RSS

Category Archives: Uganda

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

I just woke up to turn some coffee on. Today is another beautiful morning that the Lord has made. I feel very rested. I have been able to have some wonderful time with the Lord each morning and it has been so refreshing.

I will go to a Bible study at 7:30 am with all the workers and will probably spend the rest of the day with Emmanuel.

I am continually asking the Lord for a vision and thus far, he is continuing to lead me in the direction of agriculture with Cargill. The more I experience Africa, the more strategic Cargill seems to be and the more I can see God’s hand in guiding me there.

I was able to spend some time with Emmanuel. He is the head of the agriculture here. It was very informative as he walked me around about forty acres of land that is used for farming. He took me through most of the animal husbandry and through the various crops they grow here for self-sustainable living. He is a wealth of knowledge and passionate about both agriculture and the kingdom of God.

For lunch I ate with Pod 1 house 6. They were more quiet and reserved but they began talking more once we started talking “football”. It was another incredible time to watch them interact. Also, it was such a blessing to hear them pray. They are so grateful for what I would call “so little”. How convicting for me.

Later in the afternoon, I spent some dedicated time with the kids playing several games in the field. I was then able to join some other kids who were in an adjacent field learning about planting crops. They were diggings line rows and I was able to help them wrap up. Lastly, I was able to get some reading in on Pilgrim’s Progress before dinner and it was excellent.

Blessings to you all! Thank you for the prayers on my behalf!

Written by Gabe Llewellyn

Advertisements
 

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

It is a very interesting experience being able to stay in Clark and Joyce’s home. It reminds me often to pray for them. It also serves to give me a picture of what it could like to live overseas long-term. I just enjoyed some lasagna that was in the freezer…Clark told me to make myself at home and it was amazing!

The opportunity here is so great. The kids here are very friendly. Almost every time I see them, I am reminded of the fact that they are orphans. Not that there is something physically telling about them, but rather I believe it is being brought to mind by the Lord. I cannot imagine being raised without parents. These kids have been abandoned and yet God tells us that He is their refuge and strength.

I am so very grateful for the exceptional training I had in Colombia. It is fairly obvious to me now that much of it was in fact survival techniques used in the jungle that is becoming increasingly helpful here. I am also so grateful for the time I was able to spend with ‘Mr. T’ a supported worker. Some of his wisdom is coming back to me and it was clear that he had an intimacy with Christ.

Today has been a very relaxing day. I woke up, had a quiet time on the balcony, and went to church. The missionary named Dave from Canada spoke and did a great job. God really spoke to me in what he was sharing. His message was on how God uses blessings in our lives to test us.

I was able to spend some time playing basketball with the kids. I then came back and read Pilgrim’s Progress on the balcony until dinner time. Finally, I was able to eat dinner with Pod 1 house 1. It was great being with the kids and seeing the incredible influence RG is having on them. They are being taught the Bible and each night sing worship songs and spend time in prayer.

Once last thing I’ll mention before I head to bed is that I am continually reminded of the incredible impact Clark and Joyce have had on RG and these kids, and the house moms. One of the house moms came up to me after my meal and asked about Joyce and let me know that she loves her and has been praying for her recovery. She kept going on about the investment Joyce has had on her and how much she missed her.

Written by Gabe Llewellyn

 

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

Karuma – “Restoration Gateway”

It is raining as hard as I have ever heard. Tonight, as I sit here typing in the kitchen, I am at Restoration Gateway! There are no lights available because we are running on solar power. I arrived in Karuma in the middle of the afternoon. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The kids were out playing “football” and I stood on the sidelines and talked to the group of kids who had gathered around to watch the game. It was very peaceful.

The bus ride that found me heading from Kampala to Karuma was anything but peaceful. The marketplace and bus stop in downtown Kampala was aggressive and made me feel that I was going to be attacked at any moment. “Mzungu”, they yelled as I briskly walked past, trying to find the right bus. Thousands of people packed the streets as person after person began to grab my arm. I felt like I was running the gauntlet or back in my military days experiencing a “shark attack” from the drill sergeants. I had learned several days prior from a local missionary that “Mzugu” was what they called the white person. They would say “I found your bus”, or “I have your ride” and begin to pull me in their direction. I had a large trunk that I was bringing in addition to my gear which forced me to move in slow motion as the attacks came. I was relieved to finally make it to the correct bus and seat but it was just the beginning of an uncomfortable ride. I sat next to a man that seemed very suspect. He asked me all types of personal questions regarding my laptop, two cell phones and money. I became very creative with my answers so as not to lie but neither to give him very much information. (While I was told to be careful of thievery, I would find out later that I was quite lucky to pass through without being robbed). As soon as I was off the bus, alone and in the village I was prepared for the worst, but to my grateful surprise, the people of Karuma were not aggressive and I was soon picked up by a missionary who was kind and refreshingly soft spoken.

Tonight, I was able to hear the story of how God called a missionary couple that was stateside, who had already served for over ten years overseas in Nigeria, to begin what they said was “the work for which  God had prepared them for all these years”. There they were in their fifties, thinking that they would retire and share Christ with the retired and wealthy in Belize when God was calling them into the bush of Uganda. It was an incredible story as God showed up time and again during their desperate need.

I am staying in the home of the missionary couple who I was supposed to meet here. Please pray for their continued healing as they recover together from the illness. From the balcony of this home there is a beautiful view of the Nile River. Tomorrow morning I will be thrilled to be out there enjoying a cup of (instant) coffee and the sunrise, as I praise God for another day. My plan is to be here the next several days to shadow several of the partners here and learn about agriculture sustainability in third world settings.

