Renewing Our Strength

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
In traditional Ugandan wedding
introduction attire

We find ourselves doing plenty of waiting on a couple of major ministry areas even as the Lord opens new doors in our primary focus of discipleship.

We continue to wait for our Uganda work permits, which in November we thought were a done deal after a six-month process.  There have been opportunities for short-cuts to receive the permits. Acting on these would dishonor the LORD. Waiting upon the LORD to deliver the permits in the proper way is our decision so our ministry will not be hindered from soaring like eagles.  Also, we want to stand on the Rock of Jesus - not in the shifting sands of the world --as in Matthew 7:24-27.  Those verses are the inspiration for the name of our ministry.

Patience also is required in the building of our first phase of Kingdom View. Based upon estimates from our architect and engineer, we thought we had enough funds to start building the first phase - a ministry/missionary house -- last month. However, the construction bids came in significantly higher than estimated.  We are seeing what costs we can defer and still have a fully functional ministry house with our existing budget. (It appears we need another $25,000 to complete the original design).
Crossing the cultural divide in construction is daunting in both approach and design.

The accepted way to build in Uganda is to start before you have enough funds to complete the project. If you have enough funds to put in the foundation (or even part of a foundation) then you begin work.  You proceed to other phases when more funds are available. This is the answer to the curiosity many visitors to Uganda have when they see many partial shells of buildings.  In this case, we do not conform to the Uganda norm.

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' (Luke 14:28-30).

Though this statement by Jesus is in the context of considering the cost of following Him, we believe the literal interpretation applied to considering the cost of building also is valid. As ministry leaders, we desire to model Jesus' teachings and biblical truths in all areas.

We are blessed to have new opportunities for ministry on campus at Uganda Christian University. We have been asked to teach biblical leadership to leaders of the 40 fellowship groups on campus. Margaret is teaching our Identity in Jesus and Mark is expounding on The Rock Leadership Creed.

It is a critical time on campus as some outside influences are promoting unsound doctrine. Confused students have sought guidance from us regarding false teaching from a nearby church.  These students are being falsely told that as Jesus believers we are all gods; that if you wear eyeglasses you have weak faith because God has not corrected your vision; that you can skip classes to attend church functions declared mandatory by the pastor and God will give you favor on exams; and that it is dangerous to travel and get outside the "spiritual covering" of a specific pastor. We are joining with and supporting the university chaplaincy in teaching and doing spiritual battle against these unbiblical assertions.

We also continue our Sunday afternoon "Leading God's Way" seminars, movie nights with discussion, individual Christian counseling, serving as guest lecturers and providing mentoring training to staff and the Honors College.

The spiritual fruit encourages us in a way that far outweighs our frustrations in work permit and construction delays. Yet, we seek your prayers that the ministry may move forward in God's perfect timing in all areas.

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Romans 8:37)

-- Mark and Margaret Noblin