Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Uganda Child Sponsor Thank You

Well, Christmas "officially" ended just over four hours ago, but I pray that the Spirit of Christmas, which is the Spirit of Christ, will continue to be with us as the days go by. I wanted to give a quick (yeah, I know, "Hah! Hah! Sandi, you don't know what quick is in a Post...") "Thank You" to all of our Uganda Child Sponsors. As I've mentioned in previous posts, the various members of Valley Word Ministries have sponsored a total of 50 children from the orphanage in Kampala. What a testimony to the love of God flowing through our people!

I know from my own past experience as a child sponsor that while sponsorship is a very rewarding decision, as time goes on, it can have its challenges. I heard Joyce Meyer talking about partnership and child sponsorship one time. She made a statement to the effect that it's really easy to make a decision to partner or sponsor while you are in a service and you are looking at pictures of hungry children. It's one of those "feel good" moments. You know, it makes you "feel good" to be able to put your name on the dotted line to help that young boy or girl. But two or three months down the line, when the rent check is due, the car needs a new set of tires, and Christmas has rolled up on you, it's a lot harder to write that $25.00 check.

Statistically, missions giving is one of the first things to be dropped when budgets get a little tight...not only for individuals, but for church budgets too. The worst part is, that's the group that suffers so much when they do get dropped. How do you look at a child who's only been getting one meal a day anyway, and tell her that the person who'd promised to help feed her didn't send any money for food this month? How do you decide which child will eat and which child must go hungry? Those are tough choices...choices that I'm really glad I don't have to make.

But this post isn't about the people who haven't been able to fulfill their sponsorship pledges, this is about those who HAVE done so. Thanks to you, our administration was able to get the money to Uganda in time for them to use some of it so that the children could have something special for Christmas! While we are so accustomed to piles of prettily wrapped packages under the tree, Christmas for those children may simply mean a pair of shoes so they don't have to walk barefoot. Or maybe even a small toy...possibly the only toy they've ever had.

Thank you, Valley Word Family, for your willingness to stretch beyond yourselves yet again, to pour out the love of Christ on "the least of these." You know, in doing so, you are really ministering to Jesus. Remember, Jesus himself, in telling the parable of the sheep and the goats, said, "And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me." Matthew 25:40 AMP.

I'm excited about the opportunity to see all of those children when we travel to Uganda in February. To see the impact that YOU, the CHILD SPONSORS, have made on their lives through your generous sowing. We are expecting a great harvest in Uganda, and you have a huge part in that harvest. On behalf of our leadership, the leadership in Uganda, and the people of Uganda...THANK YOU!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Pipeline for Ministry

I'm really excited as I write this post. We truly live in exciting times. A year or two ago, during a meeting with the ministry leaders, Pastor shared his vision of Valley Word being a like a pipeline for ministry. God is developing that concept in the area of missions for us. My Co-Team Leader, Debbie, has been gifted in the area of acquiring medical "stuff." Thanks to that gift of God, we not only have had an excess for our own upcoming trip, but we've had an abundance to share with others.

This past Monday, December 18th, we were blessed to be able to ship a PALLET-FULL of medical supplies to Slidell, Louisiana to assist in treating Hurricane Katrina victims! We anticipate this to be just the beginning of what God has in store for us in this area. As we are able to network with both medical agencies who have equipment and supplies that are no longer needed and agencies that have a need for the equipment and supplies, we are believing that God will use us to act like a pipeline to join the two types of agencies together.

If you know of either type of group please contact:

Debbie (debbierobinson@valleywordministries.org) or
myself (sandibird@valleywordministries.org)

with the information. Thanks, and have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fruit Baskets...the Rest of the Story!

It never ceases to amaze me (but not surprise me) when I see the Lord move in really awesome ways. God is so good! I wanted to do a follow-up on the fruit baskets that we delivered to the elderly members of our congregation. I was able to be a part of a group that delivered five baskets on Friday, December 15th. Our group consisted of Rev. Karl Stewart, Geraldine, and myself.

