Many years ago we visited the Mercy Ship that was docked in Muskegon, MI. Our children were small and we were young Christians. We both left that day with a deep desire to someday serve in the mission field. God has been preparing us over the last 20 years to finally make that desire a reality.
About 2009 we started to feel our hearts being changed and tugged in a direction, but we were unsure how to act on them, so we continued to seek God's guidance in prayer.
God finally gave Bruce clear direction! And God was telling him Missions! This led him to go back to school and get his Bachelors degree in Ministry Leadership from Cornerstone University. Three years of hard work while working full time and he finally graduated this past May 2013
We knew God was saying "Missions", but Africa was not in "our plans". We were looking to maybe serve in Mexico or the Caribbean, somewhere warm and closer to home. The Bible says, 'He gives us the desires of our hearts'. Why not somewhere nice? We tried to connect with a few other mission organizations to go on a short term mission to check out what we thought would be a good plan for us, where we would be comfortable. Well, God kept closing those doors. Finally we thought we would go visit some good friends in Africa and do a short term trip, just a visit to get a real perspective from experienced missionaries.
We knew this was it! This was what He was preparing us for! This was where we were supposed to be!
But, we didn't want to commit. We didn't want to go so far from the U.S. and family! Over the next few months we prayed continually! Our hearts where telling us we needed to go back. This is what God has been preparing us for; this is what we are to do. Finally we were sure, God's answer was "Go, I am sending You" Luke 10:3.
So, as many of you know, we made the commitment! In 2014 we headed to Uganda for three years of serving and sharing Christ's love with the small village of Naigobya with the Afayo Project.
What is The Afayo Project? Click here to visit Afayo's Web Page
Afayo (ah-figh-yo) means "He cares in Lusoga."
We came to join a team that started this Project in 2014. But, upon arrival our plans were quickly changed. Those that were leading the project were called back to the states and we were give the task of continuing what God had started Naigobya, a small village, in rural Uganda.
The Goal and Mission of the Afayo Project was to develop Christ centered, self-sustaining communities in rural villages. The mission was to Provide: Spiritual Development, Community Empowerment, Teacher training and Agriculture Training.
God did Amazing things in those 3 years! We started with one classroom which grew to building 10. A Water system was installed, a Dinning hall and and Office and Library. A 6 stall pit latrine and a Phone charging system were also put in.
Six men were trained to Pastor and disciple area churches.
28 women were taught basic sewing and jewelry making, which is now being sold in the city markets.
The Pad Project was started which makes washable, reusable, feminine Pads and gives them out to school girls for free in ongoing and will be be turned into a micro business in 2018.
In April of 2016 we felt God calling us to hand over the ministries to the nationals, and to prepare to move to another mission field. We trained leaders to take over the ministries and trained a National individual to oversee the leaders of the five areas of ministry. We stay in communication with the leader, and these ministries are going strong, even in our absence.
We feel so blessed that we were able to be a part of the work that God was doing in this community!