We appreciate your prayers through another week and I know I speak on behalf of our team in Kenya and Uganda as well when we thank you for your ongoing support for the work of God we are involved in.
More and more lessons are being returned for marking and we thank God for every child who continues to learn the Gospel through this means. I have been speaking to those in our Nairobi office today and things are busy. Pray on for Joyce in Uganda as she has been unwell and needs our prayers. There are also other markers around the two countries who need help in their every day tasks.
We are STILL trying to arrange to get the Bibles from our new contact in Uganda. It has become a little complicated and confused, but we are praying that it will soon be sorted and funds can be transferred for this particular purchase. Please pray that things will be clear with the supplier and we can finalise the transaction and get some Bibles out to children in Uganda.
William and I had an encouraging meeting on behalf of Feed my Lambs this past week and also were privileged to have a stand for FML at a Christian Trade Event on Saturday. We thank God for contacts made and we trust we will see fruit as a result of this opportunity. I have included two photos below of our stand and some of the others present.
At the end of the week we were able to have some more literature printed for distribution at the stand and future meetings and events. One was a reprint of a previous leaflet with some changes made and the other two leaflets were fact-files on Kenya and Uganda with some prayer points specific to the work in that area. We thank God for His provision which allowed us to pay for the work which was done.
Unfortunately a computer error has meant that our prayer letter will have to be started again from scratch!! It is unfortunate and a little frustrating but we have learnt that God always has a purpose when things like this happen. Perhaps He needed the letter delayed for a time...we don't know...but we will work on it again this week.
As I mentioned in last week's blog we had another clothes collection on Wednesday. This particular collection raised £303.90. Thank you to those who contributed. If you are interested in donating your new or used unwanted clothes, curtains, bedding, bags, shoes etc. to help with the work please don't hesitate to contact us and we can give you more information. It is a great way to help raise funds for FML. We are already gathering items for the next collection in a few months time. The photo below shows some of the clothes waiting to be lifted.
We had mentioned our intention to view a venue which we thought would be suitable for a children's event we are hoping to hold in the near future. Unfortunately the lady in charge was sick this past week so we were unable to view the room in question. This means we have been unable to finalise a date for the event but we pray this will soon be sorted out and ask you to pray we will have definite leading concerning this outreach.
Again this week we hope to concentrate on finishing the updating of our Child Protection Policy. This is a big task and a huge responsibility. Pray that we will be clear in what to include and that it will be approved by our team.
We continue to appreciate your prayers for the incoming days and weeks which include more organising, practical work, meetings and two children's day services to take. We appreciate your prayers for all of these aspects of the ministry.
Another week begins and we continue to be thankful for the Lord's help. We have been conscious of the Lord's help over the past week.
This week the marking of lessons will continue in Nairobi and also in Uganda. Pray for all involved in this. Continue to remember the boys and girls as they study and learn from God's Word. We are hopeful that more lessons will soon be printed and on their way to Africa and we deeply appreciate this.
We are also hoping to finalise the purchase of some much needed Bibles this week and after a lot of communicating back and forwards with an outlet in Uganda...we are almost there! Pray this will work out if no better deal is to be found.
Pray for those who will go into schools teaching God's Word also.
William and I will speak at a prayer meeting this week and appreciate prayers for preparation and the meeting itself. We will also be having an FML stand at a Christian promotional event. We hope this will be a good opportunity to raise awareness of Feed my Lambs and the work we are involved in.
This week we also want to finish some literature projects we have been working on and appreciate prayer for that.
We have another clothes collection this Wednesday. Thank you to all who have contributed. If you have missed out this time, please do feel free to send us your items for next time round.
We are currently considering venues for an event later in the year. We have already looked at one and hope to view another this week. Pray for guidance concerning when and where!
There are many immediate prayer needs; however, over the weekend we have been discussing things in the future which need prayer. We've been thinking of next year and weighing up ideas and also we've been talking about the question everyone asks...."When are you going back to Kenya/Uganda?" We appreciate your prayer for all of these decisions.
Please pray on. The work continues day by day. For us, in the UK, it is very practical, administrative and promoting the work....but in Africa the evangelism of children continues on a daily basis. Pray on for the salvation of the children.
Days are passing fast and we thank God for keeping us day by day and blessing in the work of Feed my Lambs. Today we can say with the hymn writer "My heart is filled with thankfulness." We are so thankful to God for His blessings to us personally and in the work. We are thankful for how He provides and leads and opens up opportunities in Africa to bring the Gospel to boys and girls. Yesterday afternoon; after sharing the work of FML in a meeting; it was commented that it was obvious we enjoy the work and are enthusiastic about it. Well, we hope that comes across when we speak because we do have a burden for the children....but more than that, how could we do anything else but enjoy this special calling God has placed upon our lives and to know that we are so privileged to be able to serve Him in the place He has chosen for us.
