The Indescribable Love of God…


One year anniversary

When we moved to the bush of Africa in 2016, to serve the Lord and the Acholi people of Northern Uganda, God ordained that we should oversee the Child Development Program at Abaana’s Hope as one of our responsibilities here on the mission field. This has brought us unimaginable joy as we have grown to know and love each child deeply. Every day has brought us amazing opportunities to disciple whole family units and witness lives redeemed, transformed and restored through the hope of the Gospel. The beauty of little faces shining with new life, and eyes filled with hope, is simply indescribable.

This past week has been filled with wonder at the limitless love of God. His compassion and grace has been on display in the most amazing ways as He has intervened on behalf of a young boy in our CDP program, and the sheer magnitude of it has filled our eyes with tears of joy and our hearts with praise and thanksgiving.

We would love to introduce you to Opiyo Denis. He is the youngest son of a widow who works in our kitchen here at Abaana’s Hope. Over the past year and a half we have watched as Denis’ eyesight slowly deteriorates, praying and asking God how to help him, and watching his hopes of ever receiving an education fade away. Our staff has taken him many times to see eye doctors in Gulu, the closest town to our village. He was given glasses and medicine, but nothing seemed to be helping and the prognosis was not good. Finally, one of our staff members traveled several hours away with him, to a town near the border of Uganda where there is a specialized eye clinic, hoping and praying for any kind of positive news. What we received instead though was disheartening and discouraging. The doctor said that his eye condition was untreatable and that eventually he would be blind. He recommended we enroll Denis immediately into a special school that could help him with his disability.

We turned to God and prayerfully asked Him for wisdom and guidance. Finding a school that could actually help Denis, and that was close enough to our village that we could send him to it, seemed impossible. We are not exactly living in a large metropolitan area. But, with God, all things are possible! In His perfect timing He directed us exactly where we needed to go. This past week God led us to a school in Gulu that works with various special needs children and has a program designed specifically for the blind.

While we were having Denis assessed and enrolled in the school, the Lord was graciously showing him examples of how He planned to care and provide for him. Denis met 2 of his new teachers, both graduates of the school he was now enrolled in…1 was mostly blind and the other teacher was completely blind. They had been taught here and now they were giving back and serving others in need. Next, God introduced him to a 16 year old boy who had arrived at this school a couple of years before, and much like Denis, he was going blind at the time. Denis could see this boy, who was now totally blind, thriving in school and in life. Finally the Lord showed Denis, who had struggled for years in school and who had lost all hope of ever receiving an education because of his condition, a small boy who was fully blind solving math problems with ease. For the first time since we’ve moved here, we saw hope in Denis’ eyes where education is concerned. We were witnessing God restoring hope to this young man right before our very eyes. For years Denis has believed that he would never be able to accomplish anything. As his world has slowly gone dark, every thought of the future has faded with his eyesight. But today, Denis’ eyes have been opened to the wondrous riches of God’s grace, which is greater than anything any of us could have hoped for or imagined! Our souls rejoice with the insurmountable and indescribable love of God on display through Denis’ life and we can’t wait to see all the Lord has in store for him.

Opiyo Denis is still in need of a sponsor. If you would like to sponsor Denis and be a part of what God is doing for him, please click here and join us in serving this young man and impacting his life eternally for the Kingdom of God.



The truth is, serving the precious CDP children here has brought with it a measure of heartache as we have faced various challenges and witnessed the sorrow and suffering so many of our children endure here in the bush. But, it has also brought with it the majesty and beauty of an all powerful God, who stepped off His throne of glory, to walk among us sinners and give us a life filled with abundant grace and love. He has given us a glimpse of His glory as He intimately and intentionally directs and guides our steps to serve the children here at Abaana’s Hope. And while we will never be able to alleviate all the challenges experienced here, we praise and thank God that we do not navigate these trials alone. We thank Him for walking with us, through all the difficult situations that arise and for granting us wisdom so that we may victoriously overcome some of the hardships our children face. Our prayer is that through these situations, our kids will see the majesty and glory of God and that their faith in Christ will be strengthened as they lean on Him and trust Him with all of their hearts.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.” Psalm 28:7-8


Rejoice or Regret?…

family rhino                             rhino

As we approach the Eve of our Savior’s birth and people all around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas in their own way, the air is electrified with excitement and anticipation. Advent is in full swing as the days are counted down to the miraculous birth of the Messiah. Shopping malls are filled to capacity and bank accounts empty at an alarming rate. Celebration of extreme proportion is found in every corner of the globe and regardless of where you live, whether it’s Gulu, Uganda or Main Street America, homes reflect this merry time of year.

