Geelong to Uganda

Geelong to Uganda
Google image of trip from Geelong (my home) in Australia to Karamoja, Uganda!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

21 days to go yesterday...

I have been reading the pre-reading recommended by MIST; the cross-cultural course I'm going to in Adelaide soon, "The Living God is a Missionary God" by John R.W. Stott and I wanted to share some of it with you.

An Old Testament (pre-Jesus) Perspective-
Looking back in the Old Testament of the Bible, it all starts in Genesis. Zooming in on Genesis 12, the world has gone through The flood (Noah's ark), a time where the world was a broken mess of people living life the way they wanted to and not listening to God, it was corrupt and full of violence (sounds like parts of our world). Here we meet Noah's grandson Abraham. God said to him

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

 This promise God made with Abraham was a promise that relates to people from every nation and race, to those who believe. How?? You'll see. It was a promise of posterity (descendents/family), land and blessing and it has a triple fulfillement in the past, present and future.
Historically we see time and time again the promise fufilled to those who lived for God (to name a few...Exodus 1:7, 2:24, 3:6, 32:13 & 19:3-6; Jeremiah 33:22; Hosea 1:10) promises of posterity, land and blessing, with God bringing his people out of exile to their promised land.

Ok but what does that mean for us now?

A New Testament (Jesus) Perspective-
The promises made by God have their ultimate fulfillment through the Messiah (anointed One of God) Jesus Christ! God is faithful to his word and steadfast in love for his us.
"...all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you" the 'you' is directed to Abraham regarding a descendant or Seed of his (see geneology in Matthew 1), these are words spoken 2000 years previous to Jesus' birth but words that are made clear by what Jesus' death on the cross and afterwards when he rose from the dead three days later.

There are many prophecies regarding One who would come and remove pain and suffering, who would bring blessing and perfection (Isaiah 42:1-4, 6; 49:6; 53; Micah 5 to name a few) to this broken world and Jesus is the fulfillment of that  (see Luke 1:45-55, 67-75). This blessing is for all people who trust in him (1 Peter 2:9-10; Romans 9:25-26).

Christ was sinless, he never rejected God and so did not deserve to die, but he was like a lamb sacrifices and took on our sins for us, died our death and defeated it, shown in his resurrection, so that all who believe in him may have eternal life a relationship with God. In Galatians 3 the writer reiterates this by repeating that Abraham was justified (made 'right'/righteous with/to God) by faith (not by his status symbol or race but by faith first) and then continues "So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham."

We are 'descendents' of Abraham because of faith in Jesus and therefore we recieve God's promise of blessing that he promised back in Genesis 12, the blessing of salvation, entry into heaven, a joint inheretance with Christ of the universe (1 Cor 3:21-23).
"Many will come from the east and west and sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom (physical descendants/Jews) will be thrown into the outer darkness"

Why is the Living God a missionary God? Because people around the world, from every nation and tongue can recieve God's blessing of salvation, they just need one thing: trust/reliance on him alone and for them to trust in Saviour they need to know about him.

Mission is part of God's will and plain purpose. The mission field for you may be outside your bedroom, or outside your house or across the world, but as John Stott says ' "all the families of the earth (Acts 2:39)" need to be written on our hearts and any petty parochialism and narrow nationalism, or racial pride (whether white or black), our condescending paternalism and arrogant imperialism stripped away. We need to become global Christians with a global vision, for we have a global God."

Sunday, 19 February 2012

"Never ceasing to pray..."

I'd absolutely LOVE it, like jump for joy, do a cartwheel, maybe even a handstand if I've got the time, if you'd join me in praying for a few things ;)

The government - pray that it may exercise its authority with even-handed honesty. Praise God that the nation now has freedom of religion and that under this government there is reduced restrictions & persecution of Christians.

The Church - Loving Unity in Christ. Reconcilliation is needed between tribes, between protestant and Catholic, revived and non-revived, charismatic and non-charismatic churches.
While most of the population claims to be Christian, widespread polygamy, a culture of promiscuity and paying mere lip-service to God, belies this.
Please pray for the training of new church leaders that they would be strongly evangelical, God fearing and constantly seeking, humble and godly servants for Christ Jesus, not doing anything for their own glory or gratification but for God alone.

The remaining unreached - Please pray for the Karamojong (where I'll be going in 30 days!), the Pokot and Jie, who are only partially-reached nomadic peoples. In the last few years many Karamojong have turned to the Lord after years of vicious tribal warfare and severe cattle disease. The big challenge is planting viable congregations that fit the style of a semi-nomadic people with a growing culture of violence and gun-bearing.

Please also pray for another unreached, the muslim community that is a minority but in which there has recently been a rise in Islamist extremism. Relatively little is being done to sensitively reach out specifically to them, and converts have been few and persecuted.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) - praise God for the blessing that this organisation and its workers are to so many around the world and especially in Uganda with a float plane to the isolated island communities in Lake Victoria, and other planes (like the one I'll be on to get me into the Karamoja) made vital to ministries because of dangerous roads.

Prayer for me: praise God that he has given me this opportunity to tell people about the enormity of God's love that He sent Jesus to us, to die the death we deserve for us to live the life we don't, the price of God's forgiveness for our constant rejection of Him. To tell about God's beloved and perfect chosen One to bring us back to Him when we were so so so far away.
Pray that God would be preparing me in all the ways necessary for this year, spiritually, physically and emotionally.
Pray that all the logistics that need to be done, get done before the training course on cross-cultural ministry I'm doing on 16th-17th March.
Pray for Tom, Jean, Miriam and everyone else in the team over there that God would be constantly encouraging them, renewing their minds and spirits in His great love, mercy and grace.

Thank God for the wonderful support of friends and family He has given me to hold onto before I go.

Thank God for who He is, our loving creator, sustainer, and saviour by grace.

Hallelujah Amen!

An answer to prayer

For those who don't know, Jean is on the road to recovery and doing much better resting now in Jinja. She was really really really sick with a form of Malaria, that was not caught early but somehow, by God's grace, she is ok. Tom has posted the full details on their blog page (

Such an answer to prayer. God is better than good and He is always listening!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Prayer for Jean

Hey everyone, the main vet missionary in the Karamajong, Jean Reed, who I will be going over to work with needs our prayers right now.

This is a message from their blog 'Karamoja, Kaabong, and Beyond. Acts 1:8'

"I have a fairly urgent request for you. Jean was here last night and in lots of pain and high, high fever. Evelyn Frost came and tested her for malaria and Jean tested positive. Evelyn put her on malaria meds last night and Jean seemed to get much better. Tick fever also is suspected although not known.
In the night, Jean was pretty good, but just this morning she got much worse. Now she is only semi-conscious and is out of her mind most of the time. We suspect cerebral malaria but do not know for sure. She is on drip in the back of their truck being rushed to The Surgery in Kampala this very minute. She is very, very sick and really needs prayers.
Would you put something out on the Karamajong, Kaabong,and beyond and ask for prayers? And you pray seriously as well. It's very serious, Sarah."

Please pray for a full recovery, for Jean's pain to go away, for the doctors looking after her and for all the people supporting her right now that their faith would be strong in this difficult time. Praise God for the wonderful Christ-centred person she is and for all the work for him she is doing in Uganda.

Cheers, Mel.