Uganda Day 4 – Destiny Boarding School Sports Camp

By Christina Casares and Meredith Kroeze

Today was a VERY active and fun day. Today was day 2 of the camp at Destiny Boarding school. Yesterday, the focus was more on teaching and worshipping with the children, teenagers and young adults. Today was a day of pouring into the kids through sports and fellowship. When we arrived at Destiny, the children were in part 2 of a competition across 4 teams (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The competitions ranged from Bible trivia to dancing to singing to quoting Ugandan nursery rhymes. The competition got very heated and resulted in Kari and Dave’s team (Matthew) losing points for disorderly conduct (we blame Dave for teaching them how to bark like a dog pound). As the final results were revealed, teams Mark and Luke tied for first place. Even though Team Matthew lost due to their point deduction, they went down cheering as loud as they could.

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We then headed outside to the soccer field to start the games. We brought 11 soccer balls, 4 jump ropes and 4 basketballs for the kids to have. As these items were being removed from the car, the kids’ eyes completely lit up and were overjoyed with these gifts. Everyone played for a little while until a formal soccer game began with the older boys. Dave was forced into action and surprisingly, according to our Ugandan friends, held his own for a bit with the boys and scored the only goal for his team. He was welcomed into the distinguished club of Ugandan National Team players but humbly turned down the prestigious request saying he preferred to retire at the pinnacle of success. The chants of “PASTORRRRRRR!” were far greater than any other honor that could be extended.*


During this time, some boys went to play basketball and the girls began a cheering section or played hand games or jumped rope. Many of us enjoyed having time to talk with the kids one on one or in small groups while we watched the game. We got to tell them about our families and show them pictures of our family and friends and even snow pictures we still had on our phones and cameras from last winter.


After lunch we went back to the baby rescue area to play with the little ones. They greeted every one of us wearing their new outfits we brought them. Thank you to EVERYONE who donated clothes for us to bring – the caregivers were overjoyed! Thanks to all of you who donated, boys were able to wear properly fitting boys clothing and girls were able to wear properly fitting girls clothing. We were able to have some conversations with the caretakers there and learn some of the rescue stories of the kids there. One special little boy our team has grown particularly close to is named Daniel.


He is five years old, a little too old to be with the babies but not yet in primary school so he tends to wander back and forth between the baby area and the big kids. We learned today that his mother dropped him off with Eva (the woman who runs Destiny) shortly after she learned she had days to live. She was HIV positive and as a result, none of her family wanted to take Daniel just in case he too was infected. Just a few months later she passed away and Daniel has been at Destiny ever since. In addition, the four oldest, who are about to enter preschool, were presented with their very first backpack and school supply boxes that we had brought from donations from home. They walked around so proudly with their colorful new backpacks on their backs and the biggest grins on their faces. We continue to see Jesus in the faces of these children, as they laugh and play and sing, “Jesus Loves Me”. It is hard to believe we are already halfway through our ministry time here but we can’t wait to see what else God has planned for our remaining time here.

*some details may be slightly embellished

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Uganda Travel Day!

MBC Loudoun,

Thanks so much for praying for us. We can feel the Lord working on our behalf and your prayers are a major part of that. Please know that we arrived safe and sound at our hotel in Uganda. We just grabbed a quick bite for dinner and are heading to bed at 8:00pm. This is our grand goal to beat jetlag.

Please pray for everyone’s health. The last 36 hours have been crazy busy and none of us got much sleep on the plane. Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

We are in great spirits and await amazing things from the Lord.

Pray for everyone on our team. They are each sharing testimonies and overseeing a small piece of the worship service we will attend. I am preaching for 2000+ adults and I pray that the Gospel will be heard, hearts will be transformed, and that the Lord will receive Glory due only to him.

We will have a much more thorough update that comes out tomorrow evening.

So appreciative!

How to Have Power at Work

By Joe Henriques, @MBCTysons Campus Pastor

All I wanted at the pet store were a couple of snails for my small aquarium. I got a bonus deal: Snails plus a mini-workshop on labor relations.

