Sunday, December 31, 2023

Dec. 31 New Years Eve Day - 1 compined prison visit today

 Ministry Partners,

Pastor Aaron, Bishop Arlene, Pastor Alfred


The IRM team wants to wish all of you a very Happy New Year 2024.

Breakfast was very interesting today, Alfred was not sure I was going to have much to eat. Instead of us serving ourselves for the first time they decided what the would give is to eat. I was thankful Aaron wanted the watermelon on the plate they brought me and traded me for the pineapple on his plate. The guys had a full plate of local food (cooked banana with peas, potatoes and sauce) but after some time I was able to get a 1 egg omelette. Alfred asked if I could please has a slice of bread or toast and they eventually brought me 2 pieces of toast. It was interesting as we had sat there and watched them make 25-30 loaves of bread and put them through their slicer before putting the fresh loves in plastic. The toast was delicious and from all the loaves they made I would say they have quite a business selling bread. We bought a loaf so we could have PP&J sandwiches for lunch.

Today we did a crusade for the men and women of Rukengiri Max. Security Prison where we were welcomed by the Deputy O.C.. Because we stayed at a hotel that was close to the prison it was only a 5 min. drive. The very high cement walls and corner guard towers of the prison presented a daunting sight as we passed through 3 gates to enter. 

The inmates were seated in an area that sloped down which was wonderful as all of them could see us and the object lessons we use for each lesson: salvation, discipleship, forgiveness and apologizing. The women were brought in to sit on the side, kind of behind me so I needed to continue turning so they knew they were included. It is so wonderful watching them grasp the truth that regardless of their past that Jesus loved them and died on the cross to pay the dept for their sin, then offering them the gift of salvation. Again the Holy Spirits work in their hearts was evident as they responded to all the invitations. 

After we finished I gave each lady a donated scarf and the children the crochet caps. I must say it does make me sad that many of the children scream when I come close to them, the first white person they have ever seen, although the mothers and inmates laugh.

One inmate said that he knew God allowed him to be in prison just so he could hear today's message about "Fear" and about "Forgiveness". He forgave all who had offended him and asked for forgiveness from those he had offended.

We then headed for a town 2 + hours away to be prepared for tomorrows prison crusade. After finding us a place to stay I went to work on this blog and sorting photos from today while the guys went into town to try and find a new radiator cap since Aaron says there is an issue with ours and find a repair place to fix the issue with our brake lights that won't turn off. But because it is Sunday a shop may be hard to find. 

The guys have returned and although shops are closed they were able to find a mechanic so everything on the van is fixed ($165) and ready to go for tomorrow.

I finally have determined that I need to dismiss out of my mind what any food in America tastes like compared to a food here by the same name. I ordered beef stroganoff for dinner and it came in a salty brown gravy instead of the creamy sauce I am used to. But the chef did a great job on the pineapple coleslaw.

Its only 7:15 here but I can hear the loud music for the partygoers although Alfred got our rooms at the far end of the complex. I am thankful that I have earplugs as he says there will be fireworks at midnight. It was raining a bit ago so I wonder if the festivities will be rained out tonight.

Enjoy the your celebrations in America.

That none would be lost,


Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dec. 30 Bushenyi Prisons today

 Ministry Partners

Tonight's dinner was DELICIOUS!

A number of weeks ago we were able to do two prisons in one day although we were only scheduled for one each day. Because of that we have been working a day ahead of the schedule we had prepared but God knew that we would get rained out and the men's prison yesterday and that we would need another day here to speak to the 1,200+ men in this prison. Today was the first time that any prison has been unable to make a dry venue for us when it rained and we had to postpone the crusade for that day altogether. But after today we will be back on our posted schedule. We will revisit the women's prison where we ministered yesterday to deliver to the babies there the darling caps crochet by the ladies from Canby Foursquare Church.

We left at 11 for the prison as it was only 5 min. away, which meant that for the first time this trip we did not have to leave our hotel at 7:30 or 8. Although it was our first and only sleep in morning I was awake at 6:30 and was unable to get on the internet until after we went for breakfast at 8. Alfred had to put more $ on our MTN WakaNet internet.

