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November 2013 HOF NL

November 2013 HOF NL

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Published by John Gross
A mission team of six—John Gross (MO), Alexandra Bennett (NY), Chris Sawyer (IA), Kathy Ruch (WV), Loveworth Wa-danya and Jimmy Bodo (Uganda)—went to Adilang, Uganda the end of July to strengthen relationships with the spiritual leaders and community families, and take seeds for gardens and wa-ter filters to help lessen disease.
A mission team of six—John Gross (MO), Alexandra Bennett (NY), Chris Sawyer (IA), Kathy Ruch (WV), Loveworth Wa-danya and Jimmy Bodo (Uganda)—went to Adilang, Uganda the end of July to strengthen relationships with the spiritual leaders and community families, and take seeds for gardens and wa-ter filters to help lessen disease.

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Published by: John Gross on Nov 28, 2013
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12/19/2013

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 Volume 13 Issue 3 101 N. Zeysing · P O Box 228 · Alma, MO 64001
·
 660.674.2222
·
 www.houseoffriends.org
 By Kathy Ruch,  Missionary
Going to Africa the sum-mer of 2013 was the first time I had ever been out of the coun-try. I had many conversations with John Gross about Africa and what to expect because I wanted to be prepared. I wasn't arrogant enough to think I was prepared for everything, but I thought that I was ready for the things that would cause me anxiety. I was wrong. Though some of the things I thought would be hard, such as squatty potties, were; it was an internal struggle I was not as ready for as I thought. Actually being in a place that reeks with poverty, injustice, and hopelessness is far harder than knowing about it and hearing from others who have gone. There are now faces and hands that go with the extreme needs
 — 
smiles of children and adults who by our western standards have nothing to smile about. I was treated with a respect I did not deserve by those who should have been the ones receiving respect. These peo- ple praised God in the midst of hard circum-stances
 — 
in buildings without doors, carpet, air conditioning and so much more that would cause most of us to leave a church. I went with a desire and purpose to make a dif-ference. I left feeling I made no difference save one. His name is Joshua. He is an amazing young man who has endured great hardship. While I was in Africa he was my buddy. We sat many times next to each other not even talking but just being together. I watched him and listened to him and saw the man God created him to be. If I could have, I would have brought him back with me. The reason I thought I was going to Africa doesn't exist, but the reason God sent me to Africa touched my heart in way that I will never  be the same.
Kathy Ruch and Joshua
A mission team of six
 — 
John Gross (MO), Alexandra Bennett (NY), Chris Sawyer (IA), Kathy Ruch (WV), Loveworth Wa-danya and Jimmy Bodo (Uganda)
 — 
went to Adilang, Uganda the end of July to strengthen relationships with the spiritual leaders and community families, and take seeds for gardens and wa-ter filters to help lessen disease. John Gross recalls the response from the families as Loveworth took muddy water out of a ditch and he put it in a bucket which had a water filter unit attached to it. The water came out clean and pure into the glass he was holding. Chris and John drank it and the people were as-tonished. It opened a pathway to share the Gospel. Several water filters were left for the village. These filters will filter one mil-lion gallons of water before it needs replacement. Prior to the trip, funds donated to House of Friends for the Adilang Outreach were sent ahead for the building of a store-house/distribution center for widows and orphans in which food/grain supplies could be stored for future use and to sell. We also had a couple of acres plowed with oxen and seed is now in the ground. In addition, grain was purchased for the community and
 placed in the storehouse. John expounded, “What a trip! This
was the beginning of a dream that Josh and Alyssa Hulme of Ce-
dar Rapids, Iowa have for the area.” They were not able to be a
 part of the team this year. Alex Bennett has made it possible for you to experience the trip through her writing.
 By Alexandra Bennett
A twelve-hour drive from Entebbe, the village of Adilang is situ-ated in the northern part of Uganda. It is a community recovering from the not-so-
distant warfare of rebels and the government’s
military activity. The team  piles out of the van, knees wob- bly from the trip. The tar-mac road (
continued on page 2)
Church in  Adilang
 
