Misfortunes Redeemed

Misfortunes Redeemed

A church in Uganda builds a home for a destitute family.

Complacency and laziness can make a man poor—but if hard work alone could make a man rich, Mr. Didas Kacokoli should have been the richest man on Earth.

Although hard working and determined, Didas met misfortunes his life until he was forced into abject poverty. It all started when his father decided to move his entire family from Bitooma to Kibaale in 2005. In the process, a con man sold the family land that belonged to someone else—a surprisingly common practice in Uganda. The victims of the crime are virtually always the illiterate, unable to read the legal documents themselves. That’s how it happened with Didas’ parents. Illiterate, they were not able to detect the cunning deal they had been tricked into!

Three years after they moved onto the property, the father died in a car accident. Soon after, a man came to them with a title to the land, informing Didas and his family that they were squatters on his property. Didas’s heart raced as the truth sank in. It was the biggest shock of his life!

Packing up his family, Didas left Kibaale empty-handed. Moving back to Bitooma, the family built a grass-thatched house on an uncle’s land. Three months later, as if the family had not had enough troubles, their thatch house burned to ashes. The family lost all their possessions except the clothes they were wearing.

With all the tragedies, life seemed too difficult to bear. Didas resorted to drinking alcohol. Little did he know that his new addiction would only add to his problems.

To put a bit of shelter over his family, Didas constructed another grass house with walls sloping up into a roof. With neither clothes nor bedding, they slept on the ground with nothing to cover them. They hated to see dark clouds in the sky, for the coming of rain felt like mockery in a leaky grass house. When it rained, the family felt as though they might as well be outside, because inside the house, the water-logged grass dripped for hours even after the rain stopped! After sleeping in puddles all night, the children shivered and shivered each morning.

Meanwhile, Didas’s alcohol addiction grew worse, and eventually he began beating his wife. Still, he did his best to provide food for his family, and through his hard work his children escaped malnourishment. He even saved up and bought a tiny plot of land.

One day Mr. Aggrey, a nurse in charge of community services at the Bitooma Health Center, discovered the shack where Didas’s family lived. Being a Seventh-day Adventist, Mr. Aggrey notified the church of the situation, and the church came together to build a stick house with a metal roof on the little plot that Didas had bought. Now at least the family could stay dry!

The church is still reaching out to help Didas and his family. In order to cultivate enough food for his family, Didas needs more land of his own. Also, the family needs help paying the school fees for the children, without which the illiteracy which caused them so much misfortune will live on in Didas’s family. Please pray for the Bitooma Church to have means to continue helping this family with their physical poverty. Most importantly, pray that soon all of this man’s misfortunes will be redeemed, and that Didas and his family will find true, spiritual wealth in Christ!  


Location
Uganda

Author
Pastor John Kaganzi
Pastor John is the leader of the Ruhandagazi SDA District in Bushenyi, Uganda.

How You Can Help

Pray for the Kacokolis and other destitute families to find both temporal and spiritual help in their local Seventh-day Adventist congregations.

Pray for Pastor John’s evangelistic work in this land of poverty.

Give a gift to help needy souls in Uganda. Please mark your donation “Uganda Mission” and send it to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

To give online, visit: missionspro.org/donate


Letter from Cody: Dominican Republic – Jan. 2015

Giving Bible studies in the Haitian camp

Apparently there were questions in the New Testament era as to what true religion really was. From Pharisaism to Gnosticism, there were plenty of confusing counterfeits, but are there not still today, as well? James clearly states what true religion really is, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27. God has called us to a ministry of caring for those less fortunate than we are. Jesus equated this ministry to those in need as ministry to Him. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40. According to Isaiah 58, it is when we take up this neglected work that the Lord will poor out His Spirit upon us in a marked manner. “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” Isaiah 58:8. God calls us, not only to share the love of Jesus and proclaim the three angels’ messages with a loud voice, but also to demonstrate these precious truths that we preach. “In placing among them the helpless and the poor, to be dependent upon their care, Christ tests His professed followers. By our love and service for His needy children we prove the genuineness of our love for Him. To neglect them is to declare ourselves false disciples, strangers to Christ and His love.” Ministry of Healing, 205.

Baking bread to serve the needy

Mission Projects International is committed, not only to taking the everlasting gospel to the world but also in showing the love of Jesus by our little acts of mercy. In Dominican Republic, Sister Nelly Severino is focused on helping those whom the world has passed by, but that Jesus sees of tremendous value. Through a healthful bakery, which is run by a group of young people, they are able to bring an awareness to the community of healthful living; then through the proceeds they are able to minister to the needs of those who lack life’s necessities. Sometimes they are able to express Jesus’ love through giving simple remedies to the sick or providing them with nutritious food to help their recovery. Other times, they have been able to put tin sheets on the roof and cement on the floor of a needy family’s shack. As they have ministered to the needs of the community, they have been asked to give educational lectures to a local women’s group or schools. At one of the schools, they were requested to share workshops on nutrition and on how to meet needs of special needs children. Through these opportunities to share, parents and teachers have come requesting even more knowledge. Another special project that Nelly and her coworkers have been assisting with is the opening of a branch Sabbath school in a Haitian workers camp. Although the Dominican Republic is not a flourishing first-world country, there are more opportunities in Dominican Republic than in the poorer remaining half of the island of Hispaniola—the country of Haiti. Thus many Haitians come to Dominican Republic looking for work, and they frequently gather together in camps where they can share a common culture and language. In these camps, they frequently have substandard living conditions—another opening for the love of Jesus to enter! When the Lord provided contacts, He also opened up the door for an evangelistic series to be held right at the Haitian camp. The Lord blessed as the truths were presented, and now a small branch Sabbath school has been opened for this forgotten group. Please pray for Nelly and her team as they work to share and demonstrate the gospel of Jesus’ love. If you would like to help their work to “the least of these my brethren,” you can mark your donation, “Dominican Republic.”