I was happy with the heavy blanket on my bed last night with the very cool weather here at the top of the mountain. It is overcast this morning and we have asked God to please restrain the rain today until after we finish our crusade. And he did, it was a marvelous day and although they had a tent for us because it was overcast I was able to stand outside and preach which allows me to get closer to the prisoners. There was a huge outpouring of the Holy Spirit for each invitation: salvation, forgiveness and the apology one saw many 100's stepping out to apologize to another inmate or to an officer.

Yesterday when we were at the women's side we saw an officer apologize to an inmate. It is such a powerful thing to see that I can only began praising Jesus for the opportunity to watch. 

But yesterday we received a paper with the names of 51 inmates and today they gave us an updated one with 65 names that was signed and confirmed by a Senior Pastor. The inmates listed are fasting today and wanted prayer for their upcoming court date on Jan. 3, 2024. Unlike the U.S. prisons where we hold those who have been convicted of crimes the Ugandan prisons hold those accused of a crime but have not been to court yet. It is VERY possible that some of these men are not guilty.

Please pray for these men that God's perfect will for them would be done in court.

When we finished Alfred pointed to an inmate standing close by, it was the inmate who protected me yesterday. I was so happy for the opportunity to verbally thank him in front of everyone and give him a HUGE hug. The other inmates applauded and Alfred said he will never forget that hug.

One blind prisoner testified how God worked in his heart today and another said that today was really Christmas for him because of the message of love and salvation that I brought.

 As we were leaving I asked the Deputy O.C., Godfrey, if he was married as I did not see a ring and he said he had a girlfriend and would be married in a few weeks. I went to my bag of scarves and found a beautiful white one with shimmers and put it in a bag, then handed it to him for her. I told him if God brought me back to Uganda that I hoped to meet him again and blessed him.

Then we were off the a town 1 hr and 30 min away to be prepared to visit the prison there tomorrow, Sunday.

We found a decent hotel but I already had them bring me a fan since we are no longer on top of a mountain but down in the valley where the heat remains.

Alfred just brought the chef to my room for me to give him my order but once again the first 4 things I picked off the menu they did not have. Finally, Alfred asked him what was available and when he named "beef burger' I thought I would give it a try. I asked him if he made coleslaw and he said yes, I then asked how he made it. He said,"Cabbage, carrot, onion and mayo." Great, no vinegar so I asked him to fine chop some pineapple and add that. He agreed and smiled. We will see what dinner brings. The burger was great and so big even I had a hard getting my mouth around it, the fries were crispy and good and the coleslaw was wonderful.

As I write this I just got a message on Whats App that said "My God's mercy be upon you." It was from the Deputy O.C. Godfrey from Bushenyi Prison where we were this morning.

It's raining outside and has cooled a bit, please Jesus, hold the rain back tomorrow as we share your love with the inmates and staff.

Please continue to pray.

That none would be lost,




Friday, December 29, 2023

Dec. 29 A two hour travel to todays prisons

 Ministry Partners,

Well it was bound to happen, today was very different from what we had planned. I am so glad that Jesus had this day planned before we ever began this trip.

We had a great breakfast and took some items with us for lunch although due to the events of the day we never got to eat most of it.

These two just received Jesus as their Savior

As we were packing our rooms to leave the hotel Aaron arrived at my door asking me to come outside. He had began a conversation with a police officer who now wanted to talk with me. He wanted me to pray with him to receive Jesus as his Savior but when I arrived he also called his friend over to hear me. What a marvelous way to start the day, hearing 2 men boldly pray the sinners prayer. 

We had a two hour drive to today's prisons of 1,200 men and 129 women. Our drive took us through Queen Elizabeth Game Park so we were able to see a few animals as we drove along; Gazelles, baboons, water buffalo and an elephant. Goodness he was magnificent, tusks and all.

