Mission Uganda: Carrier Family Update

As of this writing, the Carrier family has moved from Kenya to Uganda and we have been adjusting to our new home and community for about the past two weeks. For the most part, the transition has been remarkably smooth, mostly because we’ve been in Kenya already and there are many similarities. As well, Marc and Isaiah both spent quite some time in Uganda as our home was being built, so we were pretty much in move-in condition when we arrived.

We had to drive our large family in two shifts: Marc with the older children, the two dogs and three cats, and some of our household supplies and tools on trip one. On trip two, the younger children and me (Cindy) with clothes, school books, and whatever else remained of our household items. The animals needed more paperwork to cross the border than most of us people did, but they made the trip unexpectedly well and have adjusted as can be expected. Except for our big German Shepherd male, Rex…he had been in the habit of getting out of our fenced yard in Kenya in order to “sow his wild oats,” as they say. In this regard, he was incorrigible, and we were constantly repairing the fence where he ripped holes in it with his teeth or where he dug under to escape. Here, we proactively engineered our fence to be “Rex-proof,” and we are happy to report success! However, Rex is not exactly happy with the new arrangement and has taken it upon himself to chew anything and everything that gets left outside overnight. In lieu of any such items, he has consistently uprooted one of the trees in our front yard. We dig and re-plant, he digs and uproots. And repeat. But at least he stays in the yard.

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Rex, who is ashamed, yet unrepentant, about his tree-digging escapades

Handwashing station

Hand washing station

We began our life in Kenya with no electricity or running water. Here, Isaiah had spent enough time before our arrival that we were wired for solar, with lighting in every room. However, our attempt at digging a borehole (which we would develop into a well) dramatically failed, so we are back to fetching water, washing dishes outside and sponge-bathing in basins, etc. Isaiah made a pretty neat set-up in our dining area for easy hand washing and also a spigot for drinking water, which adds a small level of convenience. We quickly discovered that although the locals drink the lake water, it’s really not a great idea. (It’s brown…has stuff floating in it…and is kind of swampy-smelling.) We add some bleach to it and use it for laundry, bathing, dish washing, and hand washing, but one of our neighbors gets us clean water for drinking and cooking from a local school (about 4 km away) for a decent price as often as we need it. Praise the Lord!

I’m sure the Lord allowed the failure of the borehole, as afterwards a KDM donor who had previously funded a water project in Kenya offered to assist with digging a community borehole on our property. It will be developed with a pump for clean water. That project is now underway, and we look forward to what it will mean not only to us, but our entire community.

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Boys with snake skin

So, yes, we’re on Lake Victoria, which is a big excitement for the kids. They spent quite a long time observing a species of monkey different than the ubiquitous Colobus monkeys of Kenya. We’ve studied all the local species of snakes (at least, until our “Reptiles and Amphibians of East Africa” book got left outside and chewed on by Rex…ugh…), and when Jonah, Micah, and Enoch went down to the lake one afternoon, they found a Black Mamba skin about 6 feet long! Though I’m glad they didn’t meet him face-to-face, we now make sure they do all their adventuring in pairs or threes. All carry hefty wooden sticks (for confirming that brush areas are clear of snakes, and for defending against any snakes that chance to be laying around!) and big kids carry pangas (machetes), just in case. Our access to Lake Victoria is disappointingly inadequate, as it is very overgrown, marshy and muddy. We’ve decided to try and have it cleared, in hopes that we will one day be able to walk into the water, maybe even from a beach, or at least launch a small boat (something all the children are looking  forward to).

 

 

Our local “market days” are Wednesday and Thursday. I’m enjoying that this local outdoor market is within walking distance and on the lake. Many of the vendors and shoppers come from islands on the lake–here’s a handmade wooden boat used for ferrying passengers on shore for repairs, about 50 feet long:

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The selection at the market is not really what we’ve been used to in Kenya. Fruits and vegetables are pretty limited, which I find difficult, but fish, as you can imagine on Lake Victoria, is plentiful and cheap–a welcome change! We’re having to adjust our eating habits once again as we rely on market days for fresh food, since the local shops really don’t offer much by way of variety–only staples like flour, sugar, baking powder, rice, oil, and eggs. It’s quite a trip to get any unusual items that we use with some regularity, like my instant coffee, margarine, simple seasonings, vinegar, and “Irish potatoes” (white potatoes, as opposed to the local sweet potatoes), so that’s an adjustment as well.  We definitely appreciate that Ugandan food prices, thus far, seem to be better on the budget than those in Kenya.

