Uganda

Today was our first full day in Uganda, and it was an excellent time. We woke this morning and had breakfast with some of the team here and just talked about what God was doing in our lives.

We then had the good fortune of being able to visit the bulrushes the ministry to rescued babies by Watoto church. One of the most unique ministries I’ve seen in the world.

A ministry that truly rescues babies from trash heaps, public toilets, some who’ve been buried alive and others who were picked out for sacrifice to whatever god would demand such a thing.

Babies who were unloved and unwanted, for whatever reason. There is hope for such children in Uganda because of a special place called Watoto. Watoto this year is celebrating some significant landmarks. 40 year marriage anniversary of the senior Pastors Gary and Marylin Skinner, there 30th year as a church, and the 20th year committed to child care ministries.

Watoto is one of the great churches in the world! We are so excited as a church and as Global reach for Justice to be partnering with such an amazing church and vision.

The team of this great church are compelled and compelling people. I am stirred with passion every time I get around them. Their culture of compassion exudes from their very pours. They love God and love people, and I believe they are one of the great innovators of our day.

I could go on and on with stories of at risk women who’ve been helped and orphans who’ve been taken in and lifted to places and opportunities unavailable to them otherwise, or churches that have been planted and lives changed. The truth is Watoto church is an incredible extension of the hand of God in a beautiful nation, and what’s more they are a huge inspiration to the church at large. If you think your facing an impossible task read the history and bio of Watoto church and realize if God says to do it NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

I’m inspired to reach my community, region, nation for Jesus. I’m inspired to love people, beyond their problems and weaknesses. I’m inspired to give people and hand up and not insult their dignity by giving them a hand out. I am inspired to do what we can to effect positive change.

Tonight I go to bed happy to have held and fed little Ruth, who will live a fruitful life, fed, clothed, educated, cared for and most importantly loved. It was my honor and privilege to pray for her and declare the word of God over her life and I have no doubt God rescued her for great purpose. Now lets go about the business of rescuing all those around us who desperately need it.

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The Fountain of Youth

We were wrapping up our project today so it was moving kind of slow. The pace gave us the chance to talk a little more.

I was conversing with the operations manager, my friend Isaac, about our ages. He told me he was 37. He said, “I’m and old man.” I said Isaac your a young man. I’m six years older than you.

He said, “pastor, you must understand the average life expectancy for a Ugandan man is 45 years old.” so in his nation among his people he is old. He is a healthy guy so I’m believing him to live far into his later years.

In talking to another worker he was noticing the grey in my hair. He said it is a blessing to have grey hair, it means God has blessed you with many years. He said some people don’t want to be as old as they are but should instead praise God for their age because some people die early.

After having these two conversations I thought about how much time and money we spend trying to avoid our age, not praising God for the longevity of our lives, and for the Benefit of all the wonderful experiences we’ve had.

We put so much emphasis on making this life a blessing for ourselves we forget this life is a mere dressing room for eternity.

It’s kind of like when I’ve taken my girls to a theme park. When they were little they would keep asking every few minutes, “its not time to leave yet is it?” I would have to tell them. You are worried so much about leaving you can’t enjoy our time here.

Sometimes we fight getting older so hard we can’t enjoy the moment.

Let’s give thanks that we’ve lived this long and that God has given us life, and let’s use it for His great cause!

There is a fountain of youth, it’s called eternity. So let’s live this brief life to the fullest using our vast experience to help those coming after us.

A Heart and Mind to work

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I’m sore today. We have worked 3 full days building for Watoto and it has been worth every minute.

So we built the wall, and all [of it] was joined together to half its height, for the people had a heart and mind to work. (Nehemiah 4:6 AMP)

When all we do is work it means very little, even if we accomplish a lot. What makes our work mean something and our lives have significance is the greater cause to which we are tied.

The children of Israel weren’t just building some walls, they were rebuilding the fallen city. It was a mandate of God establishing his kingdom here on earth. It had a physical component but a spiritual connection

This team has truly embraced that thinking. Therefore, this build has taken on true significance for all of us. All the soreness and weariness has been worth it knowing we are being used by God to prepare a future for widows and orphans.

I encourage you have a heart and a mind to work. Not for selfish ambition, but for the greater cause of Gods kingdom purpose. Then you will find fulfillment and satisfaction in this life.

Let’s build!

Team is One

I love the thunders philosophy “team is one.” it’s a a true statement if we truly understand team.

Unfortunately in our day our thinking could be more aptly described “the one is the team.”

So many people take the approach that “this is my world, you all just get to live in it.” Which is the antithesis to the Gospel message and to the way the body of Christ should work.

I’m truly burdened by the spirit of celebrity in the church today and I really believe we are setting ourselves up for a lose/lose scenario if we continue to give men the glory that belongs to God.

