Dear Friends and Family,
We are very encouraged by your continued love and support during our journey through Africa. You have helped us in so many different ways and it is a constant reminder we are not alone. It helps us keep a spotlight on God’s provision. God has blessed us with such great friends and family from all walks of life that it is hard not to be grateful to remain, in some fashion, connected with you.
As I write this letter I find myself filled with different emotions, many of which are conflicting. We wanted to let you know of a difficult decision Shannon and I have recently made. Shannon and I have been trying to have a child for a little over a year now, but have yet to be blessed with a child. This has started to take a toll on us emotionally. We stand firm knowing that God is the giver of every good thing, however, we, like everyone else, can become affected by the circumstances.
Through prayer and communication with my wife, we have requested to move back to the States and serve with Teen Missions at our base in Florida. This was not an easy decision to make. While there are certainly emotional issues that we feel fellowship and encouragement by friends in Florida will benefit, this is not the only reason we are moving on from Uganda.
Uganda and the people we minister to have been a part of our lives for what seems longer then it has been. When you stand toe-to-toe with people and their difficulties you grow attached. We care about the people here and desire the ministry to continue to grow and reach those who need to hear about Jesus Christ and all He has to offer, however, we do not feel this is where God has called us to continue to be. We have enjoyed the time God has given us to meet many different people and be a part of Teen Missions ministry in Uganda. God had a reason for us to be here and we are grateful for everything we have learned, and we are better for it.
It was hard to explain to some people in Uganda that we felt God was moving us in this direction. Some of them have little help and understandably looked to us as the solution to their problems. Certainly, we brought an element to their lives that they didn’t have before, but that did not qualify us as a solution. We pressed Christ as the provider the whole time we were here but not everyone who hears the Good News understands and accepts it as Truth. Some wrote us letters begging us to stay, while others thanked us for the time we were there,
“I just want to say it is painful to say goodbye to caring people like you…May God keep and protect you wherever you go and be successful in your lifetime. All is left in the hands of God…” -Sadia Okecha age 17.
Needs are everywhere in this world. I believe God has us on a journey and we have a deep desire to be on His heels. Ministry is something we know God has planned for us to be a part of and feel very strong that we are to remain in it. By the time you read this letter we will have arrived in Florida. I do believe our hearts will be heavy with the goodbyes we have said, so we desire your prayers to be with us and the people in Uganda that we have had the opportunity to be with. Please lift a special prayer for Moses Ocen and Moses Odea who are continuing the work with the children in Uganda.
We would like to end as we began with a special thank you to our financial and prayer supporters. We truly are encouraged that you stand with us and are grateful to remain, in some fashion, connected with you. If you would like to join us in this ministry please see the card attached below to see the different ways we can partner in reaching the world with the love of Christ.
Together in His Harvest,
Justin & Shannon O’Hara