As we have continued our farewell tour, it has occurred to me that we must have poorly communicated the details of our mission, and our purpose in going to Uganda. Many people, even in the last week have asked what we will be doing when we arrive in Uganda. I’m amazed at the outpouring of support, of how we have raised so much money to fund this effort, when it seems that so many are still unclear about our mission. We are continually humbled by this transition to live our lives on the support of our friends and family. We are even more humbled to see that people have generously contributed believing that God is at work, even though they may have been uncertain as to how exactly He was working. Here’s an attempt to briefly explain our mission. I’d also like to invite everyone to the Evangelical Bible Church in Dickinson, ND for services this weekend, where we will spend some time answering questions and sharing God’s plan for our lives in the adult Sunday School class at 9:30.
Nearly 10 years ago, a young man from Bowman, ND and his wife journeyed to Uganda to start Musana Camps. This ministry of New Hope Uganda was designed to bring the message of Biblical manhood and womanhood to the young men and women of Uganda, while continuing the mission to bring the Fatherhood of God to the fatherless. The Sparks family encountered much opposition, but also found success in God’s calling to establish the Bible camp. Today this camp is flourishing. The growth has been tremendous, and all signs point toward continued expansion as the word spreads of the effective ministry taking place.
While the camp and camp programs continue to grow, so do the demands on the local community. The number of staff required to run the camp continues to grow, and those staff members have to be able to have their children attend school. As a result, Musana Camps has started a primary school to provide for the needs of the staff. Questions remain as to whether the school is to serve the camp staff alone, or whether this school might grow to be an outreach for the surrounding community, as well. As the school grows we have to answer questions as to how it is funded, and how the school will be administrated.
In addition to the school, this remote area is in desperate need of medical care. Musana Camps has built a clinic, and has begun the process of getting necessary medical supplies and staff to operate it. Once again, the questions regarding administration come up. Will the clinic predominantly serve the camp, or will it grow to be an outreach to the community? How do we prepare for that growth, and how do we manage the budget and administrative support to grow the clinic responsibly?
Finally, Musana Camps has planted a church to serve the staff. The church continues to grow as the community attends and sends their children for Sunday School classes. The church requires the same administrative oversight, and it is necessary to carefully consider a church constitution and by-laws to establish the leadership of the church so that it can continue to effectively minister as it grows. We will also have to make decisions regarding that growth, and begin to plan for pastoral training programs that will help to plant more area churches with pastors who have the training and ability to lead Bible believing congregations.
Our family will go and attempt to help with these administrative functions of the Musana Camps community. Our goal will be to raise up Ugandan leaders who will administrate and manage each of these areas of ministry. We consider it our job to equip them with the administrative tools to function well within their areas of responsibility. We are hoping that by God’s grace, we may be able to help establish the relationships and interworking of these ministries so that each gifted leader can be freed up to focus entirely on their area of expertise. All the while, our most important ally is God Himself. Our desire is to continually turn the hearts of our ministry leaders and ourselves toward God who will guide and direct our path.
We need your help to get there, to establish our family in Uganda, and to continue on by meeting our monthly expenses. As you feel led to give, please know that your support goes to ensure this remote area of Uganda is reached with the Gospel for the expansion of the kingdom of heaven. You support helps us to provide education, front line medical support, and Biblical teaching through the local church. Your support also allows the current leadership to focus on their gifting in teaching Biblical manhood and womanhood through the camp programs. The end of January marks our official transition off of a company paycheck and into a life dependent on the support of others.
Thank you so much for your prayers, for your generosity, and for believing that the power of God could work through such humble vessels as our family.