Rains have come in plenty. It is very wet these days. Muddy roads will make for challenging travels again. Yet we are thankful for the plowing and planting taking place in many fields. We appreciate your prayers both for our travels but also for the farms of our friends here.
We are thankful for our new teammates, the Robbins. You are welcome to check out their blog (mygandarobbins.wordpress.com) as there are interesting adventures going on in their lives about which we ask you to pray. It has been fun getting to know their family and for me to get into a ministry rhythm with my new colleague, the other Pastor David. Actually, our Karimojong friends have given him the name “Pastor Lokut”. His family’s arrival on the field was during the dry season which is very windy. Lokut means wind. (The same name was given to our son, Caleb, who also first came to Karamoja during windy times). This will help distinguish the two pastors, leaving me the lone Pastor David. (Despite attempts early on, in my case no Karimojong name was ever able to stick. I am fine just being Pastor David, though some do occasionally call me “Daudi” [David in Karimojong]).
We have been without the Verdicks who are in Kampala. Their baby girl, Zion Astraea, was born down there last week. We praise God for a safe delivery and a healthy mommy and baby!
It is fun to have back an old Karimojong friend, brother and co-laborer. You may recall Lokwii Paul, who goes by the nickname, Omena. We were sad to see him leave us in 2014. Well, he is back. So now we have four K-jong brothers with us carrying out the work of the village evangelism through Bible story teaching. This enables us to try as much as possible to go out two by two (or even three), which provides the opportunity for mutual encouragement and accountability in doing the work.
As always, we seek new venues for ministry. Well, two new villages have been added: Loringis on Thursdays and Apeicorait on Fridays. Please pray for the folks in these and all the villages where the word goes forth each week. We are particularly encouraged by the one in Apeicorait (the name means – “one termite mound”). The study there seems to be starting very well with large attendance and great enthusiasm about our presence. Pray that it will reflect true faith in the hearts of many there!
Lord-willing, in June we will conduct another conference for pastors as we did last summer. (In fact, we would like to start doing two per year). One challenge to pulling it off will be the weather and road conditions. Along with David Robbins and myself, we would like to include as a speaker our colleague in Mbale, Eric Tuininga. Since he would need to travel over potentially very muddy roads to get here, our prayers are quite particular these days. We ask for sufficient rains for the crops, broken up by dry days suitable for such ministry and travels. Our God is able to give exactly what we need for the glory of His name and the sake of His kingdom.
So please pray with us that, both now and in the coming months, many in this region will testify with the psalmist that – “The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!” (Ps. 67:6-7).
The family is doing well. Caleb, Megan and Jacob are turning into pretty amazing tree climbers these days. Sometimes they even persuade me to join them up there. We want to let kids be kids, but when do their adventures involve too much risk? Mom and dad cannot even always agree on this. At times dad says it’s okay while mom protests and runs inside because she cannot bear to watch. Pray for our marriage J