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News & Updates from True Impact Ministries.

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True Impact Ministries mobilizes and enables ORDINARY people to make an EXTRAORDINARY impact on the lives of people in impoverished and developing
areas of the world.

"...let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth."  
1 John 3:18

 
LAST SUMMMER

Three 2015 team members stayed in Uganda after the rest of our team left to go back home.  

Jaynee & Claire Hodgkins stayed another  2 weeks
and
Nicole Stewart stayed another 4 weeks.


PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ ABOUT THEIR AMAZING JOURNEYS.  

YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID.  
      FROM CLAIRE HODGKINS
It's hard to put into words the depth of the encounters we experienced in June. Even 7 months later, I find myself unable to fully describe the variety of emotions we felt in such a short time. God used us in big ways in Uganda, and He has continued to use us in big ways at home. In the midst of tears and sadness in leaving a place of pure joy and love, I have found deep peace in the realization that our mission field is universal.

     I have never seen the hand of God intervene in such profound ways as the way He did during the three days of the medical clinic. After months of planning and planning and stressing and stressing, God made me stop and learn to trust Him. (I got shingles 2 weeks before our trip).  When we took a small group out to the Immanuel Home the day before the medical clinic, we were met with smiling children and excited translators and doctors. It was so encouraging to see that our vision and dream had been caught by the locals and completely expanded! After three days of crazy rain, vitals, wounds, prayer and thousands of patients, we couldn't believe what God has accomplished. We had anticipated seeing 1000 people. By the end, over 3000 incredible, desperate, and joyful people were loved on and seen, and 13 people came to Christ! Can you say Amina?!?! God used each and every one of our team members uniquely to bless each other and the Ugandans. He blew me away.

    My favorite part of the trip was getting to spend hours a day with the Immanuel children, living in their home with them, sleeping under mosquito nets, walking them to school, singing and dancing, using pit latrines, showering outside, and of course the hug lines! I can truly say that I have never loved so many children so deeply in such little time! The kids are incredibly funny, smart, kind, and now, great at hugs! One of our most authentic days there was the day after we had to leave those beautiful children. I was sobbing while brushing my teeth in the back yard, Nicole had a fever of 104 and was sweating under her mosquito net, and my mom Jaynee was sitting on the floor trying frantically to give out medications without killing anyone. It wasn't pretty, but I still laugh at it because we were so ridiculously real and honest with God about our exhaustion and sadness!

    For me, the biggest change to come out of the trip was my radical decision to take a gap year to pursue medical missions. If you know me, you know that I have had my plan to be a nurse since I was 5. I had a plan. And then God spoke to me. On January 22 I will be leaving for New Zealand with YWAM for three months, and then onto a medical ship for 2 months in the South Pacific Sea. From there I am heading straight back to Uganda to run another clinic. After that, I will be going to UCCS to pursue nursing! God basically slapped me in the face (gently because He loves me) and told me to pause and stop planning and trying to live on my own capabilities.

     I have seen God heal wounds that should have caused amputation of limbs. I have seen God's children living in deep poverty rejoice in the joy of His love. I have seen children through His eyes, and fallen in absolute love with 35 brothers and sisters. Through the ups and downs of living in Africa for a month... I have seen My God to be real beyond any doubt, to be faithful when I am angry and faithless, and to love His children more abundantly then we will ever know.

God Bless you for your support and for your prayers. Mukamma Okwe Amokesa!
FROM JAYNEE HODGKINS

As Claire and I prepare to return with the 2016 TIM team to run a second medical clinic we would like to update you faithful prayer and financial supporters on the successful Clinic and small mission team of 2015.  

The month in Africa with Nicole and Claire was overwhelming, joy-filled, exhausting, humbling and beyond my expectations.  I learned that as flexible as I thought I was, I needed to be more flexible in remote villages in Africa.  As anchored in the Lord as I thought I was, I learned that I needed to be more grounded and more rooted in Christ.  Being there during the time without the large team, Nicole and Claire and I together learned first hand, of the  importance of community while serving in the field.  We were able to learn more about our Ugandan family’s culture by attending a wedding and 2 Introductions.  We wore the traditional dress called a Gomez and loved hearing the music and the local language.  All of our hosts were so generous with their time and love.

Claire and I, Dr. Larry Shoemaker, Tanya Koneman  (TIM Board members) and others on the Uganda team (Pastor Sam Magumba and Dr. Asaph  Muwonga) worked all year to prepare for the 3 Day Medical Clinic in Wandawa area.  There are 100,000 people in the area with no medical care and we served over 3000 during the clinic and so many came to Christ! The local translators and the TIM team worked hand and hand sacrificially. When the TIM team left Uganda, Claire and I were able to provide wound care to many and I was able to treat diseases with medications and remedies.  It stretched my reliance on God as I came to terms with knowing I could never be “enough” that only Jesus could meet the great needs of these people.  The days were long, the sick were many.  At night after everyone was asleep I read up on dosages and indications of medications and prayed that God would make me “enough” for the next day.  He showed up every day.  On nights when I felt overwhelmed and exhausted God would encourage me with the worshipping of the children at the Orphanage.  One night, a woman named Florence who lived a few miles away gave me a chicken to thank me for the medical care.  She lives in poverty and has little to share.  The chicken was delivered to me by a Pastor Isaac Mwakwe's wife who walked in a severe tropical rainstorm for miles in the mud.  This, among many gifts was humbling to receive.  

