Friday, June 15, 2012

A few days at Jireh: Ciara

Ciaras Note Prewarning: THis is long! IT covers two days so that I can catch y'all up on what God is doing here in Masaka. I know we are a few days behind on the blog, so I will briefly go over Wednesday and then talk more about the AMAZING things God did yesterday (Thursday).  On Wednesday, I was set to talk about the end of Ephesians chapter 3 (Paul's prayer to the Ephesians) and the beginning of Chapter 4. Mitchell was going to finish up chapter 4 when I was done.   If I were to write and say that I was so excited to speak that morning, I would be lying. I woke up with a horrifically sore throat and a terrible attitude. I had NO desire to speak, and felt on the verge of tears all morning. This was totally Satan. I felt like I had nothing good to say, and that my time speaking was a waste of time. As I was walking up to our classroom I just surrendered. "Lord, I am not in the mood, I have no words to say, so you are going to have to take the lead on this one. I am SO unworthy of being your mouthpiece, but use me as you will." And boy did he take over! The Holy Spirit was so evident in that room and praise God for His sovereignty! The talk was so powerful and  I give Him the glory for the truth He poured out.  Mitchell was also SO powerful and I am going to get him to tell you about that later to tonight when we get back to the hotel :) At the end of the day, I told all of the children that I had been fasting and praying for them every monday for 6 months. They all began to cheer and shout "Amena". I was filled up with tears, and it made any "hangry" (hungry-angry) fast day that I might have had, completely worth it.  I then told them about the vision the Lord gave me, of us baptizing them, and that He confirmed that vision by giving Dom a similar one. I felt that this might be way too complicated to actually do. Organize 80 students, plus us, and lunches and transportation to a lake 45 minutes away, but before I left Fort Worth, God once again showed me that this was His desire. So I told the students and they screamed with excitement. I could not help but be overcome by tears as I looked at all their faces, knowing how much it meant to them that their "muzungu" brothers and sisters loved them so much and wanted to be with them during this special moment. So we told them to fast and pray about their decision, and that on Saturday, we would head out to the lake!  Now moving on to yesterday. Where do I begin?? We all decided to fast as a team yesterday, since the children at Jireh fast every Wednesday and Friday (so convicting). We covered out morning and prayer and soon began our day. Dominique spoke on Ephesians 5 part 1. She did AMAZING. Her testimony was so powerful and it was clear that her words were not her own. We then spent time in our small groups, we have been calling them families. In my family, my girls really opened up. Come to find out, 8 of my 9 girls wanted to be baptized, including sweet Fatumah.  Fatumah came to Jireh last year. Pastor Benjamin found her begging on the streets of kampala (the capital city). She was born with no limbs and had been living life with her aunt who abused her and used her disability to make money. However; she was rescued and now lives up at Jireh. She has a small wheel chair that she can move herself, but the children at Jireh are ALWAYS helping her, and care for her very much. When Fatumah asked to be baptized, her biggest fear was that her physical situation would not allow her to be properly baptized. When Ritah asked me,"yes but how will you baptize Fatumah?" I answered, just like I will baptize the rest of you". I looked at Fatumah and she had the biggest smile on her face. I had no words.  As we left family time, we all gathered to listen to Robert speak. To say that this time was powerful would be an understatement. He covered the last part of 5, and spoke on the importance of biblical manhood. He told the boys the importance of being respectful to women, a concept they have most likely never heard in this culture. You see, in Uganda, like most places of the world, society is extremely patriarchal. Women have little, if any rights, and are seen as simply vessels for reproduction. (Nothing makes me more frustrated!) Robert continued to talk about how, in marriage, men are to love and respect their wives. They are called to make them Holy, and in doing so, the women will be submissive to the decisions of the husband. He stressed that men cannot expect women to follow their decisions, if the women are being mistreated and feel unimportant. Thank God for the wisdom  that he spoke through our brother!  After this, we broke up into two groups, guys and girls. We spent time with them talking about purity, how to develop character, etc. I won't get into details, but I will tell you that, it was amazing to see our team bounce answers off of one another. One of us might remember the jist of a verse and another would know the reference. The spirit was moving, and there was clear unity in the body.  