Today we would like you to remember our workers in Kenya and Uganda. In particular we would ask you to pray for three team members and their families. Joyce, her husband and children have had a period of sickness and Joyce was particularly ill and had to be admitted to hospital. We are thankful that she has now been discharged and giving praise to God for His hand upon her. Pray that she and the family will continue to know increasing strength in the coming days.
Pastor Aringo and his wife also have 3 children. Two boys and 1 girl. We would ask you to pray for one of his sons who is at the point of starting College. Pray that God will provide the school fees needed not just for this one son but for the other two children as well.
Another of our team members especially needs prayer at the moment. This particular worker is based in Kenya and has been going through a very difficult time over the past few months. Yesterday and today they are in a very specific situation which requires much prayer. The issue will be ongoing for weeks to come. We are unable to share much publicly as this is a very private matter to the team member involved and so we would take the unusual step of asking you to respect this and do not ask us for further details as we will not be able to share. We appreciate the confidence which has been placed in us concerning this and are up to date on what is happening. We would stress that this is an urgent prayer need and ask you to bring it before the Lord knowing that He knows all about it. We would really ask you to pray that God will give strength and guidance where it is needed. We ask you to pray that God's will is done in the life of the person concerned and for the family of this individual that they too will know guidance and peace as they pass through the waters. For William and I and our committee we ask for wisdom to know how to deal with the situation in the immediate future and any implications long term for Feed my Lambs. We appreciate your understanding and prayers concerning this matter.
Thank you for your continued prayers for William as he has been studying. His marks for assignments have been good and he is encouraged with the course and the teaching he has received.
We thank God for His goodness to us throughout the month of March as we have shared at numerous meetings. We have appreciated being able to return to Churches and fellowships this month where we have spoken before and who are familiar with our ministry for the Lord but we are especially thankful for 3 opportunities in March to share of FML in places we have never been in before. We have also just this morning been booked for a meeting later in the year in a new venue. Thank you for praying.
We are encouraged regarding Bibles. We have been communicating with a new outlet we have never used before in regard to purchasing some Bibles. They have just yesterday notified us of the quantity they have available and we have been negociating a price and are awaiting final confirmation concerning this. We also just need to check whether it will be cheaper for one of our workers to travel to them and collect the Bibles or whether they can deliver to them by bus. The postal service is very different in Kenya and Uganda so this is again something which needs considered. This purchase will by no means provide a Bible for every child currently waiting but it is good progress all the same and we are excited!
We have also been encouraged as a little Sunday School here in Northern Ireland continues with their partnership with a school in Kenya. On Sunday they were singing a chorus we taught the Kenyan children and were also completing some of our lessons to see just what the boys and girls in Africa have to do in order to receive a Bible. Perhaps you are connected with a Sunday School or Children's Meeting and you would like to teach the children in your charge about the children of Kenya and Uganda. We can help and advise you on how to do this and provide information for you.
Here in the UK office, the do to list is as long as ever. Updating our mailing list with new names who require our prayer news; thank you letters/receipts for donations received; some more work on updating our child protection policy and some accounts are just a few of what is on the list at the moment needing attention today and over the next week. Pray for us as we take care of all of these administrative tasks and prepare for our next meeting which is next week.
We have also today confirmed our next clothes collection for this day week; 25th March. If you have any new or used clothes, bags, shoes, curtains, bedding etc. which you no longer need or want, please contact us to arrange how we can get them. The more we have this time round, the better. However, if you miss this collection, please feel free to forward such items to us at any time in preparation for the next collection.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers for the salvation of the boys and girls. This week thousands will complete our lessons. Others will be taught the Word of God by our volunteers. A number of volunteers will be busy marking lessons while others will be travelling back and forwards distributing lessons. Some team members will be planning future projects. New teaching materials are being prepared and administrative work will be taking place in our offices.
What will you be doing as part of our team? Will you be praying for a specific need? Will you be knitting a cardigan to send out? Will you be giving a financial gift to the work? Will you be emailing to encourage us? Will you be calling to book us for a meeting? Will you be passing FML literature on to others who may be interested? Will you be sharing with children here about the boys and girls in Kenya and Uganda? What is your reason for reading this blog? Will you be challenged to play your part?
The title of the blog today; WITHOUT GOD, WE CANNOT. WITHOUT US, GOD WILL NOT; has been playing in my mind since William quoted it in his message at a meeting we were sharing in on Sunday evening. These words were spoken many years ago by a particular preacher and fitted in well with the word which William was bringing.
We are reminded so clearly that we need God each and every day. In our individual lives, in our marriages, in our homes, in secular work, in God's work. Sometimes when we speak at meetings people will say "That's a great work you are doing". What a reminder that it is not OUR work, but God's. We can do nothing in our own strength. We need God. However, there is also the reminder that God wants to use us. That He calls us and equips us for the tasks we are best suited to, whatever that is. He knows exactly where He wants us and it is our responsibility to be in that place so that He can use us as His instruments to bring the Gospel to others.
