Monday, September 23, 2013


Yesterday I went to encourage her to wash her clothes, brush her teeth and take care of herself, as I had been told she was not.   At one point to explain more why I was encouraging her, I said, “I love you.” 
She turned and glared at me, “You don’t love me.  I don’t believe it, and many others don’t believe it.  . . But I am not going to tell you who.”
My heart lurched and ached.  I wanted to argue, remind her of all the ways I have shown love.  I wanted to tell her how much I truly loved her, but I knew my words were not going to speak truth to her in that moment.  So, I just said, “I don’t need to know who, I know the truth.”  And in my heart I was crying out to the One who is truth.

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6

This weekend, another one of our teens struggled with the lies from her past.  “My mom’s brain stopped working, and my grandma told me mine would too.  Last night, I was afraid that my brain had stopped working.”  We reminded her of truth.  That God is the only one who knows her body, her mind and her brain.  He protects, He heals, and Jesus is her Savior.  We talked of her salvation, quoting scripture and reading God’s word.  As we prayed, as we sang to God, as we read scripture, she found peace and freedom from the only one who could give it.

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH will set you free.’” John 8:31-32

Last evening, Mark and I sat in the living room with most of the girls age 5-14 at GSF.  Mark told them how beautiful they are to God and to us, and how God will use them for His kingdom.  I looked around the room at these beautiful little ladies in the making.  The world has been full of lies for them . . .  some have been abandoned, some abused, and some have had family members lie saying they didn't belong to them.  All have felt unloved and unwanted at times.  They need the truth; we all need the truth.  When we get overwhelmed with the lies and circumstances of the sin-filled world around us, we need to be guided in His truth.  All girls bowed their heads and prayed this verse together:

“Lead me in your TRUTH and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:5

The lies are there; they linger in our minds and prevent us from seeing the truth.  The truth that God is not giving up on us—He loves us!  The lies keep us from telling others of His great love and from accepting it ourselves.  How many times have I not loved someone well or told them the truth of God’s Word because I also believed the lies.  May God ever teach us His truth!

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your TRUTH; unite my heart to fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

A special thank you to Heather Grace Photo (

GSF Vision Statement

The GSF missionary team was recently encouraged to develop a Vision Statement – a simple, concise statement of WHY we are doing what we are doing here.  We have a Mission Statement and we have worked in the past on vision, strategies and self-evaluation.  But when asked about why we are here and what is our overall vision, we were lacking.  Not that we were wandering aimlessly, we just didn't have a unifying statement.

The missionary team began considering this and our Ugandan management team was invited to join in.  A day of fasting and prayer was set aside as we asked God to make His Vision known to us, to clarify our direction and work.  Input was invited from this group of 20 leaders at GSF and we compiled a list of 23 words, phrases and statements that define GSF.  On Thursday, 19 September 2013, ten of us gathered to discuss and work through it together.  In the end, we came up with the following statement, the Vision for Good Shepherd's Fold:


This is why GSF exists.  As we evaluated all the input there were 5 key words that emerged as themes:  Discipleship, Family, Children, Word of God and Proclaiming.  The Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 was read and we discussed the emphasis of our Lord on making disciples and going out to the whole world.  As Claudia Arango and David Malisi shared about the history of GSF and the vision of the Founders, Wayne and Bonnie Sue Walker, discipleship again was the emphasis along with the idea that the children of GSF were to be trained and sent out beyond GSF, even beyond Uganda.  Our team further discussed the ways that GSF is presently ministering, not only to the children in residence here, but also to school children, elderly, families with babies, staff members, pastors and the local church in our village.

An amazing thing to me is how God drew together the input of the leaders here at present, evaluating where we are now and where we feel God is leading us.  He brought in His own vision statement in the form of the Great Commission given 2,000 years ago.  And He revealed how the founders of GSF had this same vision on their hearts when GSF was established in 1994.  Past, present and future brought us to this statement that is very much "ours" - our own calling and instruction from God that makes is personal and exciting for us.  It is also much bigger than any of us individually and larger than GSF as a whole.  It's a God-sized task, just as it was for the disciples so long ago.

Recognizing the ways the Lord has already fulfilled this vision so much, we also humbly acknowledged that GSF has strayed away from the vision to some degree.  We had to confess that and renew our desire and intentional effort to put this vision into practice.  By God's Spirit and grace, we now endeavor to do that very thing – Making disciples, impacting the world for Christ – with greater fervor.

Please pray for us as we begin to share this fresh vision with our staff and children and as we strive to implement it into everything we do here.