Monday, August 1, 2011

Uganda Video 2011



This is the video that my sister Natalie made of our trip to Uganda this summer.


video

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hello Holo

Today will be our second and final day in Holo, Kenya. Cypress Creek Church planted Holo Community Bible Church 4 or 5 years ago and this has been an encouraging trip for the church and the surrounding area.

Yesterday, I went to schools with Tammy and Mike. We went to one primary school and two secondary schools, so we each took turns sharing our testimonies and the good news/bad news. I enjoyed hearing everyone's take on the gospel and I'm looking forward to stealing some of their ideas on the trail today! I shared the gospel at a secondary school which made me a little nervous because of the group size (several hundred!) as well as the age (14-20). But as usual, God was so good, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Mike's testimony was so powerful and effective. I think the young men related to him very well. I began my presentation with saying that since I was so close to their age, I wanted to just talk as friends. I felt like that time was very conversational and I got to interact with many of the students. It was one of my favorite experiences!

This team has been doing schools only in the afternoons, so I got a full trail day yesterday along with being on the school team. Most of the people I talked to were already believers, but I got to pray with them and encourage them. I was encouraged by a very old woman I met named Elena. She accepted Christ in 1974, and shortly after that her husband and two sons died, leaving her alone. She said that God was her comforter and defender. She went on to explain the details of an accident (her cow knocked her down and broke her wrist) and a disease she has been suffering from for 6 years. She insists that God is still her sustainer and healer. She prayed that I would always remember how faithful He is, no matter what. She was so appreciative of my visit since she can't walk to church and she can't read the Bible. She said, "your words have refreshed my soul"...Elena, you did more than that for me!


Please pray for:
1) my testimony this afternoon at the crusade.
2) The Holo area is incredibly rocky and hilly, and I'm hiking in my Chacos which don't protect me very well...today is very rainy, so please pray I don't slip in the mud!
3) There have been some severe bee attacks in this area. Pray for the natives that have been stung and for our team to remain safe.
4) for Landon and Thomas to feel better--both are feeling a little queasy.
5) for Brenda to find the little boy named Victor that she has been looking for in Holo! She met him several years ago on the original church plant and has been praying to see him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Akala

"There is no treasure so wonderful as that
continuous experience of Thy grace toward me."
-The Valley of Vision

Our team (Cypress Creek Church in Wimberley + me) just finished our two days in Akala, which was the church that we planted last year. We were able to do a revival crusade and share the gospel in the area with great success. This has been one of my favorite evangelism trips for several reasons. I think one of those reasons is my fantastic translator! I have never had the same translator for more than a day or two, but my friend Douglas is sticking by me and we get along so well. I've never had so much fun with a translator! Also, this team is intentional about eating with the translators, so I feel like I've gotten to know them so much better from those mealtime conversations. I am also feeling so much encouragement just from the act of sharing the gospel--it never gets old to me, even when people reject it. Today, I shared with mostly men, which made me a little uncomfortable, but many believed in Jesus! I was thankful God allowed their hearts to tune into His words even though they were coming from a young girl like me.

So far, Tessa, Thomas, Lisa, Emily, Erin, and Julie Jacobsen have been to schools. I will go with a few others tomorrow.

Mike, Leslie, Tommy, and Tammy have been to prisons. Tonight, Tammy shared about a woman at the prison who had a siezure in the middle of the presentation (unclear whether this was demonic or purely physical). Miraculously, it did not disrupt the reception of the gospel, and at the end of the presentation, who appeared to be the same woman came forward to receive Christ.

Yesterday, Lisa was able to meet an old friend from Akala that she had been praying to see. Their reunion was sweet and encouraging to both of them!

Today, Tessa shared with a very old woman who had lost all 12 of her children. She was already a believer, and she told Tessa she still believed God was good in spite of her circumstances.

Erin has been sharing some worship songs with us in our evening devotionals. Tonight, she read out of "The Valley of Vision", a book of Puritan prayers. It was awesome.

Please continue to pray for the health, protection, and effectiveness of our team! We are off to Holo tomorrow!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am a Winner!

"I am what God says I am
I am a winner
Not a loser
I am what God says I am"

This was the song of the sweet Lulwanda Children's Home kids as they celebrated their big WIN of the music, dance, and drama competition yesterday! I got to be there all day to watch the kids compete in 10 different catagories including sight singing, traditional dance, the national anthem, etc. They all performed so well! And, by the grace of God, their hard work paid off and they won by more than 200 points. My friends Natalie R. and Sarah H. were proud mamas :) After the competition, everyone marched back to Lulwanda for the biggest dance party I've ever seen. So much fun. I am so proud of them even though I barely know most of them!

