Posted by: jacobgillard | October 4, 2013



Round out the discussion with

Africa’s Drinking Problem: Alcoholism on the Rise as Beverage Multinationals Circle


Does Africa Have a Drinking Problem? Yes and No

Posted by: jacobgillard | December 21, 2012

African Influence, Early African Christianity

I recently bumped into this resource, The Center for Early African Christianity, and I thought it was worth sharing. The paragraphs below are from one of their recent emails.

A revolution is presently occurring as the centers of Christianity’s influence shift from Europe and North America to the majority world in the south. This shift is exerting a profound impact on the formation of Christian theology and practice. Lamin Sanneh writes “Christianity has not ceased to be a Western religion, but its future as a world religion is now being formed and shaped at the hands and in the minds of its non-Western adherents.” Amidst this realignment a new reformation is taking place as the Church in Africa discovers the great riches of its ancient Christian heritage.

The Center for Early African Christianity exists to make these ancient African Christian riches available to those presently living on African continent. It was the African Fathers who nourished the Cappadocians, Jerome, John Chrysostom, and Ambrose—the great forefathers of Western Christianity and the foundation stones for the Western intellectual tradition.

Tragically, for many reasons, Africans have been severed from their own legacy, the ancient African Christian ideas and practices that in many ways deeply shaped Western culture. The African Church hungers now for what its ancestors first achieved in terms of spiritual depth, biblical interpretation, and sensitivity to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Yet there are obstacles standing in the way of the African Church re-connecting to its legacy: the soulless secularism of the West endangers the entire world…

[read the rest of the article here]

Center for Early African Christianity

Posted by: jacobgillard | August 10, 2012

6 Months Out: All Baggages Have Reached Well!

A meaningful memento (gifted to us by Lutheran Church Kampala) recently retrieved from the final suitcase bearing our Uganda stuff.

It is quite a feat for even a small family of four to pack up and move 8,000 miles. We can now report, that as of this week, the last of our personal effects have completed their journey from Uganda to Minnesota. We certainly acquired many household items over the few years we were in Africa, but it made sense to sell much of that—Michelle did a great job organizing that series of sales, by the way.

What remained didn’t even come close to filling a container so we packed up our tubs & duffels (50 pounds each!) and brought a dozen back with us as our checked bags. Another ten made their way back with a few different friends—and friends of friends—who leveraged their network of contacts and orchestrated some amazing routing and hand-offs to bring the bags to the Twin Cities! At the risk of omitting someone, allow me to mention that it couldn’t have happened without Jim, Bethany, Janet, Cindy, Dean, Julie, Carl, Grace, Emma, Judith, Elijah, Nate, Rhoda, Philip, Hans, and Becky. We’re so thankful for these folks and their help!

Lately our home has been filled with many warm thoughts and pleasant remembrances as we’ve unpacked the final 5 bags—recently arrived—especially the suitcase we had written off as lost but which arrived Wednesday evening and contained the many gifts showered upon us by Kampala Lutheran Congregation on our farewell Sunday. All this seems to be happening at an ideal time: 6 months into our journey of re-entry and transition back to life in America.

Posted by: jacobgillard | April 5, 2012

Holy Week Greetings!

Greetings, in the Name of Jesus, on this blessed Holy Thursday.

I know that many of you would be interested to pray with us regarding our next place of service.  We are currently exploring a service opportunity in the home office of a USA-based missionary fellowship.  We have some key interviews in early May and we’ll keep you posted.

In our last email blast I asked you to pray for my exit interview with LCMS World Mission in St. Louis.  I thank the Lord for blessing me (Jake) with safe travel and constructive conversations.  It is unknown at this time if the counsel I gave will make a difference in LCMS policy in Uganda.  Please pray for a God-pleasing outcome.

The sale of our Honda CRV in Uganda has finally cleared.  Please pray with us for the sale of our Toyota Landcruiser and thank God with us for our friend, Jeff, who is helping with that.

See our family activities over the last two months in 24 photos here.  The girls did one month of swim lessons and have already advanced to level 3.  They’re also in the homeward stretch of finishing kindergarten and first grade.  They really like riding bikes, playing at the edge of the pond, and asparagus hunting at the farm.

A blessed Holy Week to you and yours, even as we are reminded about the one who suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood (c.f. Hebrews 13:12).

Jake, with Michelle, Amelia, and Evangeline

Posted by: jacobgillard | April 5, 2012

…In the Woods

Our fellow missionary, Ginger Taff-Lagergren, introduced our girls to “Lost in the Woods” and our girls enjoyed the book and DVD quite often while in Uganda.  We visited old friends in Michigan this past weekend and they live just minutes from where the “…In the Woods” magic is made so we just couldn’t resist stopping by to thank them for their efforts.  You’ll love the nature and wildlife photography here.


