In our last update we shared a prayer request for $350 in new monthly support by the next Monday.
We made it to $175 in new monthly support, but had $3,500 in generous one time gifts! So, God did answer, but not exactly in the way we thought he would! At this point we have surpassed that $350 goal.
We are currently at 68% of our needed monthly donations. 70% is just around the corner! We have been actively contacting all of our friends and family, asking them to go ahead and begin support if they feel led, because we are ready to deploy when we are funded!!! So exciting!
This month, I would like to share something a little different. In our time in Uganda, we hope to have a lasting influence on young people in the Y.E.S. Uganda program, namely teenagers. Daryn recently wrote an encouragement to a young friend in Tanzania upon his graduation from high school. I would love to share that with you now. In our 16 years together, something hasn't changed: our love for teenagers and seeing them grasp their identity as dearly loved by their Creator.
Here is Daryn's encouragement:
I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to share a little about what it means to be a man like Jesus. It's something that I am still trying to learn to do. My advice is to give yourself away. John the Baptist said, "He must increase and I must decrease." Paul said that "whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ...I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Jesus told Peter that He wanted Peter to feed His sheep, and that He was going to lead Peter to a place where Peter would not want to go (John 21). I'm convinced that God doesn't need us to do His work. The Holy Spirit has the power to change hearts and lives apart from us. But for some reason God has chosen us to work alongside Him in the work that He is doing. I think because it is in this work that we are changed. As we serve others, we learn to love, to really pray for them, to identify more with who God is and what He desires. As we lay our own lives down, we find the life that He has for us. So do it - find out what you are passionate about, what God created you to do, and give yourself away to others doing it. Those times that I have experienced this have been some of the sweetest of my life. Jesus said if we want to find our life, we must first lose it. Even in my marriage, this has been true. At times it's really hard, but when I can lay my own desires down and choose to better love and serve Brooke, those times have been when our relationship has been at it's best. So, I believe being manly like Jesus is living and loving sacrificially.
As I said, I'm so grateful for you, proud of who you are, and excited about what the future holds for you. I know that as you follow Him and serve others, your life is going to be so rich. I'm glad that God has put our families together and blessed us with the knowledge of who He is. This time in your life is special. Stay the course and pursue Him! You will never regret it! Love you, man!