The Deputy O.C. who received us at the prison was one of the nicest young officers I have ever met . He was very clear about having all the inmates attend so he left us to get the different groups headed our way. We got ready under a tent while the inmates had lunch. Feeding that many took some time and small group of inmates where we were began praising and constantly dancing for at least 45 min., it was wonderful to watch but as we were seated and watching an inmate came up along my right side reached around me and grabbed my bottle of flavored water and started to run away but another inmate sitting a few feet from me jumped up and grabbed the bottle and the guy. They struggled a bit and my bottle was rescued by the good inmate who tried to give it back to me but I motioned he could have it and got a new bottle out of my bag. It happened so quickly all I could do was grab Alfred's arm, I wasn't afraid just shocked. In 325 entrances into prisons I have never had anything like that happen, no inmate has ever touched me or tried to take anything from me. I wonder what the Deputy O.C. will say/do when the inmates tell him.

It began to drizzle as the Deputy returned and the assembled inmates ran for their barracks while some gathered under the tent with us. The drizzle stopped and the inmates once again assembled. I had got about 10 minutes into my message when it started to nit just drizzle but rain and the inmates again ran to their barracks as Alfred, I and the Deputy discussed what to do. Finally it was decided that we would go to the women's prison as the had a cover and then we would return to the men's side tomorrow. 

The inmates helped us carry our sound system and other things until we got to the inner gate but then could go no farther so the Deputy O.C. grabbed some of our things and headed to the van with us ......we all got soaked and he kept smiling and saying that the rain was a blessing, it made things grow. As I sit in my hotel room now there is a downpour out side.

We arrived at the women's side and were welcomed by the woman Deputy O.C. there. After much discussion they decided to just fit as many women as possible, about 60-65, into their large office as the ground under the outside tent was too wet. even the officers responded to the invitations and one took photos of me as I spoke. After we finished and were leaving one officer wanted to talk to me alone. We chatted for about 20-30 min. and she said she had only been married less than a year and has two children plus is responsible for the schooling tuition of he siblings. My heart went out to her, we spoke and I prayed for her. Please pray for N.

I was so tired that instead of looking around we just stayed at a nearby hotel that I had to walk up two flights of steps to get to my room, usually we are able to get ground level rooms.

Dinner was okay, Alfred got Curry again but Aaron ordered mild flavor and got HOT and I ordered sweet & sour beef that was neither sweet or sour with beef that was not tender for sure. But it was a meal and we were all thankful.

It is 7 pm and the rain has stopped and it is cold, yesterday we used the air conditioning in our van it was so hot. Good thing I have a warm jacket.

Thanks for the continuing prayers,

That none would be lost,


Thursday, December 28, 2023

Dec. 28

 Ministry Partners,

Even with the other guests visiting until late outside my bedroom I was able to fall asleep and get some much needed rest. I guess that is what happens when you are exhausted. 😁

A beautiful pink scarf and tract for the lady I met yesterday
The lady said, "Follow me I am going that way."
Posting this blog everyday will contain wonderful memories for the future. Previously when I have gone back and looked at a past post/photos it reminds me of the powerful works of the Holy Spirit and of the opportunities I have had to see Him work. But there are so many thing every day He does that it is impossible to note them all. It brings such peace to me knowing that God goes before us, behind us and his protection surrounds us.

Today, we travel close to the Congo boarder to visit Bwera Prison and Nyobirongo Prison. Alfred says there will be Rebels from the Congo, political prisoners, incarcerated there, He says that it is an area where three different Ugandan tribes fight with each other so this should be a VERY interesting day.  

We had another nice buffet breakfast but some of the items are so very different from the American version although their name suggests what it is. The scones this morning were about the size of a half dollar, 3/4" tall and quite tough. We all took our bananas, muffins, scones and whole-less doughnut (?) with us for lunch. I asked that the chef put cheese in my omelet and it was quite tasty as well as the sausages and potato pieces. I did not have the beans, chicken wings or matooke (cooked banana).
Today we were VERY close to the Congo boarder. On the way to Bwera prison we needed to ask directions from a boda-boda (motor bike) driver but when we started to talk with him the lady, i a beautiful pink dress, about to get on his bike said,"Oh, you want to go to Bwere, follow us I'll show you the way." We followed them quite a distance to the gate of the prison where she then said she would proceed on her way. Goodness how nice of her to go our of her way to see that we got to the right place. I grabbed a nice scarf and a tract and gave it to her while Alfred took our photo. Just another time when God had just the right person to help us.