“So, how’s it going today?” I asked the young man who was putting my tiny purchases in water-filled bags.?“Not so good,” he responded.?“Some days are like that for all of us,” I offered, as a way of solidarity.?“Yeah, that’s true,” he replied, but then quickly added, “But, I love my job.”?I looked at him with amazement and exclaimed, “Not a whole lot of people can say that! What makes you love your job?”?“My boss,” he smiled. “She’s always positive, always encouraging me, helps me to do things the right way. She’s awesome.” ?“You’re really blessed,” I affirmed.?“Yes, I am!” he said in hearty agreement.

For this employee, loving his job trumped the hassle of his “not so good” days. He didn’t say he loved his job because of the salary or benefits, or the great customers, or tropical fish and snails that he sold. He loved his job because of the way that he was appreciated and treated by his boss.

“Big deal,” some might say. “Who wouldn’t love their job with a boss like that? What if he had a boss like mine who makes you feel abused, misused, disregarded, harassed and unappreciated?”

If that’s your story, you’re not alone. You’re in the same boat with thousands of others, and you feel powerless to change anything. You can’t even leave. You need the money. You’re stuck!

Well, I’ve got good news. You have power to change the one thing that matters the most in your job: You.

Let’s do an eye exam. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? The eye of your mind probably sees how you think others see you. When you look at your work, what value do you see? You probably see the same value that others tell you they see.

If that’s how you see things, through the eyes of others, that’s a problem. A really big one. God wants you to see as He sees. Seeing and accepting as true what God sees is not a distortion of reality. No one can truly live with freedom in a man-made house of mirrors.

Consider this: If Christian slaves in the Roman Empire could change the vision they had of themselves and the work that they did, so can you. Let’s step into their world a few hundred years ago….

In their homelands, before they were conquered by Rome and were torn away by soldiers to be sold as slaves in foreign lands, most were known as successful, prosperous people in their trades and lives. Almost overnight, they slipped from that life to a nightmare, working for owners who cared nothing for them, and as slaves doing work they cared nothing about.

Did the slaves of Rome have reason to be angry, resentful and bitter? I think so. Over time, dehumanization conditioned slaves to see themselves in dark mirrors: Worthless nobodies with meaningless lives until the day they died. They endured dead end jobs and the daily humiliation of doing the dumb, dirty or dangerous work. And, if you couldn’t do your work, you were dumped, discarded as trash. Hordes of other slaves were ready to take your place.

Just as God sent Moses with a message of deliverance to his Hebrew children who were slaves in the Egyptian dynasty, God sent Paul with a message of freedom to his children who were slaves in the Roman Empire. [1] Paul’s message hit the slave world with the force of a spiritual tsunami, shattering in one single wave the mirrors of distortion in which they had been seeing themselves. [2]

“Did you hear?” they exclaimed in amazement to each other, “Paul, the Apostle, the ‘legend’ himself, sent a message to us! He wrote to us from his prison cell in Rome!”[3]

I can imagine Christian slaves meeting secretly to talk in hushed voices about the message that came to them.

One slave starts with, “Paul said, ‘Brothers and sisters, you’re not a slave of men, doing work that has no meaning; you are servants of the Lord Christ himself, doing his work for him, even with him!’”Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Another slave chimes in, And, he said that nothing and no one has the power to change who you are, a child of God who has created you for a life of good works. You belong to Jesus Christ, the Sovereign Lord of the universe. No matter what anyone does to you or where they send you, there you are a servant of Christ who has set you free from all sin and its effects. If you have lousy pay, Christ will reward you.”[4]

There was silence for a moment and a third slave says, “Really? Is this how God really sees us?”[5]

That’s exactly how God saw them, and that’s exactly how God sees you. Why not personalize the truth that set slaves free in the spirit of their minds, so that, like them, you can really do your work with the power of gladness?

