Saturday, January 19, 2019

Jan. 19

Ministry Partners and Friends,

It was a beautiful morning in Kericho, Kenya.

A friend, Kathy, posted this comment on yesterday's blog:
Acts 13:47 "For the Lord gave us this command when He said,"I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth." When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for His message; and all who were chosen for eternal life became believers. So the Lord's message spread throughout that region."
You are in the company of the Apostle Paul these days as you bring the salvation message to the farthest corners of the earth!"

Thanks for such a powerful reminder of our mission and calling.

After a great buffet breakfast ( Spanish omelet with cheese, potato rounds, beans, sausages, corn  on the cob, toast, pineapple, honeydew melon, strawberry yogurt and African tea and there was so much more that I did not eat!) we off the short distance to the first of two prisons today.

Although we follow pretty much the same program at each crusade the outpouring of the Holy Spirit often differs from prison to prison. I am firmly convinced that regardless of what I say the inmates hear just what they need to hear for their personal situations. there were numerous interruptions today as  new incoming prisoners entered right behind me. But the men made good decisions for their lives today and at the end .......
one prisoner came and bowed down, He said he had had disagreements with many of the inmates and he apologized and asked then to forgive him and for those who had done him wrong he said he forgave them.

Then one of the guards, who had sat through the entire crusade, came and insisted I pray for him. When I asked what for he responded that he wanted to receive Jesus as his Savior and then he knelt down in front of me with Aaron and the prison chaplain standing with me.
 
As I leaned over him I could smell the alcohol on his breath but I led him in prayer and all of the prisoners and guards heard his confession of faith as Aaron held a microphone before him. Following his prayer the prison erupted in cheering and applause. He told Aaron that God rescued him today and that from today he would never have another drink. 


It was then was time to go to the women's prison where we met the woman chaplain. I could hear the women's beautiful voices as we arrived and as we entered the building I saw that changes needed to be made. Two third of the women 140 were on one side of a partial wall with the rest on the other side. I decided the best way to do the teaching was to stand in the doorway between the two rooms. Like the men today, the women made good choices for themselves. As we concluded one woman came weeping and said she had told many other prisoners of her plan on killing her husband when she got out because she was innocent and it was his fault she was there and she had sent him a letter telling him so. She saw him in court and although he asked for forgiveness she told him she was going to hire thugs to kill him and the others who helped him.
BUT TODAY she made the decision for her heart to be free and she had prayed forgiveness over him.

I HAVE NO FURTHER WORDS, JUST PRAISE TO THE PRECIOUS SAVIOR! 

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Friday, January 18, 2019

Jan. 18

Ministry Partners and Friends,

I know I have been complaining about how hot it has been here but last night was so cold I had to ask for another blanket and Bishop Moses missed dinner since he was so cold he just wanted to go to bed. All of our bodies are struggling with trying to adjust to the temperature changes. I was thankful for hot water to bathe in but there was no WiFi and mosquito net. After contracting Malaria last year I am doubly cautious about being safe, it was nice of the hotel manager to bring a unit that plugged into the wall that emitted a mosquito repellent. I will have to see about purchasing one of my own to have with me on the next trip.

It was a short trip back to the women's prison this morning and we were in and set up to began at about 10. The two women Chaplains that were with us yesterday met us there today. They set us up in the shade of a long building and the women were sitting on the opposite side in the sun but I told the Chaplains that I would prefer to change side with the women so they would be in the shade but they assured me that it was early in the day and not as hot as yesterday so the ladies would be fine.

We delivered the same program offering them the opportunity to accept Christ as Savior followed by teaching them about the new creation they became in Christ. A child of the King, a Princess and how it affects the person we are inside and our relationship with Christ when we choose to sin after becoming a christian. Then speaking forgiveness over someone who hurt them or forgiving themselves for their past wrong choices,

but forgiving is a difficult thing. The women understood that by not forgiving they were allowing Satan to keep them in bondage! Then there were those who apologized and asked another woman for forgiveness.  
Today they chose to be free. 
 The Holy Spirit did powerful work with these 115 ladies today.

Again, the children's caps crocheted and donated by women from Canby Foursquare Church were a BIG hit. 
Mama's chose but some little one enjoyed choosing their own.