The two prisons today were small farm prisons but the Holy Spirit did a mighty work in both of them as we watched even the O.C.'s and guards make decisions.
The O.C. thanked us for coming and said that they could  help them with learning rules, learning to farm  and other things but spiritual things were a different matter. It started to sprinkle a bit as we arrived and I asked the Lord to please hold back the rain until we finished and he did although the O.C. said I had brought the blessing of rain. The prisoners were just finishing eating so we sat in the van for a few minutes and ate the snacks we had brought from breakfast. But as I watched the prisoners pass by me to enter the grassy knoll to hear me speak, my heart hurt. Almost all of them were such young boys and they were so ashamed that they had a hard time looking at me as I shook their hand with some of them so I hesitated for a few seconds until they looked up at me and I could look into their eyes and smile.  Just as we were finishing there was the loudest clap of thunder I had ever heard.and the rain began to fall. Once again the Lord gave us just enough time to present the message he had sent us there to share.

I know I have written about the roads here but the road to Congo and to the prisons were something that was unbelievable. I told Aaron that I did not know how he could even move his shoulders after driving the road. Literally so may pothole, some as big as a bathtub and half as deep and so many that at times there was no pavement at all. cars and trucks all dodging potholes and missing pavement on the sides of the road. All of us could not help at one point but to laugh at the situation as Alfred said to Aaron, "Your driving like you are mad at the car." We drove past Queen Elizabeth Game Park but did not see any animals.

It was good to finally arrive back at the hotel, it will be our last night here. Dinner was good s the guys had Curry and I had steamed vegetables , vegetable rice and they had beef so it was beef stroganoff for  me. I am now in my room finishing this blog, them I will bathe and go to bed by 9.

I cannot say it enough...... thanks for continuing to pray for us. God is allowing us to be part of the amazing work the Holy Spirit is doing here.

That none would be lost,

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Dec. 27 We almost did 3 prisons today

Ministry Partners,

The days are clicking along but it is so hard to believe that at the end of today we have completed 1/2  of our scheduled prison crusades here in Uganda.

Last night was a bit difficult as in the corridor outside my room a very long table with 27 chairs was set up for a large party of children with a few mothers. It became very apparent that I was not going to get any sleep until after they ate and went to bed, they did not start eating until 10. 

I ordered beef stroganoff for dinner but they came about 20 later to my room and said they did not have any of the beef items that appeared on the menu. So I ended up having chicken stroganoff since the only other choice was fish. Although the stroganoff was quite different than anything I have ever had, it was quite good. And breakfast was a buffet of items. The guys sure do not have to worry about me finding something I can eat here. 

It only took us about 30 min. to arrive to our first farm prison today and the cotton fields were something to observe. One side of the road was just cotton growing and on the other side of the road the cotton had corn rows every so often.

The Deputy O.C. that welcomed us appeared to be so young but was so very nice and a bit handsome. He originally told us that because of security reasons he would not allow the 24 women and 1 baby to come and sit in the grassy area that was close. He said we could go and do a separate crusade for them but after chatting a bit with Alfred and Alfred explaining that we were scheduled to be at another prison in the afternoon, he changed his mind and had the women guards bring the women inmates to the grassy area. I am not sure what was going on but as I watched the women walking up the road toward us they walked the slowest I have ever seen.

The faces appear usual, sad, questioning and distrustful but curious and the had shaking I do as Aaron sets up the sound system lighten the mood immediately. I think the inmates are so used to people coming and telling them how bad they are that they don't know what to do with an old mzungu (white) lady that touches their hands in kindness. In fact, over and over again they tell us that no one has ever come to preach the kind of message we do. I never tell them how bad they are, rather I tell them that when Jesus was on the cross He knew every wrong thing they would do and yet He loved them so much and thought they had such value that He chose to die in their place and then offered them the gift of salvation, Eph. 2:8&9

All the invitations today wee responded too and the testimonies were powerful. One woman inmate said she had two children but the men in her husbands family ALL wanted to share her. She refused and her husbands older brother killed her first child and he family said she did it and sent her to prison for 10 years. Then her second child was also killed. Today she chose to forgive them all.

