Saturday, April 4, 2015

Home Safe and Sound

Hi Everyone,

Firstly, an apology for the lack of posts in recent weeks. We had major problems with Internet in the Last week in Uganda and less than ideal in Zambia. I simply was not able to post anything. We will blame jet lag since I arrived home.

In short, we are both home safe and sound. We both left Uganda with heavy chest infections that have  taken a while to recover. Glenda is back on top. I am lagging behind a bit but hopefully it will clear in a week or so.

Our time in Uganda finished well. The week in Zambia was absolutely wonderful and found things there had surpassed our expectations. Much more in our newsletter.

We are currently working on the newsletter and we hope to begin sending it out by the end of next week.

Many blessings

Gavin and Glenda

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The week that was


The week between SALT Schools is always a good time for a variety of different activities and for a slightly slower pace of life. For a start, the alarm does not go at 6.00am so we have time for everything before being at the school venue on time. Secondly the day to day schedule varies a bit as well. So let me give you a look into our past week.

Sunday we went to the Bhweju King of Kings church high in the mountains to the north west of Mbarara. It was a good journey on recently graded roads until we came across roadwork to install a new culvert. With no way around the work, we were diverted along a 'goat track' that took us high into the mountains on tracks that only a serious 4x4 could navigate. Praise God for our Toyota Prado. But the somewhat horrendous trip was very worthwhile when we met with the dear people at Bhweju. Pastor Hannington and his wife Loveness are both SALT graduates and are doing a fine job in this remote location. We finally arrived back at our home at 6.00pm. It was quite a bone jarring day.

After a day off on Monday, Pastor Daniel, Pastor Nathan and myself left the house at 5.30am and headed deep west to visit some of our graduates who live and minister in the remote Katerera region. As it is in the same area as the Queen Elizabeth II National Park, we took the opportunity to take Daniel to see the elephants, hippos, buffalo and assorted antelope and monkeys. Although we only had a couple of hours, it was a real treat for him.

Then we returned to Katerera to see our pastors. They minister in a region that is heavily impacted by witchcraft and the accompanying evils. But these faithful men and women have planted lighthouses in the midst of darkness. The people of Pastor Elias' church had heard we were coming and had gathered for an impromptu service with the 'visitors'. After a huge lunch we had more time with the pastors of the region. They would love us to come and conduct a SALT School for their leaders, something we may consider in the future. Once more it was after 6.00pm before we returned home.

The past three days have been around our home base. On Wednesday, Daniel left to go and join a Romanian colleague who ministers in Kabale, about 3 hours south west of here. Meanwhile, back at our base, I have been working on the upgrades to teaching materials and meeting with SALT School headmaster, Pastor Nathan, to make sure everything is ready for our new school that commences on Monday. The major frustration this week is that we have had very little electricity so everything in our freezer defrosted and has had to be cooked. Things seem to be back to normal now. That is life in Africa.

Being Saturday today, Glenda and I have been to the markets and supermarkets to lay in supplies for the week ahead. Tomorrow we are off to Ibanda to visit the King of Kings church and hopefully give some encouragement.

Thanks for your prayers and interest. This is such a worthwhile work and it is hard to quantify the encouragement that our visits to the rural areas brings to the people. It is clear to see the difference that our SALT Graduates are making in the churches they serve. God is surely with us in this time.

Gavin and Glenda

PS. There will be some photos on our Facebook page for LttN Ministries Inc.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Successful SALT School

This past week has been a busy but very fulfilling time as 57 SALT School students returned for their fourth term of studies. This group of students have been a particularly engaged group and we rejoice in the level of dedication they have shown toward their studies. Having completed their fourth term, they have just two terms remaining until graduation. This will potentially be the largest group we have ever graduated.

This week our Ugandan headmaster, Pastor Namara Nathan taught Leaders of the Bible,  Pastor Nicola Tayebwa taught on Small Group Ministry and Gavin taught two subjects: The Person and Work of Jesus Christ and Prophetic Ministry. It was a real thrill to watch the Lord doing some deep work in lives as the students interacted with the Truth of the Word of God.

For our Romanian colleague, Pastor Daniel Hadarean, this has been a particularly wonderful week. Being his first time in Africa, Danny has been wide eyed with astonishment at the world in which we minister. He revelled in passion of Sunday's four hour service at King of Kings Church. He has enjoyed being a part of the SALT School and interacting with the students. He has looked for every possible way in which he can lend a hand in practical things. It has been a blessing to have him with us.

Sunday will see us heading off into the mountains to visit the King of Kings Church at Bweju. This fellowship is located on the very top of a steep mountain  range and serves the people who live in the valleys around. It will be Danny's first visit to a village church and he is sure to enjoy the hospitality and the spectacular location.

The week ahead will see us out an about once more. On Tuesday we will visit graduates who live in particularly demonic areas of Katerera. Later in the week Danny will head south to Kabale to spend some time with a Romanian colleague who ministers in that area. Meanwhile Gavin will work with Pastor Nathan to ensure that everything is ready for the SALT School that commences on Monday week.

We value your prayers for our strength and the impact of our ministry in the region. We rejoice in what has been accomplished in the lives of the men and women currently enrolled in the SALT School program. We pray for those who are planning to attend the new school scheduled to commence on Monday 2nd March.

Thanks for standing with us.

Gavin and Glenda

Monday, February 16, 2015

Back in Uganda

Just where has the past 10 days gone? When I last wrote we were at the Sydney International Airport waiting to board our flight for South Africa. Now we are in Uganda and already into the first SALT School. I have finally found a few moments to give you and update.