Then after fixing our PBJ sandwiches we were off for a 2 1/2 hour drive to Kabsabet to spend the night and be ready to do ministry in a men's and women's prison there. We passed both tea and sugarcane plantations on the way and finally began to see banana trees.
The tea fields were beautiful and looked like a lush green carpet.

It will be nice to spend 2 nights in the same place.

Thank you for continuing to pray for the hearts of those we are ministering too and for us.

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Jan. 17

Ministry Partners and Friends,

I started off this morning just giving God praise and being so thankful for things like a firm mattress, 6 hours of sleep, a good mosquito net, a toilet that flushes and clean hot water to bathe in. As we drive down village streets dirt is flying everywhere and when it rains like last night then mud is everywhere. As we travel down those dry roads we raise a heavy blanket of dust that covers those who are walking alongside and that dirt permeates the houses alongside the road. I think most of us in America take so much for granted, I know I do. Yesterday I saw someone filling a gerry can with water from the most dirty pond where someone else was washing their motor bike.

Yesterday I posted a photo of me hugging a prisoner who I had met last year. Later I found my photo taken with her last year.

 2018
 2019
I laughed as I was wearing the same top!

As I went for our scheduled 7:30 breakfast this morning the sleepy head guys didn't come until 8. It was an opportunity for lighthearted teasing, I know for sure I will get teased back.

In Uganda we added 1 prison making 30 there and last evening it was decided to add 1 here making 14. That will make a total of 44 prisons visited this trip.

Today we drove about 1 hour to a men's prison. When we entered with the two lady Chaplins the 450  men were already gathering behind a heavy high wire fence and they had us set up on the outside. I told the Chaplin that it would not work for me, I wanted to be inside, closer to the men. After much conversation I was allowed to enter and the team also entered with our equipment. The sun was so hot, I was glad I put my sunscreen on my nose and arms. I have stood many, many times in the sun and preached, sometimes twice a day but today about 3/4ths of the way through I knew I was about to pass out. I turned around, grabbed a chair and sat down. I continued preaching and Aaron gave his testimony while I sat. Then Aaron and I did one of our object lessons and finished the last of the crusade. There were so many young men there, sad and hopeless looking but today they heard how much Jesus loves them.

Edward and Moses found us a place to stay and then tomorrow morning after I preach at the women's prison here then we drive to another town to stay overnight in preparation for ministry there the next day.

What a trip this has been, stories for a lifetime.

Please continue to pray.

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Jan. 16

Ministry Partners and Friends,

Another bright sunny day in Kenya to do ministry.

Aaron reported that although a couple of days ago he hit his big toe on a rise in the walkway and knocked his toenail loose...... today God has healed it and he was able to wear his shoes. 

Today I visited two prisons I have visited before which is something I do not do often due to there being so many new prisons to visit but because of the turnover in prisoners Edward assures me that almost all the prisoners I will speak to will be new.

The first prison is a women's prison and it was true only a few women were there the last time I was there. The O.C. that received us was new and ever so nice. We gathered inside a building so all of us were shielded from the sun.

As I gave the invitation it was as the enemy thru a cover over the women's hearts, a hardness that was evident as only a few received Christ and yet almost all prayed the forgiveness prayer and they apologize to each other. PLEASE PRAY that the spiritual chains that would keep the inmates here bound would be broken by the power of Jesus and his love for them and that we would see an outpouring of the Holy Spirits power in the prisoners lives.

I recognized one of the older women who was there as one who was there the last time I was there. I called her up and gave her a big hug which the other inmates applauded. She whispered to me that she goes to court Monday so I bowed my head and prayer quietly for her. I think the other women were a bit confused by our continuous hug as I prayed.
I was surprised she was going to court as the last time I saw her they told me she was a "lifer".

The women were grateful for the Bibles, discipleship booklets, soap, toilet paper and donated crochet caps that they received for their little one ages 1 to 4.

Then it was off to the men's farm prison that was some distance and since Edward was driving his car I made him a PPJ sandwich to eat on the way as I did for Aaron and me. When we arrived he said that he had never had one before and he REALLY liked it. Perhaps it was the pineapple jam that made it so good!