The Word tells us that the steps of a righteous man are ordered of God. We sure saw that Friday night. When we arrived at the house of one of our members who has battled multiple illnesses over a long period of time, we sang our carols, put down the fruit basket, and grabbed Sis. T.B.'s hand to pray with her. As we began to pray, the power of God came down so strong! Part way through the prayer she began to rejoice. She shared with us that when we'd arrived, she had been experiencing chest tightness and shortness of breath. During our prayer the tightness left her. She was able to breathe more easily! Wow! We started rejoicing with her!!! God had arranged a divine appointment. But it didn't end there...

Our next stop was to a couple who'd both had various health challenges for a while. We phoned Bro. and Sis. W. as we were driving up to their door to make sure it was OK for us to stop by. There was some hesitation, but since we were already there, we figured that it would be hard for them to say no... :0) As we enterd their duplex we noticed that Sis. W. was seated in the kitchen, tearful, and in obvious distress.

Her husband explained to us that they'd been getting ready to leave for the emergency room. Our trio gathered around our sister and began to pray...it was on now! No devil in hell was going to attack our sister and get away with it! We prayed in the spirit for a while, and then the Holy Spirit revealed to Rev. Karl what needed to be prayed out in the natural. As he prayed out what the Holy Spirit had revealed to him, a change could be seen in our sister. Sis. W. began thanking God. Her voice was stronger. She stood and began rejoicing! She was breathing better. She was laughing and smiling.

We shared some things from the Word and confirmed to her the authority in the spirit-realm that she and her husband had over their home. By the time we left there was NO NEED to go to the hospital. God had shown up and proved himself mighty on her behalf! Our group was so blessed and honored to be counted a part of that move of God. It is always a very humbling experience to me. I can still hear Sis. W. repeating after Rev. Karl, "God's here. God's here. God's in me. God's in my husband. God's here!"

God is so good!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Of Nursing Homes and Fruit Baskets...

Anyone who goes to Valley Word Ministries knows that Valley Word's people and leadership love the elderly. I wanted to update you on a couple "in our own back yard" activities that took place this month, involving both our elderly members here and also our extended church family (the part of our VWM family that never steps foot inside of our building but still falls under our spiritual care.)


This past Monday the Men's Ministry went to Superior Residences Assisted Living for a time of fellowship with the wonderful residents there. Valley Word ministers there on a monthly basis, but this was an opportunity for the residents to actually visit with our members and watch the movie Jesus. I wasn't able to attend the event myself, but have heard great reports from those who were there. One elderly Catholic gentleman even re-dedicated his life to the Lord. He told Rev. Stewart that he'd never heard the whole story of Jesus! Praise God! I'm so thankful for those who minister to our nursing home folks!


Every year at Christmas time the various ministries at Valley Word get together and make fruit baskets for the elderly couples in our church. Each ministry leader brings in a particular kind of fruit or nuts or candy, enough for however many baskets we're making. Then a group of people assembles them after the service on Wednesday. This year eighteen fruit baskets were assembled.

Last night, Thursday, the various ministries started delivering the baskets. But we don't just drive up, hand off a basket, and leave...not Valley Word folks! We sing Christmas Carols also! I wasn't able to be there last night due to my granddaughter's Christmas play, but I'm hoping to join them tonight if there are any baskets that were not delivered last night (and if my electronic leash--my pager--doesn't drag me in to work ;D.) It's always such a fun time, and the folks are so blessed when we show up. Maybe I can convince someone who delivered them this year to write a quick update...

I don't know when my next post will be written, but in case it's after Christmas, I pray the Love of God and the Peace of God be upon you throughout this holiday season. Have a Merry Christmas, and remember the REAL Reason for the Season!

I love you all! ~ Sandi ~

The VWM Special Forces Mission Team

Well, in less than two months now our team will be on our way to Africa. We'll actually be somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean two months from when I'm writing this post. I know that each one of us is excited as the day approaches, and the next two months will probably go by faster than we'd like them to go. There's still a lot that needs to be done, both in the natural realm and in the spirit realm also.

I received a letter from Pastor Solomon, updating me on some of the things that are happening over in Kampala. There are new pictures on the Online Photo Album, so be sure to check those out, and there are more to come that I haven't yet received. One of the sobering bits of news that Pastor Solomon included in the e-mail was that one of the young students at King Solomon's Academy died last week after succumbing to Malaria. It seems so senseless that a disease that is preventable and treatable still claims the lives of so many people. It makes it that much more imperative that our team partners with the staff of Life Link Medical Centre to aid in vaccinating the people and treating those who are already ill.