We thank God for the sense of His presence at meetings over the past week. It has certainly been a busy week even with preparation and other commitments. At the meeting we spoke at on Friday evening there were many questions from those gathered. They are always an encouragement to us and we know they pray much for us. On Sunday we shared at the evening meeting of a missionary weekend. We had a prepared a new format of the powerpoint presentation for this meeting. I shared the first half of the presentation talking of the places we minister and how we teach and evangelise in Sunday Schools, School and also I shared regarding Teacher Training Seminars and our Email courses. William shared the second part of the presentation and explained about our lessons, the need for Bibles and some practical aspects of the work. He then shared a very challenging message from God's Word. Certainly we were very conscious of God's presence in a great way and we both felt He very definitely helped us.
I appreciate your prayers as I speak at a ladies meeting tonight. This will be in a Church we haven't had opportunity to share in previously so we are excited about this new opening. Please pray that those there will be burdened to pray for the boys and girls of Africa.
Tomorrow night William will attend his last Bible College Class for the term bringing his second year to a conclusion. Just one more year to go. He is thankful for all he has been learning and for those who have given their time to share with him and the other students.
As we go forward, step by step and day by day, facing the ups and downs, the encouragements and the challenges, let us continue to remember: WITHOUT GOD, WE CANNOT. WITHOUT US, HE WILL NOT.
Another month begins and what a busy month it is going to be. This week, as last week, William and I have committments every night. We look to God for His help as we prepare for meetings and share in them; for William as he completes his final assignment of this year's study and for other personal commitments which we have over the coming days and weeks. We thank God for the privilege of serving Him.
This morning already we have been communicating much with those in Kenya and Uganda. Pastor Aringo has been updating me on the past week's work in the Nairobi office and on an appointment which he had concerning the work on Saturday. Eunice has been marking lessons and also completing our Child Protection Course. Pray for them both.
Latest update from Joyce this morning is that we currently have 1554 children enrolled in Uganda alone. The work is growing in this country and we ask that you continue to pray for the children as they study. Today we will send some funds out to Joyce and she will be travelling to some of our centres over the coming days.
This morning I have also been communicating with one of our volunteers in Uganda. He is a Pastor of a Church and helps us by marking the lessons for the children in the School which is connected to the Church. We were privileged to visit this particular place in July 2103 and indeed this was the first centre to receive our Bible Lessons when the work moved into Uganda. This Pastor will also shortly begin our Child Protection Course as we are requiring all our markers to take this training. Pray on for us as we finalise our updated Child Protection Policy.
In the Nakuru area, we thank God for those who are continuing to minister in the Schools and are keeping the work going in the midst of challenges in the area.
This morning I have also been communicating with our printer and confirmed an order for more prayer cards. Hopefully William and I will be completing some new literature this week and having it printed as well. William will also complete his final assignment for Bible College this week and will hand it in on Thursday. It is hard to believe his second year is almost at an end. Just one more year to go.
We have made a little progress concerning Bibles with one supplier coming through this morning with stock at a reasonable price. We are just waiting on confirmation regarding the exact availability and whether we can have an even better price and then we will discuss the way ahead.
We were so encouraged yesterday to hear updated news from a Sunday School here in Northern Ireland who are learning about the children of Kenya and praying for a specific School out there. They are also collecting funds for Bibles and we are just amazed at how well they are doing.
We are busy but we love sharing about God's work. We continue to be available for meetings. May I remind you though that we need to be contacted directly to confirm availability. Over the past few months there have been a few occasions when it has been assumed by different people in different Churches that we are free or not free according to our calendar or blog. Can I just emphasise that not all FML meetings are included on our website calendar and other meetings and personal commitments are not included. I also, deliberately, do not share about every meeting on this blog. Others I mention after the event. We also deliberately do not always mention specific mission trip dates on our blog, calendar or facebook. We have our reasons for doing so in the same way as we do not post the specific names of Churches we will be speaking in, but usually just mention the type of meeting it is or the general area where the Church is. This is something which we have pointed out in the past but have had to again remind people in the past number of months so we thought it was time to just remind you all again on here. Please do contact us regarding our availability for specific dates and we'll be delighted to share with you if we are at all able.
Of course sharing at meetings also mean there is a lot of preparation. We don't just go in and say the first thing which comes into our heads. Neither do we just say the same things at each meeting. Meetings vary for numerous reasons. Pray for us as we prepare much over the coming weeks. Pray especially for William as he has to fit in preparation in addition to normal work and FML work. For me it is a little easier as I am in the FML office each day and can give time to preparation.
Each of our team in Kenya and Uganda continue to value your prayers for them as do William and I. We are all conscious of the devil's attacks and efforts to distract from the Lord's work at different times. We thank God that we can keep our eyes upon Him and He gives the needed grace.
As William and I read together last night we were encouraged by numerous verses. One in particular said "Behold, God himself is with us for our captain." What a lovely verse. To know that we have God as our Captain in the work of Feed my Lambs, in our personal lives and even in our marriage. God is good and we continue to Praise Him and move on in His Work.
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regular updates and thoughts from Northern Ireland and Africa...