Mission-wise, things are progressing slow-and-steady. Because Marc and Isaiah spent some time here before our move (along with our Kenya evangelists/teachers Lazarus and Nashon), there was a small fellowship already established prior to our permanent arrival. Marc has been teaching a small group of guys a couple of days per week, as well as meeting up with many of them during the week for one-on-one conversations and discipleship. Nashon has been living on our compound in one of two small mud houses, so he also visits with a lot of the guys and continues to teach seekers and evangelize in new areas locally. In Kenya, we had to start the mission with a mzungu face because we didn’t have a Kenyan partner for quite some time. It is nice that now our goal can be realized: minimizing the mzungu so that a sustainable, reproducible mission will develop–hopefully more quickly than it did in Kenya. I would say that Marc is a bit uncomfortable with the comparatively slow pace of the mission; he had been very busy in Kenya and enjoys being productive with his time, especially as concerns the things of the Kingdom. Yet I have heard him counsel many others that “sometimes you have to go slow to go fast.” Perhaps this is just a time when he needs to take his own advice!

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Nashon at home

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Thanks to all those who have supported us financially and especially through prayer as we have transitioned to Uganda. We look forward to seeing what God will continue to do in this new place!

Young evangelists in Uganda

042It might sound like a fairy tale or perhaps an ancient tale of the apostles dividing the world among themselves,028 and conquering them for the Lord. You may wonder and say to yourself, “Am I reading an account of St. Thomas evangelizing the villages of Asia, or is it St. Peter preaching in the city of Rome?” Believe me, this is far away from a fairy tale, though many centuries away from the ancient accounts of the Lord’s apostles. This is a story to tell, a tale of two young, devoted evangelists, full of zeal and enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God. A marvelous tale of Nashon Ouma and Isaiah Carrier, the carriers and pioneers of the gospel to the rural villagers of the nation of Uganda.

  And Jesus came and spoke to them saying”All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Mathew 28:18-20

 

This is a story about Isaiah Carrier age 17, the eldest son of Marc and Cindy Carrier, the missionaries from America sojourning in the land of Ham, and Nashon Ouma, age 25, the eldest son of Wilson, both disciples and natives of Kenya. In one way or the other their souls are deeply entwined like David the son of Jesse and Jonathan the son of King Saul. Surely these must be the doings of the Lord. How could it be otherwise in this world of conflict and hatred and racial discrimination?

Nashon and Isaiah are normal and ordinary young men just like any other young men. What distinguishes them is that they are here on a greater mission, with a greater set of responsibilities and a greater accountability to the one who sent them to all nations. Their lives are demanding though they are still youths. Their lives are trials. Their journey is rough and tough. It is not a journey for the faint hearts or for those seeking pleasure and repose here on Earth. Do you think is an easy occupation to be an evangelist? No, it is not easy and it had never been easy, even the accounts of the apostles concur with this truth.

In the Acts of the Saint Thomas the apostles are shown dividing the nations among themselves for the evangelistic activity. When Thomas was assigned India, he protested, ”I cannot go there because of the fatigue of the body on the journey, for I am a Hebrew.” Jesus then appeared to Thomas, urging him to go to India, but he continued to resist, saying , ”I would that thou wouldst send me into another country, for unto the country of India I cannot go.” It was not until our Lord appeared himself to Abbanes a merchant from India, and sold Thomas to him as a slave. Thomas recognized himself as Jesus’ slave, yielded, and thus went to India as a slave of Abbanes the merchant. The result was he baptized many many people and until today he is recognized as the father of the Asian church.