I know that those of us at Valley Word have a very personal connection with the Academy as various members of our congregation together financially support fifty children on a monthly basis. I am so proud of the outpouring of love that I've seen from our members in the area of giving to others. I have truly seen the love of God shine forth from my church family to those who are less fortunate. My thanks goes out to all who have been a part of this project thus far, and to those who have yet to participate!

Having said all that, I wanted to really share with you what's on my heart in regards to this trip. Of course, we all know that in the natural we are going over to do a medical and humanitarian project, along with Pastor having the opportunity to minister the Word every night, BUT there's more to it in my mind. Let me paint a picture for you...

In your mind's eye, picture a battleground. There are soldiers from both sides in the picture, and plenty of civilians. You're looking at Uganda. Remember, the battle I'm talking about is a spiritual battle, so although we're looking at people, when I refer to the enemy, I'm actually when I'm talking about the spirit that's controlling the people. People aren't our enemies. We're fighting against a spirit of anti-christ that is trying to take over where ever it can gain ground.

When Pastor Solomon was here he shared with us that the Muslim community is planning on building 450 schools in Uganda, not only to provide a free education to those children, but to introduce them to the Islamic belief system/values. Just as most of the kids at King Solomon's Academy have accepted Christ and the New Birth by exposure to the Gospel, the likelihood of children and parents being converted to Islam is VERY HIGH if the are attending the free schools and receiving aid from the Muslim community. Right now, the country of Uganda is a Christian country. Even the wife of the President is a born-again, spirit-filled Christian. But, I've heard it said before that it only takes one generation to win or lose a country. This is a crucial stage in the spiritual battle for Uganda.


Our team has an opportunity to go in and impact not only the city in which we'll be working, but the entire nation itself! When I look at our VWM Mission Team, I see us as a Spiritual Special Forces Team. Let me explain. Encarta describes Special Forces like this:

"Special Forces, highly trained branch of the United States Army, specializing in unconventional or guerrilla warfare...The growth of the force, most notably through its role in Southeast Asia during the 1960s, reflects the increasing importance accorded guerrilla tactics in modern revolutionary and political developments around the world. Special Forces personnel...were trained to infiltrate enemy-controlled territory and contact and organize local dissidents for guerrilla operations..."

"Special Forces," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2006
http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Guerilla Warfare is defined as: "...military or paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held territory by irregular forces, often groups indigenous to that territory."

"Guerrilla Warfare," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2006
http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

When we think of "Spiritual Warfare" strategies, we usually think of evangelists, witnessing, etc. Medical and construction projects aren't usually considered warfare tactics. But I submit to you that they are. In the description of Special Forces, it mentioned "unconventional and guerilla warfare." That's the category under which I believe that our projects fall. We are joining with those indigenous "spiritual soldiers" (Pastor Solomon, the staff at Life Link Medical Centre, and the other workers there) to use unconventional tactics to "infiltrate enemy-controlled territory" and take possesion of it.


  • As we complete the Chicken - Fish Pond Project we will be helping to change the nutritional status and health of the Kampalan people. By providing increased protein for their diets and additional instruction in the area of proper eating habits and nutritional requirements we will be empowering the people to achieve healthier lifestyles.

  • By combining the food that the project will produce for them to market to other communities and businesses with instruction in how to market that food, we will be helping to improve their economic status.

  • The equipment we've shipped over for the Medical Centre will help to make it one of the best equipped medical centres in the area. With that and the training which we will provide to the indigenous staff they will have the ability to DIAGNOSE and treat a larger range of illnesses. That will greatly impact the whole Kampala area.

  • The availability of that equipment will attract patients who are actually financially able to pay for their treatment. The additional income will allow the clinic to buy more medications and supplies and treat more people.

All in the Name of our wonderful Jesus!

As we share the Love of God through our "unconventional warfare tactics" the Holy Spirit will have an opportunity to use those things to minister to the hearts of the people. We are anticipating a great harvest of souls both from the seeds we have already begun to sow in the lives of the people of Uganda and those which will be sown once we are there. When we arrive in Uganda, we plan to not only hold back the forces of the enemy, but to push them back and take ground from the enemy!

