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With packed schedules and slow Internet connections, we’ve had few updates from our team in Uganda after they left the city. Thank you for praying and encouraging our team! We’re happy to share this latest update with details from our team’s experience in Uganda.
From Andy Donnan, a member of our team serving in Uganda:
Our first night in Sheema [district in Western Uganda in which our team is serving] was spent with the governor of the LC5 (local county) district–with introductions, lots of food, and lots of fellowship with the leaders of Sheema. The next two days were spent hearing sermons by Dr. Henry Krabbendam [professor at Covenant College with ties to Redeemer members and Uganda] and local speakers, singing to the students where Christine Alele went to primary school, and working alongside Scripture Union at workshops in the afternoon. We split up into four groups, younger and older girls/boys. The kids are so honest with their questions, showing that they’re hungry for knowledge–and truth. Some of the team members also shared their testimonies, and the students seemed very moved and responsive.
Sunday morning’s sermon about putting your eggs in the basket of the church and not in the basket of the world was led by Dr. Krabbendam. You should see the celebrations they have when they present their firstfruits for an offering! It is a celebration–whether it’s their money or literally fruits.
Almost every evening (except last night) ends at Christine’s family home, just down the road from the same school and church her family grew up attending. Their food is simply amazing and it’s such a relaxing place for us to review how they day went, as well as simply relax and enjoy the fellowship of each other.
Our pace of the day is slowing down, as we have been worked so hard that our team is getting tired even with breaks in the afternoon. A few of us have had some trouble with the food here, but the Lord keeps us safe. Brooke Bailey has a fever, so please pray for healing.
The Entrust leadership group is going extremely well–you should hear some of the questions they’re asking! The leaders are hungry for knowledge. Many travel from far away to go through this leadership group.
Lori and Jason Moore are with Dr. Krabbendam at a local university (college) today. They originally were only going on Monday, but since the students asked such good questions they have gone back for more preaching and answering questions. Kathy Bailey is leading a group of women with some of the Scripture Union staff.
Other team members’ days usually consists of group prayer at 7 am, then breakfast at our hotel. We then prepare to leave and board the bus.
The felt board presentation group visits two primary schools in the morning with a mixture of songs and the story of the Gospel. Many kids are making a profession of faith at each location. A person from Scripture Union speaks in their local language to the children that may not know English well, and we work together to tell the Story.
I believe we will spend our free time on Saturday at the Queen Elizabeth Natural Park. Pray that we’re all healthy, so we can continue to assist Scripture Union and the local church and their leaders.
Keep praying for our Uganda team! The team has traveled out of Kampala and into the Sheema district where they’ll be serving this week. Here’s a list of what the teams are doing. We’re still using this spreadsheet to encourage the team with our prayers for them. And we’ll keep you posted here on any updates they’re able to send!
Join us this Sunday, July 13 for worshiping our Great God who watches over us all–though part of our congregation is halfway around the world this week. Read updates from our Uganda Team.
Our own Rev. Chris Bennett is preaching this week. Chris and his wife Frankie are fairly new to the Redeemer family, having just moved here back in June from Pennsylvania. Chris worked as an executive pastor for a PCA church there, but at retirement they decided to move back South since Frankie’s from Charleston. We look forward to hearing Chris share specifically about characteristics of people whom the Lord uses to accomplish his Kingdom work from Judges 6:11-27.
Robbie Madison, a native of Charleston has been playing music ever since he was young. He studied at Charleston School of the Arts for middle and high school and received his bachelor’s degree in Music Performance at Newberry College. Since then he has been working as a performer in jazz, classical, and other styles, and he has always been passionate about worshiping the Lord and leading others in worship. He’s worked as a missionary for many years in different locations, the longest of which being in Buenos Aires with our own Kurt & Morgan Brewer. He’s happy to be able to share his talents in leading our worship on the piano this Sunday!
Here’s our electronic bulletin for Sunday that’s easily viewed on any tablet; we do offer paper bulletins on Sunday morning as well. Use the song lyrics and sermon passage to help prepare yourselves and your families for worship this weekend. You’ll also find a schedule for who’s serving in our various nurseries, a list of how to get involved in current ministry opportunities, and other details about our worship service and church life.
From Lauren Martin, a member of the team serving in Uganda:
Today we spent time in Kampala, visiting a cathedral of Uganda where important events of the East African Revival took place.
We also saw the President drive by and visited a huge slum called the Banda Slum (which was originally intended to be temporary housing for refugees over 30 years ago, but they are still there). Our church sells beaded jewelry handmade by widows who live in the Banda Slum. Today we got to meet these awesome women and give them the money from their jewelry. They welcomed us and thanked us with songs and dancing. Two of the women on our team shared the story of the Gospel (many of the widows are already Christians) and encouraged the Banda widows to share the Story with other women. Many, many children gathered and grabbed us by the hand as we took our tour through the slums.
The money from the Banda widows’ jewelry has sent many of their children to school, helped them start small businesses and get other jobs, and quit their jobs making gravel. But they still have many needs and live in a place where few people have hope or peace.
Thank you for continuing to pray for us, and please join us in praying for the women in the Banda Slum.
