Friday, May 29, 2009

Twenty miles up in these mountains is where our Uganda team is heading to serve among the Tepez people of the Karamojong (just like the village in the foreground).

Preparing teams for such ministry as this is such a significant task. I take very seriously, the role of doing all I can to be sure they are prepared as best they can be. The combined efforts this year of Xtreme Teams International (XTI) and Awe Star Ministries to prepare 10 college students plus leadership for eight weeks in the African bush, is both a blessing and an opportunity for ongoing prayer!

These students had to raise far more money this year than any of them have raised in the past. While it was a stumbling block in many ways (which is easy for most of us to understand), in God's economy, He saw fit to open His storehouse, that each of these plus three leaders and two small children were able to embark on this journey that He called them to.

What a privilege to spend time hearing the hearts of and teaching their hungry minds how to live and survive in this culture. God has prepared them for their summer of self denial. Parents have yielded their children to go and serve. I cannot wait to see how my Heavenly Father works in and through their lives!

One of the people going is a three and a half year old girl. She is the oldest of two children of two of our leaders. Her name is a Karamojong name. At three pushing four, she is a veteran of missions in Africa. This is her second journey to this continent...this country. She calls it, "my Afrita!" (no that is not a typo).

She has been talking about getting back there for months. She recently asked her daddy, "why are we flying to Afrita?"

He responded, "because it is too far for us to swim."

To which she replied, "I could swim there...with my floaties!"

This is a precious young lady who already loves the people she will encounter.

You see, she recently told her daddy that she had a dream and that in her dream God spoke to her.

Her daddy asked, "What did God say to you?"

She replied, "I can't tell you!"

"Why not?" begged her father.

"Because what He said, he told me to tell the children in Afrita!"

As this story was relayed to me on the way to the airport by her dad, she chimed in with..."and I didn't tell you did I, daddy?"

She is a veteran of Africa. She is a veteran of hearing God's voice.

You see, her mom is pregnant with child number three. This young lady and her little sister are both going to live in the bush for eight weeks with mom and dad.

After setting up this trip, and securing this family to lead the team, as they are veterans of this country and this land, they discovered they were pregnant.

After much prayer and consideration (including bringing the family back two weeks early to assure no complications from flying), we all agreed they were God's chosen ones to lead this team (along with my friend Larry Singletary of XTI, who served as a missionary in Karamoja for 10 years).

As mom and dad went to the doctor for prenatal visits, this young lady informed them that mom was carrying her baby brother. "We don't know that," said her parents. "We have not been told yet."

"That's okay, I know it is a boy. God told me" she relayed.

Her parents would soon learn through and ultrasound that they were going to have a son!

Not long after this, the question of his name came up. Mom and dad were discussing name choices, when big sister chimed in with what the name was to be. Mom and dad were not considering the name she revealed. She was adamant about her choice.

When they pursued her as to why the name was so important (she had been calling him by his name for some time), she told them that God had told her the name. When they pursued this further, she relayed, "well actually daddy, He told you but I heard Him say it."

Daddy and mommy were stunned!

They took a step back and reconsidered their options.

He is due around August 9th. The family is scheduled to return around July 11th. The rest of the team is due back on July 22 (along with the other four Awe Star teams).

Not long after the impending celebration of all God has done through this summer, a little boy will be born...having spent a couple of months in his mother's womb. His name? It won't be a Karamojong name like his sisters. It will be the name spoken by God and heard by a three year old.




At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story!
You know mine. I'm here because my sister prayed for a sister and the Lord assured her she would have a sister. There is a lot more to this but this is enough.
Aunt Maralyn

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many times has He spoken to my deaf ears? Far too many I'm sure.
Praying for these dear people.
Mark \0/

At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an Awe-Star alum who has followed your blog for sometime. I had the great privilige of serving in Gambia with Awe-Star and with the Mommy you refer to in your post. She is an incredible woman and I am so thankful God has continued to call her to Africa.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Jack Watkins said...


Thanks for posting that. I didn't realize until recently that Larry wasn't going to be in Uganda in the beginning. It comforts me as Missy's dad, to know this couple is in touch with the Lord.

Talked to Missy this morning, and she was well and in great spirits. She was excited and ready for the challenge.

Thanks for going with Larry and Mike to prepare the way for the team. I look forward to meeting you someday.


Jack Watkins


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