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Beyond News 12-2018

December 26, 2018

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Merry Christmas from the Sliedrecht Family

December 24, 2018

The Sliedrecht Family - Peace on Earth - Luke 2:14

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift!”

2 Corinthians 9:15

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November Prayer Points

November 6, 2018

Please take a moment to pray through these November Prayer Points (follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram for more)…

  • Please keep Miriam in your prayers as she is quite busy and stressed taking university entry tests (SAT and IELTS/TOEFL) and filling out applications for universities and scholarships, in the midst of continuing to work through some past trauma which has recently surfaced. She desires to study social work and international/community development. Let us know if you have any university and/or scholarship recommendations!
    Miriam Sliedrecht
  • Second rainy season was slow to start, resulting in failed crops for many people. However, our Farming God’s Way fields were able to survive the initial drought and are now thriving (click for photos). Pray that more people may see this difference and embrace this better-practice method of farming.
    Farming God's Way
  • I am taking the 7 young men who work for me to Marked Men for Christ, a 44hr faith-strengthening experience which seeks to build stronger men for Christ by helping them address with God wounds of deceit/denial, fear, anger, sadness & loss, and shame. Please pray for them – Sam, Jacob, Frank, Michael, Pamba, Denis, and Ashraf (in front) – that God would use this experience to break through any barriers and truly bring them into a closer relationship with Him. (Over 9,000 Christian men from over 2,000-churches around the world have gone through this transformative experience. You/your men can too! Here is a list of upcoming locations.)
    Marked Men for Christ
  • 10 GSF leaders were trained as trainers through Wise Choices for Life, a holistic, Biblical approach to addressing the cultural, practical, emotional, and spiritual issues around the subjects of sexuality, reproductive health, and family size as it relates to poverty (click for photos). The desired outcome is to stimulate behavioural change and empower young people in particular to make ‘Wise Choices for Life’ launching young people toward a new vision for a brighter future. Please pray that these 10 leaders will be intentional in implementing this training in their areas of community impact, as an integral part of our work in poverty reduction and community health to bring about a ripple effect of mindset and cultural change, especially among the young people.
    Penlope being tested in Wise Choices for Life
  • Praise God for the GSF events which are promoting comradery, unity and teamwork among our staff and students:
  • “Prayer is never a last line of defense. It’s our first line of offense.” – Craig Groeshel


    Tim & Angie Sliedrecht

GSF August Newsletter

September 30, 2018

Below is GSF‘s most recent newsletter, featuring Farming God’s Way, and David, whose transformation is nothing but miraculous… from child-soldier to child of God to soldier for Christ!

After escaping, David was not initially accepted by his family in Aruwa, so he moved to Luwero to live with his cousin who was a pastor and led him to Christ. Due to shame and guilt, and fear of how people would judge him, like his family had done, it was not until Oct 2016 when he went to Transform Conference in Kampala with other GSF staff, including myself, that he first opened up about his story. He hadn’t even told his wife. But he was led by the Spirit through Transform to share with us who had gone with him. Because we responded positively and with praise, thanksgiving and encouragement, he began sharing it with more people. As he did so, and as he grew in his relationship with Christ, he experienced freedom in Christ from the shame, guilt, and fear, and was soon able to not just be reconciled with his family, but pass-on his transformation in Christ to them.

Please keep David in your prayers. Since he first opened up about his story, 6 close family members passed away, two brothers of whom were killed by South Sudanese refugees pillaging his village due to lack of food in the camps, and one cousin of whom was beaten to death just last week over 20,000 UGS ($5USD) he was owed. And yet, through these deaths, David was able to share the gospel with many and lead 30 people, mostly family members, to Jesus – 5 after the below newsletter was written last week, during the days surrounding his cousin’s funeral.

GSF_logo.New tagline2
“David, You Have Really Changed”

Meet David, who works as head of security at GSF. We thank him for making sure that those at GSF are safe and protected day after day! David began working as a GSF guard in 2014 and was promoted to Head of Security in 2016 because of his talent in management and love for the people here. He lives in a nearby town with his wife and three precious daughters!

In August 1997, David was returning to his hometown of Arua for a visit when he was abducted by Joseph Kony’s LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and made into a child soldier. Though he was threatened with death several times, David persevered and thus received the name “Chandia (trouble) David,” for his stubbornness. After enduring many horrific demands from his commanders, David was eventually sentenced to death by the head of the army. David decided to pray to God for the first time. The next morning—the day he was sentenced to die—David escaped the LRA and fled for his life.

A beautiful story of redemption began to unfold in David’s life. David was reunited with his family. He eventually applied for a job at GSF and was accepted. And the greatest redemption of all: a fellow employee at GSF shared the Gospel with David and he re-dedicated his life to Jesus Christ. David now uses his experience to counsel fathers and youth in his community. He testifies that God is truly the one doing the work through him.

David says that GSF has transformed his life by teaching him about the Lord. When David went back home to visit his family, they said, “David, it’s not you. You have really changed!”  David could not agree more. He has taken Trauma Healing classes  at GSF to help him heal emotionally and mentally from the trauma of the LRA.  Now he has even progressed to teaching these classes! Twenty-five people have come to saving faith in Christ through David’s story, and he hopes for many more.