Before we left for Africa, I asked God for clarity about what, if any role, He wanted me to play in Uganda in the future.  I believe God has given me a heart for those in far out rural areas in Uganda such as Nkonya and Wandawa.  On the TIM trip this June Claire and I plan to work with Pastor Alex Businge and Kavuma Geofrey (Jeff) to run a Medical clinic to serve the village near the Salem Childrens Home in Naama.  I also hope to continue some of the teaching we were able to accomplish with adolescents and adults at the schools and Orphanages in regards to hygiene and first aid in the bush in Nkonya for a week and at Immanuel home for 2 weeks.     I enjoyed teaching the school staff about Brain Integration and simple ways to help students with learning difficulties and trauma and will continue that work.

The relationships we made were deeply impactful.  When the three of us left Immanuel Children’s Home, the children, the mammas, the staff and we were crying hard.  Now we seek to be faithful in lifting up each of their names before our Father.  What a blessing to hear their testimonies of coming to Christ within days of arriving at the Orphanage; of hearing them sing praises to Jesus in the dark before bed; of experiencing their love and service every day.  How can we begin to describe what it feels like to have a child wipe the mud from your sandal, or carry your large medical bag for miles although they weigh a 1/2 of your weight? Of walking miles with the children on a dirt road to worship with the village in Pastor Isaac's church. Of washing the feet of the loving mammas and doing their nails. Of learning to kill my first muzungu (white) chicken.   We came to bless and were blessed beyond measure.  Another huge blessing is that Claire and I were able to live with the three children our family helps to sponsor at Immanuel home.  Being with them daily for almost a week was invaluable and moving.

I am so blessed by the resourcefulness of the people and their lack of complaint in light of their hard circumstances.  I love all of Philipians 2 when I think of our trip, but specifically verses 14-16 speak to me.  â€œDo everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”  Our last night at Immanuel Home, as we listened to the singing of the 35 children in their dark rooms, Claire and Nicole and I tearfully made our way outside and laid on the ground in the red dirt, to watch the stars.   There is no electricity and therefore the stars were brilliant.  I pray that the works we did there in the name of Jesus, will glorify the Lord as they bring comfort and health and hope to His sweet people in Uganda.  I pray that we can shine and know that we did not labor in vain.

Please pray for Us as we plan for the Medical Clinic and other projects with the TIM team. For this June trip we are in great need of funds to purchase wound care supplies and first aid supplies as well as cloth to make washable sanitary pads (women in the bush are forced to use leaves and sticks and consequently miss so much school many of them drop out of school) .  To donate please write in comments "Medical team 2016". 
FROM NICOLE STEWART

Coming back home from six weeks in Africa was unexplainably wonderful and hard simultaneously. I wept at the sight of my family upon entering the Denver airport, but I also wept at the thought of spending a large amount of time away from the people I had grown very close to. My heart is loyal to both places.
 
    Spending weeks in the orphan homes with the children made me realize the depth of my love and care for each one of them. And to imagine that God’s love is so much deeper still. My heart was ultimately captured by the precious children at the Immanuel Children’s Home in Wandawa. Jaynee, Claire, and I spent a whole week out in there in the “bush”, miles and miles away from the nearest town. Waking up to the fresh morning, hearing singing and praises for a new day from the children, brought about a new perspective of gratitude. We ended each day with a similar tune and many hugs. We played hard, praised authentically, and cried deeply. Us three women found such sincere love for those children. It is difficult to say in words.
 
    Once Jaynee and Claire left Uganda, I found myself a half a world away from my family and most things familiar. I was nervous, but beyond excited that the Lord would consider me worthy to take up the challenge of spending two weeks alone on the mission field. I learned how to peel casava, maneuver Kampala traffic, and wrap yarn into place mats. I made chapati on the side of the road and bargained in the market. I took my own boda boda and taught baby class. I learned to be independent and I was quite proud, but in the midst I realized that God must be my strength. My weaknesses were blaringly evident in my feelings of loneliness and inadequacy of ministry. I wanted to do more and offer more, but one of the pastors reminded me to just be. God could work through my presence and I needed to give up trying to control my impact.
 
God stripped me like the reeds the Ugandans use to make their sitting mats. Upon picking the long green reeds, they take a knife to the top and peel back the hard outer shell from the fibrous tender core. This image played in my mind as I layed in my bed with a 104 degree fever. God stripped me of my physical health and control of my surroundings. My heart and soul was exposed and I found myself vulnerable before God. I was humbled and I was grateful for the reminder that God is everything. When stripped of wealth, health, and family, I knew that God was all I had left. It reminded me of the children I was interacting with every day. They know that God loves them because He is their source of provision, strength, health, and everyday needs. God is our source of life. And leaving Uganda I recognize that their way of living is quite full. They recognize that God adores them and wants what is best, so they live in such a way with abundant joy and thanksgiving, praising God all the way.
 
I am grateful to the Lord for this impactful time. He is still unveiling to me the ways in which He provided and worked through me and the rest of the team that went this last summer. Glory be to Him.
 
True Impact Ministries thanks Jaynee & Claire Hodgkins and Nicole Stewart, as well as the whole 2015 team, for serving the people of Uganda through our ministry!  We can't thank you enough for making a True Impact in the name of Christ!
COMING UP!  
Hear about our Children's Home Christmas Parties
and
the O'Neill Family Adventures in Jinja!
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