Working for the King and for the Advancement of ONE Kingdom!

Emmanuel and Udeme sat together under the mango tree, discussing the logistics of the upcoming training. They are leaders of a group of over 20 pastors in Southern Nigeria who meet together monthly to pray for their ministries and their communities.

They are from 12 DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS!

But these pastors understand that they all work for the King and for the advancement of ONE Kingdom. As they meet together by WhatsApp, they pray for each other, and for the needs they see in their community. One of the needs they had begun to see was that people with disabilities are not represented or welcomed into their churches. While most of the people with disabilities in their communities are hidden, they do occasionally see someone begging or in need. And this began to bother these pastors.

Pastors Emmanuel and Udeme went looking for help. Emmanuel had been on the mailing list of Accessible Hope International (AHI) for a while, and reached out to see about the possibility of some disability training for these pastors. Though the pandemic has altered the way this could be done, AHI arranged for a 3-hour online introductory workshop called “Made in God’s Image.” The pastors live in 2 different states, so each of them gathered the pastors from their area in one location, and made sure they had access to one internet-connected device. Trainers from Sierra Leone met with them online, and facilitated the workshop for 20 pastors in two locations. Despite a few internet glitches, the workshop sparked a new passion in these 20 pastors. They wanted more.

They are now waiting for the completion of the full Theology of Disability workshop to be made available in virtual format, and continue to meet with these pastors from 12 different denominations to pray for people with disabilities and think of creative inclusion strategies. The full workshop should be available by Easter, and they are eager to participate – ensuring that their various churches begin to see people with disabilities through a new lens and reach out with love and acceptance to welcome them in.

Please continue to pray for these pastors in southern Nigeria, and for the people with disabilities in their communities – that EVERYONE would have access to the Gospel and to loving community – growing and serving Jesus together.

 

Kim Kargbo is the Founder and President of Accessible Hope International.  Kim is compelled in ministry by the Voice behind her and the faces before her, who need to hear the Gospel in a way that is meaningful to them.

 

A Day in the Life of a CHE…

From the prayer letter of Sammy Imbaya Mwemba, learn the activities of a CHE worker…

Bwindi Forest Mission Report (Feb 2020)

As I write to you now it’s obvious that the world is going through unprecedented times with the spread of the Coronavirus.  There is so much uncertainty of what exactly tomorrow holds. But as we exercise government directives on public health control in our respective countries, it’s my hope that the present challenge we are all going through will help us to firmly put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, our rock of salvation. May you be encouraged through and through in your faith.

Besides the Corona virus pandemic, I have good news from Bwindi forest. I came back from there a couple of weeks ago after a very successful time of community ministry

Thank you very much for your prayers and support and being part of God’s work in Bwindi forest. Our ministry success is also your success. Among the things we did included:

1.  Showed the Jesus movie in local language

With Easter holidays around the corner, it was prudent to share with the children and adults about the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the significance of his death on the cross and the hope in the resurrection. The Jesus movie was a great attraction largely because it was being shown in the native language.  The movie characters and plot became easily to identify with.

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2.  Preached in a local Batwa church

As a visitor to the local Batwa church, the greatest honor they gave me was the invitation to share the word of God. I wasn’t fully prepared for the surprise invitation to preach, but never the less I enjoyed the experience. I encouraged them through the scriptures to find their value and identity in our Lord Jesus Christ who has made us equal through his death on the cross.

As a marginalized community the message sank in so well that the congregation became very emotional towards the end of the service. I made a special altar call  to remind them once again that they matter so much to God that He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for them.

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3.  Public Health lessons/Fellowship

Public Health lessons and spiritual teachings were our core engagements with the community. I first shared with the mother’s of the kids on the importance of observing basic hygiene lessons to counter common community diseases like typhoid, scabies, etc.