We are...the VWM Special Forces Mission Team!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Missions Blog Facelift ;D and Another Quick Update


Well, as you can tell if you've ever been on the Missions Blog before, we've undergone a facelift! I'm constantly grateful to the companies that provide this Blog Site for us free of charge (Google and Blogspot.) They are constantly working on ways to improve and make more user-friendly a site that they provide at no charge. As much as I understand about computers and the Web, I'm always amazed at things like that! It's not like there are banner ads all over the place to make up for it...Praise God!


If you want to read a post that is on a particular topic, you can look at the Labels section on the left sidebar. As you read a post, if you think that I should add another label to it, just post a comment and let me know! And if you are a VWM member who is involved in Missions of any kind...local, national, or international...and you'd like to be a part of the Blogging team, PLEASE let me know. We NEED you!


Well, our Uganda trip is getting closer! I am so excited that I'm almost beside myself! [Hmmm...if I was beside myself, would there be two of me to work on the website? A clone? Just a thought...] Back to reality. We have another team meeting tomorrow after service, and we're going to begin a weekly prayer group for the Uganda Trip. The prayer group is open to anyone with a heart to pray for missions. We'll meet 15 minutes after the Sunday morning service and pray until we feel a release.


We are quickly approaching the deadline to turn in our airfare to British Airway. The check has to be mailed in this coming week. As always, God is proving himself faithful on our behalf! The money is coming in for the team, as we knew it would. That having been said, it's not all in yet, and we still need your help! If you've already sown, we say, "THANK YOU"!!! It would be great if we could just write a check to the airline company and "believe" that the money will come in before it hits the bank, but I think that would be a felony offense! Instead, it takes people just like you, my reader, to sow your finances into things like the Uganda Mission Trip. If you haven't already done so, I so strongly encourage you to make that commitment and do it. Even a seed of $1 or $2 adds up!

I have been re-visiting the subject of supporting my mission trip expenses with my co-workers this last week. And I asked them if they would consider giving a contribution of any size (even $1.00) towards my trip. One of my co-workers said that she might be able to give $5.00. I let her know that that was great. Well, the next day that I saw her, she handed me a check. Before I had a chance to look at it, she told me, "My husband and I talked about it, and we decided that there were some things that we could do without." When I had a chance to look at the check later, I realized it was written for $100.00!

My thoughts immediately shifted to the Apostle Paul as he wrote the letter to the church at Philippi. If you're home folk (Valley Word members) then I know that you're familiar with the story, but I'll summarize it for those who aren't familiar with it. You'll find the account [not story, but that's a topic I'll save for a different post] in Ephesians 4:10-19. If you'll remember, the church at Philippi had sent financial support to Paul on a number of different occasions. They were, in fact, as Paul said, the only church that "communicated with me concerning giving and receiving." (verse 15) The people in that curch had expanded their vision beyond their own four walls and supported and partnered with the Apostle Paul during his missionary journeying. That's when Paul prayed that familiar prayer over them that is so widely misused. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." A missionary praying for his financial partners. And the partners have an equal share in the reward.

I know that, as the holiday quickly approaches, we all have a multitude of things that are calling for our finances. But I encourage all of you to ask the Holy Spirit if there is something, or something more, that He wants you to do in regards to missions, even if it isn't the Uganda trip. My co-workers words challenged me, "...we decided that there were some things that we could do without." I've made a couple returns to Wal-Mart already...the things I want I don't always really need! A Soulwinner's Crown will look much better on me than that pretty dress, anyway!


Tomorrow, December 10th, is the deadline for turning in the stockings for Kenya. Last year we sent backpacks with school supplies, but much of the expense went into shipping. This year our Children's ministry handed out small red stocking with the request that people would save their change and return the stockings full of money! The money is going to be wire transfered to the two orphanages in Kenya. They will be able to use 100% of what is collected instead of having to pay shipping costs. The goal is $5000.00. I'll update you as soon as all the stockings are collected!

Anyone who is not a Valley Word member, but would still like to contribute, may e-mail the church at contactus@valleywordministries.org for the Kenya project, or uganda@valleywordministries.org for the Uganda Missions Trip. Or, you may call the church office to get instructions on how to make your tax-deductible contribution!