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Greetings from Uganda

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

First, let me fill your mailbox with some exciting news unrelated to COVID-19.  I have accepted a Call to serve as a Lutheran Education Consultant here in Uganda.  Read about it in my most recent newsletter.

As always, you are welcome to share the newsletter with your congregations, schools, and mission groups.  However, I know many of you are doing things only online these days.  As you look for creative ways to connect with people, I request that you please refrain from sharing this update or newsletter via social media or on a public website.  Thank you. 

Note: I wrote the printed newsletter prior to the "new reality" that many of us are now living in.  The printed newsletter has updates from the start of the new school year as well as information regarding my new Call.  I have copied one article from the printed newsletter below.  At the end of this email, I have also added an update about our status here in Uganda in regards to COVID-19, which you will not find in the printed newsletter.
 

 

Called to Serve in God’s Fields

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth… For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.  1 Corinthians 3:7, 9

For the last two years, I have been serving in Uganda as a GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionary through the LCMS.  The service I was called to was specifically focused on teaching Bible classes at one Lutheran school for a period of two to three years.  I thank God for the opportunity He has given me to serve among His field of hearts at Hope Lutheran Church and School in Bufuula during this time.  It has been a blessing to see how God has worked through His Word in their lives and continues to do so to grow these children in faith.

However, God is now expanding the field in which He is calling me to serve.  Hope Lutheran in Bufuula is only one of 32 Lutheran primary schools in Uganda.  Each of these schools is a rich mission field where the Lutheran Church of Uganda has the opportunity to share God’s Word with hundreds of children. The Lutheran Church of Uganda has expressed a need for an LCMS missionary teacher to help them as they develop the ministry throughout their Lutheran Schools.    

Thus, God has now called me to serve in a new position.  I have accepted a Call issued by the LCMS Board for International Missions to serve as a Lutheran Education Consultant here in Uganda.  This is a career position without a specific term-length.    

While I will continue teaching children, much of the focus in this new position will be in working alongside church leaders, pastors, school chaplains and administrators, and teachers to support them in their ministry to the children.  One of our initial projects is to develop a uniquely Lutheran Religious Education curriculum for use in the primary schools. 

As I transition into this new position, I am thankful to continue working with the students in Bufuula, whom I have developed relationships with these last few years.  I am also grateful to begin serving alongside the chaplain and teachers at the primary and secondary schools in Nakabango this year. As time continues, I will also have opportunity to work with other schools.  

I am humbled that God has called me to continued service here in His field. Thank you for your continued prayers as I transition into this new position with its added opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities. Thank you for partnering with me as fellow workers to share God’s Word with these children.  May all glory be to God who gives the growth.

 

Be Still and Know that I Am God

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.  
Psalm 46:10-11

Thank you so much to all who have already reached out to see how I am doing these days. It is such a blessing to receive reminders of God’s love through the body of Christ.

Uganda has had its first confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the last week. The government has put in preventative measures such as closing all schools and discontinuing large group gatherings including public worship until at least April 20.  So, like many of you, I am working and worshiping from home these days.  While our students are not able to engage in distance learning, I am busy preparing lessons and working on curriculum from my home in Uganda to be prepared for when we are able to return to classes. The Lutheran Church of Uganda is finding ways to minister to the congregation members through means such as radio broadcasts and phone calls.  

Please know that all of you are in my prayers constantly.  My students said to let you know that they are also praying for you.  While the world is facing so many unknowns these days, what a blessing it is to know that our God is constant, and He still reigns.  As He calls us all to be still in His presence right now, we can rest in the assurance that He is with us and is still in control.  

I have been so encouraged to see how pastors and teachers, congregations and schools in America are working hard to continue sharing God’s Word in creative ways throughout this time.  If you are looking for ideas for connecting with your students, congregations, or Bible study groups via technology these days, let me know if you would like a "visit’ from a missionary.  I, as well as many of my fellow missionaries around the world, are also homebound at the moment, and can be available for connecting via video or the internet.  

I know we are all joined together praying for people in Uganda, America, and around the world at this time.  May God bring healing to the sick; peace to the distressed; comfort to the lonely; wisdom to the leaders, scientists, and medical workers; and strength, guidance, and safety to all who continue to serve others in so many ways. May He strengthen the faith of each and every one of us so we may truly be still and know that He is God.  I am confident that in the midst of what may look like chaos, uncertainty, and evil around us, God can and will work all things for good.  May He be exalted!

 

God’s blessings to you in Christ,
Rachel Meyer

 

 

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