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New Year, Fresh Vision and on my way back!

What an incredible year 2012 was and the Best is yet to come!

What an incredible year 2012 was! As I look back, parts of it were almost “magical” (perhaps a funny word for God doing amazing things in a short period of time, but that’s what it felt like 😉 as it seemed like I was an observer on the sidelines, watching all that God was doing in extraordinary ways. An email or two that I sent during the year was titled “I think I may be dreaming” because it felt like that! At the end of this email, you will find a bullet-point recap of 2012 and a look forward into 2013 (a fairly quick read ;-).

As this New Year approached, I was actually experiencing a funny kind of anxiety anticipating what 2013 holds for us – it should be a banger!

Clean Water for the Pygmy Tribe

Clean Water for the Pygmy Tribe

About to board! On Friday, January 25th at 10:55 AM, a Delta Airliner will lift off the runway at DIA, and I will be on my way back to Africa for three weeks to continuing following this “magical” journey that God started seven years ago. In many ways, I feel this trip is one of the most strategic trips I have made. What gets done this time very likely will set the course of the next several years.

Here’s a summary of what I think needs to be accomplished and some prayer items:

· Clinic: Wisdom and direction in getting foundational work done, i.e., permits / equipment / medication supplier / staffing issues so that this dream can become a reality early this year.

· Legal Issues: Meeting with lawyers and hopefully the Commission of Land Registry to resolve outstanding deed issues.  The Office of the First Lady may be able to help us with this.

· Container Project: Wisdom and direction in discovering all I can about the practicality and logistics of making that happen. (Outfitting and shipping a container to be a ready-to-use facility in Rwanda:

· Pygmy Project: Meeting with the US Ambassador to Rwanda to explore ways that his office might be able to help in our pygmy pottery project.

· Pottery: That God would give extreme clarity as to the best plan and direction for the pottery project. There’s a huge and important need, a number of options, and a need to figure the most effective path.

· Safety and Good Health: I will be gone 3 weeks this trip.

· Spiritually: That we will have the mind of God, and that He will be glorified by all that we are trying to accomplish in Uganda and Rwanda!

Alrighty… I’m up, up and away! I’ve done this trip about 18 times now, and I don’t know if I have ever been this excited about returning… lots of very important stuff to get done! Keep me in your prayers, and I will try and get a field report out to you along the way.

Thanks ever so much for your love and support – the best is yet to come! May Grace and Peace be yours in the New Year!

Olive Branch Ministries

Bullet Points of Grace: A look back…

This has been an amazing six year journey! And each year builds upon the last to make 2012 the “best year yet”.new-year-pic-papa-gary-and-mama-penny-1-24-pic-2

2012 Uganda Bullet points:

  • Provided quality education for all 37 of our kids all year long! This included all supplies needed and any medical help that was necessary… and there were a few that needed a lot!
  • Fully supported five of our students to in University and or Vocational Training school.
  • Completed construction of the medical clinic building which looks absolutely beautiful!
  • Took a team of 14 people in January and did children’s ministry for about 300 children… the village will never be the same!!!  A number of first time decisions for Christ were made and tons of personal ministry took place.
  • Installed Solar Lights for both the children’s home and the medical clinic. A partnership project with “Solar Lights for Africa”.
  • Met and had lunch with the First Lady of Uganda and became great friends with her personal secretary… I am hoping that these relationships will grow and develop over the next months and years.

2012 Rwanda Bullet Points:

Our work in Rwanda with the two pygmy tribes again, has been absolutely amazing. These dear people are the poorest of the poor in that entire country, and God is allowing us to do a truly transformational work among them. For these two tribes, it appears that OBM is the only one reaching and helping these people. Here’s a bit of what God has enabled us to do so far:

· Provided clean, fresh drinking water for both tribes. Prior to that they had to walk a couple of miles to obtain very bad, impure water. This new water source is an artesian well and only about 50 yards away.

· Connected them with a medical health care program where they can obtain FREE health care. Prior to that, sickness and bad health issues of all kinds were common, sometimes even fatal; and they had absolutely no health care.

· Explored several ways of creating sustainable income in order to reduce their poverty… made some progress, but that is still the frontier!

· As God enables us, here are the things for which we are believing God. The numbers beside each item represent the 2013 annual budget for that item.

…and a look forward!

2013 Uganda Bullet Points:

· Keep the children in school with all needed supplies and health care… $30,000.

· Continue to provide funding for those in University and Vocational Training… $6,000.

· Equip, supply and staff the medical clinic so we can begin providing badly needed health care to that entire region… $12,000.

· Provide salary for staff in Uganda to oversee the work and especially the clinic … $12,

2013 Rwanda Bullet Points:

· Continue to provide for the clean water program… $1,200.

· Provide school fees for approximately 50 of the younger children… $20,000.

· Provide vocational and literacy training for a select number of teens and young adults (only two people out of all 200 of them read and write!)… $4,000.

· Provide staffing for on-the-ground supervision and leadership… $12,000.

· Purchase a motor bike for staff transportation… $1,500.

· Seed money to continue to explore and fund projects for sustainable sources of income to reduce their poverty… $25,000 (We have a lot of opportunities to investigate – details available upon request).

2013 Administrative Costs:

· Administrative travel… $9,000

· Administrative / Legal / Fund Raising… $12,000

Total Annual Need:

· $144,700 to change the course of the lives of over 250 people – pretty cost effective!

I stand absolutely amazed at what God continues to do through Olive Branch. I wish that I could sit personally with you and “color commentate” all that God has done… perhaps we can make that happen soon. With huge and important opportunity come significant funding needs. If you are able to help with any of this, that would be awesome. Please keep us in your prayers… 2013 proves to be a very important and strategic year.

– Pastor Gary