( Excerpts from Search for the Twelve Apostles, by William S. McBirne)

It was the same story, too, with Nashon and Isaiah, genuine hesitations: “We don’t know their native language….what about the fatigue of riding a motor bike to a foreign nation?…but we are not mature enough, we are still young.” To them these were among their great cloud of fears which they had to face and conquer. It is true that an evangelist’s resolve will be determined with the quality and quantity of preparation and disciplining for their mission. Isaiah being the son of Marc, a servant and disciple of Christ, had a higher advantage; he was disciple since the day he was born and in his young age he is very well versed in the ways of the Kingdom and the teaching of the LORD. His only dilemma was the challenged posed by his skin color, the color that many African consider to be the true color of the dollar. Perhaps you are not aware  that white skin has a greater potential to do permanent damage than good in the evangelism field.

Nashon was not also disadvantaged in his training and discipleship. Since the time he finished his High School education in November 2013 and was baptized at the same time by brother Marc, he had been walking very closely with Marc until on November 2015, when he was ordained by the church as an evangelist. Was this ordination a vain and fruitless thing? For the answer let us follow them to one village in the nation of Uganda.

First apostolic mission for Nashon and Isaiah

On their first trip to Uganda, these young and  inexperienced evangelists were led by Marc himself. Their mission was to find their manman o peace ug 6 of peace. It was not long before they met one shoemaker and established a relationship with him. After few days of teachings it was obvious he was not their man of peace; the shoemaker was not ready to count the cost and surrender to the kingdom. Their mission ended there. They returned back to Kenya. After one week Marc sent them again with more instructions and blessings. And on their second mission trip the Holy Spirit was guiding them. Isaiah noticed a man walking alone and silently as he passed them, then he whispered to Nashon, ” That must be our man of peace, let us follow him.” They immediately arose and followed him. After they caught up with him, Nashon didn’t  believe  what he discovered, his great fear of the language barrier melted away like a wax passing close to the fire, believe it or not he was able to speak the native language of the village, very fluently,  just like the natives of the land. For sure the Lord was with them just as He promised His apostles. If it was not a miracle then it was a divine preparation.

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Nashon asked the man if he was willing to open his house for them and allow them to share the gospel with him and his family. The man was very much pleased with the words and also with the young men. He welcomed them and invited his neighbors who numbered to more than twenty four men and women. Nashon and Isaiah planted the seed of the kingdom using one of our most powerful field tracts, Two Kingdoms, to lay the foundation of the kingdom. The message threw them off their balance; it was such a powerful and unique message to them, not forgetting it came from young and simple men. The day ended, and they were welcomed the following day to hear more from them. On their second day they shared with them the second field tract, Repent, Surrender and be Baptized, which led five people to repentance and surrender and Nashon baptized them. The Church was established immediately in the house of Humfrey, a former Muslim, their man of peace. And they continued in teaching them more about the kingdom in obedience to what Jesus said to do with the newly baptized, using the third field tract ...and Teach to Obey ALL that Christ COMMANDED. Two more young  men surrendered and were baptized and the  number of the saints numbered to seven. Now they are leading them  slowly through the teachings  of what New Testament church is all about in the fourth tract,  What does the Bible Say about  CHURCH? as they  lead them on their journey of Kingdom discovery. In this journey they were not left empty handed….they left them with two powerful tools to illuminates their understanding as they begin their royal journey and greater adventure of mankind towards the discovery of the ancient treasure, the kingdom of God, in His parable of the Hidden Treasure he said, “Again, the kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.“(Mathew 13:44). They received the Bible in their native tongue, the likes they had never ever seen before, and Kingdom Discovery Bible Study guide book. It is their first time to own a Bible and I believe it is an incredibly miraculous gift to them. ( All the field tracts mentioned above are very helpful and freely available on this website.)

 

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 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” Mathew 24:14

We glorify Our Lord and King for imparting His divine grace in the life of this two young faithful witnesses of the kingdom gospel. It may take us eternity to fully comprehend the greatness and achievement of these young evangelists, but I do believe God and His angelic assembly, and Satan and his demonic assembly, fully understand the impact to their respective kingdoms. Now we must fully understand that a father will be known through his sons, and a teacher through his disciples. As we speak peace and blessing to Nashon and Isaiah, let us speak great blessing and peace to their teacher, Marc Carrier. Above all pray for the young and new house church in Uganda. Pray for Nashon as he continues to labor in translating the literature to the local vernacular. Pray for Kingdom Driven Ministry! We need your prayers. They are vital.

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Greetings from  the Horn of Africa. Peace, be still.