Son Mission is almost three years old. Our primary focus has not changed since birth in 2016, “Making disciples from Jesus’ sacrificial grace.” God’s grace is freely given but not cheaply purchased. Jesus willingly laid down His life for our new, redeemed life in Him. Jesus is the only One who did not deserve death but He willingly absorbed the Father’s wrath, becoming the final sacrifice for sin. Three days later, Jesus’ resurrection mocked death and secured eternal grace, hope, and life for those who put their faith in Him. Son Mission marvels at Jesus’ transformative, sacrificial grace (which is rooted in true love). We are building on Jesus’ foundation - from Jesus’ finished work by the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance with His Word. How does Son Mission “make disciples from Jesus’ sacrificial grace” in the Busia District? I’m glad you asked. Check this out.
By God’s grace, I lead a team of 3 to the Busia District for the first time this February. Our time was refining, fun, and fruitful. The team was encouraged by the sincerity and hospitality of the Son Mission Busia District Mentors, the 13 Son Mission orphans, and the born-again churches we serve with. We visited, encouraged, and prayed with all the Primary and Secondary schools we partner with. We ran the Busia dirt roads with Basic Primary students for their morning exercise. We encouraged Lumino Baptist Church and Faith Church through preaching and prayer. We prayed with Faith Babies Home in Iganga. We shared a massive meal with the upcoming 2020 Son Mission orphans and their caregivers. We learned how to worship Jesus through song in the Saamia language. We ate cassava bread with our hands, avocados the size of small pumpkins, and African pineapple pizza. We experienced God’s global body working and dreaming together for Jesus’ sake in the Busia District. Our time with the Son Mission Busia District team was a shot of authentic Jesus-centered energy.
In 2019, the Son Mission Busia District Mentors will be teaching God’s Word to over 400 students in 7 schools through discipleship classes. Since birth, Son Mission has given over 500 (English Bibles) to students and schools. This is vital for many reasons. Most churchgoers in the bush do not have a Bible due to availability and price: on average a Bible in the Busia District costs 70,000 shillings (20 USD), which is an average monthly salary for those in the Busia bush. Additionally, when one does not have a Bible how can one weigh what the Pastor is teaching? The practicality of having a Bible can help thwart false teaching and grow one in transformative Truth. Finally, for the young adults, Bibles (in English) encourage them to dig deeper in the English language. English is Uganda’s national language and has the ability to connect students to people and opportunities all over East Africa and beyond. If a student stays relegated to their tribal language, the ability for them to grow intellectually, spiritually, financially, and educationally decreases. Son Mission desires for the citizens of the Busia District to love Jesus - not just in Spirit - but also in Truth. We are grateful for generous born-again churches who value the Word of God. We thank God for Grace City Church in Wenatchee who has donated over 250 Bibles to the Busia District!
Son Mission is teaching God’s Word to 175 more students and discipling 10 more orphans this year, than last. Because of this, we are adding 3 more mentors to the Son Mission Busia District Team: Scovia, Constance, and Praxydees. Scovia and Constance have a combined 32 years of teaching experience at the Primary level in the Busia District, while Praxydees is a nurse and worship leader at Calvary Baptist Church in Busia Town. I am so thankful and humbled by the work from the Busia District team throughout 2018 and their commitment for 2019. Son Mission gives our mentors monthly salaries to disciple and teach. For instance, Otwona Emmanuel is currently teaching 2 discipleship classes in three schools each week. You can tremendously help Otwona as he helps youth come to know, love, and follow Jesus in Spirit and Truth. 30.00 USD per month goes a long way in bush. Please consider giving to Emma and the Son Mission Busia District Mentors. Find out more here.
The fruit from Jesus-centered discipleship and continued education can take years to manifest. For the Son Mission orphans to be mature in the Lord and have sustainable skills from education will take years of discipleship, prayer, struggling through English, learning skills, and discipline. For example, Andrew and Flavia started discipling Erumbi Priscilla when she was in the P6 at Bright hope Orphanage in 2016 through Son Mission. This year Erumbi is a sophomore at Howard Christian High School. Erumbi has been undergoing 4 hours of Jesus-centered discipleship per week for more than 3 years through Son Mission. A consistent Godly voice that corrects and encourages in the Lord can go a long way if a student heeds the discipleship, which Erumbi has. In 2018, Erumbi was academically number #1 out of 70 students in her class at Howard Christian! The Headmaster of Howard Christian was surprised and encouraged by Erumbi’s growth over the course of her freshman year: mostly because she came from a bush village in Lumino where English is not frequented. Erumbi is taking full advantage of the opportunity God has given her through Son Mission. Erumbi says, “I thank God for Son Mission and my school fees paid.” Because Erumbi’s effort last year, she earned scholarship for the 2019 school year at Howard Christian!