I am a child of Almighty God, my Father, and a personal servant of Jesus Christ the Sovereign Lord of the universe. For Him and with Him, I am doing the work He has given me to do with the power of the Holy Spirit.

You will experience power at work that you never thought possible. It’s all in what you see.


[1] Paul’s message to the slaves was in his letters to the churches in the prominent cities of Ephesus and Colossae.

[2] This is not to say that all slave owners treated their slaves in this way. A minority of slaves had positions of responsibility in the family business or the household.

[3] Paul was not writing from some posh office as a philosopher with an esoteric, mystic theory or promoting a feel-good pop psychology. He was a brilliant theologian, a devoted activist for Christ who took his faith to the streets and, because of his faith, jailed in a Roman prison. He learned from hard experience that “No person or life situation can take from me the dignity and honor that I have from God. Christ, the hope of glory lives in me!”

[4] To the slaves in Colossae: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” (Colossians 3:22-24, NLT)

To the slaves in Ephesus“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.” (Ephesians 6:5-8, NKJV)

[5] We need to remember that while Paul gave specific instructions to slaves, they were also recipients of the truths of his entire letter to the churches at Ephesus and Colossae. They, like any “free” Christian were given the full benefits of the knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ, as described by Paul in the entirety of the letters.

Faith in the Real World

By Joe Kelty, MBC Tysons Director of Men’s Discipleship

In today’s morally relativistic culture, can we really be expected to share our faith in the “real world”? Let me give you a couple real world examples of a “rookie” Christian sharing his faith.

When I was a younger man, my wife and I had only been married for two years when we were blessed with our first child, a precious little girl. I was working in downtown DC at a firm with several young men in the 20-30 age group. One of the VPs had established a tradition of taking men out to lunch for their birthday. Somehow that tradition devolved into a group of rowdy men going to a gentlemen’s club in DC to celebrate a man’s birthday.Movie A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

As a Christian and new father of a little girl, I decided that I could not participate in such things anymore. So when the next birthday outing was gathering, I stood up and announced that I would not be going. The group of men unleashed a barrage of peer pressure and insults on me. But I stood firm. I explained that “it just wasn’t right” for me as a Christian man, and as the father of a little girl. The insults continued. So, I offered to help pay for the birthday boy’s lunch, and sulked back to my office. The group of men left. Then about 10 minutes later, one of the men returned and came to my office. He said, “That took guts.” I smiled. He said that he also had a young daughter, and that maybe it was a good time for him to start taking the family to their neighborhood church every Sunday. Looking back on this memory, I realize that I had successfully shared my faith in the real world—and it helped someone take a step closer to Christ.

Years later, I was the VP at a different organization. Our company had teams of IT consultants working at various large clients in the DC area. One of the clients announced that they would have to cancel our contract, effective immediately, because the government had cut funding to the entire project. The client apologized, but without funding, they could not pay us. This meant that I would suddenly have several consultants sitting idle, and not earning profits for my company. I looked at the contract terms for this client, and realized that there was a clause that prevented termination of my team without one month’s notice. I could essentially force the client to keep paying for an additional month, even though they were not being funded by the government. Not my problem, so I thought. I informed my boss and my team that we would be forcing the issue, and that our profits would still look good for the month. But all that night my conscience kept convicting me. I prayed about the  situation. The next day I decided to change my mind, and let the client off the hook. Then I had to go tell my boss, and announce this to my team. In front of everyone, the team leader asked me why I had changed my mind. I told them that I was a Christian, and that I have been striving to live my life accordingly. It would not be a godly decision to sacrifice my personal integrity in exchange for profits. I apologized to all of them, and promised to be a better leader and a man of stronger Christian character. Later that day, a few of the team members came up to me individually. They each encouraged me, and thanked me for making this decision. One of them even asked about attending my Bible study. We had a tough month in profits, but ended up with a record year, financially.

