Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Easter Everyone!

While you're celebrating with family and friends, don't beat up on the Easter Bunny, but celebrate the gift of salvation through Christ. Invite someone to church and let the children enjoy their day with Easter egg hunts and lots of chocolate. 

When Christ is the center of your life, you can't go wrong. Let your life be a light to your friends and family. Christ gave everything for us. Give Him your life, your plans and your past. You will live a life of abundance filled with love and joy. 

Celebrate life!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Build God's House and He'll Build Yours

Meet Jessica. She is from Eastern Uganda. After screening and training she was accepted to be a housemother with Watoto Child Care Ministries in Kampala, Uganda.

After ten years of marriage her husband left her and later married two other women. She has four children, three boys and a girl between the ages of 11 and 20 years. Because of the difficulty of being a single mother, Pastor Sam of Masaka Pentecostal Church assisted her in care for the children and her general well-being for three months and then asked Watoto Child Care Ministries to assist the mother and the children.

Jessica speaks three languages: Luganda, Lusogo and English. Her main interests are singing, reading the Bible and being with the children.

Watoto is grateful for lovely Christian women such as Jessica, who dedicate their lives to care for the needy children. With kind support from sponsors, Jessica has a wonderful opportunity to love and care for eight children in her Watoto home. She helps them off to school each day and then to the Watoto church in the village on Sundays.

Jessica has learned to help herself by being a help to others. That's a great lesson for us all to learn. When we find ourselves in a difficult season, instead of focusing on our own problems, the best thing to do is to focus on how we can help others with their needs. There's always someone else with a greater need. God is our provider and our resource. We don't have to worry how or if we will survive. God sent His Son, Jesus so that we not just have life, but have it more abundantly. We just need to trust Him for our needs and more.

Take a hint from Jessica. She has needs of her own, but she is providing for the needs of others and so God is looking out for her needs as well. Build God's house and He will build your house.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Knock Down the Walls

Meet Moses Sekajja. He is one of the many children living in the Watoto Village in Kampala, Uganda. Moses was abandoned at a police station in Uganda in 1996, after which he was taken to Naguru Children's Reception Center. The government authorities there kept him until Watoto Child Care Ministries was asked to take him into their care and protection.

Since May 1977, Moses has been living in a Watoto home with his housemother and seven "new" brothers and sisters. He has enjoyed all the nurture and nourishment his dear housemother has given him. Moses is a confident teenager now. He and the other children help with the household duties.

Moses has enjoyed the Watoto schools very much and he is a good student. His favorite subjects are Math and Science and he likes basketball. When he graduates from high school he wants to train to become a Computer Scientist.

Moses has responded to God's love for him by accepting Jesus into his heart and life. He went to the USA with the touring Watoto Choir and this was a transforming experience for him.

The financial support received through child sponsorship has enabled Watoto to give Moses and all the destitute and homeless children in their care the hope of a much brighter future.

It's amazing the difference God's love can make in someone's life, even an abandoned orphan. That's because God's love is real and can reach beyond our own short arms. Our God is a big God. He loves people way beyond our own shores. Sometimes it's hard for us to see past our own home camp, but God is so much bigger than we allow Him to be in our lives.

He's asking us to do big things and to dream big dreams. He wants to bless us so that we can become a blessing to others. Being a Christian is so much more than just getting up and going to church every Sunday. I'm not saying you must sell everything and become a world missionary, but I am saying we need to allow God to broaden our borders and see what He sees. We were saved to make a difference in the lives of others; to be the strength for those who are too weak to hold up their own arms. Think about how you can open up your world and live a big, expansive life. See the world through God's eyes. There may be something God is calling you to do right in your own backyard. Go ahead. Start knocking down some of those walls you've built around your small world and have a look around. It's a great big world out there, but we serve an even bigger God with unlimited resources.

"He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who've been thrown out with the trash, seats them among the honored guests. A place of honor among the brightest and the best. He gives the barren woman a home so that she becomes a happy mother." Psalms 113:7-9

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Sense of Family and Belonging

We just recently attended the Women's Devoted Conference at our church, Wave Church and it was fantastic. Robbie and I were assigned to host the Watoto Representatives who came to the conference to provide sponsorship opportunities for the children and to sell some of their handmade crafts from the Watoto Village in Uganda. The two reps were from Florida but work fulltime for Watoto.

