August 2020

“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation.  My God will hear me.”  Micah 7:7

August was a month of change and transition from the LORD, both for Terebinth Ministries and for our family.  

Like every other entity, our ministry has been trying to navigate the Covid crisis.  When the lock-down started on March 30th, schools were closed down along with businesses, churches, government offices, and the like.  And of course, the Terebinth School of Discipleship was temporarily closed.  We had expected for the schools to open up by harvest time (Jul-Aug), but when it became evident that the reopening was going to delay, we decided as a team to find alternatives to our regular classes.  With prayer and counsel, our leadership decided to start running a temporary alternative class style.  Because of restrictions against meeting in large groups, we have divided our class up into 6 small groups, at different locations and at different times.  Each student is given the student handbook a week in advance of their meeting to prepare them for the main points, the small groups meet for 2 days and watch a prerecorded teaching on the book being studied. They are guided by 2 teachers to further understand the content of the book, and then tested.  We eagerly await our normal class style, but we are thankful for the ability to continue engaging the minds of our pastors in the meantime.  

As we have expressed before, this is also a season of exciting change for our medical clinic, “Dream Center Uganda Health Center III”.  Since its opening in 2012, the clinic has survived many problems, and when Terebinth Ministries took it over in 2017, there were crippling tax debts, no policies, no documentation, deep-seated community relations’ issues and very few patients coming through the doors. Since that time, the numbers have increased drastically; the care is superior to other health centers in the area, the reputation has come a long way to being restored and the records keeping is maintained at a high standard. We have worked to balance affordable care with quality care. However, to date, the clinic is still running at a deficit, and unfortunately our prices are still too high.  As a leadership team we have come to understand that we have gone as far with the clinic as we are able, and that in order to reach higher we need help.  With that in mind we have partnered with another ministry which is successfully operating 26 clinics here in the North.  The doors of the clinic were officially closed August 26th, and will be reopened under their management on the 1st of October.  With their connections, resources, and tested expertise, we know that the community is in good hands and that their future is bright! The clinic will be run with higher quality, lower prices for the community, and with less deficit.

The last change we want to share with you is of our arrival in the USA. In July we had announced our plans to visit America, and since then it has been a rush of events as we organized our home, packed a few bags, and even had 1 cancelled flight and a delay of almost 2 weeks before reaching Colorado.  Now here we are, trying to re-integrate and navigate this “new” America with all of it’s challenges.  We are very thankful to be with our family, and to have the opportunity to encourage and be encouraged by our faithful partners and friends.  We look forward to the next few months as we share with you all, see faces both new and known, and await the arrival of the new baby. 

Here are a few things we would love for you to pray for, if you would take a moment:

  • For the pastoral school as they continue in a new, supplementary way. That the teachers would be dedicated to discipleship, and that the students would have hearts and minds ready to receive.
  • For the medical clinic and our community, as they change to the new medical management. Pray that there would be peace, and that it would be seen as a blessing early on in the transition.
  • Pray for our family as we face so many changes, from culture and diet to time zones and the new social aspects. Pray for peace, health, and wisdom for us in this new environment.
In Christ,
Matt, Noelle, Emma, Madeline & Noah