In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Dear Friends and Family,
Everyday we have so much to be thankful for. Somedays or seasons of life might be difficult or even painful but if you are a Christian you always have something to be thankful for. I am always thankful for the certain hope of eternity.
I am thankful that for many years I have been able to teach a midweek morning Bible study. At the beginning of this year we took a break because of construction happening at the guest house. By summer we were finally able to meet. I had heard from some of my ladies that they were unable to attend because they had found jobs that would not let them take a morning off. It was a praise report that they had found jobs but I was sad that they couldn’t come.
I also wondered how many ladies I would have then. To my surprise when Bible study began we were almost 20 with most of the ladies being new. They had come to church but had never come to Bible Study before. Amongst this new group of women there was also 2 Muslim women who were invited by these ladies and an unbelieving alcoholic. This is definitely a new dynamic for me. The ladies I had been teaching were mature, strong believers, some who even taught studies in their own churches or neighborhoods. Now I am teaching ladies very young in faith and nonbelievers.
The Lord is stretching me and teaching me as I try to best minister to them. It also has been a reminder to me how simple God’s Word really is, that He intended for it to be able to be received and understood by all who desire. After a couple weeks of meeting together, the new ladies from church said that they had not come before because they had thought it would be just like a church service but they are amazed that it is actually “fellowship”. We learn the Word but we also discuss it, and share testimony about how it has affected us or how we can apply it personally.
The fellowship with these ladies for me has been amazing. Many of them I knew from church but never knew personally. Now it is a closer fellowship and even makes going to church more engaging for me as I know so many more women then before. If you wonder how come we didn’t know each other well before its because of language and culture. The ladies had been shy to speak English with me and culture said that as their pastor’s wife they couldn’t treat me as an equal. Now that we have been meeting in my home and we have dealt with the cultural barriers according to scripture those walls are being broken down.
Another thing I am thankful for was the unexpected opportunity to minister to children. For two months of my women’s study the Ugandan schools were on holiday. The women all came with their children and even some extras. They said that the area where they live is not safe for the children to remain at home. This turned into a mini vacation Bible school. While we met inside for our study the children met out side. They had some organized activities and played together. Liana was very helpful in keeping things organized and making sure everyone got along.
Often the children would be so excited to come that they would rush ahead and get here long before their moms. Most of these children come from the slums near the market place and have very little. While they had this holiday and were coming we made sure they were fed both spiritually and physically. If there were any leftovers I packed them up and sent them to be eaten later at home. I pray that as the kids are returning to school for their last term before Christmas that they will remember what they have learned and it will encourage them as they study and play.
I can’t believe how many babies have been born into our church since it began. I am thankful for children. The Bible says they are gifts from the Lord. While raising children may not be easy, it is a blessing. This past month we had two more children dedicated at Arise. One is called Havens and she also comes to Bible study. The other baby is called Zoey. Zoey is very spirited and active. She reminds me so much of Liana when she was a baby. As Brian was praying for her and the church member raised their hands to pray for her she reached out and tried to lay hands on Brian as if she was going to pray for him as well. It was so cute. I pray these children will continue to be raised in the Lord and that in the future they’ll be used mightily by God for His kingdom.
This Thanksgiving there are so many things to be thankful for. I am thankful for Jesus loving us so much He died for us. I am thankful that He allows me to share that love with others so that they can know His love as well. I am thankful for all of you who pray and support us and the ministry to make this possible.
Brian, Jill, Luke, Laylee and Liana
- We are so thankful for the many ways the Lord has blessed us and for everyone who supports us and the ministry in Uganda.
- Please pray for the women who attend the women’s’ Bible study. Pray for the Muslims and unbelievers to be saved. Pray for the young believers and the more mature believers to continue to grow and to be a light to the unbelievers.
- Pray for the children of Arise. Pray for them to know Jesus personally. Pray for their parents to know the Lord and to raise them in his word. Pray for safety and provision.
- Pray for the up coming teams that will be serving in South Sudan and in Uganda. Pray all the details will come together and they will be directed by the Lord
- Pray for the Kanyike children to get called for their citizenship interview.
- Pray for Brian as he pastors and leads the ministry team at Arise Christian Fellowship.
- Please prayerfully consider becoming part of the Kanyike Family support team.