We have many things happening with us right now and we are encouraged as we think about so many of them, though we have been quite discouraged in working through some of them. Lamentations 3:25 says “The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the one who seeks Him.” We have been seeking the Lord over the last month on lots of things from family life to ministry life and what He has in store for the LawsonTribe4 in 2016. In this season, we have found that even in a sea of great people all around, discouragement can still creep into our lives. Sometimes the race we are running feels like it is all uphill. At times we have doubted what we do here and if we are doing it “right” according to God’s word and purpose. In that thought, Jesus reminds us that He has called us and He is faithful to complete the good work in us. Having that thought makes us want to share some of the great things that God is doing in and around us here in Uganda and ask you to find a way to partner with us in those things.
With Water Mission work, God is really moving. Doug has the privilege to be a part of such great things with this mission here in Uganda. He stays busy with project design work and training up the local engineers and technicians underneath his leadership. He has the opportunity to visit many of the villages and help in the transformation approach that starts with safe water. God has blessed this ministry with new partners and continued work with existing partners. Even with new partners and donors coming on board we have many projects in Uganda that are partly funded. By this, I mean the water side of the project has a donor but the discipleship/evangelistic side of the project is not fully funded. Currently we have 12 projects in Western Uganda and Northern Uganda that are mostly in refugee camps that need partial funding. The cost is about $1,700 USD per project. These additional funds would go to buy bibles to sell at a reduced price, pastor training materials, tracts, Water Mission staff pastor’s time, travel, and accommodations just to name a few. These projects have thousands of people that have been displaced by war, conflict, and famine that need to have access to clean and safe drinking water, but most of all know the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Could you help share that love by supporting one or more of these projects?
Our other main ministry here is working with Christ The Foundation Churches Uganda (CTFCU). Doug has been serving as the senior pastor for over two years at the church branch in Mutai. The goal was to serve there until a local pastor could come in and take over that role. Praise God, I think we are finally at that point! A man named Fredrick has been serving as the assistant pastor for over a year and we believe he is ready for the responsibility. In the next couple of months Doug will be transitioning out of that role and allow Pastor Fredrick to fully take over. Please be in prayer for that change and for Fredrick, who is getting married in August.
Another praise report is that many of you have been faithful to give to the needs in Mutai and we now see the fruits of these efforts. The tailoring project is going great at present and the ladies are working on small items for me to bring back to the states to sell. Also, the adult education class (being taught by Fredrick) in Mutai is going well. There is not a large number of students, but they are learning how to read and write. You have helped support many with school fees and medical expenses, you have helped give food in times of need, you have helped provide Bibles at an affordable cost. Thank you so much and may God bless you!
There are six churches in CTFCU including the one in Mutai and there are many needs in the ministry as a whole. The overseer of these six church branches has great vision for growth, but needs some help getting to the next level. As Doug steps down as senior pastor he will begin working more with all the churches as a group. The goal for this next year is to bring unity between all the branches. We have watched some of these people grow so much in faith and in leadership and would like to see that continue. We have begun this effort by helping teach a new foundational training class for church leaders. We are bringing all the church pastors, deacons, and ministry leaders together at Mutai for a nine session course on biblical truths as a foundation for ministry.
CTFCU has set up committees and each chairman has brought ideas and needs, such as: the headquarters in Kiyunga needs some major structural repairs. Right now, the church is a mud structure and has many areas that need attention. The goal would be to make this a more permanent structure ($10,000), but temporary repairs would be around $1,000. Also at Kiyunga an adult education class is needed. They are the biggest branch of CTFCU and only have about 4 people that can read the language well enough to read scripture out loud during service. Another church, Buwanume, needs a latrine. This would cost around $600. Buwanume is a growing church, but the members don’t have anywhere to go to the bathroom when at church.
CTFCU would like to have 2-3 people from each church trained in evangelism, discipleship, and children’s ministry. With solid training in those areas, they can train others in the church to be effective. The choirs in each branch would like to have uniforms. They desire several matching t-shirts to wear with just black skirts and black pants so they look nice and match as a church choir. (This is a big thing here and makes them feel so special when they are asked to sing for an event). The cost for this would be maybe $100 per church and there are 6 branches. Sound systems are another goal for the choirs/churches. These run about $800, but may only be needed in one or two branches.
We know that these are large goals and that only some will be met this year. Our goal is to make you aware of the hearts of these people. These pastors and leaders all give of their time and energy with minimal, if any, monetary supplement. All these leaders have another job on top of ministry because the people in the church cannot tithe enough to support a full time pastor. We have met these leaders and we know their hearts are to move forward with God’s plan for the church. Are we willing to help? How we can to assist in those goals?
We don’t know what God has laid on your hearts this year, but we do know He is faithful to provide the needs of His people advancing His kingdom. Maybe where you are you can encourage your church, your women’s group, your Sunday School class, your choir, or your family even to give to one of these projects. What I do know is that God has not called us to just sit and do nothing. God has called us to pray, give, and go. Maybe one of these areas is your expertise and God is calling you to come visit and give of your time and resources to help get a job done. Our prayer is that you seek out what God is calling you to do and how He is calling you to help. Our prayer is that you obey in that calling and email us for more details.
We will be visiting the states for a short time in May/June. If you would like to have us come and talk to you individually or as a church or group, we would love to do that. Our time is limited in certain areas so please let us know by an email if you would like that and we will work on a first come basis to make as many work as possible. We will be in Florida for one week in May and then in SC the rest of our trip. Please contact us. Even if just a note of encouragement, we need it everyday! Emails are listed below for quick reference. Thank you for your support and your prayers.
LawsonTribe4@gmail.com – Family
firstname.lastname@example.org – Doug
email@example.com – Jenn