Later in the afternoon we had all the kids gather in a soccer field and shared health and spiritual lessons mostly through stories and games. The boys and girls were curious listeners to the stories as we had intentionally built suspense.  We first informed them that we were to have rugby and soccer games played only after the special story session was over plus a special gift awaits those who will participate through the entire session.

In total we had 40 kids of varying ages sit through the teaching sessions. We taught them hygiene, including “tippy taps”, prayed for them and challenged them to share with their families and friends what they had learned.

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4.  Fellowship through Games

It’s always interesting to introduce something to the community. My travelling partner called Matayo Mwenesi, was my former Sunday school student in Nairobi, Kenya. He took leave from work to visit me and be part of what I am doing in Uganda. I invited him to join me on this trip of sharing Christ in the lives of the kids, the same way I did when he was a child way back. But most important, it gave him a platform of exposure on what missions is all about. He is a guy I want to walk with and mentor him further in missions.

Matayo is a former Rugby player and also coaches Rugby in schools in Western Kenya. He taught the girls, (they were more interested in learning the game than boys who went for soccer), some basic principles of touch Rugby.  You should have seen the excitement they exhibited. Some of the girls initially thought this game was another version of Netball but at the end of the day they were very happy to have learned some basic ideas of a new game called Rugby

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Conclusion

Thank you again for being part of this special mission to a special people group. May the good Lord bless you abundantly.

With the outbreak of Corona viruses, the government has come up with public policy guidelines to address the spread of the virus. Among the measures is  the suspension of public/social/religious meetings and public transport among other policies. In view of that we have had to suspend all our upcoming trainings slated for April and probably May. We shall know how events in the coming weeks unfold and make appropriate decision accordingly.  Let’s keep praying for each other in these unprecedented times.Stay safe wherever you are and keep the faith strong.

Thank you and God bless,

Sammy Imbaya Mwendwa

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Matayo and me at the entrance of the Bwindi impenetrable forest

Please pray for Sammy and the many CHEs around the world, serving Jesus faithfully.  The are the heart of the Global CHE Network!

Change, Loss and New Beginnings

At age 58, soon to be 59, one would think I would be able to handle change, otherwise known as transition or limbo!  Just look at my life’s statistics!

  • By age 35, I had moved 16 times in my life and everywhere I went, I brought my kid’s art creations, clothing which I deemed special and memorable toys and videos!
  • By age 37 I had lived in three countries and learned five languages.
  • By age 40 I had gone to nine different schools and studied 21 years—I should have more than a Bachelor’s degree!

Through each time of transition, I would get agitated and anxious.  I just want to be settled down.  Terry and I are quite content and settled where we are right now.  What could be causing us to think of a move?

Loss

As God would have it, I am facing loss.  I still am grappling with the diagnosis of eosinophilic asthma and as I sit alone with a mask on my face, not fearing the coronavirus, but pollen, my heart goes out to those who have had chronic conditions for years. This loss is a big one for me.  I have been a nurse who cared for the sick.  I am not used to being on the other side!

Terry and I have decided, for the betterment of my health, we will be needing to face more change, a move from Phoenix, which leads to loss once more.  I don’t want to lose the proximity I have with my grandson!  I have dreamt of taking him to the “Splishy-splash” and “Choo-choo”, the splash pad and train at our local park.  I don’t want to lose the “Sam’s Club Dates” I have had with my daughter, Karen.  I don’t want to lose the spontaneous talks in the driveway with our neighbors, Joe and Pam.  I have loved opening our home to our friends from church each Sunday evening.  I don’t want to say goodbye to our beautiful home which God has blessed us with to entertain house guests and housed the Global CHE Network office for the past ten years.

As I repeat “I don’t want” over and over,  I know God has a plan.  It just is hard when you cannot see it yet.

New Beginnings

How do you know God is working?  When you see new beginnings.  I have been working as a nurse these last 20 years.  Because of my chronic breathing problems, I was just granted long term disability.  This was never in my plan, but it has released me to be able to be with Terry and help him with communications.  This is a blessing.