Don’t become overwhelmed by the challenges you face because you are a Christian. Remain faithful and cling to your Christian integrity. Be intentional about telling people why you believe in the Lord Jesus. They will respect you for it—they may even find salvation because of it. And one day the Lord will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Dissolving Reluctance, Resolving to Pray

By Julie Stoll, MBC Tysons Attendee

Remember Jonah the reluctant prophet? God shared His heart of compassion for the people of Nineveh, and told Jonah to go make a difference there. But Jonah went in the opposite direction, intentionally refusing to join God’s plan. Why? What prompted Jonah’s reluctance and emboldened him into rebellion?

Perhaps Jonah had bought into the cultural perspective of his nation. The Jews at that time had a nasty history with the Ninevites and viewed them as despicable. Why be involved with anything good directed toward a “bad” group who chose to be that way? I can relate to that in my prayer life. I am reluctant to pray for people I don’t understand or who don’t have direct influence on me. Only my favorites—those who deserve betterment—get face time. I sadly see my resemblance to Jonah; I am a reluctant pray-er.

Modern day Nineveh is Mosel, Iraq. The ancient ruins of Nineveh still stand on the eastern side of the Tigris River, which could remind all of God’s compassion at the time of Jonah. But instead we see it frequently on the newsa hotbed of warring Islamic factions—and chalk it up to someplace remote where God isn’t. But today I am challenged that God is indeed active.

He is actually sovereign over all peoples and cares about their well-being, just as he cared about the Ninevites so long ago. Even when it seems that injustice is the rule of the day, where oppression and violence abound, God still desires His people to be messengers of hope, of His offer of redemption. Yet I find myself comfortable in my reluctance. It is startling to think that I may be acting on deep prejudice or, at best, intentional avoidance of “those” people who sadly suffer by their own choice of where to be born. Really?

The news stories of Christian refugees in Northern Iraq challenge me to pray. At the very least to pray for justice and safety for my brothers and sisters in Christ within warring Northern Iraq and now as refugees in Turkey. With Christian backgrounds, they are in positions today where God sovereignly placed them (Acts 17: 26-27). But can Christian Iraqis be embedded messengers of hope in that region without their broader global Christian community praying for the strength and wisdom they need to stand firm?

I am told to pray for workers in the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38). To pray for God’s plan to get His message to all the “Ninevites”. Whether I am prejudiced against them or not. He is going to act and my choice is whether to join Him in His work or just hear about how it was accomplished in the sweet by-and-by. I am more aware than ever of my own reluctance to engage in something that costs me so little—prayer. And that is for my brothers and sisters in Christ. That is not even to consider the majority population—people Jesus died for!

So here are five things I have decided to pray for this week as I try and dissolve my reluctance and resolve to pray:

  1. Pray for God’s gracious justice and peace to be present in the area surrounding Mosel. I think I will actually Google map the city and visualize it as I pray.
  2. Pray for laborers to be effective in the harvest fields of Northern Iraq and in the refugee camps in bordering countries. For me, I will pray for efforts of Samaritan’s Purse.
  3. Pray for Iraqi believers to be strong and effective in evangelism and planting seeds of hope among the culturally Christian Iraqi people.
  4. Pray that God’s offer of redemption be heard through brothers and sisters there (Colossians 4:3).
  5. Pray for my own heart to be renewed toward His purposes that includes a dissolving of my reluctance to pray for His work.

When Discipling Isn’t as Easy as 1-2-3

By Jaclyn Hoffman, Operations Manager for Biblical Training @MBCTysons

Growing up, Catie went to church on and off with my friend Stephanie and her family, but when Catie reached high school, she stopped attending. About two months ago, Stephanie’s mom asked if I would meet Catie for coffee because she was interested in going back to church. We met and immediately became friends. We started hanging out and playing basketball, and I invited her to start coming to my small group. She also came to church with me.