Contacts from the Haitian camp with their new Creole Bibles

Yours in serving the “least of these our brethren,”


Letter from Cody: Colombia – September 2012

Looking down at the campus of Las Delicias

Do you ever ponder how the Lord is going to finish His work? As we survey the teeming multitudes circling the globe, the magnitude of the work can seem overwhelming, but praise God, He “will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness.” (Romans 9:28) How can every person on this globe be given the gospel invitation before the final judgments fall? We must follow Jesus’ example! Jesus preached to some, sat at the table with others, healed some and visited privately with still others—Jesus used different methods to reach different souls. We must have a multifaceted outreach approach. Probably the best example of this was the San Francisco “beehive” church, “Many lines of Christian effort have been carried forward by our brethren and sisters there. These included visiting the sick and destitute, finding homes for orphans, and work for the unemployed; nursing the sick, and teaching the truth from house to house; the distribution of literature, and the conducting of classes on healthful living and the care of the sick. A school for the children has been conducted,… a working men’s home and medical mission…, treatment rooms,… a health food store… a vegetarian cafe, along the water front, ship mission work was carried on. At various times our ministers conducted meetings in large halls in the city. Thus the warning message was given by many. I have carried a constant burden for our work in the large cities.” Review and Herald, July 5, 1906. May the Lord give us a greater burden and greater wisdom to work the doomed cities with this united multifaceted approach.

The choir rendering a special music during the campmeeting

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity of seeing a multifaceted evangelistic program the Lord is using in Colombia. I had the opportunity to visit and share at a campmeeting being held on the campus of Las Delicias. As I strolled through their simple campus admiring the gardens and watching the birds darting from one tropical flower to another, I contemplated the beauties of the Garden of Eden and the reasons that God placed us originally in a garden. The abundance of food that they grow certainly testifies to their name—delicious. With around sixty or seventy students training to be missionaries, an important component of their training is cooperating with God in the cultivation of the soil. Part of their produce is then taken to the school cafeteria, and also to the vegetarian restaurant within the city. From this center of influence within the city they have the opportunity not only to share the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but doors are also opened to lead men and women to the true Lifegiver. Then for those who desire to learn more, they can come to a lifestyle session and learn how to combat disease through the simple means that God has given us. There are also various industries and publications with the goal of giving the message for these last days. The students who come learn to be missionaries and support themselves in their missionary labors. In addition to these efforts, they are reaching out at drug rehabilitation centers and other locales in beneficent work, teaching of our all-powerful Deliverer. I was blessed to see how the Lord is working with their multifaceted labors and how the gospel is being proclaimed to all classes. I am always to thankful to see the activities of faithful workers who are seeking to reach out to lost humanity—especially when this “beehive” approach is being used. Please pray that the Lord will bless their labors in Colombia and that we may reach out with as many methods as possible to bring the good news of our soon coming Savior to a lost world!

Your brother in laboring for the lost,Gardens and facilities at the campus of Las Delicias


Letter from Cody: Dominican Republic – January 2012

Nelly and her husband Moreno

Once again we find ourselves beginning another year, and I am so thankful for life and the blessings which our Lord so abundantly bestows upon us, but at the same time I question how the years of this earth will fade into the ceaseless cycles of eternity. The Lord is going to finish His work; exactly how it will all happen, I am still unsure. But we know that He will for His name’s sake, and we can be part of it! One thing that I am convinced must happen more in our lives is that we must learn to truly hate sin—not just hate sin for the unpleasant consequences, but more especially because of its inherent awfulness and what it has done to our Savior. I do not think that we understand how terrible sin really is, and this constitutes one of our major problems. “Every sin, every unrighteous action, every transgression of the law of God, tells with a thousandfold more force upon the actor than the sufferer. Every time one of the glorious faculties with which God has enriched man is abused or misused, that faculty loses forever a portion of its vigor and will never be as it was before the abuse it suffered. Every abuse inflicted upon our moral nature in this life is felt not only for time but for eternity. Though God may forgive the sinner, yet eternity will not make up that voluntary loss sustained in this life. To go forth into the next, the future life, deprived of half the power which might be carried there is a terrible thought. The days of probation lost here in acquiring a fitness for heaven, is a loss which will never be recovered.” This Day with God, 350. As we enter into this new year, may it be our purpose to truly hate sin and make good use of the days of probation that the Lord has graciously given us for acquiring that fitness for the kingdom of heaven.