As we were about to enter the prison Aaron said the Holy Spirit told him that someone there had an un-forgiveness issue with his wife that was going to be healed.
We were outside at the men's prison and all went well until almost the end when it began to sprinkle....which is exactly what happened the last time I was here. But Edward told the men to wait and they did responding to asking for forgiveness. That was when the Deputy O.C. stepped forward and apologized to the men saying he had been mean to some of them, he said he was sorry and asked them to forgive him. Then he said he had had an issue with un-forgiveness towards his wife but that he had prayed forgiveness over her and he knew God would heal their marriage even thought they were currently living apart.

THERE IS JUST NOTHING LIKE WATCHING THE HOLY SPIRIT WORK!

Tonight we pack up as tomorrow we will drive to the next town for ministry in a men's prison there and then the next day at the women's prison.
Outside there is a downpour Praise the name of Jesus that he held back this downpour this afternoon and it was only a sprinkle.

Chaplin Edward invited Bishop Moses, the Regional Commandant of Prisons, who joined us this evening and he will be with us for the reminder of the trip.

I can't say thank you enough as you stand with the IRM team, holding us up in prayer, your partnership is invaluable.

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jan. 15

Ministry Partners and Friends,

Good morning Kenya. It was nice to a room that was cool without having to have a fan on me.

It was nice having breakfast with Chaplin Edward and Aaron this morning. After breakfast they left to go buy water for us and the soap that we will take as gifts along with the Bibles to our first prison today.

It was a large prison of 1600 but only 600 were allowed to come, actually I went into their ward to speak. It was cloudy in the beginning but the hot sun came out. Two other Chaplin s were there and a woman Chaplin who said she would see me tomorrow when I go to speak to the women's wing of this same prison.

So today we were a team of six, Edward is taking the photo. 

The prisoners were thieves, smugglers and murderers, such a mix of ages but mostly I saw such young faces that appeared lifeless. I followed the same format but during my time I was stopped 4 different time so they could "count". Then I would start again and after a short time I would be stopped gain for another "count". Somehow their counts were not adding up to the men that were suppose to be there. It became very evident to the Chaplin s and myself that what was going on was demonic, Satan did not want these men to be free!!!!!

I am so thankful I serve a risen Savior who has more power that the enemy and we have the victory in Christ. Despite the enemy's feeble and distracting attempts the men still received Christ, including all the M_____ in the group, they prayed forgiveness and apologized to each other. Two inmates came forward and spoke of how they had had disagreements with other prisoners and were bitter BUT today they apologized to that inmate and then asked for forgiveness. As they shook hands and hugged the other  while the other prisoners cheered.

The rest of the team said how powerful today's teachings were. Edward says I need to come next year and do a training for Chaplin s. I told him I would pray about it BUT as of today I do not feel called to train men. I feel I need to keep the main thing the main thing and that's sharing the Gospel and the forgiveness message so that men and women can be reconciled to God first and then to each other.

Aaron needed to have some work done on the van so Edward took me dress shopping. We went to a myriad of shops with each lady just sure I should buy a dress from her even if it was not what I wanted. I wanted an authentic African dress with embroidery. Finally I found a top with pants, quite different from anything I would normally buy and it's in green!!!! I will keep an eye out for a dress.

During dinner there was a downpour, I pray the women have a room inside for us to gather in tomorrow.

I appreciate your prayers as the enemy's attacks continue. Please pray for:
  1. Open hearts for the Gospel
  2. That Satan would be held back from interfering  
  3. Health, energy and good sleep for the team
  4. Safety for our travels
That none would be lost,
Arlene

Monday, January 14, 2019

Jan. 14


Ministry Partners and Friends,

I am a bit sad this morning as this is my last morning to awake in Uganda. It has been a whirlwind of ministry with ups and downs for sure, but such a powerful time of watching the Holy Spirit work. Ever day finds Aaron and I saying, “Well, this is a new adventure!” New concerns about our time in Kenya but I am excited to get there.

They did bring me a small fan last night which I aimed at my bed so although I did not sleep well, was wide-awake after only being asleep 1 ½ hours. Although I was under the net somehow I did get a bit on my upper leg, I’m not sure from what kind of bug but I did get some sleep.