Posted by: jacobgillard | March 24, 2012

Genocide in Nuba Mountains

It was back in September 2011 that I wrote this post entitled, “Will Nuba be the next Darfur?”  In that post I mentioned that I am in possession of gruesome photos smuggled out of that war zone—photographic evidence of genocide victims in the Nuba Mountains.  Unfortunately, the situation has not improved.  Crimes have been reported, documented, and substantiated; yet few are crying out for justice.  Hence, the activism of someone like George Clooney.  This article by Eric Reeves is entitled, “Why George Clooney was arrested last week” and was posted today on Sudan Tribune.  It goes a long way toward interpreting Clooney’s actions and substantiating the veracity of the atrocities.

Also, here is an op-ed article by Nicholas Kristof who has gone to the ground to give us an eyewitness report.

Posted by: jacobgillard | March 12, 2012

Adoption in Uganda, an Ethical Decision

I don’t personally know the author of this article but I believe she is the friend of a friend.  Sara offers an honest and compassionate take on the dynamics surrounding adoption in Uganda today.  This is a must read.  Many thanks to Sara for sharing her thoughtful synthesis.  Click on the screen shot below to read her full article.

On Ugandan orphans and adoption

** Update ** This AP article by Rodney Muhumuza was filed 23 Aug 2013, “Newborns being stolen at a top Uganda hospital.”

Posted by: jacobgillard | March 9, 2012

Re-entry & Other Stuff

Dear Friends in Christ,

It is called re-entry.  It’s a phase of the missionary-life and we’re now in it.  Each person experiences re-entry differently and in some ways it takes a lifetime to complete the journey.  We are still missing dear friends in Uganda & South Sudan as well as enjoying family and friends in MN and WI.  We’re thankful for all the prayers and well-wishes that so many of you have sent our way.

The little girls could use some consistency with home school (which is going well) so we don’t have many travel plans in the near future but we’ll do our best to stay in touch via skype, email, and phone calls.  Besides homeschooling, we have enjoyed ice skating, sledding, American foods, and visiting with Grandparents.

Several of you have inquired about our next steps.  It was back in December that I updated my ministry profile paperwork (mostly a summary of ministry skills & preferences) that a calling congregation would use to call a pastor and on those forms I indicated that I was especially interested to serve in MN or WI so it’s just a matter of waiting on the Lord.  Please pray for Michelle and me as we wrap up our mission-related responsibilities and discuss our dreams for the future.

We just can’t stop thanking you for all your prayer and support and concern over these 4 years.  You have prayed, listened, visited, and shared financial gifts.  As a result, we were able to participate in God’s mission in East Africa.  It has been humbling and awe-inspiring to have been on the receiving end of God’s goodness thru you.  For this, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Blessings until next time,

Jake, with Michelle, Amelia, and Evangeline

Line on a sled!

Amelia on a sled!

Posted by: jacobgillard | February 2, 2012

Back in the USA

After 3+ years in Uganda we are now back in the USA. Our lives are richer for having met some very fine people in East Africa and we carry those memories with us. We thank God for the kindness he has shown us by blessing us with prayer and financial partners like you. Of course, this is just a short note for now. We’ll be in touch this week or next with an update on our next steps. Until then, may the Triune God bless you always.

Posted by: jacobgillard | January 3, 2012

Dedicating it to the Lord

Congregation in Song. This Swahili hymn is sung as the ground is dedicated for the construction of a house of worship to the Triune God.

Wednesday, December 28th was a wonderful day in the life of Kampala Lutheran Church, a congregation excited to take the next step as they relocate to a nearby suburb to build their own building on their own land.

It was around 6 pm and golden rays were filtering through the trees.  The setting and mood were serene.  We were in the middle of the festive season so no one was in a hurry.  The building site is nestled in a cozy neighborhood that is not yet built-up.  We weren’t very far off the main roads (Ggaba road is 400m to the NE and Lukuli Road is 250m to the SW) but it felt like we were in the village—that’s a good thing!  Neighbors and neighborhood children were warm and welcoming as parishioners gathered near the largest tree on the plot—a jackfruit.

We ushered in the construction phase at the building site with a short rite of dedication (liturgy and prayers in Luganda, hymns in Swahili) led by Rev. Jerome Wamala.  You can see photos here.

Thank you to those of you who offered prayers and sacrificial gifts that have brought the congregation to this moment—to the Glory of God!

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