Jeff and Christine Stanfield serve in mentoring/discipleship and training/empowerment ministries in Uganda, Africa. In their recent Christmas letter, they retell the story of Jesus being born into this broken world. This is quite fitting for WGM to highlight, considering our theme for December is “Christmas around the World.” Read on to learn how Jesus’ story relates to Karen’s story in Africa and how we can bring Jesus’ light into the darkness of our world.
“Jesus was born into a broken, dark and messy world. He brought Light into the darkness. He came as Truth but he experienced deceit and betrayal. Jesus understands our world. He knows the biases, brokenness, darkness and mess of this world. He understands, and yet, He stays with us. He remains Emmanuel, God with us. It is our privilege to share this Good News!
“Karen (not her real name) lives in a broken, dark and messy world. One Tuesday afternoon she
heard God’s Word as Christine shared in a women’s group. Karen asked for prayer, then prayed to repent and accept Jesus as her Savior. A couple of weeks later, Karen asked Christine to pray with her that she might not backslide into ‘dark living.’ Christine and Karen prayed for God’s Spirit to give Karen strength to live God’s way in His kingdom. They asked God to help Karen find a job that would keep her busy doing right things and not wrong things. The next week Karen could hardly wait until the close of the women’s meeting to tell Christine she had just completed her first day at work, in a job Karen called ‘good.’ Christine and Karen praised the Lord together, thanking Him for giving her life and a job to help her. Karen is still in a broken, dark and messy world, but she is living in Light.
“Mary (not her real name) came to Kampala as a university student. Her parents are divorced, at least two of her siblings are addicted to more than one substance and Mary carries the weight of it all within her heart. In a small group offered by University Discipleship Movement (UDM), Mary shared her story. The others in the group offered her compassion and understanding, then joined Mary in lifting her family in prayer. Mary continues to find courage and hope as she learns more of Jesus and His redeeming love. Now she is able to share the Light of Christ with her family and others. Mary still interacts in a broken, dark and messy world, but she is living with Hope.
“Several Africa Gospel Church leaders participated in a training conference in August. The material shared correlates with the Community Health Empowerment (CHE) training WGM provides. Following the training in August, several leaders have shared with us the impact of living out God’s Word in their communities. AGC Pastor Gideon and church members went to visit a widow in their community. They shared with her and then gave her a kilo of sugar and a loaf of bread, saying they were sharing to show God’s love. The widow was so thrilled at this unexpected generosity that she ran out of her house, shouting. She told everyone who could hear what the Christians had done for her. This woman still lives in broken, messy circumstances but she has experienced Love.
“Pastor Hillary shared that members of his congregation worked together to clean up the local health center. The staff were very encouraged through the community participation and thanked the people. In addition, the staff promised additional clean-up to benefit the community. The people of this community still live where there is brokenness and darkness but they have renewed hope.
“Christine meets with the women’s group most Tuesday afternoons, partnering with others in sharing Jesus in a local community. We both participate in university ministries, sharing with students and leaders. CHE trainings and follow-up are scheduled throughout the coming year.
Bringing Light into a Broken World
“We are grateful for the opportunities we have to bring the Light of Jesus to the people in Uganda. Will you partner with us in prayer as we serve? Each of the ministries we serve in have needs for additional regular financial support as well as cash gifts. As you feel led, you can either send your contribution to WGM [P.O. Box 948, Marion, IN 46952-0948] or you can give online by going to the internet link associated with each account:
“We have the responsibility, the tremendous privilege of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in a broken, dark and messy world. Jesus, God with us, continues to bring transformation in hearts and lives. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Those who experience Him find new life, light and hope for all of eternity. Thank you for participating with us in bringing Jesus into the brokenness all around us.”