This morning as we headed to the prison we went the opposite direction and ended up at the prison district office so we were a bit late arriving at the prison at the 8:45 time that we had hoped to be there for. The OC was such a nice gentleman receiving us into his office we chatted for a little bit and then after hearing that kind of program that we were going to present he said that we had the full amount of time that we needed and he told one of his officers that he wanted them to attend and listen to what we were going to present.

The prisoners were seated in chair two big trees so they had shade and I was able to stand mostly in the shade from the building behind me. A number of the prisoners were not there as we had passed them on the way to this farm prison doing work in the fields. I had never before seen cotton actually growing and the prisoners were long rows going through the field picking cotton today.

I just can’t help but smile when they first see me. They are a bit cautious of me but when they realize that I am not there to preach at them that I’m just going to share a story about Irsrael's choices made out of fear and how Israel dealt with fear, how all of us deal with fear including me, their demeanor towards me changes. Then after so many make not one, not two but three good choices huge smiles and laughter are evident They wanted to know when we will return and as we are putting things away to go these men formed lines around me, pushing each other so as many as possible could shake my hand and thank me for coming. As I shook hands with as many as possible I also spoke blessings over them, thieves, smugglers, rapists and murderers. 

Then it was the drive to Kenya where the process at the boarder took 2 hours. It was so hot  here and so many semi trucks, 


rows and rows and rows crossing from Kenya into Uganda. I was glad there was a man there who took us through the "hoops" although there was a charge.

The drive to Eldorate was on paved road  but we did not arrive until 6:30. Our contact pastor, Chaplin Edward, had car trouble and did not leave Kitale until 6:00 so he called his Chaplin friend to meet us at the designated hotel to make sure we approved and if not he would take us to another one. At one point I told Aaron since Eldorate was so large to just stop and get a motor bike to lead us there (they make for a good GPS). I was happy it was nice and we did not have to look further. Edward's friend arrived shortly after we did and he kept us company until Edward arrived. 

We decided on the days events for tomorrow and then the men unloaded the van and I am writing this blog. It's 11:30 and I am so tired I will say that is enough for now.
Goodnight from Kenya.

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Jan. 13

Ministry Partners and Friends,

I am thankful that I got a full 6 1/2 hours sleep last night and on a mattress that was just right it helps that I am finally used to sleeping under a mosquito net. I have to admit that I still feel like crawling back into bed.

As we were looking for a place to stay last evening I saw this flower at one hotel we chose not to stay at.
 
 I don't remember ever seeing this flower before but I think the bud is especially beautiful.

I was glad that the first prisons we went to today was not far. A large prison of men and a small prison of women, kept in different area. We arrived at 9 and waited in the waiting area for an hour before the Deputy O.C. welcomed us and told me I had one hour! Aaron explained that we generally need 2 1/2 hours for our program and he then asked me if I could "cut" our program. I could not help myself, I heard myself answer, "Can you drive your car on three wheels?" I was so shocked at my comment and he was so surprised that we all laughed, even Aaron. Then he told me I had 1 1/2 hours.

The Holy Spirit helped me cut some and still deliver the points and then the scriptures He needed to speak into their hearts. Yes, these men could make good choices, three of them, salvation, forgiveness and apologizing and asking for forgiveness. Another young officer sat to the whole ministry time and the prison Chaplin was there for the last 3/4 of our time. As the men started apologizing to each other and asking for forgiveness two prisoners came to that officer and extended their hands which he responded to. It was an amazing thing to watch and the officer looked at me and nodded his head, he understood the importance of having the time to allow the men to respond to each other in such a way.

A prisoner who was the head of the Pentecostal churches within the prison walked with Aaron and I down to the O.C.'s office and on the way he told me he was a Christian and that he had an issue with forgiving but God set him free today when he forgave. I found the O.C. to be a very nice man who had missed our arrival because he was at church. We spent almost an hour talking with him before driving to the women's area.

Again we were held from entering for some time and then when I finally saw the women O.C. she kept us in her office for some time telling me I needed to be dome by 3 as they had another program. That gave me about 1 hr. and 20 min. so chopping again was needed but the women responded to all three invitations just like the men had. The last invitation that I gave them was to stand up and go to a woman they had had words with and apologize and ask for forgiveness. One woman finally broke the ice and did so then the room erupted with women going to each other. All the while there was applause and laughter. I asked the women what their heart now felt like and they responded, "FREE & PEACEFUL!"