The Lord has used GSF in a great way in David’s life to bring him back to Christ, the true source of forgiveness and life. David’s life is filled with so much redemption, joy, and hope. This calls to mind Philippians 1:6, which says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

4eab0fa7-34ac-400e-9629-275e0249e719Thank you so much for supporting Good Shepherd’s Fold! Stay connected and keep up-to-date on happenings at GSF through social media.
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Invite your friends to connect with us as well!

One of the many aspects of the Farming God’s Way process is our dedication to not till the soil when preparing fields for a new planting season. By simply raking off the plant remains and debris from the surface of the soil, our farmers allow nutrients in the soil from freshly harvested plants to help the new plants grow. Traditionally, Ugandans clear their fields by burning and plowing—a quick and easy, but destructive, route. GSF wants to preserve as much soil and nutrients as it can, and protect and nurture the earth God created and gave us.

Click here for more photos of FGW at GSF.
Click here for more information on Farming God’s Way.

August Prayer Points

August 24, 2018

Please take a moment to pray through these August Prayer Points (follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram for more)…

  • Praise God for this past rainy season’s plentiful harvest, due in large part to putting Farming God’s Way into practice.

    We are already busy planting for the second rainy season, including demonstration gardens which compare the traditional way of farming to Farming God’s Way.
    FGW Demonstration Gardens
    A couple weeks ago, we sent over 20 staff and GSF Mercy Ministry members to a 3-day Farming God’s Way training.
    FGW Training
    Please pray that they may put what they learned into practice, out of humble hearts that seek God’s face. Pray that those we are engaging with in Farming God’s Way may be so transformed to follow God’s ways in all areas of their lives.

  • Praise God for the spiritual harvest of the many GSF Mercy Ministry members (re)committing their lives to Christ – Ruth, Tina, Eliphania, Fabiano, Margaret, Catherine, Kasifa, Jennifer, Lovis, Ezekiel, Pande, Deborah, Sharon, Gertrude, and Tabitha!
    Ruth, Tina, Eliphania
    Please pray that “out of His glorious riches our Father may strengthen them with power through His Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith. And pray that they, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
    Fabiano, Margaret, Catherine, Kasifa, Jennifer, Lovis, Ezekiel, Pande
    “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 4:16-21)
    Deborah, Sharon, Gertrude, Tabitha
  • Rebekah Wissink, who taught our kids in Soroti over 3 years ago, has returned to teach at GSF International School! We are all thrilled to have her back! She is a wonderful teacher, friend, servant, woman of God. She is teaching elementary and middle school classes this year.
    Angie and Rebekah
  • Speaking of school, our kids started early this year. They are already more than two weeks into it.
    GSF International School Students and Teachers
    Miriam is in Grade 12, Avalien is in Grade 7, Moses is in Grade 5, Zulea is in Grade 2, Eliana is in Kindergarten, and Amara is in Pre-K.
    Miriam, Avalien, Moses, Zulea, Eliana, Amara
    Please pray for their:

    • Peace, that they may experience the peace of God which surpasses all understanding
    • Protection, emotional, physical, and spiritual, that God would keep evil far from them and help them trust in Him as their refuge and strength
    • Purity, that God would keep their thoughts and actions pure and motivated by love, that He would guard them from temptation, that the words of their mouths and the meditations of their hearts always please you and edify others
    • Passion for life and the things of God, that they will hunger and thirst for God and His Word and will love Him with all of their heart, soul, and mind; that God would give them compassionate and generous hearts to love others as much as He loves them; that they will always work and study with excellence; that God will help them desire a servant spirit of greatness, rather than a worldly lust for success; that they will fall in love with Jesus over and over again.
    • Perspective, to see life–and every challenge–through God’s eyes, eager and unafraid to share with others the good news of Jesus wherever they go; that they may set their minds on things above, not just what’s going on here, and that they will be rooted and grounded in His love, which surpasses all the head knowledge they will acquire in school.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

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July Prayer Points

July 13, 2018

A lot has happened since our last prayer update, which you can follow and pray through in more detail on Facebook and Instagram. But for now, here are just a few of our July Prayer Points…

  • Please pray with us for these new cases which have come to us from the surrounding communities, of children needing immediate medical attention. They have been brought in under GSF’s care due to their situations:
    • Kato is 15 mos old and only 4.5kg / 9lbs 15oz. While his twin sister Precious is strong and healthy, he is failing to thrive/develop due to muscle spasms/ seizures and the inability to keep anything down. Because he now needs more intensive care and has to be fed every hour, he was brought to be cared for at Good Shepherd’s Fold. His mother, Sharon, loves him dearly and is so stressed and distraught to see him in such a condition.
      Sharon & KatoIn addition to special formula, we likely needs to have a PEG put in his abdomen for feeding, which costs $3,000. If you feel led to financially contribute to the medical treatment of Baby Kato, you can do so here.
    • Pray for Rebecca, who was recently brought into the care of Good Shepherd’s Fold. She is 9 years old and extremely malnourished. Her parents have lost hope for her. Please pray for renewed health, hope and heart for her.
      Angie & Rebecca
  • Praise God for the continued healing and growth of Rebecca, Asuman, and Joyce. Their joy in the midst of their trials is infectious. Please continue to pray for their rehabilitation and recovery.