Our journey to South Africa was uneventful and we were met by colleagues who helped us get our many bags safely to their home. Saturday afternoon we returned to the airport and the short 2 hour flight to Cape Town. Even with an satellite navigator, finding one's way around a totally unfamiliar city can be a stressful experience. It was almost dark when we arrived at our accommodation in the southern Cape Town suburb of Muizemberg on magnificent False Bay.

We had come to spend time with our spiritual son and daughter, Sanal and Minal Thomas who are completing school of counselling with YWAM. It was good to have time with them to relax and talk through the things they have been experiencing during this season. I was able to minister to their team over two days, challenging them about the Disciplined Life in the Secret Place. We did manage to look around Cape Town just a little although Table Mountain was covered in cloud on our one opportunity to attempt a visit.

From Cape Town we returned overnight to Johannesburg before flying up to Uganda on Thursday afternoon. How wonderful to see Nicola Tayebwa waiting for us at the airport terminal doors. There was so much to catch up on after almost a year since we were last here. Back to our regular hotel on the shores of magnificent Lake Victoria and a night's sleep.

Friday morning began bright and early as I had to be at the airport by 4.30am to meet Pastor Danny Hadarean from Romania who has joined us for the next three weeks. After breakfast we began our journey to Mbarara arriving just after 2.00pm. Praise God, someone had been into our apartment and cleaned away much of the dust and dirt of the many months since we have been here.

Since arriving in Mbarara and returning to King of Kings Church we have been overwhelmed by the love of the people. These dear people prayed and fasted for us during the life and death crisis of mid last year. So of course they were overjoyed to see us both safe and well. I preached at the church at the two morning services and shared some of the things God has done in our lives. For Pastor Danny, the four hour service was a revelation of delirious praise and worship.  The church in Romania is very different from the vibrant church here.

And today the SALT School began. This is the fourth term for this current group of students. About 55 students have returned for this next phase of their studies. They are an enthusiastic group who are quick to grasp the principles we are seeking to teach them.

Never a dull moment. We are both well and seem to have weathered the travels quite well. We are settled into our home and reunited with our Ugandan brothers and sisters. Danny is relishing the opportunity to experience missionary life in Africa -- quite different from his normal assignment in the middle east.

We praise the Lord for His faithfulness in the journey. All of our baggage, books and resources arrived safely at their destination. Nothing was damaged or lost. We are settled into our home, the cupboards stocked and life is beginning to take on a familiar pattern. We even have access to our favourite Ugandan coffee. It's so good to be back in Africa.

Thanks for upholding us in your prayers. We value each precious intercessory appeal that rises before the Throne of Grace.

Gavin and Glenda 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Getting Ready to depart

Finally the time has come for Glenda and me to make our final preparations for departure to Africa. It's been almost a year since we last set foot on African soil and a lot has happened in that time. But we will not review those details of which you are all too well aware.

Getting ready for departure is always a challenging time and you can be sure that lots of things will go wrong along the way. Here's a sample:

  • The photocopier/printer decided that it did not want to talk to my computers which meant that every document I wanted to print had to be saved to a USB drive and loaded to another computer for printing. It has taken weeks to sort that little glitch out.
  • Our internet has been spending more time off line than online and we use the internet all the time. The people from Telstra will not be here to fix it until after we are gone.
  • The book binder which we use to bind all the books we print for transport to Africa suddenly started making some most unhealthy clunking noises and not working properly just when we needed to be able to print some additional stock for Africa.
  • Just 10 days out from departure, our house sitter notified us that due to a severe downturn in her health, she would not be able to come.  
But despite these setbacks, we have watched God at work in so many ways. For almost every challenge there has been a matching blessing.

  • Despite the computer/printer communication problems, we have been able to get all the necessary printing done, packed and ready to take to Africa.
  • Because of our tickets to South Africa, we have been given extra baggage allowances. All in all we have 104 kilograms of checked luggage plus our hand luggage. What a blessing. So we have 20 kgs of books for each of Uganda and Zambia and another 18kgs of books and materials that will be spread across all three countries we are visiting. That is apart from the 23kgs each in our personal luggage. God is good.
  • Each time I thought of phoning the agent to organise the repair of the book binder, God said to me, 'Speak to Mark'. Mark is a great guy from our home church who gets a real thrill out of sorting through difficult challenges and fixing them. And he did. The binder now works almost as good as new and it did not cost a thing. Thanks Mark. You probably saved us around $1000.
  • Despite the short notice, Glenda decided to list our need for house sitters on the Christian House Sitters website based in the UK. The next morning we had a contact from a family in Finland who offered to come. So as I write, they are on the last leg of their journey from Helsinki to Sydney where I will meet them on Wednesday morning. Amazing.
By mid last week, I could feel the stress and anxiety beginning to rise up inside me. After the events of last year, I seem to be a bit more vulnerable to such things. Early on Thursday morning I woke sensing the presence of Jesus. I felt as though He was standing beside my bed and speaking peace into my spirit. It was the most wonderful encounter that I can remember in quite a while. Since that time the stress and anxiety has completely gone and I have been peacefully coasting through the final stages of packing and preparation. It has been wonderful.

There are many other blessings I could share with you but that sample should give you an idea of what is happening. We are both looking forward to arriving back in Africa and the ministry God has for us over the next 8 weeks. We have had a gentle run down toward departure over these past few days. It is still two days until we leave home and our bags are all packed and ready to go. We have the next two days to show our Finish friends a little of Australia.

The intercessory notes were sent out last week so if you have not seen them, just drop us a line and we will send you out a copy.

Next update should be from South Africa.

Gavin and Glenda