Kenneth and I have been brainstorming this week about things we would like to see happen in our first year here. We decided to write down some goals and share with you, our supporters and friends, in order for you to hold us accountable for our lives here. As many of you know our hearts have always been for church planting in the villages. This did not make our list of goals for the first year because of the necessity of having a good grasp of the language first and having relationships with key people who can bring us into the villages. An important concept we learned while doing church planting in Nepal is Prayer, Care, Share. We’ve been living in the “prayer” phase for awhile now as we planned and prepared to come to Karamoja. We are continuing in that, and God has been faithful to speak. So far he has pointed us to Matthew 25:31-46. These verses fall in line with the second phase, “care.” Jesus modeled this again and again in the gospels as he met physical as well as spiritual needs. Unless we can first show people the love of Christ in tangible ways, they will not hear our words. “Share” is the last phase and grows from the relationships formed through our care for others. Church planting for us will take on this model.
Now on to our goals for year one:
1. Language learning – Our friend, Monks, has been coming over once a week to give us a language lesson. We then spend the rest of the week practicing what he gave us in the community. His work (with a local org.) will be ending soon, and we should be able to go more in-depth with our lessons (meaning daily, for hours at a time).
2. Complete the orphanage construction – We have received some donations and are moving forward with completing the next phase of the orphanage.
3. Support Rainbow Mike and Shalom Reconciliation Ministry in every possible way.
4. Make and develop relationships with people and look for persons of peace – Person of peace comes from Luke 10. We are looking for people who will open doors to the community for us and for the gospel to travel. This person may or may not be a believer yet.
5. Help Monks start Karamoja’s first dental clinic – Our friend, Monks, recently graduated from dentistry school and has come back to Karamoja, his home, to establish the first dental clinic we know of in the region. We want to help him raise funds and get supplies to get going.
6. Develop Bible storying for our area – Once we start going to the villages, our first task will be to start telling a series of Bible stories to the community.
The list could go on and on but I think that’s enough for year one. We would love feedback and/or questions on these goals.
Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. We thoroughly enjoy every email, blog comment, facebook comment, and phone call. Speaking of prayer, here are a few needs:
1. I have been having a hard time breathing the last couple of days. My chest hurts, and I’ve had some high fever. Pray for healing.
2. Kerri and Andrew (my sister and her husband) are both sick with various illnesses. Pray for healing for them.
3. Our friends Cody, Michaela, and their kids bought their plane tickets yesterday to come. They will be arriving around the beginning of October. We are so excited! Praise God for that. They have a lot to do in a short amount of time so please keep them in your prayers.
We love you all!
Sliding Rock, outside of town, has quickly become our kids’ favorite place.
They especially enjoyed doing the train with Kelly and Chloe.
Some locals pose for their picture at the bottom of sliding rock.
Nevaeh enjoys her first piece of meat in Karamoja. Notice the grease all over her face…I think she likes it.
Ignore the chicken grease once again…Ezra is showing off his first shiner in Karamoja. He narrowly missed splitting his chin open!
Our resident rooster, Wild Will, standing guard against the crows (he thinks they’re hawks!).
Girls on their way back from collecting water stop to watch me take their picture.
Happy Birthday, Selah!! Only one hour old, and you’ve already worn your mommy out!
Another beautiful African sunset. There is nothing like it in the world.
Israel is a proud big brother most of the time…unless he wants a turn in my lap!
Zion giving Selah some sugar. He is always asking me if she’s doing ok. Such a sweet big brother!
We have been enjoying family worship times by lantern light most nights. Right now the kids’ favorite song is “Days of Elijah”. They probably wake the whole neighborhood with their enthusiastic singing!
Life in Kotido has been interesting the last couple of weeks. Other than excitement, the one commonality in the midst of it all is the measure by which we have been blessed. I (Kenneth) am writing this blog on the day we brought our fifth child into the world. After being 7 days late, Selah Naomi Williams decided to join the rest of the family. We are so excited to welcome her into the world and begin the process of getting to know her. Kristi went into labor this morning around 5:30am as we were waking up and by 8:30am we were holding our new little girl. She was born in our home and we are thankful to have Kristi’s sister Kerri assist with the birth. Our oldest, Nevaeh, was also a big help in assisting and being a part of the birth process. She diligently massaged Kristi during contractions and provided a cool washcloth during times of rest.
In addition to the excitement of having a baby, we were also able to experience our first shootout in the neighborhood last week. From our perspective, we were all sitting in our house in the evening when we heard shots being fired in the distance. The gunshots got louder and louder until we could hear bullets hitting walls nearby. We all ducked down on the floor and made our way to the hallway in the middle of the house. The shooting only lasted for about 5 minutes but we stayed in the hallway for about 30. Evidently what had happened was that people tried to come and steal cattle from the police barracks and there was shots exchanged between the raiders and the police. From what we hear no one was hurt. We’re thankful that God’s protection and provision was over us all.
Last but not least, we have had our chickens coming into the house daily to lay eggs. For some reason 2 of our chickens have decided that they want to come in our house to lay their eggs, so they come in, sit on one of our chairs and lay their eggs. It’s a pretty funny routine. Every morning they make a big scene by being noisy, walk through our front door, and go to the chair. Our kids love it and they race to the chair when the chickens get up to be the first to get the egg. Life in Karamoja is so exciting for them! So anyway, there’s a few exciting happenings in and around the Williams’ household. We continue to push forward with language and our work with the orphanage. Oh yeah, speaking of the orphanage, $7,000 in donations were received this past week for the building so we can continue the work to get the building fit to move kids back in! We are thrilled about that, and please keep that in your prayers, that God will stretch the money as he has done with bread and fish before and it will be more than enough.
Thank you for all of your prayers! We have felt them..