The Deputy O.C. told me as we walked to the van that my forgiveness message had impacted him and he thanked me for coming.

It took us just 20 minutes to drive to the second prison and just as we arrived at the gate I saw a man and woman sorting tomatoes, putting them in huge baskets and wrapping the baskets with dried banana leaves. I got a scarf and tract out of my bag and walked to her. She smiled broadly as I placed the beautiful bright pink scarf in her hands

The inmates were still in the field so we waited about an hour for them to return and then have their dinner. We did the whole crusade and although they originally said we had to finish at 4 but we went until 4:30. I could see the guards who were all gathered above where the inmates were seated where very involved in what we were teaching.

One inmate said I had come just for him, that he had had to report his friend for stealing some maze that they had been told not to touch and that caused a bad disagreement between them. He said he knew that when they went to bed that very night that they would have a fight. But my teaching gave him the opportunity to apologize to his friend and they forgave each other, then he had his friend stand up. 

Again and again the Holy Spirit gives us strength and a fresh anointing to do what he has called us here to do and then we get to watch Him work in the hearts of the inmates. It really is too powerful for adequate words.

Alfred had Curry for dinner and Aaron and I had stroganoff  again and I had them make a coleslaw with pineapple salad for Alfred and I to share. I have been so hungry for crunchy and fresh.

Well it is 8 pm and I am tired so that is it for tonight. 

Please continue to pray for:

  • Open hearts for the Gospel
  • Favor with those we meet
  • Strength and a fresh anointing for the team
  • Traveling mercies

That none would be lost,


Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Dec. 26 2 Prisons today

 Ministry Partners,

Every day holds such wonderful events and we have the opportunity to watch the Holy Spirit work thing out for us and provide for us, not always as we would expect.

I must tell you about the end of the second prison crusade first. There was a man there that we used for our lesson on "Being a child of the king." that came to me after we finished and he said he had seen me at another prison in 2019 and he wanted to show me that he still had the bible that I had given him. It was well worn and very used. Thank you to those of you who support the "IRM Bible Project".

"You gave me this bible in 2019"


Our breakfast this morning was good for the guys and a good one for me also. I had an omelette, bread, potato wedges, pineapple, banana and tea. There was also corn flakes and another cereal if you wanted it but I had enough, it was the first time on this trip that cereal has been offered.

We drove about to our first farm prison and found that there were 1,200 inmates there and although Alfred had contacted the O.C. and talked to him about our coming he was not there to welcome us but turned us over to a Deputy. We went to the area they directed us to and began to setup. It was a very large grass covered area with a small tree on one side and a shrub "fence" about 2 feet tall separating us from a dirt area almost the same size. As the inmates came they were directed to the dirt area buy the deputy. I asked him if they could please come and sit on the grass and he refused. But the small tree was ow on the opposite side from where the prisoners were so in order for me to NOT be far away from the men I had to make the decision to stand close to the shrub barrier which meant that I would preach 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the sun.

As the inmates entered the narrow walkway onto the dirt I reached across the shrub barrier  and extended my hand and shook hands with as many as I could. Some reached across the inmate in front of then to be able to reach my hand. Goodness, something so simple, such a simple act of kindness always make such an impact, not just to those I touch but also to those who watch.

I cannot explain the impact it has on me as I observe the hopeless eyes and faces of both men and women inmates. Except by the grace of God being born who I am and where I was, I could be one of them.

I must admit that I completely forgot about the sun and my time out in it. All the invitations were responded to and Jesus became the Savior almost all of them and watching them apologize to each other really leaves me without words. 

After finishes we had time to travel the short distance to the next prison. The great thing about doing these farm prisons at Christmas time is that the prisoners are having special free time so they are all able to be in our crusades and not in the fields working. God's timing is ALWAYS perfect. 

