Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IMAGINE ACTS MINISTRY--PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

Imagine Acts Ministry  is still at work using the Creation to Christ book series for teaching, evangelism and discipleship in  Uganda and other East African nations. This ministry has always been God's calling, and we were blessed to follow Him on this incredible journey and to have you walk with us in support, prayer, and encouragement. Over 5 years have passed since IAM's book ministry was started and I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at some of the highlights of these past years and tell you about our plans for 2013 (you will certainly be able to see how Henry and I have aged since 2007 in the pictures that follow!)

2007  Stella English and Becky Miller form Imagine Acts Ministry with a specific purpose for developing illustrated, contextualized story books teaching Creation to Christ in villages throughout Uganda.





2008   January of 2008, Stella, Becky and Bernie travel to Uganda to secure a Ugandan artist to illustrate the books.  On the left, Stephen Gwoktcho, who became the artist for all 12 books.
         
           June of 2008, Becky, Stella, Diane Garbo and Sally Boudreaux excitedly travel to Uganda with a prototype of the first book, Creation, for trial teaching and training.  Results were encouraging and we returned to the states ready to move forward trusting God for provision.

             
           August of 2008, Becky Miller moves to Uganda to oversee the production of drawings and printing of the book series as well as to disciple and train faithful men in the Mityana District for the book ministry.  In the picture below, Peter on left, Becky, and Henry look at the first printing of the Creation book.





2009    Henry Lutwama is hired as IAM's first full-time salaried employee at $50.00 a month.  Henry was highly recommended by missionaries because of his character, faithfulness, and willingness to serve.  Henry is looking very smart in the photo below wearing a shirt and tie we brought to him in January of 2008!


2008-2010   The printed books move slowly to completion. Over a three year period, 145 hand-painted illustrations are completed; 12 books are written and edited; over 18,000 books are printed and funded!! 

The day we picked up the 12th book, New Life as Followers of Jesus.  What an amazing day.
Becky on left, Tonny ,3rd from left, Peter, next to Tonny and Henry on far right.  These young men have been with us since the founding of Imagine Acts Ministry. 




Henry and I packing up books in Kampala to be taken to missionaries in Kenya and other countries in East Africa.  





Travel, book distribution and teaching workshops begin in villages, churches, and schools throughout Uganda. At the Uganda Baptist Seminary, hundreds of men and women from Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Tanzania, and Rwanda are trained and given books.

Outreach, distribution, and teaching begins in Congolese Refugee Camps in various districts of Uganda.


Pictures from various trips, village teachings, and the seminary are below.






2011  Teaching and distribution trips are made into Rwanda and Malawi. Creation books are translated into French, Swahili, and Chechewa.  (Henry on the far left  with leaders in Malawi.)


In Malawi,, Bernie 3rd from right; Henry 2nd from right
2012  With the completion of the books, distribution strategies in place, and recognition of Henry's proven character and capabilities, Becky and the IAM board realize there is no longer a need for Becky to live in Uganda.  Ministry responsibility and administrative accountability is transferred to Henry Lutwama.  In April of 2012 Henry becomes IAM's administrator and representative on the ground in Uganda. Henry begins work organizing men of leadership in districts of Uganda whom he will train and teach more extensively.  One of the men, a former Congolese pastor, teaches and trains in many congolese refugee camps.  Henry conducts workshops, training seminars, and book distribution with these key leaders in their respective areas.
Henry (middle)  in central Uganda with some of the men



Henry with Becky at his graduation from seminary in spring of 2011.
He will graduate in April 2013 with a Masters Degree!

 2012  In late Fall, Bernie spends time with Henry in Uganda for evaluation, encouragement, and oversight of his work with the ministry.  Bernie meets with Henry and his district leaders where he is able to hear suggestions and ideas from each of them and set future goals for the ministry. Bernie and Henry travel for the second time into Malawi to meet and conduct training seminars with evangelist and pastors in that country.
Bernie and Henry ready for travel


2013   February 14, Becky and Sally will travel to Uganda to spend time with Henry discussing the work for 2013--his goals and strategies.  In an effort to minimize our expenses there, we will be closing up the house in Mityana and making arrangements for the dogs, faithful workers and assets of the house and compound, in addition to the selling of the car.




The vision of the ministry now shifts into the next phase. IAM is convinced that with Henry Lutwama, we have entrusted the right man with the leadership for the continued distribution, teaching, training, discipleship and oversight of all aspects of IAM.    Bernie and I  will continue to communicate with Henry and travel to Uganda as necessary.  At the end of 2013 we will again evaluate the work, progress, and development of the ministry.

As the LORD has guided and  provided so much for IAM these past 5 years, we have tried to be faithful followers through the completion of the printed book series. We desire to continue in faith  to  support the Ugandan  disciples like Henry as he meets , trains,and leads other men throughout his country. Without his loyalty and trustworthiness, we would never have been able to go where the LORD was calling us to go. We are blessed to transfer the on-ground labor of this ministry into his hands.
We trust God that this ministry will continue to thrive and possibly spread to other African nations.