I challenged them to continue to allow the Holy Spirit to give them courage to keep making good choices for themselves.

The mothers were so pleased to be able to pick a darling donated hand crochet cap for their child before we left.

The drive to Tororo took about an hour but the road was paved and unlike Kumi where vegetation is sparse due to lack of water, banana trees and other foliage has began appearing. We finally found a place to stay but I had to do some stairs which are difficult for me with my back issues. There is no WiFi but  I am thankful for our portable one so I can post this.  But downstairs they are installing 12
gambling machines on a number of walls, interesting!!! The window and door have no screen so I hope I can sleep tonight in this small room with no ventilation. Yep. this trip is an adventure.

Thank you for continuing to pray, our last Uganda prison is tomorrow morning, then it is off to the boarder crossing and Kenya.

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Jan. 12

Ministry Partners and Friends,

It's a beautiful morning in Kuni, Uganda.

I was excited about having a tub to soak in last night but a tub without water is not helpful. Well, I should not say there was no water as there was a dribble of cold water! After going to the reception desk to ask why there was no hot water they brought a gerry can of hot water and put it in the tub so I was at least able to bathe but the long soak will have to wait for another time. Just being able to bathe, there is always something to be thankful for.

Somehow the cook was not able to prepare any single thing I requested from the menu so I requested a glass of milk so I could have a bowl of cereal from the cereal I had with me. Then Aaron went to the kitchen and picked a pineapple he knew would be good so that was dinner for me. Aaron and I have spent some time laughing about the adventure this trip has been, so many things that I will not be able to write about here!!!

We were only a few minutes drive from our prison today and I was ever so pleased with the was the O.C. received us. He was a nice man, I liked him right away and he stayed through our entire ministry time. As the prisoners make their decisions to receive Christ and forgive the O.C. did also. It was nice being outside under the shade of buildings and a huge tree. they were 11 women there and a number of them wept as I challenged them to forgive the man that raped them as a young girl that they might be free. As the prisoners were apologizing and asking for forgiveness at one point the O.C. stopped having the conversation translated but I clearly understood that my hearing his interaction with the prisoners was quite personal and I would not have wanted him to be embarrassed by my hearing. What courage it takes for those in positions of authority to be so transparent with those under them.
The women were so pleased when I handed each one a donated scarf before leaving.

Then it was a nice drive on paved roads but we dropped off to dirt and as we got close to the prison we saw the men making bricks and building the 'structure" so they could be fired. As we waited for the men to return to the prison we parked under the most interesting tree. One of the guards said that the "nuts" that fall from the tree are shelled, then the meat is grated and put in boiling water. An oil then raises to the top and is skimmed off you use on top of foods.



He went to his house and brought back a few nuts and meats as well as some of the oil. Aaron rubbed it on his hands and arms and thought that would be a very good use.
The bark of the tree was amazing as was the structure with a large open are at the base of the trunk.


At this second prison we were received by a young, tall very nice O.C. who had the inmates assembled in a small room but it was not as packed as others have been. Our ministry went the same as the one did this morning. I told the men how proud I was of them for the good choices they had made for their lives today. Two prisoners thanked me for coming and told of choosing to forgive today and being set free.

Both O.C.'s today told us how valuable what we are doing is and asked us to please come back. It's nice to leave knowing we found such favor with them.

It took us three tries before we found a suitable place to stay and tomorrow is another two prison day so I will close for now as it's 11 o'clock but tonight I did have hot water and a flushing toilet, YEA!!! Like I said, there are always things to be thankful for.

Blessing on each one of you for partnering with us.

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Friday, January 11, 2019

Jan. 11

Ministry Partners and Friends,

It has been nice to spend two nights in the same place but today we are on the road again and it found us packing the van at 6:45.  
Once again we passed through some road construction but I am not sure why man after man was sweeping a grey/white sand(?) from off of the top surface of the new road and Aaron did not know.
 
A nice 4(?) lane road, no potholes or speed bumps .....yet!

Today was a long day as we visited two prisons and then drove to another town to find a place to stay as at our last prison area there was not a place to stay. Living out of a suitcase is not my first choice especially when I know I have something but not sure where it is now.

