Thursday, August 31, 2017

Leave & Go

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and Go to the land that I will show you.”  Genesis 12:1

Where did the summer go?  Labor Day is already here!!  How can it be??  Labor Day celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers.  It recognizes the efforts and strengths that have made this country Great.  It is traditionally celebrated with barbecues and time spent with family; marking the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.  We will be doing just that this weekend; camping, celebrating and enjoying our time here with family, and remembering all God has blessed us with.

With that being said, we are ready to get back to Work!  September 24th we fly to the Dominican Republic.  We will begin our new life living and working in a new country.  It is time for a new home, a new people group and a new ministry.  We are excited to see what God will do in this next year!

We have loved our summer here with our kids, grandkids, family and friends!  We have been able to catch up on what everyone has been doing in our absence.  We have gotten our fill of all the wonderful foods available here in America  (and our waistlines are proof).  We have done much physical labor helping our kids with remodeling projects on their homes and some on ours as well.  As we write this today, we are without a commode due to a leak in the bathroom.  Water is off for two days for repairs.  God’s humor….just giving us a little reminder of what life was like in Uganda.

 We have studied hard with learning a new language and some educational things we needed to do to prepare for this shift.  We have visited many of our supporting churches sharing what’s next for us.  And, we have diligently worked on fund raising.  But, amongst all the business and work, we did get some much need physical and emotional rest!  Now, we are ready to GO!

To GO we must say our Goodbyes, and The Goodbyes stink!  It never gets easier!  We are always saying “goodbye” or “see you later” to someone here at home, or with people we have come to know and love. It breaks our hearts every time!!  But, we know this is what we are supposed to do.  Knowing God has gone before us and He is leading us each step of the way, gives our hearts some comfort.  And even though we love America and our time here, we do not feel at home here anymore.  Life here seems somehow foreign and different.  We feel like we are caught in two different worlds a bit unsettled and out of place.  Neither here nor abroad feels like home.  We are visitors passing through.  Lives go on with or without us whether we are here or there.  As a missionary, I guess, this is a part of life.  And, it’s OK! We love being Missionaries!  God placed this unsettled feeling in us so we would GO to a foreign land and to the unknowns.  And it is time to GO!

We can’t say “THANK YOU” enough to Everyone that has transferred their financial support to us thru Helps Ministries!  Thank you for being our prayer support and for sharing your time with us!  We are so blessed because of you!  We are Excited and Ready for whatever God has in store for us! 

We pray you enjoy the beautiful fall weather (that has seemed to come early ;) and that you rest in the wonderful provisions God has blessed you with here in America! 

Hasta luego Amigos y Familia, see you later Friends & Family!

Prayer Requests

* Pray we make up the shortage in personal support and raise enough funds to purchase a reliable, safe vehicle

*Safe travel to the D.R. September 24th

*Pray for comfort for our family as our leaving affects their lives too

*Acclimation to this new culture, that all the details will fall into place, we find a new home and needed items

*Continued Prayers for our Ugandan Ministries and families.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Raising Support & Preparing for The Dominican

May God be merciful and bless us.
May his face smile with favor on us.
May your ways be known throughout the earth,
your saving power among people everywhere.

Psalm 67:1-2

WOW!  I have forgotten how beautiful the state of Michigan can be in the summer.  Waking up to a cool morning listening to the birds sing and watching all the wildlife roam around in the neighbor’s yards and ours is refreshing.  It reminds me just how creative God is, as if we could fathom the fullness of his creativity.  I am also reminded that all good things must come to an end.  Yes, winter is right around the corner. LOL

With the month of July coming to a close it brings a bit of excitement and sadness to the both of us.  We are having such a great time hanging out with our Grandchildren and their parents.  Okay, our kids!  We have been able to do things with them now verses watching their experiences on Facebook or by having them communicating their experiences to us over the phone.  We would spend every hour of the day with them if it was possible, but we have other responsibilities while spending a few months here in Michigan.

We started learning Spanish, using software called “Duolingo”, before we left Uganda. We are still going strong with the software and we have also found a great Spanish teacher to work with us while we are here.  Her name is Jean and she meets with us once a week.  We know we will not be fluent before we leave and that it may take several years to be fluent.  But, we are enjoying learning and meeting with her and her daughters (Noel and Jackie).  We will also take Spanish for 2-3 months when we arrive in the Dominican Republic.  

We used to enjoy adding a little sentence to our newsletter using the language we are learning each month, but we fear doing so now because you may know Spanish a lot better than we do.  No matter how incorrect we may have been with our Lusoga language, you had to trust that we were correct. LOL

We mentioned that we are starting to experience a bit of sadness.  This sadness is brought on by the fact that we will be leaving our loved ones behind again.  We will be leaving Family, Friends and our Family of supporters sometime in the end of September.  We can’t put into words what it does to us inside as we watch our loved ones cry at our leaving.  Sometimes we have to leave family behind to follow Christ!
At the Coker Family Reunion they had an Auction to help us raise some money.  
These Awesome & Sweet Girls made this quilt to sell! 
Thank you everyone for your Love & Support!
Who says furlough = vacation?
Here’s One way to Raise Support. LOL

Now for the excitement!  We are so excited to start ministering in another part of the world.  We are excited that you have decided to join us on this journey.  We are excited that we have already started building a family in the D.R.   We are excited that God is willing to use us again and he is already paving the way for us to be there.  We are excited that we get to use our gifts and talents to teach and train God’s children so that they can in turn go and train others. 

Luke 15 uses three parables to show the importance of reaching the lost and how important these lost ones are to God.  The first parable is of the shepherd leaving ninety-nine sheep behind to GO and find the ONE that is lost.  Jesus tells us in Luke 15:7 there is more rejoicing in heaven over the one whom repents than the ninety-nine who do not need to repent. 

The second parable is of the woman who had ten coins and lost one.  She searched hard for the one that was lost.  Again Jesus tells us in Luke 15:9 there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over the one sinner who repents.

The third parable is of the lost son.  The son took his portion of the father’s estate and squandered it on wild living.  The son finally came to his senses and returned to his father.  In Luke 15:31-32 the father explains to the older son the need to celebrate over the younger sons decision to return.  The father says, “this brother of yours was dead and is now alive, he was lost and is found.”

We as humans can sometimes feel as if we cant make a difference for the Kingdom of God because we can’t reach the masses that are lost.  I believe Satan has deceived us into thinking that we are of no use because we aren’t able to reach so many lost people.  Let us be encouraged by Luke 15, because we may not be called to reach the masses.  God would love for us to focus on one lost soul at a time.   If the thousands of Christians focused on one soul at a time, we would be reaching the masses.

We are moving to the Dominican Republic to teach and train so that we may reach one soul at a time!  

Serving Our KING together with you!
                                                   Bruce & Janine