I enjoyed my last day at Covenant so much. I left 63 books (mostly thanks to Aunt Janna and my mom's power shopping) with the headmaster who distributed them to each class according to reading level. It brought tears to my eyes to hear the teachers announce the gifts and listen to the students scream and cheer! They jumped on those books faster than junior high boys jump on T&T donuts in Sunday school. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. Sad that books are such a rarity, happy that they at least have a few now!

I love walking through my neighborhood and hearing kids yell, "Teach-ah! Teach-ah!"...can't think of anything more special!

On our day off today, we washed some clothes and shopped in town a little. Melanie and Winnie and I took motorcycle taxis (pikis) to get pedicures (I promise I am still a missionary, I know this sounds insane) and it was so so fun. I love those friends and it was seriously the best of the 3 pedicures I've gotten in my life. Best part? It was 6,000 shillings. That's about $2.50.

Choir practice was tonight. I'm excited about church tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

At Home in Mbale

"The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness
and the world's deep hunger meet."

-Frederick Buechner

I have been at Morris & Aidah's house in Mbale since Sunday afternoon. It was sad to leave my team behind as they headed for home, but I'm loving my time here! There are 2 other missionary girls living with the Ogengas right now, and I've really appreciated their company. My attitude is completely different with American friends than it is when I'm alone! Also contributing to my good mood is the fact that I have not seen a single African cockroach since I've been here. Glory hallelujah. This is actually the biggest answer to prayer next to not dying of malaria or something like that.

Monday was a day off for my missionary friends, so we went to town (literally and figuratively). We shopped a little in the market, bought fabric and had skirts made, went to a coffee shop, and had a very relaxing time at the Mount Elgon Hotel & Spa. If you haven't been to Mount Elgon Hotel in the last few years, you are missing out on the most American experience in Africa. It was so weird. So beautiful, but so weird. Made me forget I was in Uganda.

I was getting worried in Soroti about my diet because nothing at the hotel or the church site was appealing to me...I hardly ate anything that whole time. But now I remember why I gained weight in Africa last summer: James and his wonderful cooking! We have had spaghetti, pizza, chapati and beans, pancakes, and french toast. We also had a nice chicken and rice lunch...yes, I killed the chickens myself again :) I'm sure there are more wonderful things to come. I want to pack James in my suitcase to take to college with me so he can cook for me and my roommates.

I have been at Covenant Primary School the last few days which is where I taught last summer. Since I'm only here a short time, I'm just working as a teacher's aide. I've been grading and running errands mostly, but I am so busy all day! The best part is that since I'm not a teacher, I get to just play with the kids and not have to boss them. Oh, I've missed them so much. They love the books and school supplies you all sent. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa for collecting so many!

I finished reading The Help (best book ever, by the way) on my Nook and now I'm reading Thirsting for God, which was recommended to me by Mike Loftis. I'm loving it so far, and I'm sure I'll have more to say about it later. I'm thankful for all the time I've had to read on this trip. It has been so spiritually refreshing!

I miss home a little, but my time here is going so well. Love to my family and my college girls. And thanks to Nan for the quote above and your emails even though I can't answer them all. Can't wait to see my Kenya team soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 4 in Uganda

"Dreams are tawdry when compared with the leading of God,
and not worthy of the aura of wonder we usually surround them with.
God only doeth wonders. He does nothing else.
His hand can work nothing less."

-Jim Elliot

I am loving life here in Uganda once again! The team has been having a great time sharing the gospel in the Tubur area, which is 40-ish minutes away from our hotel in Soroti. This city is full of "religion"...the names of God and Jesus are not strange to them. However, most people believe that salvation comes as a result of good behavior. They believe the Bible is true, so Ephesians 2:8-9 has been very freeing to many people! I guess they had just never read for themselves that eternal life is a free gift. Most people I have spoken with fall into this category, but Glen and I have both run into a weird cult that claims that Jesus was never crucified--please pray for those people to come to the crusade, I didn't have enough time to discuss their beliefs in detail with them and they were very stubborn!

