Another week and almost the end of another month. Time is moving fast. We are so thankful for many more children who have heard the Word of God this past week.
The photos below were sent to me yesterday from Uganda. They show a few children who heard the Gospel in just one Sunday School yesterday. The teachers here have recently started to use our lessons and as you will see from the blackboard they are trying hard to teach the children their need of salvation. Pray for these dear folk as they witness among the children close to them.
Please continue to pray for Joyce. We thank God that she sees improvement in her health on a daily basis but she still needs much prayer. She is supposed to be resting...and she is more than normal....but still she continues to minister. Pray much for her.
Joel also continues to appreciate your prayers for him as he oversees the work in our Nairobi office. He has been working hard on finalising some changes to our Child Protection Policy and we thank God for his ability in this field. Pray for him as he sorts and organises the many boxes in our office; both those which moved from our previous base and those which recently arrived from the UK. Bibles will be distributed soon and some also need sent to Joyce, so please pray for all of the arrangements.
William is spending much time preparing for a Children's Day service which is coming up quite soon. Pray that the Lord helps him in these final days before the meeting. Also for a number of other meetings which he will participate in over the next few weeks. As we draw closer to another trip to Africa, William is also praying about what the Lord would have him share in meetings there. Pray for God's leading.
I am also looking at what God would have me share when we next travel and appreciate prayer. The next meeting I will speak at here will be the Old People's home in a few weeks time. Otherwise the day to day running of the office here in Northern Ireland is keeping me busy. Today I have been responding to emails; enrolled and set up a student page for the 45th student to register for our online child protection course; communicated with Joel regarding a particular project; communicated with an applicant for the ministry and printed their application form for consideration; prepared and printed some visuals for use in a lesson with children and after this blog, the weekly accounts will be next on the list. We are also trying to complete our latest prayer letter and am thankful that another name has been added to the list today. We are hoping to have the letter printed and ready for distribution this week.
Please do pray that the Lord will continue to help those in Africa who are working directly with the children and also that He will continue to help William and I as we continue with our part of the ministry here. We value your prayers for these busy days.
Today in the United Kingdom there is shock and dismay following a terror attack in Manchester, England. It is feared that many of the victims were children and teenagers. Over the past few days there has also been shock in our own home town with the sudden and tragic passing of a young 15 year old girl. By contrast, yesterday I attended the funeral of a 90 year old lady. Looking back to when I was 15....around the age of those who have lost their lives....it was this lady who first initiated the opportunity for me to play the organ in Sunday School. A few months later I played on Children's Day and that led to me playing on a weekly basis over many years to come, not only in Children's Meetings and Church Services but also in missions, at weddings and at funerals....even my own dad's funeral! Playing the organ was the first real ministry I had for the Lord and I suppose that's why I always gave it my best and never said no when asked. This lady was also the one who led my mum to the Lord. Her husband led my dad to the Lord and preached on the night I was saved.
So here we have an elderly lady who has been unwell for some time and yet, we have young people who have died with no warning whatsoever. I am reminded of the story of the child who asked his dad to tell him what age people are when they die. The father handed the little boy some string and told him to go around the cemetery and measure the headstones. The little boy did just that. When he had finished, the father asked him what size the headstones were. The little boy replied they were all different sizes; to which the father explained it was just like death; it takes all ages. It surely reminds us of the importance of being ready.
Our hearts today go out to the dear man who lost his wife of many years. Our hearts also go out to the family in our locality who have lost a daughter and to those in England affected by this terrible attack. But our hearts also go out to the families of little children and indeed adults in Kenya and Uganda who have lost their lives due to the great drought. They may not be on our doorstep as some of these other events...but they are still lives which have been lost and there are still families there who weep for the loss of those they love.
We know that each are suffering real pain in their own circumstances and we pray that all will know comfort in these difficult days.
