people there that we could. We praise God for what he is doing at Arise Christian Fellowship and in the community around us.
Thank you for praying for our family and for the ministry in Uganda.
Brian, Jill, Luke, Laylee, and Liana
· Praise the Lord for the ministries taking place in Uganda and South Sudan
· Praise the Lord for all the people who were reached both in the market place and the community outreach around Arise Christian Fellowship
· Pray for the women who attended the Christmas Tea. Pray that they continue to hunger for God’s Word and to know Him more.
· Pray for those who have received Christ to continue to come to church and receive discipleship.
· Pray for the new year and what the Lord has in store for the Kanyike family and for the ministry.
· Pray for Brian as pastors and leads the ministry team at Arise Christian Fellowship.
· Please prayerfully consider becoming part of the Kanyike Family support team.