Uganda—they call it the pearl of Africa. This is where we spent our summer with Teen Missions. We (Shannon, Zoe and I) traveled with 24 team members and two other leaders to our base in Jinja, Uganda. From there we shook off some jet lag and then embarked on a 15-hour truck ride north to Koboko, a border town near DR Congo and South Sudan. Teen Missions has a base/future Bible school and AIDS Orphan Rescue Unit there. It was an amazing summer as we watched our team grow in the Lord. It was very difficult to leave knowing there was so many orphans in need and few people there to do the work to help them. We are certain that we left part of our heart in Africa when we left.
Although Shannon has been to Africa twice before, this was my first trip. So many people told me I would fall in love with the people there when I went and they were right. Ugandans are friendly, warm people and they are genuinely welcoming. I was broken to see so many children who need good homes and basic life necessities. A young woman named Jackline came to the base one day. She had a ganglion cyst on her wrist that I was asked to look at. I gave her some ibuprofen for the pain hoping it would reduce some of the inflammation in her hand. I asked her if she had eaten that day because I knew she shouldn’t take the medicine on an empty stomach. I learned she had not eaten at all that day and it was late afternoon. I gave her two bananas and a bottle of water. Little did I know such a small gesture would mean so much to a 17 year-old orphan. She looked at me and asked me to be her mother. She begged me to bring her home and adopt her as my own. My goodness how it broke my heart to tell her I could not do that. How do you leave such need behind and come home to such a comfortable way of living? We are working to get Jackline into the Uganda BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK (BMW) Training Center at the TMI base in Uganda where she can study the Bible and serve the Lord. She will have a warm bed, three meals a day and a roof over her head. Please pray with us that Jackline will be able to attend BMW in January.
Our team’s plan was to play soccer at area schools and share the Gospel whenever we had the opportunity. We visited several schools and met so many children. We were invited to share at a Muslim boarding school and presented the Good News of Jesus Christ to hundreds of young people there. We were amazed at the open doors that God provided this summer. One day, we were visited by a Muslim man who awoke that day to fast for Ramadan. He had so many doubts in his mind about his beliefs that he came to the base to ask about becoming a Christian. Shannon and I shared John 14:1-6 with him and told him that Jesus was the only way to heaven. We then shared the Roman Road. He said he believed that Jesus was the Son of God who died
for his sins and he prayed to accept Salvation. What an amazing opportunity!! I have checked on him since we returned and have been told that he is attending a Christian church! A few days later some of our team members were approached by another Muslim man in the market. He asked why they were not fasting for Ramadan. They replied that they were Christians and didn’t have to fast. He started to ask questions about their faith and they shared Christ with him and he, too, prayed to accept Jesus as his Savior!!!
We completed all of our planned work projects at the base and we even completed a couple of additional projects. The team worked very hard and they were able to put up a wind turbine to provide electricity for the staff there. They installed six toilets and plastered the walls behind them, they filled the base courtyard with load after load of dirt to level the area and they installed a new gate at the entrance that is large enough to allow a vehicle to enter. Their parents would be proud as we had several of them install the sewer line, water line, toilets with quality parts from China, lay bricks and we even had two girls who became pretty good electricians. We had an awesome group of teens who not only worked hard and played hard, but loved on the orphans who came to visit each day. We had a Saturday VBS program with the orphans where we taught them Bible stories and phonics, entertained with puppets, played games and soccer and helped prepare them a meal. Our team became very good at traditional African games like “Mingle, Mingle” and “Do What I Do.”
Canaan spent his summer here in the US. After Boot Camp was over, he flew to Ohio to spend two weeks as a camp counselor at the Christian Union Campground in Greenfield, Ohio. He enjoyed counseling and mentoring the young boys in his group both weeks. While he was in Ohio, Shannon’s dad’s health declined to the point that they called the family to the hospital. Canaan and Taylor were able to share some Scripture with both their grandfather and grandmother and were able to lead their grandfather to the Lord before he died! Although it was devastating to hear of Shannon’s dad’s death while we were so far away from family, what a comfort it was to hear that Shannon’s dad will now spend eternity in heaven! God ordained Canaan to be there for just that purpose. Canaan even shared the same Scriptures and message at the funeral. We couldn’t be more amazed at the way God used Canaan and Taylor. We serve a mighty God!!
Madison had an eventful summer on her team to Myanmar. Four days after arriving at their project site, they found out that the government would not let them do any work there. With no project to do, they found it necessary to leave Myanmar and the team was welcomed at our base in Cambodia for the rest of the summer. She said it was the best summer ever and is still quite “team sick,” missing her team tremendously. She gained amazing confidence this summer and is really becoming bold in sharing her faith. She is growing into a beautiful young woman, inside and out (we may be a little biased).
WES & TAYLOR
Taylor’s wedding plans are coming together. She will marry Wes Collingsworth on November 2nd in Lexington, KY. He is a kind, Christian man who loves Taylor with all of his heart. They have been best friends for more than five years. God brought them together in a very special way. We could not have written their love story any better. Please pray for them as they begin their lives together. They will live in Nashville, TN where Wes just accepted a position at Rolling Hills Community Church as the Audio Technician. Taylor is still looking for a job there.
Canaan has had a few setbacks recently with his epilepsy. After a recent EEG, the neurologist has decided that his medicine is not working effectively to suppress the seizure activity in his brain. He has begun the process of changing medicines. Please pray that new medicine will be effective with minimal side effects and that the VNS that was installed surgically on Good Friday will help to reduce his seizures. God is ALWAYS good! It is amazing to watch Him work through Canaan and bless his life in spite of his epilepsy. Canaan feels called to teach and be a missionary!
We want to express our sincere gratitude for you and your fellowship in the Gospel with us. You make our ministry possible. Your financial support, phone calls, cards and letters of encouragement bless us more than you will ever know.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We thank God for YOU every day!
The Bobb Family