Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter and a Trip to South Africa

Hello Friends

We trust you are going to enjoy your Easter weekend at church, at home, perhaps on vacation -- with friends and with family!

We, too, are in the midst of Easter Celebrations. One encouraging new item in the midst of our "Walk to Work" demonstrations against high fuel prices(read "riots") has been the recent decision by Uganda's largest daily newspaper to let Uganda clergy edit the Sunday Vision Newspaper this coming Easter weekend. You can read about that here:

We have a very large "Christian" population in Uganda but when you see the way people think and behave it is evident that first of all our Christianity runs very shallow and second of all it has not brought the transforming power that Jesus talked about in the parables of the salt and leaven. People were shocked in 2004 when Rwanda, what was thought to be a very Christian nation, was plunged into the genocide that we know all too well. Please pray for our nation Uganda and the the work we (and many others) are doing so that people will truly be transformed from the inside out so that Christianity will cause real, deep and lasting change to the glory of God. This process happens through discipleship which is a much slower but surer process of development and transformation.

We continue our work with Farming God's Way (FGW)which takes us into the homes and gardens of many people around Uganda. We try to use these chances to challenge those who know Christ to bring His government into all areas of their lives and for those who are not Christians it is a chance for them to hear the gospel in a way that they may have never heard before.

One of the tasks that I have is to loosely oversee the training that goes on here in Uganda. One way we assist those wanting to implement FGW is by holding monthly FGW forum meetings where people from many different churches and NGOs have a chance to ask about FGW and how to put it into practice. Members also get a chance to share their successes and struggles with using FGW. At one of our meetings a pastor from Northern Uganda who is planting churches in the rural areas told shared how he tells new members of the congregation that they must use FGW because he is not willing to come a pray against the "demons of poverty" when the real issue is a change in the way people live and farm!! Maybe a bit extreme, but when people don't want to change (and suffer for it) some extreme measures may be needed to "encourage" them!

As one of the leaders of the Steering Committee for the Uganda FGW forum and one of two Accredited Trainers in the country I have been invited to attend the FGW Extension Discussion meeting in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (June 16/17) where FGW trainers and implementers from all over Africa will be meeting together to discuss their extension strategies and plans as well as successes and challenges. This will be a tremendous time to learn and share with many skilled individuals including some key farmers (like Dixon, from Malawi) who will be contributing to the discussion! 

In order to go, obviously, I will need to fly down to South Africa. I am planning to be there a few days after the Workshop and have more time with Grant (the chief African trainer)and his family and continue building our relationship from the last time I had there when I was down in Lesotho and SA in September of last year.

Would you be willing to make a contribution to this trip to make it possible? It will cost about $1200. I already have a $200 donation from friends in SA. So I am remaining with $1000. You can donate to our Work Fund Account which is specifically for such expenses.

Follow the link right here to donate on line  in Canada (or here : to donate online in the US)or just go to our website links below at the bottom of this mail.

To donate by cheque through the mail you can send the cheque to the address below:

Equip Inc.
PO Box 1126
Marion, NC 28752-1126 USA
call Equip's USA Headquarters at 828-738-3891
Equip Canada
PO Box 683
Duncan, BC  V9L 3Yl


Blessings to you all as you continue to be a part of the success of God's Kingdom in Africa.

Chris for the whole clan!

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