I truly believe in honoring our leaders and know that there is favor when we honor everyone around us but when we move to an unhealthy place of celebrity worship, even in the church we miss the point entirely. Let’s honor, but let’s realize we are all a part of the same team and the team is one.

This trip, each member has played their role without worrying about the roles of others. All pulling together, honoring one another. We’ve earned a lot and God has used us to impact lives. It’s so powerful when you realize in the kingdom the team is one and it is world wide.

Dedication

We went to the build site today to dedicate the classroom we built.  We all gathered around and prayed over the building.  It was a moving experience.  In the words of one of team members Sam Laymon.  “As I laid my hands on the building and begin to pray i could see generations of students coming in and out of that building.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Our goal at Global Reach (The missions arm of Church of the Harvest) is to have long term impact.  Even though we take short term missions we want to have long term impact.  So when I partner with people I want to be someone who has a proven track record and great vision for the future.  Then we purposely work on projects that will benifit long term.   Like, instead of just doing a crusade, we do events through the local church and center everything around that so when we are gone, whatever we have done short term, has pointed people to a more long term connection.

Like instead of renting equipment for an event, buying the church some equipment then use it, then when you leave they have the long term effect of this new piece of equpipment, instead of a one or two night event of rentals.

Building classrooms at Watoto ensures, literal generations of orphans will be cared for, educated, as well as encourage to lead using biblical principles and leadership.

Short term trip, long term impact.  God is good, and thats it.

Throwing bricks…

To start off the morning this morning, we had to move bricks so we could continue building the wall. Me and several of the guys were at the place they make the brick and we were loading the front end loader with bricks to be taking to the building. We had finished one load and we were waiting on the loader to come back, we talked about the fact about how we are literally building the kingdom. We are literally building a structure that will give a great foundation for young men and women to be taught and encouraged to achieve greatness.

We talked about how for year to come, students would go to school in this classroom built by church of the harvest, so the impact we are making and made two years ago, will last not for a year, or two but for a life time. I can not tell you how satisfying it was to see students having class in the room we built two years ago. Wow! Let me say to all those who have contributed in any way to Global reach for justice and all that we do as harvest, you are making a difference around the world.

I so wish that the internet was better so i could put up all the pics I have but its impossible, so as soon as I get to a better internet situation on the way home I will start putting them up.

I love this team, Scotty, Greg, Ashley, Genora, Susie, Sean, Stephanie, Cindy, Heather, Sam, Wylie, Dante’, and Joe, have been incredible. They have such Team Spirit. We have laughed together, cried together, worked together, and ministered together. God has used this team in so many ways, and they are all talking about how God is going to use them at home. We are talking tomorrow about what they think God is going to have them engage in when they Get home. They all have huge potential to make a difference, not only in their immediate circle of influence but they could effect the lives of many people.

I’ve seen them step out of their comfort zone, overcome obstacles, put their own desire down in order to do what was necessary at the time. I have seen them really push themselves to do and be more than they thought they could.

We have had some great devotional times, and have enjoyed the spiritual insight of each of them. I appreciate them so much for their commitment to the cause. What a great job they have done.

We were so fast in building that we completed it early, so tomorrow we will dedicate it, spend some time touring watoto, then we will have some free time, and this group is going to be a blast having free time with. The one thing that i would say more than anything is that this group knows how to have fun.

Tired, and a bit sore, but its all worth it!

thanks
David

Global Reach for Justice to Rwanda, and Uganda

Our Next trip to Africa is coming soon. It’s June 14-26. In years past we have taken two teams at the same time split up, one team went to Rwanda, one team to Uganda. This year we are taking everyone to both places. This trip will be fast paced, but high impact for so many. We will continue our efforts with the medical clinic in Rwanda. Giving many people the chance to see a dr, and get some basic medical care that is hard or impossible for them to get otherwise. This clinic is in a district that has a high rate of sex trade, so the needs are serious. We will also continue to reach out to the next generation by having a next generation festival, filled with music, and speaking and a whole lot of fun! We believe the hope for Rwanda lies in the young generation. We will also be continuing our Pastors and leaders training. The leaders there can make so much more impact than we can, but they need training, and they are hungry for it. Our efforts in Uganda will include, building a classroom for the watoto village. Making a place for generational impact. We will also help with a young pastor who is planting a church. Our whole desire is to impact the lives of people with the message of the Gospel as well as the actions of the Gospel. We believe it is the churches responsibility to help others, locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Help us make a difference in the lives of those who want and need the opportunity to have a bright future. To help go to http://www.harvestokc.com. Thanks for your prayer and Giving to support us in making a difference around the world. Justice simply put is righting wrongs. Some go some send, but all can do their part.

Thanks
David