Posted by: jacobgillard | June 22, 2010

My recent letter to LCMU leaders

You might enjoy eavesdropping on my recent letter to LCMU leaders…

Greetings LCMU friends,

I like to send out an encouraging note at least every other month in the form of this UPDATE.  The purpose of these updates are to CELEBRATE the GOOD THINGS that are happening in the LCMU.

I’ve recently cross-checked my list of LCMU email addresses so some of you are receiving this update for the first time.  I’ve also copied some American partners.  The items below are in no particular order and this is an informal list of activities (I’m NOT the official spokesman for the LCMU!) so please forgive me if I omit something important.

I thank my God for all the memories I have of you. Every time I pray for all of you, I do it with joy. I can do this because of the partnership we’ve had with you in the Good News from the first day you believed until now. I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. You have a special place in my heart. So it’s right for me to think this way about all of you. All of you are my partners. Together we share God’s favor…

I pray that your love will keep on growing because of your knowledge and insight. That way you will be able to determine what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. Jesus Christ will fill your lives with everything that God’s approval produces. Your lives will then bring glory and praise to God.

Some people tell the message about Christ because of their jealousy and envy. Others tell the message about him because of their good will. Those who tell the message about Christ out of love know that God has put me here to defend the Good News. But the others are insincere. They tell the message about Christ out of selfish ambition in order to stir up trouble… But what does it matter? Nothing matters except that, in one way or another, people are told the message about Christ, whether with honest or dishonest motives, and I’m happy about that.

Live as citizens who reflect the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come to see you or whether I stay away, I’ll hear all about you. I’ll hear that you are firmly united in spirit, united in fighting for the faith that the Good News brings. So don’t let your opponents intimidate you in any way. This is God’s way of showing them that they will be destroyed and that you will be saved. God has given you the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him.  (Philippians 1:3-29, GOD’S WORD)

  • The LCMS will have her tri-annual convention this July in Houston, Texas.  The president and other leaders are up for re-election.  Please pray for God to guide all voting delegates.
  • I have slowly begun my duties serving the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudan.  I have not yet been able to visit Sudan because of budget restrictions but I have met with several of their leaders as they pass thru Kampala.
  • Shauen and Krista and baby Josiah are well and now learning Kiswahili at a language school in Tanzania.  Our family misses them and many of you ask about them so I know that you do, too!
  • I continue to teach TEE in Kampala twice a month.  Some men have lacked commitment and have discontinued the program but I’m SUPER thankful for the 17 men who are still going strong.  Our third semester just finished.  Our last semester begins in July and we look forward to graduation & commissioning in December.  On the non-TEE weekends I continue to travel upcountry to encourage and evaluate my TEE students.
  • In early May I traveled with the Rev. Aaron Bamuwamge to visit our seminarians and Dr. Joseph Omolo in Matongo.  God blessed the journey and all of our students are now back in Uganda.  The vicars will soon begin their work in their home areas.
  • The last Sunday in May I traveled to Nsambya Ikumbya for preaching and over 65 baptisms.  It was my privilege to baptize little Ethan Bameka!
  • The LCMU ministerial conference was June 8-9.  Many thanks to the Rev. Samuel Ogwang and our hosts at Grace Lutheran in Mbarara.  The primary purpose of the MC is fellowship, spiritual growth, and networking.  There is also some small decision-taking to advise the national board.  The next ministerial conference is scheduled for September 6-7-8.  Due to financial constraints, only pastors and vicars are invited at this time.
  • Congratulations to Joseph Opio and Middy as I officiated at their church wedding June 12 in Akia, Lira.  Several were also baptized the following day at Good Shepherd Akia.
  • I recently visited for the second time Bweyale Refugee Camp near Kiryandongo.  Robert Odong is an Acholi speaker who has organized a congregation in that place.  I brought with me native speaker Vicar Johnson Obura.  Their main requests are materials for worship and theological training for leaders.  We immediately enrolled two of their leaders, Charles and David, in the new term of Masindi MTC.  I just spoke with Seminarian Raymond Kaija and he reports that they reached the MTC leadership training well this past Saturday.  We thank Vincent Taban Paul for introducing us to these people.
  • I recently spoke with Mrs. Jane Byakutaaga about the work emerging in Kibibira/Kemenzu.  Albert from Kigezi did some good teaching of 14-15 people for 6 weeks.  Jane went there with Vicar Robert Wabyona and an elder to check on the quality of instruction and it was ok.  They decided that Albert should teach them 2 more weekends and then they’ll be ready for confirmation.
  • Visitors:
    • In early June I received the three women who are doing children’s ministry for 6 weeks.  Lucy, Brenda, and Courtney have so far visited Bubogo, Lira, Angetta, and Masindi.  The balance of their program will be decided by June 25.
    • Christine Duncan was here last June-July and she has returned this year with a new friend, Anna.  They are stationed with the President in Bubogo until early July.
    • Tony Stiller is leading a team of 5 others from Australia to Lira, Angetta, and Gulu along with host, Patrick Adafala.  Their purpose is to facilitate trauma counseling.  I enjoyed meeting these fine folks for the first time in Lira.
    • The Rev. John Schmidtke and the Bethlehem Lutheran Gospel Choir from St. Louis, Missouri will soon finish their 15-day concert tour.  Their last concerts are today and tomorrow in Kayunga.  I’ve really enjoyed reuniting with these old friends of mine.
    • The Rev. Brad Aldrich will arrive on June 29.  He will have 2 others on his team.  They specialize in hands-on, practical evangelism training.  Their program will be decided when they arrive.
    • Praise God for these wonderful visitors!
  • A gentle reminder that all congregations have a duty to support their pastor, vicar, and/or TEE student to the best of their ability.  Give sacrificially.  Plant a “church plot”.  Do whatever it takes.
  • We are praying that a new missionary named Ginger will reach Uganda in November.  She will focus on women’s ministry.  She will remain with us for up to 2 years.  Her placement in Uganda is dependent upon the recruitment of another woman to serve with her so please pray that the Holy Spirit will lead in a mighty way.
  • Please pray for Joe & Anita who are exploring the idea of joining the work in Uganda.
  • In about one month the Gillard family will board a plane for a visit to America.  I have been busy creating our speaking program and we’ll make 16 major presentations.  We’ll return to Uganda in early November.  Please pray for us as we share with Americans all the GREAT things you are doing.
  • You can see many photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/JacobGillard/
  • Please send to me the names and email address of any other LCMU leaders who should receive my updates.

This was a long one.  Thanks for reading.  I am,

Your Missionary,

Jacob

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