We spent about an hour in our groups. While we were encouraging the girls to be strong women in Christ and to desire good jobs and educations, the boys were dealing alot with more "sex" based questions... go figure haha  But when this time had ended we came together as a body one more time. It was here that I began to speak to the students about the importance and meaning of baptism. I told them this is a duty as Christians, but not something I wanted them to feel forced or obligated to do. I wanted them to take it seriously. Once I had covered it and given them some verses to read after we left, I began to be a little bit more serious.  I told them that this week had been Amazing. That we had gone over some serious questions and topics with them, and that I wanted them to feel comfortable coming to us with anything that may remain a bit confusing. I then said, " I also know that there are some of you in this room that do not know Christ. You may think that the things in your past are too dirty for Jesus. You may think that God could never love you or save you. But that is wrong. There is nothing that can ever separate you from the love of Jesus Christ. If you are willing. If you are ready to accept a life in accordance with God's promises, you can do that." I then asked them to close their eyes and picture Christ on the cross. I told them, "As he was hanging there, he was not thinking of humans in general, but individually. He was thinking of William, Kokoza, Fatumah, Florence, Irene, Happy... all of you! He knew the hurt and pain in your life, and took that ALL upon himself so that you would never have to live without Him. " "But he did not remain on this cross. He rose again and ascended into heaven, fulfilling the prophesies of the Bible, and He left us with a gift, the Holy Spirit. It is this Spirit, that when you put your trust in Christ will live with you for the rest of your days, until you leave to spend eternity in heaven. However, I do not want you to think that once you believe in jesus life gets easy. In fact, sometimes it gets harder. You see, satan does not want you to live in Christ. He will often tempt you and try to drag you away from Jesus. But, even when we face trials, God is with us. The power that parted the Red Sea is the same power that dwells within us. We can be hurt, we can be sad, but we can NEVER be removed from the love and blood of Jesus." They shouted "Amena!"  With our eyes closed I then lead them in a prayer, confessing their sin, acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord, and admitting that even when the troubles of life pursue, they will still press on towards the goal. We also talked about the Glorious day on which we will be reunited with our Savior. I told them that, in Heaven, there are no orphans. There is no pain or abuse. There are no tears, no hunger, no thirst. You should have heard there cheers! WE closed with how much we loved them, and together said, "Amena"  So powerful.  Based on the video Riley  took, over 20 students came to Christ yesterday. Praise God!  Heaven is rejoicing!!  So this morning we are about to leave to go to the lake. To join with these brothers and Sisters in baptism. What a mighty God we serve.  I am SO humbled to be considered worthy to be a mouthpiece for the King. I am blown away by the willingness of this team to serve the Lord, and empty themselves out to be His vessels.  Please be praying that the Lord would grant us protection today as again we fast, and that the Holy Spirit would be present in the lives of these children  Tumutende! (Praise Him!) 


  1. Oh my gracious Ciara! Those were beautiful stories, God sightings and praises! My daughter and I sat at breakfast reading your wonderful words with tears flowing. Such fabulous work you have all done. We received photos and feel so blessed to have witnessed such precious acts. We pray boldly for each and everyone of you as you wind down your wonderful work. We wish you rest, recuperation and blessings from Midland. We are so humbled by your good work.
    Roxane and lexie (Mitch's mom and sister)

  2. i am amazed as i read your story. i got the chills when you were writing about how Satan wants to take us away from Christ. God is using you and I am so proud of all of you, I am praying for you all, and am so amazed how how God is using you to change these kids lives. i am amazed and admire by the amount of faith you have put in God and how He has provided you with what you need to bless these kids! I cant wait to hear more. lots of love and prayers to you all! xoxo

  3. Well...I'm crying at my desk at the office. I'm so proud of you guys and humbled by how awesome our God is!!! Praise the Lord!!!