Dear Family and Friends,
“How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
— Isaiah 52:7
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” — Matt 13:31-32
Jesus is like no other, isn’t He? He is utterly worthy of any and every gift we could offer Him; any task we could seek to do for Him; any sacrifice we could make for Him. He is always worth it. And indeed, how good and wonderful and beautiful it is to bring Good News of His love and salvation to others - to those who are lost and trapped in all manner of brokenness and bondage. What a thrill and an honor to be part of His work in the nations!
There has been so much going on that it’s hard to know where to begin. Our vision and our work is to train people who love Jesus in making disciples who will make disciples who will make disciples… We long to see many people born again into His wonderful family and growing into maturity in Jesus. By the end of last year we had four training groups made up of believers who were interested in knowing more about how to make disciples. One of these groups dissolved, and so we began January 2022 with 3 groups. By God’s grace and power, in the past 4 months these 3 groups have grown to 16!
Part of the training involves beginning a new group - which we are calling ‘Mustard Seed Fellowships.’ These fellowships are basically simple churches, and are formed by sharing the Gospel with the lost and inviting both believers and unbelievers to gather together to read God’s Word. These 16 groups range in size from 3 people up to 15, and are a mix of new believers, mature believers, and people who are still seeking. They meet each week to worship, discuss the Word and how to obey it, pray for one another, etc. Nearly every week we are hearing about people gaining courage to proclaim the gospel and people coming to faith. We have received reports of demonic influences being expelled from families and of new fellowships being launched in homes and businesses.
Jill and Michayla began meeting people in the village of Kigato, just outside of Masaka, late last year. Over time they shared Jesus with their friends, and a few gave their lives to Christ! For the past several months they have been meeting together with these new believers as well as some who are not yet following Jesus. It has been so beautiful! Hannah shared the gospel with a shopkeeper whose vegetable stand is about a five minute walk from our home. At first this lady did not want to give her life to Jesus, but was interested in more Bible study. After three weeks of meeting together to read the Word, she surrendered her life to Christ. Now, Hannah goes every week along with Jill and our friend Success to discuss the Bible and train their new sister in how to make more disciples.
One old friend who has been part of the training group has been going from house to house in her part of the city sharing the gospel, and has started 4 fellowships herself in the homes of people who are receiving the Word. Another participant and her daughter began inviting people in their neighborhood to come read the Bible together just about a month ago, and now around 15 people gather at their home each week. Another testifies that now she shares the gospel wherever she goes, and still another is rejoicing that, though she never used to have the courage to share Christ with strangers, now she hardly ever goes a full day without telling someone about Jesus. God is doing beautiful things, and we are so, so grateful!
Four days from today, by God’s grace, I will collect 16 wonderful ORU students from the airport. For the following four weeks, we will together proclaim the gospel, share Jesus’ love with street kids and orphans, and pray for a move of God’s Spirit in Masaka and beyond. The team will be working directly with our Mustard Seed Fellowships in every neighborhood where they exist, and our prayer is to see many people come to Jesus and more fellowships planted, including second generation groups that come out of existing ones - which will then continue to multiply.
Finally, we are planning a trip to the US. If you are in the Oklahoma / Texas area, we’d love to connect sometime during August or maybe September. If in Colorado, early September. We’ll also be in Michigan and Virginia and maybe other places. We would love the opportunity to share about the work here or about being part of God’s mission in the world. Mostly we’d really love to see you and hear about your life and get caught up.
Thanks so much for being interested in us and for reading this letter.
God bless you!