Nelly and some Bible study contacts

Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean island country of the Dominican Republic to see and share in the work of the faithful workers there. In the two short weeks that I was there, we were able to visit three different churches, holding mini weeks of prayer or revivals in all of them. Nelly Severino and the Easton family are working together in one of the remote mountain valleys to share the message of mercy with the people there and to train believers to go and do likewise. Both have left life and family here in the United States to shine as lights in a dark area. The Lord has laid it on Nelly’s heart to start a bakery to make whole grain products that can not only educate people into greater principles of healthful living but also open up doors to share the gospel with those who the Lord puts in their pathway, and the Lord has used it to do just that. Some of the young people from the church have learned how to bake bread and are now putting their skills into practice, and the demand continues to grow for these wholesome and tasty rolls. A portion of the income is then dedicated to be used specifically to minister to the needy in the community. Invalids have been cared for, needy families have been ministered to and many others have seen the difference that is being made. This has opened up opportunities to open the Word of God with those desiring something better. Through the Dorcas work, one of the leaders in the local women’s Catholic group has invited Nelly to share health principles with the women. Through this open door of health work, the believers are planning to share spiritual truths, as well. Nelly, a teacher by profession, is also conducting English learning classes as another way to share the message with those who are interested. I was very happy to be able to share messages of preparation for the coming crisis with the believers and also to see how the work is going forward through this multi-faceted approach. Combining medical missionary work, benevolent work, health-industry work, educational work and Bible work, an impact for the gospel is being made in this forgotten valley in Dominican Republic. If you would like to help the brethren in their work, your prayers are requested and you can also mark your donation “Dominican Republic.”

Young people kneading bread in the bakery

Yours for a finished work,


Letter from Cody: Ecuador – September 2011

The Orellana Family

I am so thankful for the precious promises of victory in Christ that are ours. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” 1 Cor. 15:57; Rom. 8:37. There is no need to be defeated and beaten down—victory is ours! We are more than conquerors! This victory, received by faith, is ours because of Jesus’ victory over the enemy in the wilderness and throughout His life. “The scene of trial with Christ in the wilderness was the foundation of the plan of salvation, and gives to fallen man the key whereby he, in Christ’s name, may overcome.” Confrontation, 63. Jesus’ wilderness victory was the foundation of the plan of salvation and is our key to victory. Do we study and meditate upon this infinite victory to utilize this overcomer’s key? Jesus’ victory is only meaningful to us, though, if we make it ours individually. “All are personally exposed to the temptations that Christ overcame, but strength is provided for them in the all-powerful name of the great Conqueror. And all must, for themselves, individually overcome…. Although Christ gained a priceless victory in behalf of man in overcoming the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, this victory will not benefit him unless he also gains the victory on his own account.” Ibid, 63, 64. As we contemplate Jesus’ victory which He offers to us, as we see Him wrestling with the enemy, as we hear His strong reliance upon the victor’s Sword, the Word of God, then we shall be able to grasp both our path to victory and the magnitude of the work before us. “When we are able to comprehend the temptations and victories of the Son of God while in severe conflict with Satan, we shall have a more correct idea of the greatness of the work before us in overcoming…. But in the name of Christ we may have complete victory in resisting his devices.” Ibid, 69, 71. Praise God for Jesus’ complete conquest of Satan and for the victory offered to us through Him to make us more than conquerors!

The mission outpost in Ecuador

One victory that the Lord desires is for us to share His message of love and warning, thus rescuing souls from ruin and death to serve our Lord. One family that is seeking to gain just these victories for Jesus is Barac and Laurie Orellana and their two children who are serving our Master in Ecuador. Several years ago, the Lord opened the doors for them to return to Barac’s native country to establish a missionary outpost serving and sharing with the native people among the coastal mountains. While establishing the mission station and growing much of their own food, they are ever seeking to help the local people. Currently they have a project to assist in building sanitary restroom facilities for the local people. For around $200, they can build a simple but hygienic structure which will greatly assist these poor families and help to curtail disease. Through attending to the physical needs of the local people, the Lord has opened doors to minister most importantly to their spiritual needs. Through Bible studies and personal efforts, families are taking a stand for the truth from God’s Word. One family, after having the Orellanas minister to one of their sick sons, is receiving Bible studies. When they studied about the Law of God, they immediately removed their crucifixes and Virgin Mary pictures. After seeing the Sabbath from the Bible, they were ready to start keeping it, as well. Such reception gives them courage to keep pressing on. As they continue their Dorcas work, medical missionary work, children’s ministry, Bible studies and training, the light of truth is shining in these remote highlands of Ecuador. Please pray that the Lord will bless their labors, and if you would like to help their work, mark your donation “Ecuador.” You can also find more information about their work by looking up “Ecuador” on our website: www.missionspro.org.

Some of the co-workers at the mission station

Yours in the promise of victory in Christ,