Rebecca & Asuman Joyce with her mother, Katie

  • Praise God for life! Last month I was bitten by a Jameson Mamba. It was sure terrible and fast acting. We rushed to Kakira Sugar Factory Hospital because they were the only ones with the anti-venom, having a lot of workers who get bitten harvesting in the fields. I was too sick with all of my muscles severely aching, vomiting (for the 1st time in 20 years); sore throat, tongue, face, eyes; chills, sweating; slurring of speech, inability to breath… it was the farthest-along and worse case the doctor at that hospital had ever seen. Untreated, it generally causes death within 30 to 120 minutes. We made it to Kakira 90 minutes after the bite. Once I got the anti-venom in me, it was a great feeling and quick turnaround.
    The Jameson Mamba that bit TimThe snake was on our porch. I thought it was a harmless emerald snake or spotted bush snake we had found on the campus before – harmless snakes are all that I had seen on this campus so far. So I picked it up at the head to bring it elsewhere, away from where it could bite my children. It wasn’t able to bite until I had accidentally lowered my grip when taking the photo and suddenly it got me with a little prick from just one tooth. I was careless. It was not smart of me to pick it up to begin with. I have learned my lesson and hope others will learn from my mistake, which almost cost me my life and caused a lot of grief for my family and friends! Praise God for his grace and healing; for the quick response of our team; for the support of the Jinja Missionary Community, the GSF staff, children and Mercy Ministry members, and our Ugandan friends; and for the many people around the world who came around us in prayer and concern.
  • Business Development – I am working on establishing some businesses to propel financial and spiritual growth among Ugandan families and to bring in local income for our community development work. One such business is with Business Connect, a company based in Michigan started by a former missionary with a vision to create hope through business. It serves as a worldwide marketer and distributor for companies which make quality, life-enhancing products designed specifically for developing countries. We are beginning with two of their water purification products: the Madi Drop and the Village Water Filter. You can find out more about these products on the Good Shepherd’s Fold Innovation Facebook page. Please pray that God would connect me with capable, trustworthy Ugandans to work with as sales reps for these products.
    Good Shepherd's Fold Innovation
“This should be the motto of every follower of Jesus Christ.
No matter how dark and hopeless a situation might seem, never stop praying.”
– Billy Graham –
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May Prayer Points

May 20, 2018

A lot has happened since our last prayer update, which you can follow and pray through in more detail on Facebook and Instagram. But for now, here are just a few of May Prayer Points…

  • Praise God for the graduation of 7 women from the GSF Tailoring School. A year ago, when they joined the Feeding Program for their malnourished babies, they were at a low point of despair, feeling hopeless and even useless, unable to provide for just the basic needs of their babies. Now, after a year of care, discipleship and skills development, they have hope, peace and joy. They and their children are beautifully created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), sewn together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 129:13). In Christ Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), they are new creations. “The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). They are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:10) Please keep them in your prayers as they continued to be disicpled in the Word and mentored in sewing and farming.
    Click for more photos
  • Praise God for the impact that the GSF Literacy School is having in the lives of the 30 students. During a time of sharing, they testified about what they learned and how they put into practice what they learned, including being able to use a pen and write their names, add/subtract and multiply, sound out and spell words, greet in English, better care for their children’s health, access government services, and practice better farming methods. Above all, they testified to the self-esteem, confidence, dignity, and empowerment they have gained. It’s been wonderful to see them break out of their shells and express themselves. Pray for continued perseverance and growth.
    Click for more photos
  • Rebecca is healing up very well. She is now so full of life and smiles. Thank you to all who sent her encouraging mail/packages and financial assistance. She still has a ways to go with plastic surgery needed for her eye and lips. Please keep her in your prayers.
    Tim & Rebecca Rebecca
  • Please pray with us for these new cases which have come to us from the communities, of children needing immediate medical attention. We are sending them to CoRSU (Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services for People with Disability in Uganda), 2-3hrs from GSF. They will undergo surgery within the next week. If you would like to help with the funding of either case, please give online here and “add instructions to the finance office” on what it’s for – 100% of your gift will go to the designation.
    • Joyce, 16, whose hamstring muscles in one of her legs detached from the bone, rolled up to form a large bulge at the top of her leg, and need to be removed. Her parents were being pressured to use a local which doctor for treatment by neighbours and by fear of the expenses, but our social worker, Penelope, was able to convince them otherwise ensuring them that we would walk with and help them through the full recovery. Pray that the removal may not cause permanent disability.
    • Asuman, 7, who had a bad leg break 3 months ago but was never able to get treatment due to lack of funds, resulting in an open wound to the bone, infection and possible permanent bone damage. Pray that the doctors may effectively piece the bones together, that there would be full healing and no permanent disability. 

“God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.” – Mother Teresa

Love,Tim & Angie Sliedrecht

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