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!

A Prayer, A Chirp and A Question

Terry and I both grew up on opposite sides of Tucson, Arizona and led very different lives.  As a child, Terry grew up, the oldest son of three boys in a home which taught him about Jesus since birth.  His father was a pastor.  He went to church each Sunday and grew up surrounded by loving Christian people who are his friends to this day.  I grew up, the youngest of five children and by the time I was a little girl, our family stopped going to the Salvation Army.  When my siblings left home, my parents had turned to drinking more and more. Most nights, we had people around our kitchen table, drinking. My father made good money as a construction worker, but it was used for alcohol.  I spent my time outside and often hanging out at our neighbor’s house.  On Sunday mornings, I would see a church bus going past our house and silently wished I could go see what church was like.

When I was just 12, my life changed dramatically and I was sent to live with my sister in California.  I cringe to think about where I would be if I had not made that move.  I was entering Jr. High and at that time and really was on my own.

During that first year in California, my life did a 180 degree turn!  I suddenly was going to church, had responsibilities and accountability!  But as I wrote earlier, this was a year of great positive change for me as Jesus entered my life in April of 1974.  When Christ came into this young girl’s life, He changed me in so many ways.  Rather than look for affection in any guy who might pass by, I learned to be purposeful in looking for someone to be my lifelong partner.  I had read of the importance of making a list of what you would want in a husband. Those things which are non-negotioables should be understood BEFORE you ever meet the person.  That way you can blow away all the chaff and be ready for Mr. Right, right?

Well, I made my list secretly and publicly declared myself a member of the “Old Maids ’til the Rapture Club”.

In the summer of 1975, I returned to Tucson to visit my parents who had since divorced.  During my visit, I wanted to go to church, so my dad took me to the only church we were aware of besides Salvation Army–Bethel Baptist.  Reverend McCorkle, my brother-in-law’s grandfather, planted that church while holding down a railroad job. At this time, Pastor Bob Dalrymple and his family had been at that church for nearly ten years.  During the morning service, a high school girl reached out to me and invited me to the Youth “Sing and Sip” that night. Suprisingly, I accepted her invitation.

I remember, that night, seeing a young man leading the singing. He was ridiculously goofy.  Sang the “Noah/Floody-Floody” song with his pants rolled up.  Crowed like Peter Pan singing “Chirp Your Cares Away”!  Neither of these skills were on “Jeannie’s List for a Life Partner”.  However, what I saw was the love that this young man had for Jesus, his leadership abilities and his desire to serve the Lord.  Sitting in a hard wooden seat that summer night, I prayed, “Lord, if I am ever to marry, I want to marry that guy.”  I asked the friend who invited me about the goofy song leader.  I learned he wanted to be a youth pastor and he had a girl friend.

I returned to California, never approaching that young man and went on with my life.

During my later high school years, God continued to do His work in my life.  I went through a Navigator’s Discipleship series and spent a summer in Argentina assisting our missionaries with various projects.  By the end of that summer, I decided I wanted to serve the Lord in missions.  I am certain I could have had a full scholarship to Colorado State University, but I wanted to be closer to my parents, so chose to attend Southwestern College in Phoenix, Arizona.

During that first week, 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?”

And I guess you will need to find out what the answer was!  Did I give up my non-negotiables?  Was this the beginning to the answer of my prayer? You may figure out the answers as we are going on 39 years this July? Last question.  Should I dare let Terry finish the story?

HA!

Getting to know Terry and Jeannie

An interview with Terry and Jeannie

Terry and I were appointed to go the Philippines in July of 1984. (This number looks like it belongs in a history book!) Recently, Bethel Baptist Church in Tucson, Arizona sent a series of questions.  Although the questions were pretty basic, it was fun to think back and relive where we have been, where we are now, and look to the future.  Hope you learn more about us!

Why did you want to become a missionary?

Jeannie: This is a story which takes time!  When I was 12 years old, I moved to California where I lived with Gary and Susie Williams for six years.  Susie is my sister and I can look back now and say I am grateful for their love and care.  When I first moved into their home…I was not so grateful!!!  My life had turned upside down.  During the first 12 years of my life, I never had to go to church.  Suddenly, I was expected to attend church, do chores and even babysit!!!  I was the youngest in my family and not used to this type of treatment!

However, God was working and by April of the following year, I had received Jesus as my Savior.  I have many pleasant memories during that time.  One which stands out was that first Christmas at Gary and Susie’s, I am sure they did not have 2 cents to rub together.  Grandma Williams (Loretta) had come to visit us.  She insisted that I call her “Grandma” which was very special.  I never had grandparents.  She also gave me a Christmas gift, a “tie-dye” purse, which I treasured.  These memories and family loving on me during a difficult time in life, caused my faith to grow as they were Godly people themselves.

After I had received the Lord, I loved when missionaries would come to church.  I would read their letters and look at their pictures in the church hallway.  I had always enjoyed and had a propensity toward foreign languages, having studied French and Spanish.  In my Junior year of High School, our youth pastor arranged for several students to go abroad for the summer to assist the missionaries.  I went to Argentina and that solidified my desire to go into missionary service.  I chose to go to Southwestern College in Phoenix to be an education major as I wanted to teach missionary children.  It was there I met Terry “officially” (which is a whole different story).  Our first date, we discussed missions and eventually went to the Philippines in 1986 with our two small children.  You supported us from the start!

Terry:   My story begins at Bethel where I grew up surrounded and loved by Christian people that taught in the ways of our Savior. After a short period of rebellion as an early teen, I yielded my heart to Christ on April 20, 1974 and was baptized. From that moment, I sensed that Jesus was calling me to follow Him, although I had no idea what that would mean. During my years at Bethel, I taught a Good News club with Child Evangelism Fellowship, started a Bible club and daily prayer meeting on my high school campus, served on a committee to help facilitate Sing-n-Sips in Tucson, picked up young people in the church van and brought them to church (days were different then), spent my summers serving at a Bible Camp in Show Low, and served as the State Youth President for the Arizona Baptist Convention. By the end of my high school years, I was convinced God was calling me into ministry.

The next transformative moment in my life came at the CBA National meetings in Colorado in 1977. A pastor from Brazil named Brother Fanini, pleaded for missionaries to come and help in the harvest. His invitation was simple – “If God were to call you as a missionary, would you go?” That seemed to me to be a call I could not resist. I went forward to say to God “Anywhere? Anytime! Anything!” My mother came up behind me, took Brother Fanini by the hand, and with tears streaming down her face said, “If God wants my son on the mission field I will go.”

God provided a scholarship to Southwestern College where I was discipled by the Missions Professor, Rev. Steve Sonmor, and sent to the Philippines where he had served before being forced to leave the field due to illness. I came back from the Philippines convinced that God was calling me to be a missionary.

I met Jeannie in 1979, married her in 1981, and arrived on the mission field in 1986 as church planting missionaries. Today I serve as founder and coordinator of the Global CHE Network with ministries in 134 countries mobilizing and equipping the church for transformational Gospel movements in a million villages. www.chenetwork.org<