Working with them at the table allowed us to hear firsthand how the women, who are victims of aids, are taught to make homemade crafts to earn a living. Otherwise, their society casts them aside and has nothing to do with them. Most of the aids victims find themselves alone and dying with no hope of anyone loving them or caring for them; except in the Watoto Village. Here they are cared for and loved and taught to do something useful to gain back their pride and dignity.

Robbie and I already were sponsoring a child from the Watoto Village, but my heart kept telling me to go further and sponsor one of the house mothers as well. The house mothers have up to 8 children in a home built by the Watoto Village Program. The children are orphans whose parents have died from aids or have been killed by war lords. Living together with this house mother gives them a sense of family and belonging that has been taken from them at a very young age.

If you'd like to get more information about how to sponsor a child or a house mother you can go to and find out all the details. It only costs $35 a month to change the world, one life at a time.

Isn't it good to know that we serve a God who loves us unconditionally? No matter what we've done or what we do He couldn't love us more or love us less. It's sometimes hard for us to comprehend that kind of love, especially when we didn't have a good experience in our childhood or had an abusive upbringing. But God loved us before we were even in our mother's womb. He had a plan for our life before we were born. That's the kind of love that's hard to get your head around, but that's how big God's love is for us. If only the world knew how much He loves us. It's up to us to share this love with everyone we come in contact with and to give them hope. Do your part, no matter how small. It's a big world, but we know of a big love. Give the world a sense of family and belonging. We're all brothers and sisters in Him. We're one big family.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Shot In the Arm

Okay, just recently got all of my required shots for going to Uganda, Africa. Even though there is only one required shot, Yellow Fever, there are many recommended shots. How can I not get them when you know they are recommended? So I've had Typhoid Pills, Polio Booster, Tetanus, H1N1, Meningitis, Hep. A & B, and purchased Malaria Pills.

Hmmmm, I'm sure this trip will be well worth all the shots in the arm. I'm also sure this trip will be a shot in the arm for my spiritual well-being. There's nothing like getting outside of our own little world and taking a look at the big picture. Seeing the world through God's eyes can really make you wonder how you could have ever complained about anything. I'm sure the pain of the shots will soon fade once I look into the eyes of an orphan staring up at me. God help me to keep my eyes open to your world at all times, even when I'm sitting comfortably at home.

Let God give you a shot in the arm so to speak. Let Him show you His world. The one He sent His Son to die for on a cross. God give me that kind of compassion and unconditional love for people all over the world.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Be The Face of Change

This May 2010 I and a team of about 35 people, are headed to Uganda, Africa to work and support Pastors Gary and Marilyn Skinner and the Watoto Child Care Ministries in war-torn Kampala. Over 1500 children are cared for through this ministry which was established in 1991 by the Skinners. Marilyn and Gary are also the Pastors for the Watoto Church, where more than 22,000 people attend one of the 17 weekend services at the 6 celebration points each week to celebrate their newfound life in Christ.

Our team, based out of Wave Church in Virginia Beach, VA, will be helping to build a school or home for the children there during our first week in Kampala. We will then get to spend time with the many children of all ages, even infants, living in the Watoto Village provided for their care. I know this will be a life changing experience for me and for all of the team members. I have traveled in the past to Russian Orphanages, and the relationships I formed there with children and teachers is still strong today. My first trip to Russia opened my eyes to just how big my God is and how much love He has, not just for me, but for a whole world outside of my scope here.

I hope to chronicle some of my experiences and the process of getting ready to go to Africa here on this blog as I prepare for this life-changing journey ahead of me. As I do I hope you will open your heart and life up to God and allow Him to take you places where you never dreamed you would serve. He may not call you to be a missionary or a speaker, but God has a plan for each of our lives. Sometimes He's just waiting for us to have the faith to step up and say, "Yes, I'll do it." That's what I have done and each time God has surprised me with things I never thought possible in my life. Listen for His voice. Yes, He still speaks to us today. What is He calling you to do? Our Pastor, Steve Kelly, always says, "Two thirds of God's name is go." Get up off the safe and comfortable couch where you've been sitting and be willing to let God use you in some special way. It doesn't even have to be outside of your neighborhood. Who knows what He has planned for you? But I do know He has called us all to become the "face of change" to the world around us. Be that face.

Check out our Watoto Team 2010 Facebook page. Leave comments or donate through Wave Church, 1000 N. Great Neck Rd., Virginia Beach, VA.