Today marks our year anniversary for being in Uganda. Below you will find what Cody wrote for our newsletter.
Last year on October 6, we boarded the airplane in Denver, Colorado with 14 suitcases, 5 kids (with number 6 on the way), excitement, and fear. We were following God’s command for us to move our lives to Karamoja, Uganda. Our hearts were burdened for the desperate state of the Karimojong people. We knew there were risks when moving here. Those risks, though, could not keep us from obeying the voice of God. In Acts 21, the apostle Paul is warned against going to Jerusalem, but his response was a great encouragement to us. He said “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. . . Let the will of the Lord be done.” We did not know exactly what awaited, but knew that God would be glorified in our obedience to follow Him. Our journey differed from that of Paul because we did not come to Karamoja with the anticipation of death or imprisonment. We came here full of hope that God would speak bring the Karimojong to Himself. That they would become disciples of Jesus Christ and follow Him as he asks people to do in his word.
What We Have Learned
In our fist year, we have experienced much that has brought us great joy and also great pain. Our home sits in a community engulfed in a kind of poverty that is not present in the western world. People starve to death here. Babies are thrown aside by loving parents because they have no way to care for the child. In the midst of this all, the name of God must be glorified. We must treat Him as holy while living here.
Our family, along with the Williams’ and Misty have read through the Torah in its entirety this year in house church. It has definitely been ordained by God for us. We started doing this because it was what Jesus did and all of Israel would do. It was in the Torah that people came to know God’s character, and in turn, Him. In the Torah, Moses struggles with a difficult people whom are sought after by God, but choose to prostitute themselves to other gods. Through Isaiah God says, “I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices.” We have seen how the human heart is rebellious, but God is showing us how he continues to pursue them. For us, righteousness is found in our obedience to God. This obedience is made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ, which reconciles a sinful world to a perfect God. But it is the obedience that God desires. Even Moses is found to be disobedient at times, but in humility returns to show the holiness of God through his life. Showing us this, God makes it clear that He is good and holy even if we don’t completely understand. He is God, after all.
Through all we have experienced, the central theme here is that these people need to be loved. We have loved many babies and even brought them into our home to care for them. We have loved the alcoholic who was destroying their life. We have loved the terminally ill who was left in town to die. We have fed the hungry, given water to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger into our home, clothed the naked, visited those who are sick and in prison and we have loved them all. We have loved the unlovely. The thing they all need is God. We have loved an lost, loved and saved life, but are finally inadequate to make any lasting difference. Only God can save the soul and give them hope. We have therefore learned that our good deeds apart from obedience to God are as filthy rags. They will all pass away, but what God does will remain. MAY GOD REIGN IN KARAMOJA!