We were scheduled to visit two small prisons today but yesterday when we visited the women's prisons we found that there was a large men's prison there also so we went by this morning just to see if they would allow us in........ and they did and we ministered to over 400 men. The Chaplin, David, did most of the translating for me. He was great to work with, he was tall, good looking and with a huge smile just like my son Alfred. The men had different musical instruments that they played, sang and danced to. It was an enjoyable time to start our ministry time where we watched the Holy Spirit work as in other prisons.

Then we drove on dirt roads to the second prison arriving there earlier that expected but the guard who welcomed us set this in order so we could began. The room was ever so small and all of the men could not get in which was disappointing. The prisoner who translated for me had trouble following at times which brought laughter from the other inmates, some of which knew English, and at one point he went off on a preaching tangent of his own. Small or big prisons, the men are all the same, lost and hopeless but when our time is over and they have made three good choices for themselves I ask them how their hearts feel? The broad smiles and clapping tell the story of the inward changes.

Oh, dear partners and friends I am so blessed to be here, thank you for sending me into the harvest fields. I can only imagine the singing that is going on in heaven over the lost who are now saved.

My father became a Christian at age 45 and then went to bible school at age 50 followed by becoming a pastor whose  gifting was in winning souls. He is in heaven now and I know he is celebrating every day along with me at each one who makes a decision to become a child of God by receiving the free gift of salvation Jesus offers to each person.

God gave me a special blessing tonight as we found an "iffie" hotel but it had one room with a bathtub!!!! Unheard of in the bush where we are. My back and legs will enjoy the long soak it will provide.

We only have 2 1/2 days left in Uganda with 5-6 prisons to minister in and then it will be off to Kenya.

Please continue to pray for us:
  1. Open hearts for the Gospel
  2. Favor with everyone we meet
  3. A fresh anointing for the translators, Aaron and me
  4. Heath and strength for the team
  5. Safety as we travel
That none would be lost
Arlene

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Jan. 10

Ministry Partners and Friends,

I can't believe that 1/2 of my time in Africa is over, it is going by far too quickly, there is still so much to do.

As our days are filled with driving both near and far to get to each prison today was a bit different. As we left the hotel we drove by the local market and it was market day. The road became even more narrow as people had their wares on the edge of the already narrow roadway. That blended with motorbike everywhere, 40-50 motor bikes to every 2 cars and they were going every which way and that didn't count the bicycles!
It was slow going but then in a few miles I was ever so surprised as a paved EXTRA WIDE road with construction opened before us. Aaron explained that the barren area is actually swamp land.  That's why they put down a white plastic barrier under the road!
I am not sure why they were sweeping a grey/white sandy substance off the top of the road and Aaron did not know. Although we had to stop for the construction we made up for it on the completed part. Nice after bumpy, rutted dirt roads.

Not a banana tree to be seen, I can see why Alfred says this is the poorest part of Uganda.

We were welcomed at our first prison today by a Deputy O.C. who seemed far to young for the position but ever so nice. This small prison is another one that says no one has ever come before to tell us about God's free gift of salvation. The young prisoner who translated for me did a good job but the issue is mine. I am so used to Alfred or Aaron translating for me that others seem strange and I am never SURE they are delivering what I am conveying, it's a great time to depend on the Holy Spirit as no matter what the interpreter says they will "hear" what He wants them to hear just like in the book of Acts! The men made three good choices in receiving that free gift of salvation, praying forgiveness and asking for forgiveness. Seeing the change in their eyes and faces as they are set free is priceless!!!

Then it was back to Soroti to do ministry in the small women's prison. I was thankful for the prisoner who translated for me and we laughed together when I whispered to her, "Now get animated like me." during my talk on forgiveness. At first she just burst into laughter as she heard me yell and the women then laughed at her. It was a good time with an important principle. Following their third good choice today the women sang and danced and they agreed with me that God had set their hearts free.

The crochet caps were once again a big hit for the children and with the pregnant moms.

Tonight I talked the cook here into altering the Coleslaw that was on the menu, he was gracious and the result was DELICIOUS. I asked him the omit the onion and add instead minced pineapple. I usually use Greek Yogurt and just a little Mayo but had to settle for just mayo tonight. I added a bit of Splenda instead of sugar and Aaron also liked it. The cook even decorated the plate with sliced tomatoes.
I  did everything except lick the plate. It was a great accompaniment to the pizza and Aaron was glad to take the pizza I could not eat to have as part of his lunch tomorrow.

