...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
Greetings from Emmanuel Church, Uganda. We are thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness, strength and blessing in the work of the church over the past few months.

The Sunday School has now completed Bible lessons on the earthly life of the Lord Jesus. We are continuing into the Book of Acts and considering the life of Peter. The children are learning the Child’s Catechism and are nearing the end of the 129 questions on the Bible history. They are currently learning Psalm 121 and we hope they will have memorised the whole Psalm by the end of this term. It is encouraging to have some of our young men helping to conduct the Sunday School each week.

The folks who attend the Tuesday evening church prayer meeting are learning some doctrine questions and answers in Luganda. Having learned the answer, we then examine some proof texts from Scripture. This is proving a good way of reinforcing Biblical doctrine, while also giving the missionaries an opportunity to practise speaking in Luganda! Pray that those who attend our church will believe sound doctrine and be able to prove it from Scripture.

We have a faithful group who work with Andrew Foster and myself in the weekly evangelism on Sunday evenings. Again, it is a blessing to see their eagerness to reach their neighbours with the gospel. It is also an opportunity for me to do some pastoral visits to those who attend the church. The Lord has given us many opportunities to present the gospel to those we live among. It is encouraging to see people coming into the church and attending regularly after being contacted in this way. Please continue to pray that many in our local community will receive the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some folks who live nearby have started attending the Sunday evening service. This is very encouraging as our evening service is after dark and almost everyone has to walk. With the older boarders present the numbers in attendance normally exceed sixty. Learning new hymns is a feature of this meeting and the singing always lifts the heart at the end of a busy day. It is also an opportunity for some of our men to gain experience of preaching and testifying. Recently one of our men testified of how the Lord had delivered him and many of his family from worshipping idols at a family shrine. He spoke of the wonder of God’s grace in his life. Pray that our men will grow spiritually as they serve in this way and that God will call some to full-time ministry.

A group from Hebron FPC visited at the end of June. They conducted a Bible club for the children of the school. The children thoroughly enjoyed meeting the visitors and all the activities they organised. We were also joined at the beginning of July by members of the Mission Board who came to review the progress of the work and to conduct the annual general meeting of our organisation in Uganda. We were thankful that all went well during this busy time. On Sunday 7th July the visitors conducted special services for the parents and family members of the school children. About 450 people from the local community attended these meetings and shared in the special lunch provided. Pray that this will strengthen our ties and witness in the local community. Pray also for the many children who professed faith through the witness of the Bible Club. We look to the Lord to keep those that are His as many will encounter difficulty from unsaved family members and friends.

We are very thankful to each one for your prayers and practical support for us. Pray that the Lord will give to us the power of the Holy Spirit. It is always a privilege to serve the Lord in any way and we trust in His grace to use us according to His perfect plan.
The September 2019 edition of Missionary Vision is available in the gallery section. This edition includes an article on the Kakamega Show in Kenya, reports from the Pastor's Conference and the Vacation Bible School in Uganda.

Click Here to view the magazine.
I am thankful for the help I’ve had with the children’s work this summer. Both Jonathan Storey, a first-year student at the Whitefield College of the Bible, and Elizabeth Edwards, a Christian school trainee teacher, travelled from Northern Ireland to Liberia in June to spend some extra time shadowing the missionaries before the Youth Council team arrived on July 22nd.

Jonathan and Elizabeth taught Sunday School classes, taught in the Friday Bible Club, helped out with the weekly Reading Club, helped with preparation for the annual Vacation Bible School (VBS), and sorted and cleaned all the Reading Club books at the church. Elizabeth worked on a few additional projects for me while Jonathan was assisting Mr. DiCanio: tutoring a young man in math, helping with reading lessons, preparing and laminating Sunday School visuals, sorting and assessing used textbooks that have been donated in past years, and accompanying me on visits to a few local schools to learn more about the challenges in the educational system here.

The other six members of the Youth Council team arrived in time to assist with the annual Games Day, which is held on July 26th, Liberian Independence Day. We were thankful for a sunny day in the midst of the rainy season, and the children enjoyed the races and games which were held, although the helpers appeared to be in a state of near-exhaustion at the end of the day!

We also knew the Lord’s help during VBS which was held 29th July to 2nd August. We required the children to register again this year, which really cuts down on a lot of confusion while taking attendance each day. 103 junior children (aged 4-10) and 72 senior children (aged 11-18) registered this year, and attendance was good in spite of heavy rain almost every day!

We were renting a nearby school that had ample space but no ceilings, and the sound of the rain beating on the tin roof made teaching quite a challenge. We were able to set up a loudspeaker system in each room by the middle of the week which helped. The junior children studied the ‘I am’ sayings of Christ, and the seniors studied the Law of God. Click Here to see more photos in the Gallery

Please do pray that these children, many of whom attend the VBS each summer but go to other churches throughout the year (or don’t attend church at all), will remember what they have heard at VBS and that the Word will bear fruit in their hearts. Please also pray that those who do not have a good church will respond to our invitations to attend Sunday School and Bible Club with us.
After 18 months of planning, a group of 19 from Hebron FPC arrived in Uganda to conduct a Vacation Bible School (VBS) with the children of Emmanuel Christian School, Nsaalu. As a church we have a great interest in the school, with Miss Noreen McAfee one of our own missionaries being the school principal.