Thanks for  taking this look back with me,  and more than that---Thanks for your interest, encouragement, support and prayers!!  You have been our partners since the beginning, and  I  am grateful. 



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sun Rises on New Opportunities for IAM

As the sun rises on the IAM compound in Uganda, it is amazing to realize that we are entering our 4th year of work in East Africa.  We see many new opportunities on the horizon which will take the book ministry into new nations in Africa. IMAGINE that!  Ministry efforts with the children and in the communities continue and the church planted last year is thriving.  2012 so far has given us opportunities to serve with old friends but meet new partners in ministry.  God has been faithful beyond measure to this work and we thank you for your continued partnership.  What an incredible journey WE have all been on.  Thank you for walking with us.  Please enjoy the following posts of recent work and if you have any questions, contact me at bmiller43@gmail.com. 

IMAGINE MALAWI





 Imagine Acts Ministry In  Malawi


Henry and Bernie packed and ready for Malawi

                                                       Henry's first plane trip---but he took it like a pro!



The Meeting in Malawi



Imagine Acts Ministry was  honored and humbled when Bernie and Henry Lutwama met with Navigator staff members in Malawi. Navigators is a interdenominational, international Christian  ministry which was founded in 1933. They have more than 4,600 staff members, of 70 nationalities in more than 100 countries.  Mvula Mvula told Bernie and Henry that Navigators Malawi had endorsed the
Creation to Christ book series as a tool for their organization.  He said that the book series was the tool they had been praying for and could not have come at a more perfect time. Mvula told them that 80% of the people of Malawi are illiterate and because of that statistic, he felt these books were definitely an answer to prayer. Imagine Acts Ministry looks forward to working next year in Malawi as these men will spend time in 2012 finding faithful men to teach and translating some of the books.

Those in the meeting in Malawi were left to right: Francis Mkandawire,National Director of the Evangelical Association of Malawi and a Baptist pastor in Blantyre; Mvula Mvula, African Director of Orality of Navigators; Clapperton Mayumi, Director of the Malawi Bible Society; Bernie Boudreaux, IAM board member; Henry Lutwama, National Director of Imagine Acts Ministries, Uganda;  Sam Banda, National Director of Navigators Malawi.


BOOK ONE, CREATION----IN SWAHILI!!

March of this year, Sally and Bernie Boudreaux, Henry Lutwama and I met with Innocent, a Congolese refugee whom  Henry and I met in July of 2011 at an Orality workshop presented in Uganda by members of the Navigators organization.  We immediately recognized Innocent's passion for his Congolese people who are presently living in refugee camps in Uganda.  We invited him to work with us in bringing the books to these camps and we took several trips last year.  
Last month, he suggested to us that translating the books into Swahili would be very beneficial to the Congolese. Bernie asked him if he would be willing to translate the first book.  He agreed and just last month, we received his complete translation of Book One, Creation!!  What a thrill to see the book in SWAHILI!  We expect the Lord to use Innocent with IAM to minister in the refugee camps.! IMAGINE!!


(below: translation of title page and page one in Swahili)

UUMBAJI

Toka mwanzo wa nyakati Mungo alikuwa. Mbele dunio iwepo kulikuwepo na giza.  Mungo ni muumbaji wa kila kitu na ana uwezo juu ya kila kitu.


Sally, Bernie, Henry Lutwama, and Innocent


A WARM WELCOME

Mityana Orphanage

It is always a great joy to me to greet the children and workers at the orphanage when I return.
 March 2012


Hugging JaJa Florence, half-sister to the late director, Margaret.

SUNDAY AT COMMUNITY BIBLE FELLOWSHIP

In May of 2011, Bible Community Fellowship was planted in the front yard of my house. The church is growing and continues to meet in the same place and minister in the community.  Late in 2011, the church  built a new house for an elderly man in the community.  Everyone worked on the project which was a living testimony to the community of what it means to "BE THE CHURCH."



Church Service March of 2012

When it rains, we move inside the house.  Timo playing the guitar.  This Sunday the message was brought by Bernie Boudreaux from Austin, Texas.



Visting Phillip at his new house. Sally, Ssemakula Henry, Phillip and Becky

Ssemakula Henry, Bernie Boudreaux, Phillip and Becky

SUNDAY AFTERNOON BOOK MINISTRY



Over the past three years, several young men with Imagine Acts Ministry have been faithfully visiting  a certain part of town where they meet with a  small group of women and children each Sunday afternoon to share, minister and teach.  It was our pleasure to participate one Sunday afternoon in late March 2012.  It is very easy to gather a group when the picture books are pulled out and taught.
 On the left is Henry Ssemakula who faithfully coordinates these meetings.  Becky and Sally Boudreaux are greeting one of the women.  Far right is Tonny Mwesiggwa, another faithful IAM worker.



Becky teaching

We had great discussion and question and answer time after the teaching.