Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Teaching with Intentionalilty

I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.         (3 John 1:4 NLT)

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Hope you were able to reflect on all the many Blessings God has provided you this year and that you were able to celebrate with family and friends.
We enjoyed our Thanksgiving Day a little differently, with Bruce teaching a class in the village and Janine cleaning at home and helping Doreen with a new sewing project.  We ate Chicken instead of turkey; rice replaced our potatoes, and we had banana bread instead of pie. Not your traditional Thanksgiving meal, but still delicious!

Teaching with Intentionality
This month we have been back at it hard and with a little more Intentionality.  We are continually reminded that our time in Uganda is not permanent, this is not our home, we are only visitors passing through, and that God will eventually lead us somewhere else.  With these reminders come thoughts of:  What will we leave behind? What legacy can we leave?  Will the work that was started last? Did we do enough?  Were we an example of Faith?  Did they see Jesus in us?  Some of the same thoughts parents have as they send their children out into the world are again our thoughts with these people and this community.

We think of the village as our family, in a way we think of them as Our Children.  We have been training them to Grow and to Go in the way God has for them; just like we did with our children.  The most precious thing we can leave our children is an Example of Our Faith – a confident conviction that God is who He says He is, and He will do all He has promised.  Put your trust in Him!  Like parents, we must be intentional about leading and inspiring them to follow Christ.  It doesn’t just happen.  We must be an example for them to follow! 

We were like Proud Parents when we returned from the states and found our village friends working diligently for our God!  We were so happy to see that the villagers were following our lead.  They did an awesome job continuing the work!  Some of what we have been teaching seems to be sticking! 
But our work isn’t finished, we continue helping them take necessary steps toward maturity. 

Pastoral Training
Bruce is finishing this week with the final courses in the Pastoral Class.  The men will be given a final field assignment to complete, and then they will receive a certificate.  They have been like sponges, soaking in as much as they can.  We are so proud of what they have accomplished!

Women’s Ministries & Training
The Ladies have been hard at work with beading and sewing projects.  The ladies working on the Pad Project have been busy sewing and learning how to run a business.  Sylvia, the leader, has been learning how to be a good boss, how to lead and delegate in a working environment.  We hope to have enough products ready to distribute in early February.

The Fun Stuff
Janine was able to spend some time with 29 Primary 2 students teaching about keeping our bodies clean, even our teeth.  These kids had never seen a toothbrush or toothpaste.  (Something we take for granted these kids can’t afford.)  They were so excited to learn about this new tool and for being able to take one home and show their parents and siblings.  Thank you Bethel EFC for sending this gift!  You put big smiles on these little faces!

Bible Study

The Ugandans are leading Bible studies.  We get the pleasure of joining them and being there for moral support helping with questions when something needs a little more explanation. They are understanding God’s truths and sharing what they are learning with each other.  It is awesome to watch them as they communicate in their own language and in their own way.  They are learning!  What more can we ask for?

Our PRAYER Requests          
& Praises
·      *THANK YOU for praying for Bruce’s knee!!  He say’s it is almost like brand new!
·      *Please pray for Erine who is family and lives in our compound with us, (Simon’s 6 year old little girl), she fell and Broke her arm. 
·      *Pray for Wisdom and Discernment as we continue to transition the leadership over to the Nationals.  
·      *Safety as we travel the roads
·      *Safety from thieving.  There has been and increase of reports of home break-ins
·      *Overall we stay healthy from sickness and disease
·      *Pray for Clarity as we seek God’s will for our future 

If you are considering an End of Year Gift for Us or Afayo, Please remember to attach a note specifying for: “Cokers” or “Afayo”. Any money not designated as such is put in ECM’s general budget.
God Bless & Merry Christmas!

Serving Our KING together with you!

Bruce & Janine

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Life is a Gift

I Praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works....Ps.139:14

My how the time flies!  It seem like we have only been back for a short while, but we head back to Uganda in a few weeks.  We are cherishing every moment with our family and friends!  

Welcome to the World Colten Paul!
Blessed Grandma!

Proud Sister Maddie!

We have been blessed with a large family, which now consists of six Grandchildren. We arrived in the states just in time to welcome our sixth little guy into the world, Colten Paul, 8lbs and 15 ounces, healthy and handsome as ever.  I am reluctant to hold infants for fear of breaking them, but Janine is in her glory when holding any child let alone our own grandson.  She always takes advantage of any opportunity to hold Colten and she is quick to take him from me before I panic.  Lol

I had the privilege of officiating my sister Michelle and Dan’s wedding.  They held the wedding off until we returned so I could be a part of it. What a blessing to me!  The first wedding I officiated was my sisters.  They are a beautiful couple that loves each other as much as they love the Lord. 
The wedding was a great time to catch up with a large amount of family members.  Some of them I have not seen for a couple of years.  Even though two years has passed no one seems to look any older.  The Lord has blessed our family with good health and financial stability.  God is Good!
We had a Great time Labor Day celebrating with our Kids,  Grandchildren, Sisters and families and Janine's Parents!
We had an open house on September 17th to show our appreciation to those who support and follow the work we are doing in Naigobya and to share God’s accomplishments. We both were able to catch up with so many during the party and see many of the wonderful people we have missed.

We realize that not everyone is able to make such events, but we truly appreciate and thank those who did make it!  Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to listen to our report and for lifting us up with words of encouragement and prayers!