Son Mission adheres to Jesus’ command to make disciples (who make disciples). We understand the cultural context and methodology to make disciples looks different from country to country, culture to culture, and sub-culture to sub-culture, but the Spirit is the same. We earnestly desire the citizens in the Busia District to authentically come to saving faith in Jesus Christ: falling in love with Him, His church, His Word, and the lost. We do this by searching for orphans in the bush who have very little and then develop Jesus-centered relationships with them. Jesus-centered discipleship involves gritty conversations that require salty yet graceful speech and leadership. Andrew Wafula and his wife Flavia (Son Mission’s Busia District overseers) embody this type of leadership. The Wafula’s disciple Namu, a 15 year-old orphan, who qualified for Secondary Support in 2018. A supporter from America paved the way for her High School education fee’s for one full year through Son Mission, but 3 months before her freshman year started at Howard Christian, Namu got pregnant. Before she was 100% certain she was pregnant, she did not want anyone to know the possibility, except for Andrew and Flavia. Praise God for Jesus-centered discipleship. I am thankful Namu trusted the Wafula’s, so that she would not face such a life-altering realization alone. After the doctor confirmed her pregnancy in the hospital (the Wafula’s took her there), Namu had an emotional and spiritual breakdown. She recently lost both of her parents. She just lost her high school scholarship with Son Mission. Now she is facing motherhood at 15 - with very little support. Andrew and Flavia sat down with Namu for 5 hours: crying with her, encouraging her, showing her this child is a blessing and her responsibility, and that God is not punishing her through this pregnancy. You may be reading this and saying, “Why did Namu lose her scholarship with Son Mission?” Son Mission has expectations, and one of our main focuses is specifically providing orphans with Secondary education. Namu is unable to give her undivided attention to her studies and live in a boarding environment while being pregnant. Andrew and Flavia are NOT discontinuing discipleship with Namu but her High School scholarship was revoked, for now. When Namu is ready, Son Mission will reconsider helping her with High School education.
Discipleship doesn’t always produce immediate and tangible fruit, so we are grateful for those who give to Son Mission in faith. Intangible or tangible, Son Mission is producing sustainable ripples in the lives of orphans and beyond. Here is a quote from Haley Winkelman about her time with Son Mission in the Busia District this February, “This was not volun-tourism. I really felt like what we were doing was not an Instagram photo-op but a genuine and sincere effort to spread the Kingdom one small and sustainable step at a time.” Haley is a High School teacher at C.S. Lewis Academy in Oregon. She finished her Master’s in Theology at Multnomah University and has been all around the world serving the Lord. Three weeks before she jetted to Uganda, she was in Israel. Haley joins the Son Mission team as the Discipleship Coordinator to help train mentors to mentor students through Jesus-centered classes in the Busia District. Moreover, she is coordinating a pen pal project between her students at C.S. Lewis and Son Mission students at Howard Christian! Additionally, Max Samples joins the Son Mission team as a Stateside Representative who advocates for our orphans Secondary education in the United States. Max is an associate pastor at The Church of the Groves in Leesburg, Georgia and adds a wealth of youth ministry experience to the Son Mission team! Bryan Visscher joins the Son Mission team as an Overseer and board member. Bryan graduated from Calvin College in Chicago in economics. He has over 10 years of experience as a contractor and 19 years as a director and operational manager. Currently, Bryan is a consultant. Bryan adds a wealth of practical experience to the Son Mission team! Jeremy Kelley joins the Son Mission team as the Treasurer. Jeremy lives in Wenatchee, WA with his wife Melissa and both have been doing ministry for the past four years leading teams to Sicily and Vietnam. They have a passion to see more people meet, love, and follow Jesus in Wenatchee and throughout the world. Finally, my wife Noelle Raelene Heine. We fell in love at first hike last summer :) Her grace and positivity is exactly what I need day-in and day-out, especially our time in the Busia District. Noelle has a genuine love for orphans and the Busia District Team. She joins the Son Mission team as the Secondary Support Coordinator!
Son Mission thanks all the individual supporters who continue to shoulder the educational fees for the 13 orphans. Additionally, we thank Grace City Church for Bibles, support, and opportunities to share what God is doing in the Busia District. Sowing into God’s Kingdom reaps an eternal harvest that cannot be destroyed. If you are God’s child, you give. It’s a natural impulse from the love He has given you. So no matter what your financial situation, these words are still true: it’s better to give than receive. I want to highlight Heather Hendricks who has been giving to Son Mission since 2017. Heather is a single mother of twins. She lives, works, and worships in the Wenatchee Valley. As a single mother of two, she has a billion reasons not to give to Nasirumbi Lillian’s education. The valley is expensive, making it difficult for married couples (two incomes), let alone a single mother of two with one income. But Heather finds a way to give to Nasirumbi’s education each year. God got ahold of Heather’s heart when she heard about the orphans in 2017. Her natural response was, “I want to help one!” And she has. Additionally, Heather’s twins pray for Nasirumbi each night! Son Mission is built on this type of giving and prayer.