Monday, December 15, 2008
Finally the governments of Southern Sudan, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Uganda are jointly sending minitary strikes into northern DRC to take out the camps where Joseph Koney has been hiding in the Garamamba forest. They have burned to the ground the base camp of the LRA (Lords Resistance Army). Congoleese people hve been fleeing into Uganda at an alarming rate over the last few months and Ugnada hardly has the resources to aid all of these people. Pray for these people and that God will rescue them. Our February team will be visiting some of the congoleese in Uganda and take some food and blankets and the word of God to comfort them in their painful times.........
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Once again Joseph Kony ( the leader of the LRA) is claiming he will sign a peace treaty this Saturday 11/29/2008. This is about the 4th time this year he has said he would sign and then failed to show up. It is frustrating the military and the government, but especially frustrating the people of northern Uganda, southern Sudan, and eastern Congo, who havent slept at night knowing he and his men are always out there. Please be in prayer with me that this evil man will finally do the right thing, and will be brought to justice. Pray for the people in these regions to put their hope in Christ alone...................
Monday, August 11, 2008
Check the pictures at the bottom................
Thanks to all the contributers and walkers we raised enough support to keep the PRC (pastors resource center) in Uganda open for six months, paid the public service for 3 months, shipped more books, we're having our sign made (for the front of the PRC), we're putting our freind and helper Pastor John Baguma through another session of English coaching, and we bought him a cow.
Pastor John won't accept any kind of salary because he knows we are struggling to just get hte ministry going right now, but we wanted to do something that would help his family long term. The milk from a cow will be used for the many kids he has and they can sell the excess daily for some extra money for the family.
The walk wasn't just successful, it was a lot of fun and an encouragement. We hope to find someone soon who has a gift for organizing these kind of fundraising campains. Kimberly and I know that we are not gifted in these area's but these things are essential for sustaining a ministry like ours and for getting the word out for excactly what God is doing in Uganda through HHIM (Helping hands International Ministries).
Next will be a Golf tournament in October. If anyone is interested in helping, golfing, or organizing in any way please contact us as we need all the help we can get.
Our next other big step as many of you know is the upcoming marriage conferences in Uganda and Kenya. God has kept Kimberly and I together and happily married for 25 years and wants to share some of that with Pastors who are struggling in tough conditions, and circumstances. We are excited about what God is going to do in these conferences and the way it is already coming together.
I hope to put out a newsletter soon to give some more specific prayer needs, opportunities and clue you in on the bigger picture oof how things are going.....
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Hey, it's time to put on your walkin shoes and join us for a fun family day in the park. We will have a hotdog roast, prizes, soda's, plenty of cold water, fellowship, freinds, and much more.
We are raising resources for our Pastors resource center. We need to fill the center with books, audio/video equipment, computers, and anything else the local pastors over there can use to continue educating themselves and reaching out to others.
The center is already being used as a prayer center, a place for the local Pastors to come and council, charge their cell phones, fellowship and get recharged. We officially opened the doors on May 1, and have shipped 30 books in addition to the dozen or so I left while there to start the ball rolling. I also left a donated laptop loaded with Bible software, word, publisher, powerpoint and video software to play videos. We are so looking forward to seeing how God uses this resource center to reach the whole area there.
We will probably be returning to uganda in October. Kimberly and I are putting together a conference for Pastors and their wives, with the theme "preparing the vessel for the Kingdom". We are so pumped about this. We know God is wanting us to prepare their marriages and homes to do the work of the Kingdom. Even the marriages of the Pastors of Uganda are hard for us to understand. The culture has placed man to be the boss and the wife to be the servant. We know that God has called these husbands and wives to be a team. We also know the cultural influences are tough to overcome.
Pray for us that God will give us that balance between culture and what God has told us to be as husband and wife. We have also learned that we need to practice what we preach and that we need to know that what we teach is truth and it works because its working in our lives.
It is amazing that we end up recieving, through the preperation to teach. God is an amzing teacher.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
God has been pulling at the heart string of Mine and Kimberley's heart for almost 5 years to help the people of Northern Uganda. These people have been the victim's of a 21 year civil war and have been refugees in their own country. Aids, hepatitis, cholera, T.B. and alcoholism are at epidemic proportions, and there seems to be no hope in sight. Since returning from my 1st trip to Africa under the new mantle of Helping Hands International Ministries I am even more burdened for the people there.
