I am the eldest of five children. My sister Patty is the next in line. She and her husband Bob and daughter Bethany are missionaries in Uganda. They have served there for three years now. I’ve had a very happy week because they are home on furlough! They arrived in Albany on Tuesday, and it is wonderful to have them home.
Packing up your home and flying to a strange land with just six suitcases of personal belongings takes a huge amount of courage. But that’s exactly what they did. In many ways they have sacrificed their own comfort and financial security to bring comfort to others–to people who have very little and who need to know God’s love. Bob and Patty offer tangible expressions of God’s love to a needy people. They are, as the expression goes, God’s hands and feet in their little part of Uganda.
Their life and ministry embody what James talks about in chapter 2, verse 22, that is, about Abraham’s faith and actions working together. A few verses prior, James alerts us to the difference between feeding a hungry person and merely wishing him well–a kindness surely, but one that involves no real action, just talk. Patty and Bob are people of action.
They travel throughout Uganda encouraging native men and women who are training to share the gospel with their own people. They spend time with orphans who live next door on their compound, loving them, teaching them, and helping them find peace and purpose in God’s kingdom. They encourage women who have been left alone to raise numerous children on salaries that fail to adequately feed and clothe them or their family.
Bob, Patty, and Bethany are my heroes. In a world that encourages people to focus on self: self-esteem, personal fulfillment, and individual success, they have chosen a different path. They have chosen to walk in the footsteps of the greatest man who ever lived. Daily, their steps take them into the homes of people who need to know how much God loves them. And so with kind words, affectionate gestures, story times, crafts, and times of personal prayer, they do just that, they love sweet people of Uganda. One person at a time.
to offer up a prayer of support for them.