asts only so long, and then it’s all bumps for the remaining
drive. Our host, Pastor Peter, leads us to the church. There are already members lining up to greet us. They wrap their arms around our necks and guide us toward the hut. The walls are made from mud, the floor is dirt, and the roof is thatched grass. This is the church of Adilang. It looks like the homes
of most villagers except that it’s about four times as long and
two times as wide. Ducking beneath the doorway, the inside of the church is  barely visible. The only natural light slips in from a few win-
dow holes. It takes a couple of minutes for everyone’s eyes to
adjust. There are long benches made from wooden planks in two sections and a variety of stringed instruments near the front. When the musicians pluck the strings in succession, the notes sound like moving wind chimes. We take our seats around the church. There is a quiet humming throughout. We are thankful to have reached the destination, and the church members are smiling with clear sincerity. Pastor Peter gives his greetings, and the worship commences.
 I will never, never go back to the old way any-more. My Master, when You come back, You will remember me. O Lord, my God, how wonderful is Your name.
The voices are gentle and contemplative. We join in the singing, listening to the words and seeing for the first time the  people whose hometown has been ravaged by decades of
conflict. Up until a few years ago, Joseph Kony’s rebel army
occupied the surrounding bush, oftentimes abducting villag-ers, especially school children, for rebel purposes. At the same time, Adilang was a U.N. camp, serving as an inlet for tens of thousands of displaced Ugandan citizens and Suda-nese refugees. As the singing concludes, Pastor Peter stands to address the group. His presence is quiet yet assured. The  people watch his movements and lean in when he begins to speak. He motions past the right side of the building, talking of the recent storehouse that has been constructed. Designed for the local churches, the storehouse will soon be a reposi-tory for surplus crops and supplies. The goal is for the church of Adilang to sell crops for a higher price during strategic market times and to thus create resources of wealth.
“We built this storehouse in three weeks,” Pastor Peter recalls. “It has been a great advertisement for the church,
showing the village and local officials that Christians can  build and participate together. Born again Christians are not
 just frustrated people who struggle in life.
 Members of the congregation nod their heads. Some are holding onto babies, others clutch Bibles that have been taped and re-taped at the seams. It is the month of July, the most difficult time of the year for the agricultural community. There is little rain, and the crops remain stunted beneath the
harsh sunlight. Pastor Peter explains that everyone’s pantry is
empty and has been for a while.
“I know that this storehouse is supernatural,” he continues. “I spent more money and time on my own family’s house, and it’s still not finished. But here we are with a budget, and
the building is almost done. The Lord must be breathing on
this place.” The nods continue around the room. There is a
sense of anticipation as listeners imagine the opening of the storehouse and the possibilities for the church. Pastor Peter  puts his hands to his sides and turns to face his cousin, Jimmy Bodo. The two have recently been reac-quainted after a long separation. Peter extends his hand to Jimmy, wel-
coming him to the front. Jimmy rises, embracing Peter’s
shoulder and facing the people. Jimmy was born in Adilang and spoke the Acholi dialect as a child. He was in the village in 1985 to bury his father and a few times afterwards. Due to military and familial conflict, though, he relocated with his mother and siblings to Entebbe and has remained there through his adulthood. Jimmy acknowledges this homecom-
ing and his family members in the church. “East, west, home is best. I have always been longing to return home,” he says.
Looking out at his church and extended family members,
he poses a question. “The map of the world and of Africa is
very big. How does a person locate the village of Adilang
out of all places?” The space is quiet except for the wind filtering in through the window slots. “No one can say for sure,” says Jimmy, “but to see this storehouse, it’s clear that
the church is growing. This should show us that God is very
interested in this place.”
 The shared conversation continues. Side by side, Jimmy
and Peter acknowledge the storehouse’s nearing completion
and how the church members sacrificed their own farming time to share in the building responsibilities. Missionary
Loveworth Wabudi offers his agreement. “Adilang has suf-
fered through a lot of wars and turmoil. These things are to
give hope. We as a community can still survive.”
 