I visited 3 I.D.P. (Internally displaced people) camps. The people their are mostly land owners who can't go and plant, live, or even stay there. They have to remain in the camps to be (supposedly) protected by the U.P.D.F. ( Uganda peoples defense force). So they have no timeline to return, and mostly no hope to dream about. I asked many questions while visiting the camps and one of the hardest was, "where do see yourself in 5 years?". Most didn't even know how to respond. The biggest reasons for the lack of response was that they don't know what hope looks like, they haven't seen good times to understand what they could be, or the parents didn't prepare the children to be heads of their respective homes, which is understandable. I spoke to one young man who was 18 and had a 11 and a 14 year old sibling who were now under his care. His father had shared with him before his death in 2004 from a camp raid that someday they would return to their home and plant food, work the ground, fix up the hut and life would be good again. But this boy was born in the refugee camp and although he has seen his land, he has never lived there and has no idea how to work the land as his forefathers had always done.....
The next camp I went to they introduced me to "child moms"...girls 13 to 18 or so that were moms. It didn't happen because they loved the husband and wanted to procreate. It happened mostly because the parents were dead and girls needed to sleep somewhere, so a man, usually twice their age helps them. And instead of fathering the little girls they make them their sex objects. Many times they are contracting aids, and many other diseases that are rampant their. So comes the baby. Most of the girls aren't showing me their baby's proud of the wonder that God has brought into the world, but ashamed of the mistake that they have began feeding and giving a place to sleep. I met one such girl. She was 16 ( see picture above) and would hardly make eye contact with me. She was very quiet and full of shame and guilt. I asked her if she knew Jesus and she didn't know. I asked many questions about schooling, the father, her parents and so on. I finally asked her what the 3 week old babies name was and she replied, "Po-Ka" and the translator told me that it meant problems......................................I sat in silence for a moment contemplating the life of this child at every turn being called problems. I began to weep at the thought of this pure, sweet babe having that curse spoke over her all of her life. I asked the girl why she would name her baby Problems?. She replied, "my mom died from HIV in 2004 just before the attack from the L.R.A. ( Lords resistance Army) that took the life of her father and 56 other members of this camp. She had no place to stay so a man that she doesn't love and didn't know became her room mate. They aren't married they only cohabitate. She began to cry. I asked her if she knew God loved and cared for her very much...she said she didn't know that. I asked if she knew that God has never brought a precious life into the world by mistake and that all life is a pure, miraculous gift from God. She said she didn't know that. I told her that God has counted every hair on her head and caught in his hand every tear she has every cried because you are that important to God. She again said she had no idea.........A woman in a near by hut yelled out for me to give the baby a Christian name. I shrugged my shoulders and said its not my baby or my choice. The girl looked up and asked if I would give the baby a new name.....again the tears began to flow for me and the girl mom. I said I would be honored and named the baby "Faith" and prayed over the baby and mom that they would have faith in Jesus to pull them from their troubles and that the baby would not ever be a problem but a beacon of Faith and all that's good....
My friend Pastor John Baguma traveled with me on this leg of the journey where Ugandans even fear going. His life is changed forever. He saw many things that took him out of his comfort zone. His life is very hard, but he has hope. He saw people who's lives are way harder than his own and without the hope that we have in Christ.
I talked to him today, now that I've been home for almost a week. He was just ending a Wednesday night service. Many people came to ask for jobs in this new ministry "HHIM" that they are hearing about. He explained to them that I am not called to go to Africa to prosper myself or anyone there. God called me to the valley of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37) to speak into the hopelessness and bring people the hope that only Christ can bring. That there is no jobs, or monetary profit that will come from this work. But that its to lift up the Kingdom of God and bring hope to the hopeless.
This guy (Pastor John) is amazing. This is him below in the video praying for the child moms. I've told many of you that he has a 6th grade education. I said that because I was told that. The truth is he completed p1. That's an equivalent of our 1st grade. God has given him the rest of his education. And its been a good one so far. He will begin taking English classes next week when I send him the money to do so. Pray with me that we can live up to the picture he's painting of us. Pray that God will give us the wisdom, strength, insight, and provision to do the big work ahead of us.........D&K McCleskey
Monday, January 28, 2008
OK, the meeting didn't happen when I wanted it to. It happened when God chose it to. It was Saturday the 26th. It was amazing. We prayed together, fellowshipped, shared testimonies and encouraged one another in the Lord. God has blessed us with people who are all polar opposites. God gave us a diversely excellent group. They are all wonderful caring, Godly men with different gifts and talents to help get done the work we need to do. We showed them some video of a Ugandan worship service from way up in the village. It is amazing what God is putting together, and continues to do...thanks for the encouragement and prayers.........
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Saturday the 12th will be our first Board meeting and we are so excited. God has moved some awesome people into our lives over the last 10 years who will aid us and bring us wisdom to do what He has called us to do. ...Proverbs 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure....this is how we choose to begin this new work that God has burdened our hearts with. Please continue to pray for that wisdom and guidance. We are also praying for the Favor of God. PSsalm 90:17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us--- yes, establish the work of our hands. He has already showed us so much of His favor that we are in awe, but are praying for more...........thanks to all who pray and cover us with your love, support and prayers.....