One night, before small group, she came over because she had questions about her life and the Lord. She’d been dealing with anxiety and depression, so we talked about her thought life and how her emotions and feelings seemed to fluctuate so frequently.Roblox Hack Free Robux

She was only happy when her circumstances were good.We discussed how to find hope and the only true joy in Jesus Christ despite our circumstances. I told her that believers have something to live for that gives life meaning and purpose. She said she wanted to have that purpose and more peace in her life. At the end of our conversation I asked, “Do you want to ask Jesus to be your personal Savior?” She prayed to receive Christ that night.

I had always thought that after leading someone to Christ, I would take her to Christianity 101, go through a book, and poof—she’s a  disciple! But that’s not how it’s been. She doesn’t want to go through a curriculum, and she’s not used to hanging out with Christians yet. She’s not following my neat little plan! What she wants is to live life with me, to see my messy life and realize that just because I’m a Christian, that doesn’t mean I have everything together.

I’ve learned that as we strive to be bold and share our faith, if we have the incredible blessing of seeing people come to know Christ, we can’t be disappointed if the new believers don’t seem to want to do what we think they should do. We must accept that the process may be messy.

Don’t force anything. Trust the Lord.He is now their Father too, and He will take care of them. He’s simply going to use us in His process.

Sienna’s Offering

By Kalina Kwok, MBC Bethesda Attendee

Our MBC Bethesda missions team hosted a free dinner and “Toy Story” movie night recently. It was the first project we had to do together, and by God’s grace, the event was a success. We received lots of notes of encouragement and prayers from supporters as we prepared for our trip to the Philippines.

SienneOnce the movie was over, a little girl named Sienna asked us if she could donate money to the missions trip. Of course, we welcomed the thought. She opened a handmade zebra print piggy bank decorated with smiley face stickers and poured out all of its contents into the box. Based on the large amount of money for someone of her age, it was clear she was a saver. To see her sacrifice all of her money for our trip was overwhelming. It reminded me of Luke 21:1-4.

The Widow’s Offering
And He [Jesus] looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”

Faith Like a Child
Jesus was touched by the widow’s offering because it was given out of her poverty. Those two small copper coins were all she had. For little Sienna, all she had was the money in her piggy bank, a collection of gifts and probably well-earned rewards from chores. I’m not sure if she had other plans or dreams for her money, but if she did, she was willing to let them go for God’s purposes: To reach the unreached and to glorify His Name. It’s no wonder that Jesus constantly reminded the disciples—and us today—to have faith like a child, faith like Sienna, to trust in Him with everything and to pour out offerings of sacrifice because He is Worthy.

The team left for the Philippines Saturday, Aug. 16 and returned Aug. 24. Please pray for their encounters with those that did not yet know Jesus and the encouragement of those that did.

The Wonder of Talking with Jesus

By Joe Henriques, Campus Pastor @MBCTysons

One nice part of being a child is that awesome things are still a wonder. I’m guessing that you’ve experienced children in your own family jumping up and down like grasshoppers with incredible energy and excitement, as they drag you along to see the smallest of things that adults don’t notice or think amazing anymore. We say, “Oh, yeah, that’s nice.” Kids exclaim, “Wow! Look! That’s so cool!”

Do you and I still think of the statement below as an awesome, amazing wonder?

“God intently listens to me when I speak to him,
and he personally answers my prayers
as he sees best, because he delights in me.”

Why not take a walk today and ponder that thought? Prayer for the work of the Lord, we naturally do. But, I’m slowly getting it that prayer is the work.

Imagine sitting across the table from Jesus and having a personal talk about your life, work, and ministry and asking him to provide this or that. Imagine that your meeting with him is literally the direct cause for every effect—everything that happens. Imagine it, because it’s true.

Thankfully, Jesus—the Sovereign Lord, Ruler of the Cosmos, and our Personal Savior—has his own agenda and makes sure that the universe, earth, and our personal lives move on per the counsel of his own will and for his good pleasure, all without us even thinking about it. Part of the mystery of how things work on earth, however, is that he makes much room in his plan to accommodate the “fervent prayers” of his followers, listening and answering every day. Surely, this qualifies as a wonder.