Most had never been in Uganda before, so it was with a certain amount of apprehension that we embarked on the 24 hour journey from Ballymoney to the school. However, the welcome we received on arrival soon revived our spirits and there was an immediate bond between the group and the school boarders who were there on the Saturday afternoon to greet us. It was the first time that children had visited the school and there was great excitement for the boarders seeing visitors of their own age.

On the Sunday we were able to experience a normal two hour Sunday morning service, with various groups singing and God’s Word being preached. After a light lunch we took the afternoon Sunday School, after which we walked to the swamp where previously the children had to walk twice a day to carry water. The new borehole, providing safe clean water, has truly been a great blessing for the children and staff there.

Monday morning saw the start of our intensive week-long program. We left our accommodation at 8am each morning and were usually arriving back after 6:45pm, thoroughly exhausted. Each day we conducted five meetings, beginning with morning assembly at 9am for the whole school of 362 pupils, plus staff. We then had three VBS meetings throughout the day with approximately 100 children in each, with the time split between sports, crafts and an hour-long children’s meeting. The day finished with afternoon assembly at 4:30pm. The team worked tirelessly throughout the day and even during the break for lunch went straight back outside to play games and spend time with the children.

Our morning assemblies considered five of the “I Am” statements of Christ, while the VBS meetings dealt with “Sinners Jesus met and Saved.” A booklet was produced which the children could keep, with notes on the messages and a page to colour in for each day, which was judged, and prizes awarded at the end of the week.

On the Monday afternoon we gave out a pencil case to each child, containing a pencil, sharpener, rubber and a few colouring pencils. On the Friday afternoon we had another pack for each child with a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, flannel & cloth handkerchief. Each distribution brought cheers of excitement and joy from the children, and they were very appreciative of these simple gifts. Saturday was the first ever Emmanuel Sports Day - we introduced them to sack races, potato & spoon and three-legged races, finishing off with an obstacle course. It was a lot of fun for all.

God was pleased to bless our labours in a very special way – over the week, 75 children professed faith in Christ as their Saviour. On the Tuesday afternoon, eight children waited behind and were pointed to the Lord. The Wednesday was a truly memorable day, with 44 children from three classes putting their trust in Christ at once, with four more coming back in to talk to us after the afternoon meeting. There were more children saved on Thursday, Friday & Sunday. Even on the following Monday when Rev Park & Rev Brown arrived to have some Mission Board meetings there were three boys waiting to see them and a further two girls later that day, all of whom professed faith in Christ.

Our young people have been truly blessed to witness an extraordinary move of God. Some sat in and listened while children were pointed to Christ. They cried tears of joy as they witnessed God saving precious souls. The encouragement it has been to our own souls has been immeasurable – God has answered our prayers exceeding abundantly above all that we dared to ask.

The final Lord’s Day was a Parent’s Meeting for the VBS, with local people invited to come in. A lot of hard-work was required by the church to prepare a special meal to cater for all who came. It was the largest crowd ever to attend Emmanuel, estimated at 450, with most squeezed into the church while others listened from outside. Children sat in and around the pulpit and those at the desk had very little room to move. It was a memorable meeting to be part of.

When we came to say our goodbyes on Tuesday, the school had a special assembly with the children singing special pieces, finishing off with “God be with you till we meet again.” A genuine love had formed between the team and the children and staff of Emmanuel. Many tears were shed as we hugged and moved slowly towards our bus though the crowd.

It was a week none of us will ever forget. We were privileged to watch a move of God’s Spirit in Emmanuel School, a move of the sort we had previously only read about.

Our love for the children, staff, missionaries and the people of Uganda grew over the week. The journey towards the airport was a mixture of joy over what God had done, and sadness that we were leaving. Now back at home, we have a new appreciation of what the missionary team in Emmanuel do, week in, week out. We understand a little more of the difficulties they face, the work that they do, the sacrifices they make, and the vast mission field that surrounds them. Our prayers are more focussed on those needs, and the names we mention we now count as friends. Click Here to see more photos

We must say a word of appreciation to the missionary team there for all their help in organising the week and looking after us each day, keeping us well hydrated and fed! Their daily routine was completely messed-up during the time we were there, so to Rev Stephen & Ruth, Andy & Hannah, and of course Noreen, we say a huge thank-you, and assure you all we will continue to pray for you and the work at Emmanuel.

Samuel Johnston
From July 15th to 21st we had our national children and teenagers’ camp. This has been a great year, as we had 72 children attend the camp, which is more children than ever before. Their ages go from 7 to 16 years and we arranged them into two groups – children from 7 to 11 years, and teenagers from 12 to 16 years.

This year another woman from the church I and took care of the teenagers. That was a total of 39 teenagers under our care! A week can seem much longer than normal under such conditions! Nevertheless, it was a great time and we enjoyed every moment. It has been a great blessing to work with all these youngsters, sharing the gospel with them. We had many opportunities to talk to many of them one on one, answer their many questions, and proclaim the gospel of our Saviour.

Apart from several other Bible studies and activities, I preached to them every day. The topic for this year was ‘Abraham, God’s friend’. Click here for more photos

Many of them are not saved. Please pray for all of these children and teenagers, that the Lord will touch their hearts and will save them at a young stage of their lives. Some of them do not come from a Christian background and their parents are not saved either. If the Lord saved them, that would be a great opportunity to reach their parents with the gospel.
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