Africa – Coordinator’s Conference mission trip, May 17-26, 2019
Fri-Sat (May 17-18)
Many thanks to everyone that has prayed and donated to make the coordinator’s conference in central Africa possible and to Mike and Linda that got up at 1am Friday morning to take the team and our 18 pieces of luggage to the airport in Seattle. George, Wayne and Dan attended the conference last year and were joined by Dan’s son, Noah, and Pam who helps as admin coordinator for the ministry in the USA. Wayne is the Harvest Vision liaison to Africa and Dan is the Harvest Vision Ministries liaison in Pierce County, WA. We traveled to New York, Belgium and Rwanda before arriving in Uganda Saturday night. Only 8 of our bags arrived, but we were greeted by our wonderful co-laborers and that “problem’ lost any power to steal our joy as we loaded up to fellowship and travel to our guesthouse in Kampala where we held our conference last year. Thank you Jesus and bless our families that released us to be faithful and make this journey.
Sunday, May 19
What a blessing to be greeted by our friends at the guesthouse and after a few hours rest to meet with Evariste, from Burundi, Augustine, from the DRCongo and David, from north Uganda. We were blessed to attend the Kibuli Harvest Church Fellowship, visit with Pr. Alex and his family, and have lunch with Pr. Martin and Beatrice at their home. We visited the new home that they are building to expand the ministry and spent the rest of the evening greeting, eating, sharing and praying with our other co-laborers from other parts of Uganda, DRCongo, Kenya and South Sudan.
Monday, May 20
“The will to win is useless without the will to prepare.” Thanks to everyone, especially Pam from the USA and Susan in Africa, for helping prepare and set up for this conference which brought us together to give God praise for His work in our lives and for the many souls that have been saved. We praised and prayed together, introduced ourselves, viewed photos of last year’s conference and heard testimonies of the ongoing ministry in the different regions and countries which included wonderful testimonies and the challenges that we are currently facing every day. “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”. Thanks to everyone that donated to help supply the ministry supplies that enable our co-laborers to complete these missions. Beautiful dresses and shorts for vulnerable children made by the Stitched for Joy” ministry in Arlington, WA and thanks to Yeager’s Sporting Goods in Bellingham, WA that helped us with the tents, mats, backpacks and other items. Thanks to everyone for the projectors, generator, stabilizer, sleeping bags, smart phones, laptops and other supplies.
Tuesday, May 21
Many thanks to David from north Uganda for leading our morning worship with the words of these songs. “I surrender all to You, withholding nothing and I’ll give myself away so You can use me.” Martin started with reminding everyone about our original vision and the importance of ensuring we are helping new believers become true disciples after they are saved. We heard testimonies about the ministry in the rest of the areas and then shared and prayed for the answers and direction for some of our biggest challenges in advancing the kingdom. We were blessed to have others join us, including Pr. Moses from Mpigi, Uganda who was introduced to Harvest Vision Ministries through the Stitched for Joy ministry in Arlington, WA. God is always bringing us together with other leaders and ministries so we can work together to reach, to win, to train and to send. We were privileged to distribute printed bibles donated by the Club One church family in Pierce County and solar-powered audio bibles in 14 different languages, many of which will go to scattered and unreached tribes along the Kenya and Ethiopia border. The audio bibles, as well as the water filters that were distributed to the coordinators, were donated by our friends from The King’s Storehouse ministry from Ferndale, WA. The coordinator’s shared testimonies about how the water filters provide clean water eliminating typhoid and other diseases. They are simple, easy to use, gravity-fed and each one filters 1 million gallons of water. We heard testimonies about how the audio bibles are bringing God’s Word to many of the nomadic tribes that don’t have schools and where the people can’t read or write. We also shared and prayed about sustainability projects for each coordinator’s family that they can use to provide the income they need to take care of their personal and family needs, including a home, food and school fees for their children. We finished our evening with praise and prayer, filled with joy and a hint of sadness as many had to leave to return to their families and their place in God’s harvest field remembering that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus”.