Tomorrow is another 2 prison day with a distance to drive.

We appreciate your continuing prayer covering.

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Jan. 9

Ministry Partners and Friends,

It's been another long day today although we were staying in Lira and our first prison today was at local prison. It was nice to not a long drive first thing in the morning and to get an early 9am start.

When we arrived we were taken to the O.C.'s office where we found her having her breakfast. Although the guard at the gate had refused to let me take my camera with my the O.C. agreed to have a photo taken with me. It is wonderful that God has granted us such favor with the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Prisons that we carry a special letter stating we have permission to take 2-3 photos, an unheard of thing within the prisons.
The O.C. gave us a small room and everyone fit and it was great that I did not have to stand in the sun. Since Aaron does not speak Lou God provided a nice lady from the staff who did a great job. There were responses for salvation, forgiveness and the women forgave each other. One woman stated that her mother forced her to murder her child but today she forgave her mother and herself. As she told us of her decision she wept and my feet could not move fast enough as I went to her side and put my arm around her. She said she had been in prison 23 years and had vowed to never forgive her mother but today.....but today.....but today, she found forgiveness from Jesus and in turn forgave! Again the Holy Spirit's work was evident.

The nine women with babies were ever so pleased that they were able to choose a darling donated crochet cap for their child. The women also gave me another Ugandan name which means "one who brings good news." So when added to my other two Ugandan names, Victorious and Gift the Ugandans call me, "The Victorious Gift who brings Good News." I'll take it!!!!

Before leaving they brought a old women back that they had earlier removed, she was beating her chest , crying and hollering. The lady that translated for me said she was demon possessed, she and Aaron and I prayed for her but the lady told me she was a christian. I was concerned that she only had religious head knowledge because the Holy Spirit with not share his home with demons. It was evident that she was demon oppressed at the very least. I could not get her to call on the name of Jesus before we left. They said she had murdered her child years before and it was the spirit of the dead child that was tormenting her.

When we finished we went to the gate and I retrieved my camera and then turned to go to the O.C.'s office for our photo when the gate keeper tried to stop me and grab my phone. I told her I forgave her for being so rude and continued walking to the O.C.'s office. I entered and asked the O.C. for our photo which she graciously said yes too, telling the guard that she gave permission.

Then it was an hour drive to our second prison and we passed an interesting "field" where Aaron said they were growing fish called....Mud fish.

Well, I like Tilapia from Lake Victoria but I think I will pass on Mud Fish.
 
Our second prison today had a small women's section which they brought in so I could talk to all of them. Most of the men prisoners were so young even the man who translated for me. He was quite good and fast only stopping a few times to clarify what I said. During the forgiveness part many were wiping their eyes and as my interrupter started to cry he abruptly left so no one would see him. He came back later and told me he would get out in less than a year.

As I finished I was told the women had a song for me as a thank you and so they did, they sang about IRM and included singing thanks to Aaron and me!

Aaron decided to drive the hour to  the town of Soroti for us to find a place to stay, that way we will already be in the same town as our next prison.

Every day is an adventure for sure. Thank you for partnering with us, your prayers are working. 
"Thank You"

That none would be lost,
Arlene

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Jan. 8

Ministry Partners and Friends,

Today started with a very long 3 hour drive to Lira Main Prison. Along the way the scenery changed as it became a bit more barren and HOTTER. In case I haven't mentioned it, it'd hotter than I remember it being in May - Aug. of my previous trips. I keep thinking of all that wonderful, cold snow in Oregon this time of year.

We saw baboons and monkeys today in a couple different places. One of the big baboons had a back leg cut off.

As we passed through trading center (village) after trading center it became apparent that they are experiencing a severe downturn in local businesses as so very many of the storefronts were closed. I wondered where they went and how are they providing for their families now? The residences changed to as more and more thatch roofed round homes appeared. Some single and others grouped like their own little village.
 

