August 07, 2015

THIS PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

London: Alexander Strahan

This morning as I sat down to return a few emails, a story came to my mind called Pilgrim’s Progress. This is a story written by John Bunyan in the 1600s about a man named Christian. Christian leaves his home in the City of Destruction, and begins a long journey to the Celestial City. He meets many pilgrims on his journey, and travels through places such as Vanity Fair, and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He does indeed reach his heavenly home, and along the way learns rich lessons.

My journey heavenward, is looking very similar to that of Christian’s. On his journey toward the House Beautiful he sees lions on each side of the path, which causes him to hesitate. The Porter of the Lodge, whose name was Watchful, called out to Christian and said, “Is your faith weak? Why be fearful? Don’t be afraid of the lions, for they are both chained. They are placed there to try the faith of travelers and to discover those who have no faith. Keep in the middle of the path, and you will not be hurt.” For some reason, this particular part of the story really stood out to me. Keep in the middle of the path. We will face many tribulations entering the kingdom of heaven. But we can not give up, no matter how many trials we face. So whoever may be reading this, I want you to take courage faithful warrior. We are on a journey to our homeland!

It seems like our journey has recently taken many surprising twists, and turns. One unexpected turn has been the invitation from some brothers, and sisters in Christ from Boston, to come to the States at the end of the month. We will be visiting Massachusetts, Kentucky, and will also be spending a weekend in Pennsylvania for a kingdom fellowship gathering. Our faithful, yet weary souls could sure use some refreshment. We are extremely grateful, and excited for this opportunity.
 
A reminder to all you faithful warriors out there, take courage.

Because of Jesus,

Natasha

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