Our family as well as Marcie & Oliver went to schools on the first day with an organization called Scripture Union. Our visits at these schools not only help spread the gospel, but also give credibility to the Scripture Union clubs that are already in place. I was nervous after one bad experience at schools, but this one was great! We went to a local primary school with an enrollment of around 600 children. They sang for us and I immediately had tears in my eyes! It was so loud and joyful. I am certain that is what heaven will sound like.

Vince & Laynce have been teaching about spiritual disciplines in the mornings at the church site in Tubur. They are some of my favorite teachers, so I've loved it! This morning we talked about the discipline of silence, which was very convicting.

For the first several nights we had no electricity which meant no hot water, NO LIGHTS AT ALL, and a lot of stumbling around. Lexi reminded us that that is how Africans live all the time in the villages, but it was still very hard to function normally, even with my new headlamp! The blackouts keep happening (I don't know why, this has never happened to me before in Africa this frequently) but it is almost funny at this point. With the return of everyone's luggage after 4 days of no clean clothes, I think we are all just punchy.

The Jarrett twins, Kennedy, and I were feeling a little under the weather today, so we came back to the hotel early but are resting up nicely. Natalie has a huge scrape on her shin from a fall down a muddy hill, so please pray for no infection. She stayed at the hotel today too with a bad migraine and stomach problems. Brent stayed home today too, and there may be a few others who are sick. I know Angie is doing a great job with prayer emails, so please keep up with those!

Thank you for all your prayers. More updates soon!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Off to Africa!

After a "minor" issue with the airline overbooking my seat, I have a spot on the next flight to Houston. I'll have to pick up my bags there and recheck them to Entebbe, but I got a $300 voucher and a free lunch, so I'll take it! Thanks for your prayers--more updates soon :)

Zoomba is ready to go to Uganda with us! Bob Henson is our puppet master.



98 pounds of luggage. Limit was 100.



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tubur Church Construction

How exciting--Here are some pictures of the progress on the church building and Pastor’s home at Tubur. This is the location of the MBC church plant. Apparently, some of the women have already gathered under a tree in this area to learn the word of God together. He is preparing this church for great things!













Wednesday, March 30, 2011

East Africa 2011

As many of you know, I have been blessed to serve and learn from the people of Uganda on 4 short-term mission trips over the last 5 years. In exactly 13 weeks from today, I will get the awesome opportunity to travel to East Africa again to share the good news of Jesus Christ with a few villages in Uganda and Kenya! On June 30th, I will travel with Midland Bible Church to Tuber, Uganda and help plant a church there. My dad and my sister will be with me on that trip which I am so excited about! When the Midland Bible team leaves, I will get to stay behind and continue working at the school I got to teach at last summer. At the end of my trip, I will hop the border and finish up with one last church planting team from Cypress Creek Church in Wimberley, Texas. I met this team in Kenya last year and can't wait to work alongside them again. All in all, I'll be in Africa for about a month. Fortunately, some trip will be financially provided for. However, I still need about $2,500 to cover my living expenses in-country and also to help fund the church building for the new group of believers we are anticipating in Kenya. If you are interested in supporting me, please write your check to Midland Bible Church with "Julie Brown Uganda" on the memo line and send it to my home address: 4904 Polo Parkway, Midland, Texas, 79705. Your gift is tax deductible. Most importantly, I would love your prayers for the month of July! I would appreciate prayers for:

  • smooth travels to and from Africa and safety in crossing the Kenyan border.

  • my health as I deal with food allergies in a foreign environment.

  • creativity, flexibility, and an easy-to-understand American accent.

  • my sweet mom and grandparents as they hold down the fort at home.

  • receptive hearts for everyone who hears the gospel on this trip.

If there is anything I can be praying about for you or your family while I am gone or even between now and then, please let me know via email or Facebook. I will try to keep this blog updated when I'm in Africa, but if you're interested in receiving daily email updates about the trip, let me know. Words can not express how thankful I am for your love and support!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Official 2011 Trip Dates!

The dates for my trip this year have been officially set! I will be doing 2 evangelism trips (one in Tubur, Uganda and one in Kenya) with one week in between to work at Covenant Primary School and generally help out my dear friends, Pastor Morris Ogenga and his wife, Aida.

Details:
Midland Bible Church trip (Uganda): June 30th-July 11th
Cypress Creek Church trip (Kenya): July 17th-27th

I'm so excited! The fundraising is beginning next week. If anyone has any great ideas or would like to contribute to either church plant, please let me know! Also, please be in prayer for Uganda as they just had national elections which tend to make the country more unstable and violent temporarily.