Janine brought back a large quantity of products made by the women she is training in Naigobya.  The products are made by two different groups of vocational training.  A large amount of the products were from the tailoring group or the sewing group.  The sewing group produced aprons, table runners, variety of handbags and book bags.  The beading group produced a large variety of bracelets, necklaces and earrings.  Through sales at our open house and visiting a couple churches she has raised $2000 to put back into the women’s projects. The proceeds from the sales will be used for tools and items the ladies need to continue their training.

The women started a new project a few weeks before we left Uganda making reusable feminine Pads. This product is unheard of in the village, but is very necessary.  The women in the village are in need of them and the girls in the school will benefit as well.  The girls who attend St. Paul and all other schools will miss a good week of school due to the fact they have no protection during their monthly cycle.  

Janine is using the proceeds earned from the open house sales to buy more materials for the pads and to pay a wage to the six women that are making the pads.  Since this is a new thing for this whole community, we will be introducing this product, teaching about hygiene, and giving the first 360 pads away to women in our Bible studies and to the girls at St. Paul Primary Learning Centre.  After the product is distributed to St. Paul it will then be sold at a very low cost to the surrounding schools and women of the community and other villages.  This can become a very good business for these women.   This is another example of sustainability and a simple fix to a Big Problem in Uganda.   Again, God is Good!

So Proud of these Amazing women and what they are accomplishing because they are giving their all and striving to be like Jesus!
Mirabu (L) Leads Beading and Bible Studies
Sylvia (R) Our Women's Ministry Leader,
Sewing Ladies Leader & Bible study leader.

Mirabu has suffered great loss, but Now she is filled
with a Renewed Hope and shares her
Light and Smile with everyone around her!

If you would like to help Support and contribute to the Pad Project, Janine is still selling: aprons, bags, table runners, jewelry etc. for the next couple weeks while we are still in the states.  (they would make great Christmas gifts!) Just contact us via email,
Or financial donations can be sent to: EVERYCHILD MINISTRIES  PO Box 810,  Hebron, IN  46341     
along with a note attached stating it is for “Afayo - Pad Project”.

I would like to end with some of my thoughts.  Who left the refrigerator door open?  I used to love these temperatures here in Michigan, but now I find them quite uncomfortable.  I simply refuse to wear socks and shoes, but I am beginning to think I will lose this battle.  I do love the fall and the beauty it provides. 

Because He Lives!

Bruce & Janine

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Summer Updates

  This page does not get updated often.  For complete details of the Afayo Project happenings go to our blog.
Over the past 6 months God has been at work in the village in many ways.  Here are some of the highlights:
We showed the Jesus film and had many more hearts accept Jesus!

100 children received new book bags, made by our sewing ladies!
A Rainwater Tank system was installed in the school.
A solar Phone charging system was installed 
The final 2 classrooms are going up.  Thank you Classrooms for Africa!

We combined the men and women's Bible studies for a few weeks.  We had 15 more souls give their hearts to Jesus and 6 women were baptized!

We started a new curriculum that teaches about God and his attributes to the kids in Chapel.

We started a Story hour reading books in English and incorporating a craft.

Our Vocational Ladies are now selling their goods in a store here in Jinja!  

We have partnered with Rita and Elijah to sell our items in their store!GOD IS GOOD!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Building a Solid Foundation

Together, we are his house, built on the Foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the Cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.       Ephesians 2:20

Building, building, building!  That is what this month has been; Physical building and Spiritual building. 

The 5th classroom has been completed!  A rain collecting water tank system has been installed at the school.  Water will not have to be hauled and carried everyday to the kitchen area.  Cooking for the school and washing hands for lunch has just become a better way for them. The foundation for the next 5 classrooms has been laid and the money for 3 new classrooms on that foundation has been given. 

A giant Thank you goes to many of our friends and church families in West MI.  Because of you, your prayers and financial help, building is happening!  Men of Naigobya are being put to work earning an income for their families. Some are learning new skills for the first time, others are skilled and able to use their gifts on this project!  Approximately 20 men have been digging and preparing the foundation; meticulously laying brick by brick without any modern line lasers, tools, etc.  They are building a foundation for future generations, a place to learn general education such as reading, science and math, a place to learn about God and His love for them, a place where they are taught that their foundation is found and built upon the rock, Jesus Christ.  For these people to see buildings going up and changes happening, it gives them HOPE.  They are not forgotten!  What a true blessing it is to be a part of this work God is doing in Naigobya!  Thank you for being a part of this work with us!

the Foundation for 5 new classrooms
The first Pastor Training class started this month.  Seven men and one woman completed the first part of a yearlong course study.  They met the difficult challenges given and discovered ways to Study Scripture thru: Observation - What does the text say?  Interpretation – What does the text mean? Application – What does the text mean to me?  Most of the students in this class have had very little Bible training, yet most are in positions of pastoring or leading in a church.  So, training like this is a valuable tool that will build a Solid Foundation. 

The Pastoral students were gifted with Study Bibles
Sarah just recieved New Reading Glasses.
She was so Excited to see her sewing Projects CLEARLY! 
Ten Advanced Sewing ladies have been sewing tirelessly, in full gear this whole month.  The women have completed 100 drawstring book bags to be given to students in the higher grades at St. Paul’s when the new school year begins in February.  They will be filled with pencils, paper, and rulers etc. that have been sent from YOU!  Students will be, as we say in Uganda, “Smart.”  They will be so proud to carry their papers in a “Smart” bag made just for them!

Serving the Savior with you!
Bruce & Janine