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.
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.)
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.