A chorus of amen’s echo throughout the hut. Several
church members clap in agreement. It has been a long time since the region experienced peace or had something good to
look forward to. “When everyone will be crying for food,” Loveworth notes, “You will have food. When others are fal-
ling sick, you will have clean water. Adilang will be a re-source center that will provide help to people and send the
Gospel out to the nations.”
 With a nearly complete storehouse, water filters, and drought resistant seeds, the season ahead is bright for the Adilang church. Pastor Peter and the local ministers affirm
the people’s devotion to the Lord and to each other. The
congregation offers up its worship once more before leaving the church. The members join voices, walking to the fields
singing, “O Lord, my God, how wonderful is Your name.”
 
Pastor Peter and Jimmy Bodo (Left) Children of Adilang 
(Right) Having fun with the children..
News From the House ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
 Page 2
 
News From the House ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
 Page 3
 By Elizabeth Zacharias
My husband, Dan (HOF Board Member), and I were able to make our first mission trip together to Abba house in Entebbe, Uganda the end of August into the beginning of September. Our primary mission was to teach the children how to meditate on scriptures and how to keep a prayer jour-nal. We did this for three days, dividing the children into  basically two groups according to their ages. This worked out real well as most of the young ones take a siesta after lunch. The older ones enjoyed writing in their journals, while the younger ones drew pictures about the scriptures. The scriptures had strong images which greatly lent to this ap- proach. We used the first few verses of Psalm 23, several verses from John 15 and the verses from John 4 where Jesus talks about the water which He offered to the woman at the well. We brought with us composition notebooks and colored  pencils for all of the children so that they could each have their own materials to work with. They loved them! While we were there, Barb Decker organized a birthday  party for the August and September birth-days. The kids had a  birthday feast of sau-
sages, “Irish” chips
(French fries) and fresh fruit, followed by a trip to a local beach for swimming and ice cream floats. This was greatly appreciated as
the children’s diet con-
sists mostly of beans and posho (a steamed corn flour mixture). We also distributed  bubbles and pinwheels to each child for the birthday celebration. We stayed at the mission compound
in an extra room at the boy’s house. So
we experienced some of the lifestyle that the children do every day with no running water. We ate most of the same things that the kids did too, al-though, the cook would often make us rice or spaghetti with the beans. Most of all, I loved the evenings, even though it would get dark a little early for our summer (between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.). Evening meant that it was time for the chil-
dren’s devotions which Barb led. She read to the children about the dream that Gideon heard in the Midianite’s camp
when he snuck in before his army of a few hundred won the  battle. One of the Midianites told another that he had had a dream. The other Midianite quickly interpreted the dream as meaning the Israelites were going to win. This greatly in-
creased Gideon’s faith and he returned to his camp, confident
of what God had called them to do. The kids listened to the story and answered the questions eagerly. Then to my delight, they sang
 — 
talk about a heavenly choir! The voices of African children, together in harmony (with no training), is amazing! I was also struck by how much the children loved having us with them. They would want to hold my hand and braid my hair. Life is not as easy for these children as it is for our chil-dren. But they are grateful for every little thing they have. I was really humbled when one of the older girls gave me a gift in a letter which she sent home with us. They also loved to hear about our two daughters, Moriah and Ra-chel. They wanted to see their pictures and told us that they would pray that they would come to Uganda with us.
Liz and several girls preparing for the party. Derek, the newest addi-tion to Abba House, blowing bubbles. Dan and girls having fun.
During the Kansas City Christian Fellowship mission trip in July, team member, Christina Machado, used her painting talents
to paint a mural on a wall in the girl’s house. Christina shares, “Before the mission, I studied African design in order to have
some sort of plan for the mural. However, my idea completely changed, because of my experiences in Uganda, and I believe God gave me the inspi-ration. The painting is infused with both Afri-can and Spanish de-sign. The yellow wall was perfect for the  bright colors and fun abstract shapes. The last step involved find-ing a verse to fit with the theme of dancing. I thank Mikiah and Windy for helping me to find Psalm 149:3. On the bottom of the mural are the team's signa-tures with notes for the children, which are for them to remember our team. Overall, I think the painting will bring  joy to Abba House.
 
Different segments of large mural. Christina (R)

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