One year of overseas service
When we first left the States, a little over a year ago, we had no idea what kind of path God was leading us down. We weren’t naive, per se, but we didn’t expect so many twists and turns. I think most people, ourselves included, hope for a smooth, straight path in life. I also think most of us don’t get that ‘oh so coveted path’. I can almost hear the resounding “Ain’t that the truth”, because most of us believe we get the twisty, turny one. We wonder why these “detours” and “wrong way” signs pop up. As a believer in Jesus I have to constantly remind myself of the words in Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” I have to conclude then, that my straight is not His straight.
Surrounded by 125 orphans
Shannon and I have changed locations and moved up to our northern base in Koboko, Uganda. At the base is the House of Justice Rescue Unit, which ministers to 250 orphans. Every other Saturday we have an outreach where the kids come and help us with different projects around the base. We have a time of sharing Jesus and encourage them to put their belief and trust in Him. Shannon and I can get overwhelmed when we find ourselves surrounded by 125 orphans,
most of which have been raised to put their belief and faith in Allah or traditional practices. It’s hard to break down these strongholds, but 2nd Corinthians 10:4 reminds us that the weapons we have for this kind of warfare have Divine power to destroy these strongholds. Our strength comes from the Lord and you can help us by praying diligently for the destruction of these strongholds and for courage to stand boldly on the front lines and advance forward through the fiery arrows which we might encounter.
I can die well if I know that my children will be taken care of
The phrase itself doesn’t seem so radical does it? I think most parents share the same sentiment. I believe all of us have heard this from parents in some form, I know I have. Recently this phrase hit me in a different way than it usually does. The usual emotions that arise: respect, admiration, etc. were overshadowed by sorrow, grief, and helplessness. For the first time in my life I heard this from a woman who deals with the reality that her last day could be tomorrow. Joyce is a mother of four; Giriga 17, Rupan 15, Janet 13, and Clara 9. Her husband died in 2004. She is HIV positive. When I visited her home and she told me her story, translated by her son, she shared the heartfelt burden she has for her children’s welfare after she passes on. She said those exact words, “I can die well if I know that my children will be taken care of.” As a ministry we do what we can to
help these kinds of families feel peace in a restless situation.
I have been recently encouraged by a book written by Charles H. Spurgeon called, ‘All of Grace’. I am only in the 5th chapter and the intensity of its wisdom and simplicity has blessed me beyond words. I came across this section the other night and have used it to encourage some of my friends.
“May I, therefore, urge upon any who have no good thing about them – who fear that they have not even a good feeling, or anything whatever that can recommend them to God – that they will firmly believe that our gracious God is able and willing to take them without anything to recommend them, and to forgive them spontaneously, not because they are good, but because He is good. Does He not make His sun to shine on the evil as well as on the good? Does He not give fruitful seasons, and send the rain and the sunshine in their time upon the most ungodly nations? Ay, even Sodom had its sun, and Gomorrah had its dew. Oh friend, the great grace of God surpasses my conception and your conception, and I would have you think worthily of it! As high as the heavens are above the earth; so high are God’s thoughts above our thoughts. He can abundantly pardon. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners: forgiveness is for the guilty.”
Are we not guilty? I know I am. God took me without recommendation. He offered His Son to hang in my place at the cross. I believe Jesus is who he says He is and for this reason I am forgiven, receive mercy, and shown grace. A new heart I have been given, and a new spirit He has put in me. He has taken away my stony heart and made me a new creation.
Thank you for you prayers and financial support
Your prayers and financial support are very much appreciated. I hope these words echo in your heart: We cannot do this without you! Our God has blessed us with friends and family who believe in us and our desire to bring peace and truth to everyone we minister to. Our support level is currently at 50%. God is so good and we thank Him for using you. If you would like to donate please see the information below. We hope and pray this letter finds all of you well. May the Lord bless you and stir up a passion in your heart for the lost.
Together in His Harvest,
Justin & Shannon O’Hara
Our marriage to grow stronger everyday
Our ministry to be God centered
Good relationships to be built between us and the community
God has continued to be our strength when we feel weak
We have been blessed to have more direct contact with our orphan ministry
God has blessed our marriage with love and respect