DeDe and I are excited . . . and somewhat nervous. We will both return to Africa in September to be part of what God is doing in Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and beyond. This will be our first trip back since leaving in 2015.
It is a great opportunity for us to be part of the fresh work God is doing among the people groups we grew to love deeply as we worked with them.
Here’s how you can hold the rope as we go:
- Pray now.
- Pray fervently during September.
- As God leads, give to help with our travel expenses and distribution of Bible story cloths and Audio Bibles. You can give by sending a check (see address below) or using your credit card at our Open Hands Missions Go Fund Me account.
DeDe’s trip will be during the first two weeks of September. DeDe and my sister, Colleen Glaser, will travel to Kenya with our former co-workers David and Renee Crane, who now serve with Calvary Road Ministries. They will be part of a small team traveling to northern Kenya and the sprawling Kakuma Refugee Camp. God is working among two South Sudanese refugee camp people groups, the Nuer and Anuak people. We were privileged to build relationships with churches, pastors, and leaders of these groups during our three-year African sojourn.
The Kenyan team will be teaching Bible storying to the women in the camps. It will be a ripple effect that can spread beyond these two people groups to the over 100,000 refugees in Kakuma who are natives of Somalia and Ethiopia.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17
I (Curt) had already committed to a trip I feel strongly about. As the Lord stirred my heart to return to Africa earlier this year, I prayed about how I could be the best steward of time, ministry, and money/resources on a month-long trip in September.
I’ll spend two weeks at our wonderful Uganda Baptist Seminary (UBS) in Jinja, Uganda teaching the book of Acts. My co-learners (I’ll learn as much from my students as they learn from me!) will come from seven African countries. From my prior association with UBS, I’m aware that many will have traveled through war zones, left their crops and families, and sacrificed greatly to attend seminary.
It will be one of the privileges of my life to teach from the mission book of Acts and live and learn among these pastors and church leaders. I’m excited and humbled that the ripple effect from teaching God’s word can, and will, spread back across a wide swath of the Continent.
After I complete my teaching assignment, I will travel to northern Uganda to visit our pastors, churches, and fellow missionaries along the South Sudanese border. Sadly, the war in South Sudan has continued and most of the civilian population have crossed into the border countries. In fact, the International Mission Board team we will work with, the Borderlands Team, is tasked with bringing the gospel to the hundreds of thousands who continue to pour into Uganda.
I’ll visit churches that began under U.N. tarps and mango trees beside water wells we drilled by our organization. Many of these refugee churches have multiplied. I cannot wait to see with my eyes and heart what God is doing among the Kakwa, Madi, Murle, Dinka and other South Sudanese people groups now residing in Uganda. After ten days in the camps, I’ll return to the U.S. on September 30.
As funds allow, we will distribute two items to churches in both Kenya and Uganda:
- Solar-powered Bible Audio players in the heart languages of the refugees. These cost about $60 each and are extremely effective in spreading the Gospel.
- Two types of Bible story cloths: the original forty-two picture cloth plus a new story cloth depicting the book of Acts. They cost $8.00 each.
Additionally, we are asking for help on transportation. My Ugandan ticket has been paid, and I plan to travel in-country by bus and matatu (small bus taxies). DeDe and Colleen will need two tickets: from America to Nairobi, Kenya (about $1000 each) and a Mission Aviation Fellowship bush plane ticket from Nairobi to Kakuma Camp ($400 each).
Any additional funds we receive will be used to buy story cloths, audio Bibles, and incidentals such as required immunizations and in-country expenses.
All gifts will be funneled through Open Hands Missions, a 501 (c) 3 organization* we formed for missions in Africa. Your gifts will be tax-deductible and we will keep you posted on how monies are spent.
As God leads, you can give by:
- Checks made payable to “Open Hands Africa” and sent to P.O. Box 6060 Alexandria, LA 71307.
For your convenience, we’ve set up an Open Hands Missions Go Fund Me account if you prefer to give via credit card.
- Most of all, we need you and your church to hold the rope in prayer. We return to Africa fully aware of the challenges and obstacles we’ll face. We won’t go without your prayer support. Our plan is to make use of Facebook and our blog (www.creekbank.net) to keep you prayerfully informed.
Thank you for allowing us to share about our September trip. Through your prayer and giving, you’ll be there with us.
Curt and DeDe Iles
*Open Hands Missions IRS 501 (c) 3 # 46-1138573
PO Box 6060 Alexandria, LA 71307