March 2020

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Josh 1:9
I hope this letter finds you abiding in the strength and love of Jesus Christ our Savior,

As with all of you, and the rest of the world; this month has been a roller coaster for our family.  We started the month in expectation of teaching our pastors the book of Jeremiah, for things to continue normally at the clinic and at BAM and to enjoy a visit from my parents at the end of the month.  But it didn’t take long for all of that to change as the country of Uganda began preparing to battle the virus.  

Concerning the school:

Earlier in the month President Museveni shut down all schools in Uganda for 30 days or until further notice.  In obedience to our authorities we have postponed the Jeremiah/Lamentations class until the schools re-open.  Our team is taking this opportunity to get ahead on the development of curriculum.

Me teaching the pastors the book of Job last month.

Please pray: For God to give us wisdom to create the curriculum and to encourage our students.

Concerning the clinic:

We have bunkered down and prepared for any pandemic by stocking up on supplies and medicines as well as by putting our staff through various trainings on COVID-19.  God has also helped give us the wisdom to create a separate “clinic” to care for any patients who have signs/symptoms of the virus so that they don’t mix with our pregnant mothers and our critical patients.  

This is the structure we set up to separate potential cases of COVID-19.

Please pray: For our staff to have courage and unity as they face what is coming. Unfortunately we have had 2 staff quit this month and we expect more to follow.

Concerning the Business As Mission Enterprise:

We are still alive and kicking at BAM, which is necessary now more than ever.  We praise God that He gave our ministry the foresight to have a self sustainability project in place for such times as these.  Right now the prices of produce in Uganda are raising drastically, but God has allowed us to maintain a steady, fair, and constant supply of food for our distressed district.  Also, we are starting to work hand in hand with our local government to supply goods to quarantined people in our District.  

Our staff at BAM.

Please pray: For the leadership of BAM to have strength and wisdom as they continue work under more and more stressful situations.   

Concerning the Widows:

Recently the President has banned any gathering of more than 5 people for any event, eg: funerals, weddings, church etc.  With that in mind we have altered our distributions so that the widows being cared for are separated into smaller and smaller groups as they continue being supported and encouraged.

The widows from Calvary Chapel Gulu with thier committee members.

Please pray: For these widows to find their peace in Jesus Christ now more than ever, as they are tempted by the tribal king to revive their worship of the Acholi gods.

Concerning our family:

Unfortunately because of bad rumors and threats, our family had to be relocated from the village to the city as we wait for things to calm down.  We are very sad to leave our home and our ministry, but we know that God is in control and that the lessons He is teaching us will shape us into the servants we need to be.  

Our kids cleaning their temporary living space in our schools classroom.

Please Pray: for God to give our children peace as we resettle into our temporary living situation.

God Bless you and yours,
In Christ,
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.