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!

Posted by: jacobgillard | January 2, 2012

2011 in Review

Dear Friends, we really value the relationship that we have with you.  This post is about a very special aspect of that relationship—the one where WE post and YOU read, learn & pray!  Thanks for walking with us and may the Holy Spirit of Jesus keep you firmly planted in the Word for the duration of 2012!   — Jake (and family)

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: michelle g | December 28, 2011

Our 4th Christmas

We just celebrated our 4th Christmas here in Uganda.  It’s hard to believe Evangeline was two when we celebrated our first one in 2008.  This week we had a party, we went to parties, and enjoyed a festive church service—so wonderful!

People are mourning with us now that we have tickets to return to the USA in late January.  Most Ugandans don’t believe it when they hear we are leaving.

Just this evening, we just returned from dedicating the new land for our Kampala congregation.  Someone told me in a hope-filled voice that maybe we would return to Uganda someday.  I think after three years, we have become part of their normal lives.  They are accustomed to seeing us, being with us, expecting us at events, counting on us.  But soon we will just get on a plane and we will be gone.  It is all very sobering.  Thank you for the prayers as we take our leave.

Posted by: michelle g | November 30, 2011

Will she read it?

I have had a relationship with a particular Muslim woman for over two years. I have taken my time to live a Christian life and be a friend to her. More recently on two occasions I have shared the Gospel with her. She took to hearing it cheerfully and with a loving openness that a friend would give to another friend. Then this past week I gave her a bible in her own language. I told her that I have known her and she has known me. I said that it is time I give this to her. It was wrapped and she was leaving so there was no pressure for a response. But I am asking that if you have a moment, please pray for my friend, “H”. Pray that she will be drawn to the bible sitting in her home. Pray that she will open it. Pray that if she opens it God will teach her the truth found in Jesus Christ.

Thanks, Michelle

Posted by: jacobgillard | November 25, 2011

When a Bumper Sticker is Not Enough


It is very popular in East Africa to make a statement on the back of your car, taxi, or truck. Sometimes a bumpersticker is just not enough so why not display it on half the back window?

Ugandans may not enjoy First Amendment rights like Americans but there’s something very refreshing about how they at least put innocuous thoughts out there for people to react to—and in a big way.

As for myself, I’m not a bumper sticker person but if I were, I might display ‘ssibyangu’ on my back window—as in the taxi above.  The translation?  “It’s not easy.”

Think of it as roughly equivalent to “Uff Da!”

(And if you’re not from the Upper Midwest you might need a translation for that!)

Posted by: jacobgillard | November 20, 2011

Official Notice

We were sent to Uganda in 2008 to serve as missionaries with the Lutheran Church Mission in Uganda (LCMU).  We began the task with joy and started off by assuming the best about each of our new colleagues.  For three full years we have done a lot of listening and observing.

In more recent days, the LCMU has decisively forged for themselves a path upon which we cannot follow.  For this reason, we can no longer in good conscience be affiliated with them.  Please allow this to serve as an official notice that we no longer serve the LCMU.

The above notwithstanding, it would be impossible for me or any other foreigner to be a missionary of the LCMU because the LCMU no longer has a valid NGO certificate (the previous NGO certificate expired on 24 June 2011 and you can see a copy for yourself here).  Mr. Stephen Okello, NGO Forum representative to the October 21-23 “Delegates Conference” in Jinja even stated during the conference that the certificate had expired.  The LCMU is therefore unable to cater for work permits for anyone.  The LCMU’s ability to present itself before the international community as a legally registered church should be questioned by all.

It is worth noting that the LCMU is not in ‘altar and pulpit fellowship’ with the LCMS—nor has it ever sought to be an official partner church, nor a member of the International Lutheran Council (ILC).  That being said, LCMS World Mission has yet to come to its own conclusion regarding its future relationship (if any) with the LCMU.

Posted by: jacobgillard | November 16, 2011

Mailing List

I cleaned up our email list—the one hosted by Yahoo! Groups. There were 26 addresses that were bouncing and I removed them. So if you’ve stopped getting our email updates (approximately 2 to 6 times a quarter) you may want to sign up again. Do you see the purple & yellow Yahoo! logo in the right column? Just give it a click and follow the instructions.

Posted by: michelle g | November 11, 2011

Being Back

We have been back in Uganda for two weeks now. (We didn’t post it on this blog but we were in the States for 7 weeks for a much-needed ‘respite furlough’.  We sent out three email updates during that time to those on our Yahoo!Groups email distribution list.  If you didn’t get it, just give a shout and we can send it your way.)

Now that we’re back, we enjoy visitors welcoming us back almost daily. We love eating local lunch again (matooke, beans, rice, soup i.e. meat with broth, fresh mango, avocado, etc). The weather is fabulous. But a sadness fills our hearts.

We are no longer working with the Lutheran Church Mission Uganda. The church has had some difficulties that make it impossible for Jacob to continue teaching and training their leaders.

What next? We simply do not know. We ask for your prayers in this time of uncertainty. Until we get a better idea, we relish in God’s word, daily prayer, and enjoy every day in this land we have come to care for so much.

Now, let’s end on a happier note with a cute kid pic.

Amelia and the loose tooth

This may be the last pic you see of Amelia with all her teeth---at least for a while. A top one is coming loose!

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