July 15, 2015

COMMITMENT?

 

The definition of the word "commitment" is the state of being dedicated to a cause, and obligation that restricts freedom of action. Have you ever felt so committed that you would never think of wavering? That is easy to do when all goes as planned, but what if things don't go as planned? In fact what if everything blows up and you don't know what is up, and what is down?

When I think of examples of commitment, I think of the Apostle Paul. He suffered much for the name of Jesus, and the sake of the gospel. Yet he did not waiver, he had a single eye for the Kingdom of God.
We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.
-Paul (after being stoned and left for dead)
In the midst of chaos, it can be hard at times to see God's hand and know that he truly has a plan... I want to take a moment to update you on what has been going on the last few weeks here in Uganda and what we are doing today!

As you may know, we came to Uganda with Future Hope Ministries who was partnering with, and funding a street children's ministry and home. Mark and Laura White (Future Hope) asked our family to build and shape the spiritual side of the ministry on the ground here in Kampala, and plant the seed of the kingdom into the hearts of these little ones.

The last month has been a whirlwind! Our first official day, which was a Sunday, was planned to be a fun first with the children. We organized, and prepared to have children's church. To fellowship, sing and learn about the Kingdom of God. Before that, the children were attending a church where the Gospel was not preached. So as a group, we decided that was the first thing that we needed to change. Let's just say the kingdom of darkness was not happy about this, and we were met with much verbal, and physical resistance from the Ugandan's on the ground. This came as a surprise since this change was in the works for weeks leading up to that first Sunday, and it appeared we were all on the same page. But God's hand was at work.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
In the midst of the fighting, the Lord allowed very serious things to be revealed. Dishonesty, fraud, and bad intentions to name a few. We do believe this situation, as terrible as it has been, was an answer to our prayers. Before we even came to Uganda, we prayed that God would expose any darkness, and hidden motives.

So where does that leave us? We are committed to remaining obedient to Jesus, and the call to expand His kingdom and love others. So we plan to continue with home fellowship, and making disciples while we help build a ministry in Uganda from the ground up. We still strongly desire to care for vulnerable children, so we have started visiting the slums with a ministry that is working with street children, what a blessing!

Another exciting thing we have been doing and will continue to do is teach those who come into our lives. We have three interns that were originally doing an internship at the children's home. That has obviously changed, and they are now staying with us. When I look at the home we have been placed in, and the situation at hand I'm reminded once more of Paul.
Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him,  preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him. Acts 28:30-31
The Lord has put a unique situation/opportunity in front of us. We want to maintain a Kingdom focused vision as we build the ministry here, and we ask for your prayers.

I also ask for you to pray for us personally, we have been disappointed and discouraged as this has unfolded. But we have a renewed strength from the Lord, and know that He is in full control and is removing us from a situation that would have been very bad. He did not want us unequally yolked, and in His mercy before things got to deep he removed us. All glory to God for the amazing work he is doing. Thank you once again for your prayers, love, and support. You make it possible for us to be here in East Africa, to do what the Lord has called us to do.

For His glory-
Charlton


Hadassah brought much joy to the hearts of these children!!!

June 19, 2015

PRAISING GOD IN THE MUNDANE


Humdrum, dull, boring, tedious, monotonous, tiresome, wearisome, unexciting... you get the point. These are all synonyms for the word mundane.

I believe that all Christians are on the mission field. Where you are today, is an opportunity to serve others and shine the light of Jesus Christ. You don't need to live in the third world to be a missionary. We are all called to be sojourners. But living in the third world, there can and is days that are simply mundane. Not everyday is filled with feeding starving babies, or pouring into vulnerable children, or even sharing the gospel with hungry souls. Some days are simply filled with changing poopy diapers, cleaning spit up off of my clothes, soothing crying children, and teaching and instilling Christian principles into the little souls God has entrusted me with. It seems so unexciting at times. 

So please be encouraged that even on your most wearisome days, to praise God and know that He can use whatever you are going through for His glory. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, or you put in a 12 hour shift at the factory, or you have a 9-5 job sitting in the office ect. What you are doing has worth, and is important. 

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." Colossians 3:17

These have been some of my thoughts this week, as Charlton was on a trip to Kenya. Doing exciting ministry related things with Mark White. I'd be lying if I said that I did not wish I could just get up and go! But God has a beautiful plan, and we all have a beautiful and unique role to play. 


Dear Lord, I pray that whoever reads this shall have your comfort, joy, peace, love, and guidance. I may not know their troubles-- but You do.

Because of Jesus,

Natasha


June 12, 2015

UGANDA: OUR NEW HOME

From the outside looking in— one may not give these gates a second thought.




From the outside looking in— ordinary, peeling paint hides the beauty that lies within.


The beauty that I speak of, is children. Precious, priceless, lovable, beautiful Uganda children. We have a wonderful mix of about 38 boys and girls living life behind these gates— all from different walks of life. But during the week you will find close to 100 children here, going to primary school. The one thing that I can say for certain, that all these children have in common, is that they have a Father in heaven who loves them deeply. 

Family and friends, we would like to introduce you to our new home away from home. 

Welcome to SASCU!


Our family drove into Uganda with our van packed to the brim with all our earthly possessions on June 1st. 


Since then we have been settling into our new home, which Future Hope Ministries leased for our family to live in for the year. It is about ten minutes away from where we will be working. In Kenya, our home had the clinic running out of it, and we had people coming and going all day, everyday. So, I can not tell you just how nice the past couple of weeks have been, being in a home where we can just sit back and take a deep breath.



But sitting back and taking a deep breath, is not something that we will be able to do often, for there is lots of work to do! :)

Our number one mission is teaching about the Kingdom of God, and making disciples. So, we want to get to know the staff, create friendships, and pray that a doors will open for true discipleship. We want to pour into all the adults that play a role in these children’s lives. 

Mark and Laura White have been doing everything in their power these past few years to make sure all the needs of these children have been met. We absolutely love the White family, and appreciate all the hard work that they have been, and are continuing to do.

The children at SASCU, like I mentioned above are precious.  They are really good kids, but having said that, we certainly have our work cut out for us. We are coming in as a mom and dad figure. Guiding these children spiritually, and showing them what a godly marriage looks like. After observing for a few days, we feel like initially establishing some authority is going to be extremely important. Our desire is love, and treat each child like they are our own. 

In the immediate future Charlton, and Nashon will be doing spiritual assessments with each one of the children to see exactly where they are at; what they believe, and why they believe what they do. Like I said, each child comes from a different background, and the Prosperity Gospel is VERY prominent in Kampala. One thing that we are all really excited about is starting a children’s church at SASCU next Sunday morning! WOOWHOO! More details on that later...


Now, for those of you who do not know Nashon, he is a brother-in-Christ who moved to Kampala with us from Kenya. He totally gets the vision, and is a really great young man. ( I will be posting more about him soon, with some fun stories to share.) 


Family, and friends-- we love you dearly. Thanks for taking the time to read about our newest adventure. Please continue to pray for us. I will close by sharing a few more photos with you.

Because of Jesus,

Natasha




Charlton, Me, Mark & Wanda

This is beautiful little girl is named Noel. She told me that she has no siblings, so I told her that Hadassah can be her little sister. Every free moment she has now when we are around, you will see her wanting to hold and care for Hadassah. Such a little mama!




Ava's first day at SASCU! Needless to say, she had fun playing with chalk.

Boaz's first day at SASCU! He is coloring with a little boy named Emma.