From Megan Busch, a member of the downtown community group:
For about three months, Redeemer’s downtown community group has been praying for God to bring us a ministry designed specifically to serve the people living in our little city. We were presented with the opportunity this past week to organize a Perichoreo event.
Perichoreo is an outreach mentorship program with Burke High School and Burke Junior High School run by Olivia Hines—one of our community group members—and a few of her close friends. The term perichoreo describes a doctrine of the reciprocal inherence of the human and the divine nature of Christ, and the word was chosen to represent the ministry because it references the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Olivia explains, “You can think of this relationship as a dance—with each member evenly encircling others. No member of this divine dance of the Trinity dances around the self. Our God is a relational God, and if we are created in the image of Christ, then we are created for relationship and community.”
The downtown community group’s goal in supporting Perichoreo is to create a bridge between the lower-income community in Charleston and the Christian population (that’s us!) living on the peninsula. To do this, we are starting small. This past Tuesday, our team met at Hampton Park equipped with Frisbees, cookies, chips, and a willingness to meet new people. Olivia reached out to the kids who were already participating in her Perichoreo mentorship program, and five students arrived at the park to play, to fellowship, and to simply be silly. Even though many of them had never thrown a Frisbee in their lives, they were good sports (and most were much, much better than my very-non-athletic self). As we move forward in support of this ministry, we pray that the Lord continually sends these same young people back to our events and brings us new kids with whom we can form relationships.
In the fall, the core team at Perichoreo will be looking for mentors—Christians who are willing to spend time during the school year befriending the [awkward, lost, lonely, crazy, youthful, ambitious, fun] teenagers at Burke Junior High and High. We hope that Perichoreo becomes a ministry not just through the social events that our downtown group organizes, but also for others at Redeemer looking to mentor a student, helping him or her learn the love of Christ.
Keep up with the Perichoreo ministry by liking their Facebook page.
A letter from Lori Moore, a member of our Uganda Team:
Dear Praying Friends and Family,
I awoke early this morning while it was still dark with an image on my mind. Jetlag mingled with the excitement of our first morning in Uganda–the culprits of my inability to sleep, I tossed, turned, then tried to lie very still so as not to wake my sleeping husband and daughter. As I lay there in the dark, an image began to materialize, one I’d witnessed the afternoon before of a woman. I’d seen her briefly from the corner of my eye while speaking with Canadian travelers on the porch of the Adonai Guesthouse. The woman’s hips swayed to a song she whispered. The day’s washing hung on the clothesline behind her, and her arms were raised with palms empty, open, available to receive. With eyes closed, face lifted toward the sky, and mouth praying words inaudible to me, I saw joy embodied. The woman’s joy did not come from a day’s work done, for a bucket of water and clothes sat waiting. I’d witnessed joy in the presence of God, a woman who relished being with her Maker–and a beauty beyond words.
This morning as the goodness of God for His reminder of such a moment began to dawn on me, tears streamed down my face. I turned on a flashlight and opened my Bible to our verse for the day: “Let the people’s praise you, O God; let all the people’s praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy” Psalm 67:3-4.
God had given me a vision of His purpose fulfilled in this Ugandan woman as she was doing laundry. He had given a glimpse of true worship in Spirit and in truth.
How thankful we all are to be here—to be able to witness God’s purpose of the praise of His glory fulfilled in this little nation, in His church, in our team, and in each one of us! So would you pray for us to be His witnesses?
Adonai is the name for God who is LORD and the name of the place we are staying for the next couple of days. Over the door of each room is a different name for God. Inscribed over our door is Jireh: the LORD will provide. God has provided the way for us to be with Him, enjoy Him, and worship Him. He has provided a way for each of us to be here. Over Kathy and Craig’s room is Omega: He is the end of all things, the end of our being here, the end of our lives! Over Christine and Deb’s is Alpha: He is the beginning, the starting point, the Creator, the source of all life and goodness. Jesus says He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He must be our starting point and our only end, no other desire, no other pursuit, no other loves.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, LORD! May we worship you today!
With Much Love,
After just over 24 hours of traveling, Christine just called to say the team had all arrived safely at the Uganda airport (all except Kathy’s luggage). Christine sounded excited saying the team was so thankful for all the prayers!
Last Sunday during the Christian-Ed. hour, the adults studied Romans 12:1-8, and we discussed the verses on spiritual gifts.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8
Many years ago Redeemer encouraged the congregation to complete a spiritual gifts survey, so we could all become better acquainted with what our spiritual gifts are, including how we fit into the body of Christ and can contribute to the work of the Lord through Redeemer. View that Spiritual Gifts Survey. If you’re interested in taking the survey, download the survey at this link or email Gray Morgan for a copy.
Our website lists many opportunities for serving, so start by checking out the ways to be involved in our local church.
Our Uganda Team 2014 flew out of Charleston this morning early, and at last check-in they had landed safely in Philadelphia. Click here for their full list of prayer requests for the trip.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:2-3
Use this spreadsheet to encourage through our prayers and fasting the team members who are leaving for Uganda on Monday, July 7. Open the spreadsheet using this link to sign your name or leave prayers of encouragement.