Sunday, November 20, 2016

Last Turn

I remember (WAY BACK IN THE DAY) when I was in high school and I used to run a lot.  I actually ran the 800 meter race.  It was perhaps the most grueling race that I can remember because you couldn't exactly jog and you certainly couldn't sprint full out for half a mile.  Lately I have been reminded of the feeling that encompassed me as I came around that last turn or also affectionately known as dead man's turn because that is how you felt when you got there.  At that turn I remember feeling the full body drain both physically and mentally.  It was absolute exhaustion......and yet my legs continued to carry me.  I still saw forward progress even though that last 100 meters seemed like a mile.  Against every fiber of my being, I would sprint the last 100 meters and finish strong.  For me it came down to excellent resistance training, perseverance through pain and an eye fixed on finishing well.
In the past few months, we have been rounding the final corner and we are just beginning to see the end of our first term.  Right now, the wind is blowing hard into our faces and the track seems longer and longer.  We are certain of this; the enemy hates us and what God has, is and will continue to accomplish through us here.  We have been through things over the past few months that have stretched our faith and caused both great joy and great pain.  There are days when we laugh together out of sheer excitement and elation at what God is doing.  There are days that we sit, shell shocked wondering where the next flaming arrow will come from.  Yet in all of this, we see God's hand around us and we watch His victories continue to mount even in areas where that would seem to be almost completely defeated.  On days where we are predicting an outcome, He chuckle to Himself and think, "you dream to small".
As we begin to round this last corner, it is gratitude towards Him that allows my lungs to fill and my body to press forward.  Below is just a sampling of how God is moving in such an amazing way.

 Our Act Like Men and Act Like Women Bible Studies started off with 4 students each.  Last week the young men were 38 strong and our young women are 25-30 strong. These students voluntarily come on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to work through what it looks like to be men and women of God.  Soon we will promote 15 of them to leadership status and have them begin leading.  This ministry has exploded and we praise God for that.

 Out of seats on this particular day which is a great problem to have.  Looking forward to transitioning the leadership of this to young men and young women who have determined to be God glorifying leaders.  God is moving mightily in this place.
 Act Like Women Thursday mornings, 7:30.  God is moving powerfully in this place.

 God's spirit has been working powerfully during our worship times.  To watch His hand move across the hearts of hundreds of students leaves us speechless. This is what it's about here, bringing glory to God and connecting youth with Jesus.
 This is one of our student youth leaders who has had such an amazing heart transformation over the past year.  It brings me sheer joy to watch as he and the rest of our youth leaders start their day like this. I'm so proud of what God is doing in all of our young people.
What do you do when you have a class that struggles to get along?  You eat lunch together as a family.  Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, all of our grade 7s eat lunch together as a family. During this time, we dialogue, we love and serve each other and gasp.....we learn how to do conflict correctly.  In just 4 weeks, I've already seen a difference in the way that they treat each other.  God is moving in this place.
Here are some ways that you can be praying:

  • We are pretty exhausted as we are doing A LOT right now.  Please pray that we'd finish this semester and next semester strong.
  • We are looking at returning to the States in June for a year to support raise for our second term. Pray that we can find a place to live preferably in Greenwood, IN and all the logistics that come with that.
  • Pray that God would continue to work powerfully in and through us at the school, in the community and within our organization.
  • Pray that we would continue to make time to communicate with you, our partners back home. We have worked hard on this because you are important to us.  Without you, none of the above would be happening.
Thanks again for loving us so well.  God is on the move!

brother Justin (Ssemakula) Williams

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