March 2023 Update

“Some of us are senders and some are goers.  Neither is more important than the other.  Neither is possible without the other.”

– David Sills, The Missionary Call

I (Sonya) went to Uganda with a small team in January. The trip went too quickly. It had been a year since I had been in Uganda. 2022 was our year of focusing on speaking in churches and raising support. Oh, how I missed being in Uganda. It was so good to be with our Seeds of Hope Children.

Some of these children I have known since 2015. They each have a forever place in my heart. One of my goals when we are permanently in Uganda, is to start counseling our older children. I started working on a master’s degree from Liberty University. I am working on a degree in Pastoral Counseling with an emphasis in trauma. God’s Word tells us that if we know the truth, the truth will set us free (John 8:32). I believe there is so much freedom these children can experience through the hope and love of Jesus Christ.

We taught our older children about purity with the help of Chris and Alicia Dunlap, IPHC Missionaries in Kenya. The lessons were powerful. There were many object lessons to emphasize the learning points. One of our interpreters gave this testimony from the teachings:

I was interpreting for mama Sonya, teaching about purity, I wished all the youth in the world heard her. I regretted why we didn’t plan better to record what would bring rivival in this crazy generation. I felt like crying, having remembered the youth dying and doing immorality because of ignorance. I was amazed by how the grace of God protected me even when I didn’t get an opportunity to hear such, in full gospel…Mummy Sonya preached boundaries. Oh my goodness, every woman should hear this…boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. The body of Christ is suffering because of boundaries. Marriages are shaking because people don’t have boundaries…

A staff member at the Land of Living Hope

This touched my heart so deeply because Russell and I feel very called to train pastors to understand what godly marriages are supposed to be. If we can train pastors and their spouses, they can take it further by teaching it in their churches. There are still so many issues in Uganda with mixing culture with Christianity. It is like oil and water…it doesn’t mix. Our hope is to empower marriages and youth throughout Uganda. Empowering godly marriages through the gospel can change the entire country! It only takes a spark to start a fire.

We had a dedication service to dedicate all of our buildings to the One true God. There were many government officials present. Lots of speeches. I gave the final speech using Deuteronomy 28. At the end, I prayed to God. We had many guests from the village of Matanda. They were invited because their children attend our Christian school. Some of those families are Muslim. We have a little over 3000 Muslims in Matanda. We have become friends with many of them.

During the dedication service, a “big” government official threatened to shut us down. He went over to the community members at the event and asked if they had any questions.  An older Muslim man stood up with his walking stick and challenged the official.  He told the official that Hope Ministries Uganda has done nothing but help the community.  He then told the government official that he had done nothing to help the community.  So his conclusion was that Hope Ministries Uganda would stay, and the community would run him off!  God continues to give us open doors to minister to Muslims and other community members. Praise the Lord!

Someone was taking pictures during our time of prayer. I love this picture. One of the mothers, who is Muslim, raised her hands in prayer with us. God is moving in this community. I am reading several books on the Muslim religion so that I can better equip myself for our work. I have had the opportunity to witness to three Muslims. Two out of the three accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I will continue to share Jesus as long as God gives me breath.

From the end of February through the month of March, I have been traveling in the North Carolina Conference for the IPHC Great Commission Meals. Emma and I have been staying at Sunset Beach, NC. Traveling to a new conference and meeting so many new people and missionaries has been great! I have loved getting to know the missionaries at this conference. There is one couple who will be headed to Japan. Another missionary will be in Kenya, working with those with special needs. One is going to Belgium to work in the red light district. I love how God has called us to different parts of the world. Different people groups. But the same passion…to share the love of Jesus! We are the ones going. And then there are the senders. We can’t do what we do without the senders. Both are important. We are all a part of God’s kingdom-building team!

Russell and I would love for YOU to join our kingdom-building team in Uganda. Not everyone can go. We have said yes to the call to Uganda. Now we need people like you to send us! If you would like to support us so we can move to Uganda full-time as missionaries, please CLICK HERE to support us monthly. Also, please add us to your prayer list!

Thank you for believing in the work that God has called us to!

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