Archive for February, 2011

Today was the big day in Uganda….Election Day. The threat of violence during the weeks prior to the election that altered my scheduled leaves me still in Kenya until the threat of violence is over.

Traveling for the past few weeks throughout the interior of Kenya has given me a greater understanding of the people. During these weeks I’ve stayed in their homes and slept in their beds, even slept with their chickens, but more importantly, we’ve cried together, laughed together and worshipped our Lord together.

During the 3 conferences, I had 102 pastors who registered with me. When you add their members who attended, we were able to teach basic christianity and leadership classes to between 800 and 900 believers during this time. As always I am thankful for those of you who financially support me. Your support paid for the food to feed all these people during the days they attended the conferences. You were just as much a part of reaching out to them as I was, thank you.

These women cooked 3 meals a day for over 300 people on some of the days…no running water…and over a wood fire…

Wonderful women serving the Lord by serving others….

Conference attendee’s

I was reading this morning in Revelation 7: 9-10 about how it will be as we gather at the end of the age. “After this I looked up, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!

Reading these verses of scripture throughout my Christian life has never been as vivid of an image as it was for me this morning. For the past few weeks I’ve experienced many different tribes, people and languages. I’ve participated in unrestricted worship services where I sometimes wanted to hid and not be seen with my rigid style of worship. I long to have the freedom they have here of whole hearted worship.

When I go home for a visit and I walk into the sanctuary of my home church and our amazing choir stands to sing, I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving to be there…to hear beautiful singing glorifying God in a language I can understand. Then I come back here and I travel out into these remote villages where there are no instruments or sound systems…just the voices of the people and I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving to be here….to hear beautiful singing glorifying God in a language I don’t understand.

This morning I was thinking about the day that is coming when we’ll all be together. Every tribe, every nation, every language, praising God together. I don’t know what it’s going to sound like on that day, but I know it will be better than anything we’ve experienced here on earth. I’m sitting here laughing because I have this visual image of Brother Rob, my home church music minister, a wonderful man of God being surrounded by the people I’ve met in the past month. He would be teaching them some good ole southern gospel…and they would be teaching him how to dance! Heaven is going to be so much fun, I don’t want anyone to miss it.

What about you,are you going to be there? Have you made preparation for where you’re going to spend eternity? We live in a world where we have more choices than any generation before us, but eternal choices are the same today as they were in the beginning of time.

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary-East Africa

Ever since I have been serving here in East Africa there is one thing you can always depend on no matter where you go, or so I thought until this week. No matter where you go there are always more children than you know what to do with. Even at the events being held for adults, still the children come from everywhere. This has been true for the conferences we’ve been doing. There is never enough room for the adults much less the children in these churches that hold these events.

At each conference I always set aside time for the children to enjoy something special. A family from my home church, Will and Bernadette Campbell and their children made their Christmas project something I could use here for the children. They purchased some Veggie Tale videos and it has been such a joy for the children to watch them. I wish I could capture in words what its like to listen to them laugh, really laugh.

Each week there is no where left in the church for the children to sit, that is until this week. I had noticed the low number of children once I arrived there, but it wasn’t until I had movie time for them did I realize just how few there really were. There were less than 25 children and that is just not normal. Last week there were over 150 and thats about the average everywhere I go.

This week I stayed in the center of an area where sugar cane is grown everywhere. The roads and huts/houses all bunt up to the edges of the sugar cane fields. The sugar cane fields cause the mosquitos to be worse and my heart ached as I learned that 3/4 of all the children born in this region die from Malaria before they are 5 years old. They do not have access to any medical faculities because the distance is great. Most often they have no money to take their children to a doctor and when they do the journey is so far that the doctors can’t save the childrens lives.

This is a picture of the children from this week and I say they are miracle children, malaria has not claimed their lives yet.

Sweet Bush Children

But when I look at this picture and see so many of them who are still under 5 years old…I realize that some of these very children will also die.

So much heartache in this land called Africa. There are times like this week when I feel so helpless. Not only does this region suffer from such a high number of Malaria deaths, it is also an area where there have been no wells bored. They told me that most of the people there at that church have to travel 3 hours one way to get fresh water. I didn’t learn about this until the last day of the conference and I realized the gift that had been given to everyone who attended. The Pastor told me that it was their youth who traveled daily to bring the water needed for the conference. So with that said, I refuse to write this week about not having a toilet and a shower because a teenager walked 6 hours daily to get the water I was given to bathe with. I was blessed to have what I had.

Although there were emotional challenges throughout the week, I truly enjoyed staying with my host family for this conference.

My host family this week…Michael and Isabella

Their home was very different than any I’ve stayed in thus far. The husband has been employed for 26 years with the local sugar mill and has been able to give his family a better quality of life than their surrounding neighbors. It was this couple who gave the land where the church we held the conference in was built.

The church was decorated for our conference….

God continues to bless our efforts at each of the conferences. I can honestly say not a day goes by that I myself am not challenged by the questions the participants are asking. What a joy it is to be challenged and have the opportunity to talk about the Lord and share our journeys and learn together what God wants from our lives.

35 years ago the Lord entrusted me with a beautiful baby girl….from the moment I knew she was coming into our family….I loved her and today that love has grown 35 years stronger. She has always made us laugh and God has grown her into a beautiful Godly woman. I love you my sweet Dana! Happy Birthday!

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary-East Africa