As we think about the varying degrees of extremes that bombard our world during this season, a question comes to mind. Is Christmas-time, for you, a season of rejoicing or a season of regret? Is the Christmas tree overflowing with temporal gifts or is the soul overflowing with eternal treasures that will never fade or disappear. Now, please don’t misunderstand…it’s clearly NOT about how many gifts are under your tree…or are NOT under your tree for that matter. There could be one thousand wrapped surprises, quietly tucked away under the heavily decorated branches, or there may only be love wrapped in hugs and smiles to be shared by all. It’s not about boxes… it’s all about our heart attitudes. For the Christian, faithfully following their Lord and Savior, this is a season of rejoicing. They rejoice because of the abundant mercy and grace that has been given to all who choose to believe in the birth and sacrifice of Christ. For the unbeliever…it may be a season of rejoicing, but fearfully, we wonder if it is really masked regret. Regret for the large amount of money spent on material things that never truly satisfy. Regret for the hopelessness of an uncertain eternal future. Regret due to the constant longing that each soul suffers apart from a Savior.

Last Sunday, our missionary friend and partner, Allen, preached an enlightening sermon about Christmas. He shared how Christmas can sometimes be a stumbling block for others because they don’t really believe in the miraculous birth of Christ. If a person doesn’t believe that Jesus was born of a virgin and that He really IS GOD, then they’re not going to believe He lived a perfect life, that He died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and that He rose from the dead offering us forgiveness and eternal life through repentance and reconciliation. Once we truly believe the Christmas Story, even if we can’t fully understand or comprehend it, our hearts are able to be opened to receive the fullness of the Gospel message in clarity and in truth. Which brings us to the questions…what are you celebrating during this Christmas season and does that celebration bend your knee in thankful rejoicing for a saved and transformed life…or will it lead to disappointment and regret in a few weeks after the glitz and glamour of the holiday have faded?

For us, as the year comes to a close, we pause and reflect on the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us throughout the past 12 months. Our hearts are humbled by His merciful grace, first in recuing our sin-wretched souls from eternal condemnation, and second, for choosing to use us, flawed as we are, to share His heart and Word with the Acholi of Northern Uganda. Many of these blessings have come through our loving, supporting and faithful friends and family, and for that we want to say thank you! Without your generous giving we would not be able to be here. With all of our hearts, thank you for obediently saying “Yes,” when God prompted your heart to support us. Because of you many have heard the Gospel who would otherwise not have been able to hear the Good News this year. Because of you many children were discipled, educated, medically treated and loved. Because of you, desperate women were sheltered and given hope. Because of you, God was glorified and magnified in magnificent and wonderful ways!

If we had to sum up our year, in a nut shell, we would say it has been the hardest, most challenging, and most rewarding year of our lives! So much has happened…and so much has changed…but through it all, our Lord has remained constant, faithful, and full of grace toward us who are so undeserving. Every day, we humbly thank God, for allowing us the honor and the privilege of being able to serve Him here and serve these wonderful people. It is truly a blessing that goes beyond what words can describe.

So, with the risk of sounding redundant, we must say it again, THANK YOU! We love and miss so many people it would take ages to list them all. Our hearts are with you always and we are constantly praying for you all and thanking the Lord for so many wonderful friends and precious family. From our home to yours…Merry Christmas! May the Lord bless you abundantly, beyond anything you could hope or imagine and may you know how deeply you are loved by Him and by us.


“For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“And the angel said to them, fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11