The Lord's command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel is still as relevant today as it was when Jesus said those words. On Sunday evening in the mission hall we attend we were reminded again of people across the world who are hungry for the Gospel. There was a time when missionaries traveled for months to reach their place of service, but today the world has become so small. Travel is faster and it is generally easier to reach various countries. Meanwhile, people of many nationalities are now arriving on our shores....the mission field is coming to us.
Of course technology plays a huge part. The internet, email, facebook, whatsapp and others make conversations with people on the other side of the world very easy. Today, it is taking me a long time to write this blog and it may even appear very disjointed, because I am stopping and starting to communicate with children's workers in 3 other countries....non of them are in Africa. They are countries I am less familiar with but all have contacted us asking for help in their ministry.
My heart is burdened as we communicate back and forth with them. As I learn of their ministries and the needs they have, the Macedonian cry of "come over and help us" becomes very real. We want to help, but we are so limited. Limited in man power, limited in finance, limited in time, limited in resources, limited in experience. But we thank God that He has no limits and He is able.
Pray that God will guide us in the coming days as to how best Feed my Lambs can develop and be effective to it's full potential. Pray that we will be focused on where God wants the organisation to be working and where He wants each of us as individuals to be working.
As we ponder on how God is leading and challenging...what about you? What work does God have for you to do? What burden has He placed upon your heart?
The command is there....Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
We appreciate your continued prayers. We know that our team in Africa also appreciate your remembering them.
Joel's wife has been in hospital but we are thankful she is doing better. Joyce, one of our team, is also unwell at the moment and appreciates prayer as she undergoes tests this week at a local hospital.
Eunice, from our Nairobi office, has been studying since the beginning of the year and only working in our office one day per week. This hasn't really worked very well and there have been numerous challenges. With a heavy heart the decision was made that her position with us be suspended. We will speak with her when we visit Kenya and discuss the way ahead.
Personnel issues are just some of the day to day dealings we have with our team in Africa. Our team face many challenges in the same way as families here in the UK. Spiritual attacks, money problems, sickness and even personality differences in the ministry. These are just some of the problems they face. We not only reach out to the children of Africa and to those who work amongst them....but we are also missionaries to our own team of workers and as such we need God's help and wisdom as we try to advise, guide and pray for them.
While I am often the one who types the messages, William is much better at thinking through an issue and coming up with possible solutions. He also appreciates your prayers in these days as he deals with many aspects of the ministry; as he plans for some future projects; as he prepares to speak at a children's day service in a few weeks and as he continues to work to provide an income for us. A few evenings ago in our local town we watched a lady try to support a man, we assume was her husband. He was drunk and could hardly walk. He leaned over her and she struggled to walk with his weight upon her. I just turned to William and told him how thankful I was for the godly husband I have....a husband who is also called into the same ministry as I am and we are thankful that we can serve God together.
The work here in the Northern Ireland office varies each day. A few days ago we were communicating regarding boxes and the hire of a lorry as a container of literature from here in the UK arrived in Kenya. Monday usually brings accounts and adding up from the previous week as well as website updates. Today I have also been answering numerous emails and messages....to a Pastor in Uganda who is planning for our visit; to a Prison worker in Albania who is requesting prayer; to a lady in a slum area in Kenya who is trying to teach deaf ladies to sew;.....these are just some of the varied messages we receive.
Also on my desk today I have 7 child protection assignments to mark. These are from students in Africa who are currently taking our online course. We need prayer and wisdom as we help in these very practical areas.
We also appreciate prayer as we make preparation for our next trip to Africa. There are many official hurdles still to cross and we are trusting God to open up the way before us.
If in Kenya, please note that our Nairobi office has now relocated to Ngong Road. Contact us for more details.
Please pray on.
We have just issued our monthly email prayer update. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please do contact us and let us know. We updated our list at the end of the year and it may be you forgot to tell us you'd like to continue receiving our prayer news. It's still not too late....feel free to let us know you'd like to hear from us each month.
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regular updates and thoughts from Northern Ireland and Africa...