We came to Payson in February because I can breathe better outside of the Valley pollution and pollens.  Terry and I have enjoyed walks by the city lake.  We have formed many acquaintances, even a friendship or two, around this lake in the midst of Covid-19.  God is opening up a new home for us directly across from the lake.  I can see a smaller pond from my living room window with the ducks that our dogs, Mollie and Maisie, love to herd! This is a blessing.

Maneuvering through Change

So, I ask for prayer as we make this transition and a huge downsize.  Remember all those kid’s creations I mentioned?  Clothing, toys and artwork?  They have been across the Pacific and back and they now are about to be discarded!  Videos?  They are ancient history…even DVDs!  Terry and I were able to move frequently with ease as newlyweds, even with babies in tow.  We never knew the challenge of moving with aching backs and respiratory issues!  Gone are the days of youth!

Change, Loss, New Beginnings…very much a part of every person’s life.  I am glad for the security of a loving husband by my side.  I know that the God who led Abraham and the children of Israel in their wanderings can do the same for me!

Care Like Jesus

These are difficult times.  These are also times to reflect and hopefully grow in our faith in God and compassion for each other.

In keeping with our “social distancing”, Terry and I have stayed up in our condo, working at our computers.  Our one indulgence is walking in the nearby park.  It is like a ghost town since the Coronavirus came into focus.  We may pass two or three couples on our two mile walk.  Today, we met a man which reminded me that in these tumultuous days, we still need each other.

It was a cool and overcast morning, one which I love!  The lake was filled with quacking ducks. Our dogs Mollie and Maisie believe it is their duty to herd these ducks into place…in the water!  There were fisherman all keeping their distance from each other.  It was a perfect morning to get a bit of exercise.

As we started out, we saw a solitary man coming toward us, clutching an object in his hands.  He appeared upset and about to cry.  My nursing instincts kicked in.  I thought,  “He looks like someone who might need to be in the psych ward!”  Terry asked, “Did you see that man?” with the caring heart of a pastor.  We continued walking around the lake sharing our thoughts.  I told Terry, “I would not talk to him unless I have hospital security near me.  I don’t see any security around here…just fishermen and ducks!”

We continued on enjoying the cool weather and the new spring leaves coming out on the trees. I started to turn left to take our regular route, but Terry said “Wait—let’s go back this way.  The man is coming down this path”.  We have been married 39 years this year…we are old school and in our marriage vows, I promised to obey…RATS!

Sure enough, the man was coming toward us, clutching the small box to his chest.  He sat down on a bench and as we approached, Terry asked him, “Are you OK?”  Immediately, tears rolled down the man’s face.  He hesitated, but then started his story.

“I lost my home in Paradise, California in the fires.  I relocated here in Payson.  I had to go back to California to settle some business, and while I was gone, my dog, who has been with me through the fire and the move, died suddenly of pancreatic cancer.  I just got her ashes.  She loved to walk around this lake with me, so I am taking her for one last walk”.

How awful I felt for my judgements toward this man who was grieving on that cloudy day.  I immediately repented in my heart and the Lord brought this thought to me…

Each person I meet is carrying a story.  In this time of social distancing, may I not allow my heart to be distant. 

Care like Jesus. 

Valentine’s Part 2… The End of the Story or The Beginning of a 39 Year Adventure!

During that first week at Southwestern College, we had a night to welcome the Freshman Class. As a newby, I was part of a trio.  (Terry usually inserts a bunch of hyperbole here, but I have to say, I did a better job singing than that crooner I had seen in Tucson!)  When the evening was over, the Freshmen lined up and upper classmen were to come and welcome the youngsters to the college.  I vividly recall a young man approaching me.  I could not forget…it was the crooner…and I remembered my prayer!  I thought, “I got to get rid of this guy.  I want to go to the mission field and he wants to be a youth pastor. This is one of the non-negotiables on my list!” He came straight up to me and said, “Hi, my name is Terry Dalrymple.  What do you want to do with your life?”