Building the Church in Uganda, East Africa
In 1996, while on a two-month tour of southern Africa, Brent committed his life to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to serve God full time on the mission field in the years to come. Many short-term trips followed including many nations in Africa as well as Eastern Europe.
Virginia acquired a heart for nations outside the United States throughout her five-month tenure with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in 1998-1999, living in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, CA and visiting Thailand and Vietnam for outreach. There she discovered God’s call on her life – to spend it on the poor and needy in the developing world. Attending Generation Interns (where she met Brent) in 2001-2003, she received further ministry training while looking forward to serving the Lord overseas for the long-term.
After graduating from Generation Interns together, we were married on July 23, 2004 and settled into Brent’s hometown of Bend, OR, praying about timing for the mission field while serving at Westside Foursquare Church in various ministries of teaching, worship, missions, youth, outreach, and administrating a leadership training program for young adults. In July of 2006, we were given an opportunity to visit Uganda, East Africa, with an urge from our pastors to look for a place to land and minister full time. The time was right, the place was right, and we packed up our lives and moved to Kampala, Uganda on November 18, 2006.
For our first fifteen months on the field, we ministered in village churches, holding week-long seminars and weekend meetings to provide discipleship training for these small congregations. We were also privileged to serve on a crusade team that travels all over East Africa, headed by Evangelist Drake Kanaabo. During these meetings we witnessed many notable miracles of salvation, healing, and deliverance.
In early 2009, we requested pastoral oversight from Family Life Church in Nampa, ID and planted ourselves in Life Church in the outskirts of Kampala, enjoying the fellowship, protection, and synergy that happens when connected to the local church both at home and abroad. Working together with the other pastors in this thriving urban congregation, we began discipling young adults, taking mission teams to the islands, and working with the worship ministry while sitting on the main leadership team of the church.
Josiah Levi was added to the family in January, 2008. Two years later, Emilie Kate blessed our family with her presence, and Aidan Isaac joined us in November of 2012. These three “muzungu” kiddos are a continual source of joy to both their parents and the people we are serving.
Upon our arrival in Uganda we discovered hundreds of thousands living in slum villages on scores of remote islands with very few local or international ministries working among them to bring about transformation of their communities from the inside out. God gave us a vision to reach these islands:
Starting with exploratory island visits, our teams of local laborers identify which villages have existing Bible-believing churches and those communities that are still unreached with the Gospel.
Once identified, pastors from the islands are invited to join our network of island leaders with its annual conferences, and to be systematically trained for ministry in our Island Leadership School. We resource their churches with foundational teaching, subsidized Bibles and other materials, and assist with evangelism teams while providing counsel for issues that arise along the way. To read more about this unique fellowship and to partner with these pastors, please visit our mini site www.islandleadership.net.
The mission of the Island Leadership Network is coming together to build a Church that will transform the islands. Click here to read about how we’ve been accomplishing this great goal all year long.
We have been captivated by musical worship since we were teenagers and while we always loved the opportunity to lead various churches into the presence of Jesus we considered this ministry a loss when we moved to Uganda, assuming our cultural style would be irrelevant to the Ugandan church. But after visiting Life Church in 2008, we were delighted by the sound of worship that transcended cultural boundaries and seemed to connect the people of God to His presence. We dove into ministry there and Brent now serves as worship pastor while Virginia often leads worship for this thriving congregation.
In the past four years, we’ve also had the opportunity to disciple over fifty young adults through our Ignite Discipleship School that we pioneered and led together with the leaders of Life Church. Many of our graduates are actively involved in ministry at Life Church and serve in outreach to the islands as well.
Pray | We recognize that apart from Jesus we cannot do anything and desperately need you to be a vital part of our mission by investing your time in prayer. If you would like to be on our list for special prayer needs, please contact us.
Give | We rely on generous individuals and churches to supply our personal and ministry needs on the field. If you would like to invest in this ministry and become a part of our financial support team, you can give your tax-deductible donations either online or by mailing a check.
Online: Click here to donate through our administrative partner, The Cause.
Mail: The Cause, 365 NE Greenwood Ave Suite 1, Bend, OR 97701