Uganda Missions Trip -- a letter from Erik

In mid-October Sean Rhorer, Nate Mathews, and I are headed to Uganda for 12 days. We’ll be visiting Jake Lyell, a City Church member and 'missionary' who has been living in eastern central Uganda for the last 9 months. He has been working closely with an orphanage and school in a town called Amuria which was devastated by the Lord's Resistance Army a few years ago and is still coping with those wounds. Below is some additional information about our trip and how you can pray and be involved. Pray Please pray for us. Although Sean and Nate have been to Africa before, I never have been. It is a daunting prospect to be in such a different world for almost two weeks. Pray for our safety, our insight into what partnership for City church could look like, and our ability to encourage our friend Jake with the gospel.

Please pray for our families and friends. It's a big sacrifice for Sarah (and our kids) for me to be gone for two weeks. Pray for her sanity, for her to feel the support of our church family, and pray that her heart would be engaged not embittered by this trip. Pray for Nate and Sean’s employers, that they would be understanding of a long absence.

Please pray for City Church. This trip has the potential to change the culture of our church--to further expand our view of the gospel and its global impact. Pray that this would be a first step towards long and profound relationships of mutuality between Amuria and us. Pray that God would move people from City Church to full-time service in Africa.

Purposes of our Trip 1. Encourage missionary Jake Lyell. Jake is a professional photographer who does work for a number of non-profits and non-governmental agencies in Africa. But he is also a missionary who has been working with indigenous Ugandans to develop infrastructure and care for those who have been affected by poverty and civil strife.

2. Scout out possible partnership between City Church and future work in Uganda. For the last 9 months, Jake has been working closely with a school and orphanage in a little town called Amuria. The needs in the village are great, but we want to be careful and prayerful about if and how City Church might partner with the indigenous work there.

3. Expand our understanding of the breadth of God's work in the world. We expect that a narrow view of the world and of God's activity in it will be replaced by a wider appreciation for all of God's people and the myriad ways His Spirit is at work.

Cost As you likely expect, a trip of this scale is costly. Each of us is raising $2500 to cover the cost of the trip. We each are contributing to this total because we believe strongly in its value. But we also need support from City Church and its members. Rather than soliciting support from within City Church individually, we are sending this single letter asking for your help. Would you consider investing in God's work throughout the world by supporting us?

You may be wondering why people going on trips like this ask for money to cover costs. Raising support from our church and from our friends and families provides a picture of the gospel. It is a picture of our ultimate dependence on the generosity of Another. In asking you for help, we acknowledge our need. In asking you for help, we’re inviting you into a gospel-shaped life where you model God's love by giving to others.

If you'd like to give, you can send checks payable to City Church (with Uganda Trip in the memo line) to PO Box 5583, Richmond, VA 23220. Or you can simply leave them in our regular offering basket during a Sunday service.

Conclusion We leave for the trip on October 21. Between now and then we will be preparing the details of the trip, preparing spiritually as a team of three, and preparing City Church for the work of praying and listening that we will do in Uganda. You will hear from us at least once more before we leave and then again after the trip.

Our goal as a team is to see this trip serve not just us, but the people of Uganda (especially in Amuria), City Church, and you. We believe that there is great potential for spiritual transformation through this trip (in us and in others), as we see more of God's world, His people, and His heart.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and support of our trip.