The O.C. at the second prison greeted us and then informed us that he needed to turn us over to the Deputy O.C. as he had to take his wife to the hospital. The Deputy did a fine job of assembling the 750 inmates under a cement floored, metal roofed building. The crusade was a duplicate of the morning crusade. As we left the Deputy came to our van with a large box of Mangos as a thank you.

When we left the prison we drove through but did not find lodging in the small town there as prison officials yesterday told us not to stay there as it was not safe for white people to be there at night so we drove to Kasese. Alfred found us a nice hotel a for the first time on this trip we have air conditioning and with it being so hot it will be a blessing to be able to sleep comfortably.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us, you are appreciated.

That none would be lost,


Monday, December 25, 2023

Dec. 25 Christmas Day in Uganda

Ministry Partners, 

It is hard to believe that it is Christmas day but I am so happy that I will be spending it with my team sharing the Gospel in 2 prisons today. My best Christmas present ever!
On our way to Fort Portal we saw our first African animals along side the road, a family of baboons. 
On the drive there as we passed through each village there were groups of people cutting up huge portions of meat with a machete, meat for the Christmas dinner. I written and talked about the amount of meat of every kind being displayed in the open to be sold in chunks but these appeared to ll be beef.  

It was a short drive to the first prison this morning, Fort Portal Men's Prison with 1,700 prisoners. As we arrived a few prisoners were outside doing the beef butchering. Later we saw them carrying the beef heads through the area where we were speaking, nothing to be wasted. Seeing that many prisoners all gathered and seated in such a small area was almost a bit overwhelming as in larger places most are seated but some a milling around and some are nearby cooking. I can't help myself it is so much fun to see and hear their surprise when I start shaking some of their hands. Today for the very first time ever one prisoner would not acknowledge me or let me shake his hand and yet a couple of prisoners came a knelt in front of me, such a humbling thing, one asked that I would pray for him.
Today when I told them how old I am Alfred asked the prisoners if anyone was older. Prisoners at the back on the right hand side brought a man forward who said he was 85 and I greeted him with a hand shake. Then prisoners in the right side brought one forward who said he was 83, I shook his hand and gave him a hug. Oh my, the other prisoners erupted in applause, they thought it was great that "the old folks had met".😊
The Holy Spirit again did a powerful work in the hearts of these prisoners as most responded to each invitation. But the woman O.C. came in and said we would need to go so we were not able to get any testimonies today as we finished a little after noon.  
We then drove around the corner to the Fort Portal Women's prison with 97 women. I must say I have a special heart for the women and it was a wonderful final Christmas gift from the Savior to be able to spend Christmas Day afternoon with them. Hearing them boldly sing to welcome us and then boldly pray at each invitation was so special. When the O.C. arrived she gave her permission for us to bring in the gifts (crochet caps) for the 10 children. The first child picked one but found it was too small so I picked one for her and put it on her, I then got a special treat as the mothers sent each child up to me and allowed me to fit them with a cap. I got a special blessing as none of the children screamed at seeing a mzungu (white person) for the first time.


Alfred asked around and got a recommendation for somewhere to stay and the place was not only nice but offered a Christmas Buffet. We have a set amount for meals but the buffet was only a tiny bit more and after all today was Christmas. We settled in our rooms about 3 and decided to go eat combining our lunch and dinner, The salad table was wonderful, I had a small second spoonful of the wonderful tuna salad and although Alfred liked the yam soup I thought the vegetable Minestrone soup was great. They had some local foods but even the guys went for other foods today, fish portions, beef stroganoff , goat on a stick and more. The fruit table also had cake. Alfred said it was nice to see me eat since I have only eaten a few PP&J sandwiches and bananas in the last two days since there was nothing on the menus that I knew I could eat and keep down. Well, tonight I made up for it!
I had to get a new phone and I have had SOME trouble with it as it keeps locking up on Whats App. Tonight is the second time Alfred has had to work on it and my computer to get them paired for about 2 hours. He finally got them working so I hope it holds throughout the rest of the trip.
It's only 8 o'clock but I am so tired, time to bathe and go to bed.
I can't say it enough, Thank you for faithfully praying for us nd for leaving comments, those are such an encouragement to us.
That none would be lost,