We arrived at the prison about 11 and waited outside the O.C.'s office as she was addressing the prisoners. Finally, after 45 min. she entered her office and welcomed us. She appeared young for being the O.C. over this prison 1,400 condemned  prisoners. She was ever so welcoming and I really liked her. She agreed to a photo and laughed as I told her," Because I am 74, I am mama to everyone so ...," then I gave her a side wise hug as she put her arm around me. I am thankful for the O.C.'s photos as they help identify each prison in the report we turn in at the end of the trip to Commissioner Elizabeth and Deputy Commissioner Apollo. She then advised us to return at 1:30 to set up and begin our program at 2.

Off we went to find a place to stay and the second place we stopped at would work so registered and then went back to the prison. They put up a kind of cover for me against the building and the men were seated around the walls and in the center of the courtyard under a very large tree. Staying under the cover kept me too far from the men so I was happy I had put sun screen on and was able to stand closer to them but in the sun. I was not as comfortable today as Aaron could not translate for me as he is not fluent in Luo and a prisoner who was a pastor translated. Something about his demeanor did not "feel" right and my feeling were correct as later one prison addressed him during the forgiveness portion in front of the entire prison. I gave the prisoner a bible and thanked him for his courage to do the right thing.

There were many there today that made a good choice for themselves by receiving God's free gift of salvation but there were so MANY more who did not. My heart hurts when I see such hardness to the Holy Spirit.

When we arrived at our hotel I just laid on the bed for about 30 minutes before starting this blog and after 30 minutes we went for dinner. I am not one for cold showers but tonight I think a cool shower will fit the bill!!!

We have two prisons tomorrow so please continue to pray for us, we REALLY appreciate it and comment when you can.
  1. Open hearts for the Gospel
  2. Favor with everyone we meet
  3. A fresh anointing for the team
  4. Travel and health safety
 That none would be lost,
Arlene

Monday, January 7, 2019

Jan. 7


Ministry Partners and Friends,

Today has been a busy day. After a fast breakfast, we hit the busy roads both paved and dirt of Kampala on our way to the first of two prisons, where we arrived at 10am. It interesting as ou drive along the sights one sees. Today we passed truck after truck of cattle going to market but unlike America these cattle have the most huge horns you have ever seen and they protrude out of the top of the truck. The interesting thing is that there are bars across the top of where the cattle are and the top is FILLED with people and bags of ???.  


 I grew up on a ranch and I can tell you I would not want to travel over these bumpy roads sitting over those cattle horns! 

There were only 179, total with 11 women, prisoners at our first prison but they were ever so attentive. The room they provided us was just big enough for everyone and I did not have to be in the sun. So, it was a win win for all of us. I was so pleased that they were able to bring the women in and seat them on the side of the room where I was standing. Most responded to the gospel message and prayed the forgiveness prayer. They also made a third good choice for themselves by apologizing to each other and asking for forgiveness.

When we were done, we asked a couple of the inmates if they had any comments. I was not expecting what one prisoner said. He said one of the guards there, and he named him, had hit him and left a scar on his face and he determined that he would never, never forgive him BUT today after hearing my message and our skit on forgiveness he said he prayed forgiveness over the guard. Oh how I love these broken men and women who want to make good choices for themselves.

We did not have enough bibles for everyone but we did give each of the women a bible and booklet set along with soap and famine hygiene products.

Then it was time to drive to the second prison with me making PPJ sandwiches for Aaron and I as he drove. We were both surprised that it only took us 45 minutes to get to the second prison.

Things here move slowly and it took almost 45 minutes from the time we arrived for us to finally be allowed to set up to minister. Although there were 1400 men at this prison, they took us to a med. size room where I was only able to speak to about 450, but the power of the Holy Spirit was at work again in the hearts of the men as we watched them respond to every invitation.

Then it was time for us to find a place to stay and there is not much available in this town. We found a place BUT there is no hot water, no Wifi, no screen on the windows so there is no air to circulate after dark. Windows cannot be open after dark due to mosquitos and I am cautious of those little female critters after getting Malaria last year. 

But the door locks, I have a bed AND a working toilet, they don’t have a menu but have agreed to cook us something ???? so I am a happy camper.

We have no idea where tomorrow’s prison is and there are no addresses or road signs so we are going to be on an exciting journey.

Thank you investing in the lives of the men and women here. Please continue to pray for us.

That none would be lost,
Arlene