IJM Field Office Update

Mission trips are funny things sometimes. We are called to love our neighbor across the street and across the ocean. So we go. We get passports and visas and shots. We hop on planes, and take buses for a week or 10 days, to help. To get our hands dirty. To do what Jesus calls us to.  We hold babies, offer clinics, build houses and teach English and in those days we feel closer to God. We watch him preform miracles in front of us. And it’s amazing.

And then, we go home. Changed by the experience, yes, but often we are left to wonder if what we did on our trip…made a difference, a dent, an impact.  Are people’s lives changed for the better? Is there justice for those who need it? Did we do our job? Sometimes we never get to know, but sometimes we do.

This week, I had the opportunity to get a field update from the IJM field office in Kampala, Uganda, and the conversation was filled with so much hope. In the summer for 2013, a group of women, myself included, from Crossroads went to Uganda to help organize court files along side two other churches in an effort to stop land grabbing from happen to widows and orphans. Land grabbing, as you know, is illegal in Uganda, but was virtually impossible to prosecute due to the fact that lawyers could never find the files.

The court house we worked in was one of the worst in Uganda. Cases were often delayed for years, or never tried at all because of lost or missing files.

This week, the IJM field director, Kathryn Wilkes, told us that because of the work that we did alongside other churches, files are now found immediately. Lost or missing files are now never an excuse for cases not to prosecuted! What incredible news!

Along with organized court files, they are offering police training to police officers so they know all the laws in their country, making the justice system even stronger.

The work that IJM does is slow, and hard but they are seeing prayers being answered, justice being served, and amazing work God is doing. We are so thankful for what they do, and their faithfulness to their calling.

I just wanted to let you know that April 16-17 is IJM hosting the Global Prayer Gathering in Washington DC. It’s 2 days of amazing stories of God restoring, rescuing, and rebuilding his kingdom through the work of IJM. It’s an amazing time or worship, prayer, and stories. I’d love to have you join me. For more details, click here.

See you this weekend!

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions 


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Disqualifier

One year ago today, I was in Africa for the first time.  I say first, because it won’t be the last!  It was my first international mission trip and the first time I led a mission trip.  I find it exciting to just get everything out of the way all at once.  I’m brave like that.

Actually, brave was the last thing I was.  I was terrified to be away from my family and my life in Cottage Grove.  I was sure I was going to do something as the leader that would tick everyone off. I thought I would offend the people of Uganda by doing something stupid.  Fear, insecurity and generally thinking too much about myself almost had me talked out of going on this life changing trip. Thankfully, God is bigger than my junk and He continued to show me that I was supposed to go.

I hear from people all the time that they feel like they are supposed to do something, but they don’t know what. That they want to go on a trip, but they don’t feel qualified. They want to serve and volunteer, but just don’t have the time. Or know where to start.

Maybe that’s you.  And if it is, I want to encourage you.  I want to tell you that for every question, concern, or hurdle placed in front of you, God still wants you.  In fact, he wants nothing more than for you to love Him and others.

And if you are still feeling unqualified or unsure, let me tell you about some Bible passages that came alive to me in a new way while I was in Africa. I want to remind you of a man named Moses. I know you remember him floating down the Nile in a basket, telling Pharaoh about the plagues, and the small thing of parting the Red Sea. But I want you to remember that time that he heard God’s voice coming from a burning bush.

Here are some of Moses’ responses:

×           Exodus 3:11 “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?”

×           Exodus 3:13 “Then what should I tell them?”

×           Exodus 4:1 “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me?”

×           Exodus 4:10  “O Lord, I’m not very good with words.”

×           Exodus 4:13 “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

It’s a burning bush.   And God is actually speaking to him.  And Moses is disqualifying himself at every turn.  How often do you respond like Moses?   How often do you question how God made you and what He wants you to do?   While it might take some convincing, the most amazing things happen when you do what God asks you to do.

So let’s go be brave.  Let’s learn from Moses and get going on the mission that God has called us to!  If you have no idea where to start, let’s get coffee and talk about what sea you need to part.

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions and Care