Monday, February 19, 2018

Life Impacted: Edwin Eregwa

Special Post: Through your prayers and support, our family has had the distinct privilege of investing in the lives of some amazing people here in Uganda.  This post is about our good friend Edwin Eregwa.  Thank you for standing with us so that we can stand with people like this.  We hope you enjoy!

One of our first pictures together
I, Josh, met him in 2011 when we first arrived.  He was a recent graduate of Kampala International University and longtime member of United Faith Chapel (UFC).  He had just agreed to stay in Kampala for a year or two in order to help in the leading of ministries for UFC.  When I met Edwin, I immediately saw a man who loved Jesus with all his heart and desperately desired to minister to others.  My friendship with Edwin began to grow and Edwin quickly became a very important part of my life.
Edwin's UDM Photo

Fast-forward to 2017 and I have been back and forth from Uganda and the USA twice.  Edwin, a Kenya native, has stayed in Uganda this whole time and continued to serve in the university ministries.  The ministry is now  called University Discipleship Movement and Edwin found himself as the leader of a campus group meeting at Cavendish University. Edwin has impacted hundreds of students.  He began the ministry at Cavendish with 0 and has seen numbers reach 40 and 50 during their weekly meetings.  I had the pleasure of working side by side with Edwin at Cavendish for about a year in 2014-2015.  I look back on those days with great fondness.

Elizabeth and Cianna meet
A lot has changed for Edwin since we first met in 2011.  He has married Jeannette and now they have 2 precious little girls.  I had the privilege of traveling to Rwanda to celebrate with Edwin and Jeannette for their Introduction (a pre-marriage celebration). I have watched Edwin become a great husband and now a great father.  Learning the balance of family life and ministry was not easy but he did it with much grace and faith in Jesus.

I have learned a lot from my time with Edwin.  For a season we would pray together weekly and encourage one another. Edwin became a confidant for me. During one of the most stressful seasons of my life he was a rock for me to turn to.  I learned a lot about sacrifice.  I watched Edwin sacrifice MUCH for the sake of serving Jesus.  His position within the university ministry did not come with a lot of money and sometimes it came with none.  There were frustrations and broken promises along the way.  However, the fire in Edwin’s eyes never diminished when it came to serving Jesus through this ministry.  He knew Jesus was using him and that lives were being transformed.  That was enough to keep him going when any other man would have walked away.  There will be many in heaven who will approach Edwin and say, “thank you!” They will just have to wait for me to go first. 

Edwin and Caleb were good friends
Edwin has moved on from the university ministry here in Kampala.  It is now 2018 and Edwin and his sweet family are living in Kigali, Rwanda.  They don’t know exactly what is next.  There is no job lined up or stable income, yet they are at peace that this is where Jesus wants them.  There was no grand send off or party to thank him for his years of ministry here in Kampala.  But that hasn’t fazed Edwin one bit because acclaim is not what Edwin is looking for.  Just last week he sent me a message asking for prayer.  Not prayer for money or a job.  Prayer for his ministry.  You see, Edwin is already leading a discipleship group there in Rwanda.  This man who poured years into a ministry in Kampala and decided it was time to move on, has not taken a moment to pause and consider if ministry is something he should keep doing.  He knows it is what Jesus wants him to do.  He knows that wherever we find ourselves, we will find people who need to hear of the love of Jesus.  And so, he will keep trusting Jesus to provide for his needs and while he trusts, he will invest in the lives of others. 

I have been blessed by the friendship and example of Edwin Eregwa. I have learned a lot from his example.  I pray God continues to use him wherever he goes and I pray that I will follow the example of my friend.  There are always people around us who need to know the love of the Savior.  Will we tell them?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

can't have one without the other!

I learned way back at our cross-cultural orientation that the heights of your joy are in direct proportion to the depths of your sorrow. You can't have the joy without the sorrow. The thought stuck with me, but it wasn't until recently that I realized I am far too good at numbing the pain and therefore missing out on the delight.  One of the first things you are encouraged to do in counseling is feel the feelings. We don't get to choose what emotions rise up within us (though we do get to choose how we respond to them and how we express them). God created us emotional, rational, creative beings- unlike any other creation. Peter Scazzero says this: 
“When we deny our pain, losses, and feelings year after year, we become less and less human. We transform slowly into empty shells with smiley faces painted on them."
And so I've been working on allowing the feelings to come, to feel them and then to offer them to the God who created me and loves me. As I weep and laugh in His presence our friendship deepens and I become more alive and whole. Only He can help us sort through our feelings and learn what they are communicating to us. Only He can heal the wounds of our past.

So what's the connection between our emotions and essential oils? Here are some resources:

Essential Oils for when you're feeling stuck, overwhelmed and annoyed on the Young Living blog

The brain, emotion and body connection- and why essential oils can support our health from the Oil Academy

Grief, emotions and essential oils on the Allender Center podcast

What oils do you use to boost your mood, or access your stuffed feelings? 

Friday, January 12, 2018

one healthy family

When my kids are healthy I feel like I can take over the world. When they are sick... my world comes to a screeching halt.

One of the reasons I fell in love with essential oils is that they gave me tools to support my children's immune systems. I feel like I have natural options to help their bodies do what they were created to do. I can't protect them from everything, but I have chosen to be proactive and to do what I can. And it has helped us all stay above the wellness line more often than we had in the past.

Some of my favorite immune boosting oils for children of all ages are frankincense oil, lavender oil and lemon oil. Thieves oil is another immune supporting oil blend (heavily dilute for small children). Peppermint oil or digize blend can support your digestive system.

Some great articles:

The information contained on this website is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  The information represents what I, an Independent Distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, have chosen to do to take charge of my own personal health and that of my family.  Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

one thing is needful...

If you're a Christ-follower, one of your goals will always be to know God more and be known by Him. Our team in Uganda just did a study that was really helpful called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. A few practices the book recommends for the growth of your spiritual life are:

Perhaps God is calling you to one of these practices in the new year.

I have been spending time in the story of Mary and Martha lately. Martha was worried and distracted, when just one thing was needful. and Mary sat at His feet. All the hours of building the kingdom and serving the Lord count for nothing if we are not madly in love with Him. If we're not abiding in Him none of our fruit will last. So how is He calling you to fall deeper in love with Him? 

I am not claiming you can have a deeper relationship with Jesus by simply using essential oils. I don't believe you need essential oils to deepen your relationship with God. If I were to have one goal for you and for me this year it's this: just Jesus. One thing is needful- sit at His feet.

If you are looking for oily suggestions for your devotional life-  I occasionally diffuse frankincense and Sacred Mountain blend to help me focus during times of prayer. And we have anointed our home with oil as we dedicate it to the Lord and during times of intense spiritual warfare. For further reading you can check out this article from Desiring God on anointing the sick.

Oils were used in worship and in anointing people throughout the Bible. If you're interested in studying the oils of the Bible you can check out this thorough article: Oils of the Bible.

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