Written by Gabe Llewellyn

 

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

Kampala – “Village”

We visited a family this morning in the Nakigarara. It was my first experience truly “off-roading” in Africa. We were in a ’94 Toyota Land Cruiser that did surprisingly well but still left me outside pushing on occasion. We visited a Mom who had ten kids. The Mom and the oldest three were working in the tea fields while the youngest seven were at home. I took several pictures that I will include here later, but the picture I have in my mind is indelibly marked there. The oldest of the group there was eleven. Most of the smaller kinds sat outside the dilapidated hut in goat fecal matter. One child in particular was covered in flies. I waved them away but they came right back. The children were literally starving and sat there like zombies not even phased by the flies and bugs that were crawling all over them. The light of their eyes was gone. There was no emotion. While their physical heart was still beating, they appeared very lifeless. All day my heart ached for them as my mind continued to go back to that picture of them sitting there. Matt and Julie, the couple I was staying with in Kampala will be leading a team there from Arkansas to rebuild the home and bring some level of sanitation to the living area. Please pray as they are in the process of raising the funds needed and pray that the team would be able to successfully get the supplies necessary out to the remote village. They will be working there from May 26th to May 28th.

Later in the day, I was also able to meet with a man named Livingston. He is a business entrepreneur who grew up in the slums of Kampala. He is a fantastic connection and gave me a lot of helpful advice regarding opportunities and needs in the country.

I was asked to prepare a message for a conference tonight for a group of 30 men. I spent several hours reading, meditating and studying the passage they gave me in Revelation. I finally felt prepared. When Matt and I arrived with another pastor, we were greeted by a half-packed church that was mostly women and children. As I got up to speak, I had not even reached my fourth sentence before the oldest kids stood up and began walking out. My pride was initially hurt, but in the very next moment, the Lord gave me a word and an analogy to share that allowed me to connect with the young audience. He is so faithful. I was completely lost up there, expecting to be talking to adults and in His mercy, he gave me something that was beautiful that allowed me to share Jesus with them on a level they would understand.

Written by Gabe Llewellyn

 

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

Kampala – “Adoption”

A young missionary couple that I have stayed with are in the process of adopting a little girl from Uganda. They have lived here for nearly a year for the sole purpose of completing this adoption. They were initially missionaries among the Tibetan people in China while trying to adopt. After being turned down several times, they finally came across an option that would allow them to potentially adopt if they served as a guardian for several years in-country in Uganda. Thus they picked up and move here in an effort to complete the process. Their story reminds me of how Christ sacrificed to adopt us into His family. The purchase of our adoption was not an easy or effortless process. He too was required to “move” from heaven to earth and live among us in an effort to purchase our freedom from sin with His life. As I watch the interactions of this precious, soon-to-be official family, it is fascinating to see this little Ugandan’s identity changing from one of an orphan, to a much loved and doted on daughter. 1 Peter 2 speaks to this identity change: “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” This precious child, who back in March knew no such love, is experiencing what it means to be a family with all the rights and freedoms of an American and this will be her new identity. Just as with earthly adoption, spiritual adoption’s often biggest struggle is embracing the new identity we have in Christ. We cannot fathom why someone would risk so much to bring us into their family. This is where is Christian life is lived…in a state of disbelief and therefore in need of continual reminder that “His kindly rule has replaced sin’s tyranny” (Valley of Vision).  May we never lose this wonder!

Written by Gabe Llewellyn

 

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

Kampala Uganda – “Looking to Jesus”, Hebrews 12:2

I am going through a very pivotal time as I seek to understand what it means to follow the Lord. One of the things that the Lord has been speaking to me is from John 21. Jesus just restored Peter after Peter denied him and then Jesus tells him to “follow me”. Peter then turns and says, “what about John?” and Jesus rebukes him by saying “…what is it to you? You follow me!” This is hard for me because most of my life I have spent comparing to others. I simply need to be faithful to the call that He has put on my heart and not worry about what others are doing.

I originally titled this entry “A chase for power” because for several days I was confused and lost in the sea of looking to men for hope. One of the tough things to swallow is that I have had this aggrandized view of missionaries. I viewed them like the special forces of the military…the super spiritual guys of the church. The issue is that while it looks real sexy from the outside, they have many of the same struggles as other Christians.  Apart from me keeping my eyes on Christ, I become disenfranchised with the men and women I have set on a pedestal as I see remaining evidences of their carnal man. Sadly, this struggle encompasses most of the Christian life. Whether as a church member, pastor, missionary or some other variation, it seems that many go astray and buy into the lies of popularity and power. The part for me is that my focus need not be on them. In fact, just as the Lord told Peter, what is it to me if the Lord does or does not do something through their lives?…I must follow Him! So while it does seem easy to become discouraged with the Christian life when it appears that some people are involved to the extent that they are in power, Christ has called me to follow Him. I have been asking the Lord to help me look past the people and just see Him.

Written by Gabe Llewellyn

 

Uganda – Gabe Llewellyn, May 2016

Greetings from Uganda!

It has been such a joy to hear from so many of you. Thank you for all the emails!

I finally arrived in Uganda late last night. It was a long trip with three layovers that left me exhausted. A local missionary in Kampala picked me up from the airport last night and I spent today shadowing him as he met with various individuals.

God is definitely using this trip to bring clarity to my vision of serving overseas. At the same time, some of the conversations have raised several questions with which I am now wrestling.

There will more updates in the future, especially once I have had a chance to process through what I am hearing and learning.

Blessings to you all!

Written by Gabe Llewellyn