Thursday, July 31, 2014

Family July Update

                              (Woodland Kingfisher with a Gecko- taken in our front yard)

It is beautiful this time of year. The rains are upon us, the air seems cooler, the ground is being worked, and our sweet corn seed is in the ground. Everyone is busy digging and planting, all in the hope of a coming harvest. I love how the Gospel abounds with these images- labor, planting, watering, growing, harvest. In many ways it is exactly where we are at as a family and as a ministry.

                             (Keith's Cousin Kelsey Learning to Ox-Plow with Samuel Family)

We are settling well into our Ugandan home, now that we've been back for more than six weeks.  Our children are enjoying their summer, playing Risk and Bang, collecting and counting bottle-caps which they make into a battlefield, climbing trees, reading hundreds of pages daily, and speaking in thick Ugandan accents. We are enjoying our children here, making and developing new patterns of growth as a family. A few we have continued or just started are- family tea and sharing night, before bed dance parties,  Monday night tacos and worship, and Friday family night. These traditions have and continue to bind us together no matter where we are on the globe. Pray that our children's hearts would continue to be soft toward God and toward us as we shepherd them through these days.

We have officially moved into our post-ten year phase of ministry here in Uganda. While we're not yet sure exactly what that means, we feel the significance of the season that we are entering into. We have labored intensely, planted, and watered. We ourselves have grown and matured as a family and individually, all unto something that is yet unseen. Pray for us that our Father would lead us clearly in the ministries He has called us to here in Uganda. Pray for wisdom and insight as we walk forward in what He has put on our hearts and before us.

Strategic planning is something that I (Keith) absolutely delight in. I am wired to dream, envision, and think strategically about moving towards those ends out of a firm foundation and consistent vision. We are at a place in the ministry here where we are strategically re-evaluating everything, with the hope and firm belief that greater things are yet to come. As we look at the Childcare and Family Institute, the Pastoral Training Institute, and the Church and Church-planting/multiplying/strengthening ministry, we are convinced that God is preparing us for significant growth and changes. Pray for clarity as we look ahead, and pray that God would give all of us in leadership unity of heart and mind in the things we are to pursue and change.

Our first ever Luganda Institute is under way. No foreign students. No English (unless translated). Fifteen students from our ministry and the community around us. We are just finishing up moving through worldview foundations, African worldview, and Western worldview. The plowing has occurred, the soil is soft and is now ready to receive the good seed that promises a harvest yet to come. These students are excited and wide-eyed! Pray with us for transformed hearts and minds, marriages and families, churches and communities through these lives being deeply impacted. Also pray with us that God would graciously allow this discipleship-oriented, life-impacting training to be offered THROUGH THE CHURCHES all around us in the days and years to come.

Thank you for praying for us and being a part of this journey of following Jesus.

For His Glory,

Keith and Laura Beth (and the Mc-F-Clan)

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