Anglican Youth Fellowship Band – Mission Trip to Bukedea

Anglican Youth Fellowship Band – Mission Trip to Bukedea

Last weekend, I had the honor of being part of an Anglican Youth Fellowship Band mission trip to Bukedea District in eastern Uganda. AYF Band is a group over 30 years old with a passion for proclaiming the Gospel and bringing people to Christ through music ministry.

We left Mukono on Thursday afternoon, stopping about an hour down the road for chicken on a stick! As we stopped, 3 or 4 men with 15 skewers of chicken ran alongside our costa (bus) hoping to sell to us. Cue Joke #1 of many!: “See it’s fast food, it chases after you!” Two of our team members did a great job of finding fresh pieces that had more time on the fire to ensure they did not make us sick. It was delicious!

About 7 hours later down a long dirt road with maize growing on each side, we arrived at our destination in a village in the Bukedea District. We were blessed to stay at an AYF member’s home, close to 25 of us!

After taking some tea and dinner of traditional food, we all turned in for the night to be ready for an early start the next morning.

Friday, we began our mission at Bukedea Primary School. The children were very excited to see the costa pull up and even more excited to see the instruments and sound equipment be unloaded! The team set up the “stage” area under a tree in the middle of the school, while children poured out of every building, carrying wooden desks to sit in to watch the performance. The Band is full of so much musical talent which the kids and adults very much enjoyed. Between songs, the team members shared powerful testimonies and the gospel. Later in the program, one member told the story of the prodigal son while the rest of the team acted out different roles for the kids. My favorite part was watching the kids enthusiastically take on the role of pigs in the part of the story when the prodigal son has to take a job keeping pigs. At the end of each program, there is an explanation of the gospel and a team member will lead those who want to accept Christ in a prayer to do so.

The day continued with a Kyondong Primary School then Seed Secondary School. At the Secondary Schools, the program is adjusted to suit their age group and includes an altar call at the end. How encouraging to see so many students come forward wanting to accept Christ! The group of new Christians is then brought outside and given a booklet called “Welcome to God’s Family” which explains the gospel and next steps for new Christians. Each student also completes a contact information card that is passed on to a school chaplain or other appropriate local person so that they can follow up in discipling these new Christians.

Saturday was spent visiting Bukedea Boarding Secondary School, the Kidongole Health Centre, and Bukedea Local Government Prison. Our team of 15 doctors saw 540 patients in 2 days at the Kidongole Health Centre while AYF performed in the various locations. Then on Sunday, we were invited to a village church and enjoyed being in that community as we ended our trip.

 

Overall, I was so blessed to get to know some amazing people with bold faith and powerful testimonies of the ways that Jesus has transformed their lives. We will continue to pray that the seeds sown last weekend will continue to grow and flourish in Bukedea District!

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  Isaiah 55:11

News and Prayer Update from Russ and Heidi Smith

News and Prayer Update from Russ and Heidi Smith

Russ and Heidi Smith work in the Araucanía region of Chile to help build up the Church in this area, and as of March 25th, 2018 Russ is pastor of “Reino de Dios” (Kingdom of God) Anglican Church in Labranza, as well as working at the Rural Bible Institute, and of course Heidi is right at his side. We also continue to work with interdenominational ministries such as Evangelism Explosion for Kids and ESI–Equipping Servants, International.

News and Prayer Update from the Smiths:

 

Thanksgiving for Discipleship

Thanksgiving for Discipleship

Ron and Valdomiro during their weekly Discipleship meeting.

Making Disciples who Make Disciples:

This is the theme in the book by Francis Chan “Multiply” published by David C. Cook.  In Brazil we use the version published by Editora Mundo Cristao and translated into Portuguese by Daniel Faria.  I have been meeting with Valdomiro on a weekly basis for one hour for most of the past year. This relationship is directly inspired by Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV), “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We recently finished reading together in Portuguese the book Multiply; Valdomiro does not speak English, and then we began reading Alister McGrath’s Mere Apologetics. In Portuguese the title is Apologetica pura & simples. Simply put by McGrath, “Apologetics is about persuading people there is a door to another world – a door that perhaps they never realized existed. Evangelism is about helping people to open that door and enter into the world that lies beyond.”

When Valdomiro and I meet for discipleship we spend time discussing the implications of what we are reading for God’s purpose for our lives through the lens of Scripture. We also spend time discussing how our week is going and the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities for growth into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Friend. We also catch up on the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities Valdomiro is experiencing in his discipleship of other men in our parish.

This is my thanksgiving for discipleship in Brazil; I consider myself to be a novice with the Portuguese language and Valdomiro does not speak English. Our conversation in Portuguese at times can be both intense and full of emotion, and sometimes Valdomiro needs to restate his thought for me using simpler words. Valdomiro also is patient with me and calmly corrects my numerous grammatical and pronunciation errors especially if I rush my delivery and, for example, I’m talking in the future tense when I should be talking in the past.

Last week Valdomiro asked me if we could increase our discipleship time from one hour per week to two hours per week due to the intensity of the content of Alister McGrath’s book so we do not miss out on the other aspects of our time together. Of course, I said yes, and praising the Lord, almost fell off my chair! I took this as a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of two people who not too long ago could not understand a word the other was saying. Now we are both Making Disciples Who Make Disciples only for the Glory of God’s purposes for His Creation.

Ron and Debby Mckeon serve in the Anglican Diocese of Recife in Brazil. They are dedicated to helping the Anglican churches in Joao Pessoa grow spiritually, numerically and missionally. Please prayerfully consider giving to support their mission here.

Meet SAMS-USA: Missionaries David and Mary Beth Alenskis

SAMS supports over 90 missionaries. Get to know them through this blog series called Meet SAMS-USA, and discover their calling to mission, where they serve, and how you can get involved through support and prayer. 

David and Mary Beth met at the Anglican Church of the Resurrection (San Marcos), their home church. They both were in a time of growth and transition. David transitioned from being a seminarian to being a priest, to being a missionary, while Mary Beth graduated from high school, started university, and then became the church accompanist. Over the years they pastor-and-parishioner to long-distance-friends, to not-so-much-friends, to more then friends. Now they are married!

David and Mary Beth Alenskis are sent from Anglican Church of the Resurrection in California and serve together in Belize. The church in Belize needs more thoroughly-trained leaders who are willing to serve inside and outside of the church in pioneering ways, to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to embody his excessive and supernatural love for sinners. David has been called to serve as the Priest-in-Charge (Senior Pastor) of St. Andrew’s and St. Hilda’s churches and as chaplain for St. Andrew’sSt. Barnabas’, and St. Hilda’s schools. Mary Beth is using her passion and gift for music as well as her heart for serving others to reach those in the church and schools.  As SAMS missionaries, David and Mary Beth are dedicated both to serving as leaders for Anglican churches and schools in Belize, and also to training up new leaders who will continue to grow and deepen the Body of Christ.

The Alenskis’ continued mission service is made possible with the help of your support and prayers. They ask you to please share in their passion for the people of Belize by partnering with them in the work of the Gospel! Consider giving to the Alenskis today.

We seek to obey Christ’s great commission by joining with Belizeans to follow him together. Pray that Christ uses us to build up his Body in the following ways:

  • To make disciples who make new disciples
  • To form leaders that make new leaders
  • To grow churches that grow new churches
David and Mary Beth

Missionaries in Belize