Wednesday, May 22
We woke up to a beautiful Africa morning and in the midst of friends that work at the guesthouse and our co-laborers that are preparing to return to their homes and families. At the same time, Martin, Susan and Kennedy are preparing everyone for their travels, including our USA team’s travel to visit the ministry in Nebbi in NW Uganda. Our van driver, George, got us safely to Wobulenzi, about 2 hours away from Kampala and our van broke down. While local mechanics worked, we enjoyed meeting the local people including the children. We played and shared the love of Jesus and commissioned them as the Wobulenzi Harvest Kids to continue to share the love of Jesus with the community after we leave to continue our trip. After having lunch at a small local restaurant, we completed our 5 hour unexpected, but not unplanned (by God), mission and George, our driver, got us to our guesthouse about midnight where we were greeted by a friendly staff, a nice dinner and good accommodations. We are prayerfully excited for God to reveal His plan for this new day. Thanks to our family and friends in the USA that are on this journey with us.
Thursday, May 23
Many thanks to the Kucwiny Women’s group and others that welcomed us when we arrived at the village where Pr. Christopher and his family that live in NW Uganda. Christopher is the Harvest Vision coordinator for this area which is adjacent to the border of the DRCongo. It was a heart-warming reunion for those of us that visited here before and a special blessing for those that are meeting this part of the Harvest Vision family for the first time. After our welcome at Pr. Christopher’s home, we walked to the nearby church for the women’s conference. After the team introduced themselves, Pam shared a message about Esther and Mary from the bible and Susan shared a message about what it means to be a child of God. Dan delivered the gospel message and Chris made an invitation and many made a decision to accept Jesus Christ. We are thankful for the healings and deliverances that the Lord poured out today. The team from Kampala and the USA prayed over the Kucwiny church leaders that God has positioned to minister to the needs of the people in this community. After lunch in the village, the team walked back to the church.
The children had a special program for the visiting team from Kampala and the USA. The kids had prepared many songs, dances and a skit for us and we were so blessed that so many adults had come together to give God glory and praise. Susan shared the story of Noah and there were words of encouragement from the team. Many children and adults responded to the call of salvation. Afterwards, we visited the location of the Fountain of Hope primary school and Chris shared the vision for the school. The USA team brought frisbees that had been signed by friends in the USA including the Harvest Kids who are currently collecting their change to pay for 60 iron sheets that will be installed to prevent the rains from destroying the brick walls of the new school. We ask that you pray for the Harvest Kids in the USA that are sacrificing to meet that goal. They have $100 of the $470 needed. If you would like to help them, you can drop off your change or donation at the Harvest Home, 9467 Pierce Lane, Sedro Woolley, WA or Walker Motor Works, 9430 State Ave, Marysville, WA; mail it to PO Box 733, Sedro Woolley, WA, 98284 or donate electronically online at www.harvestvisionministries.org.
Friday, May 24
We hadn’t got very far traveling back in the morning when we had another van breakdown, but were soon on the road and were blessed to see elephants, baboons, monkeys, gazelles and water buffalos on our trip back to Kampala.
Saturday, May 25
Our last morning in Africa and we are on our way to visit Pr. Jonathan at the Canaan Foundation primary school in Mukono, Uganda. We have been friends and supporters of his ministry in this community for over 10 years and have witnessed him, the students, the teachers and community endure incredible challenges and have seen many young people get an education and, more importantly, receive their salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Few benches or desks or textbooks and cooking meals for over 200 children over open fires, but the love of God, the children and this community perseveres. We visited the classroom the boys live in and Madilyn’s House that was built for the girls in 2013 and that God used to launch the Harvest Kids ministry we have today. We also visited with Jonathan, his wife, Eunice, and their children that live a few kilometers from the school on Lake Victoria. Jonathan and Eunice have 22 orphans living at their home and another 52 that live at the school. We also gave them the hand-made pillow case dresses that our sister, Avis, from Sedro Woolley, WA donated. What a blessing to see the love of Christ in these people. At 11pm that night we were on the plane back to Belgium, New Jersey then Seattle.