Signs, Wonders, and Prosperity – The Heartbreaking Reality of this American Export

julie bible studyThe people of Northern Uganda are an amazing joy to be around. They are a caring, compassionate, hard working people. One of the things I love most about them is that they display a genuine hunger for God’s word. They want to know the truth about God and they long for people to help teach them about the Bible. Julie has begun a women’s discipleship group at Abaana’s Hope and generous people have given us enough bibles to provide each lady with her own copy of God’s word. I cannot possibly explain how excited these women are. Some of them cannot read and so we have equipped them with audio bibles. They have been overjoyed to the point of tears by the fact that they can access God’s truth for the first time!

Like I said, they are genuinely hungry for the Word of God, which is why my heart is so burdened by the fact that so few “ministries” here in Gulu seem interested in actually teaching the Bible!

Every few months a new religious circus comes through town in the form of a religious crusade advertising healing, signs, wonders, miracles, and spiritual breakthroughs. People show up to these events hoping to receive something from God, hoping that God will bless them, or hoping that God will heal their hurts. These false prophets prey on the dire needs of the people, appealing strictly to their self-centered desires. People are taught to buy into Jesus as a form of an investment scheme rather than surrendering to Him as their sovereign Savior and Lord.   These “Prophets of God” are little more than warmed over witchdoctors and the Acholi people are falling prey to them in droves.

SPIRIT MANIPULATION

After only eight months here on the ground I am certainly not an expert in Ugandan culture but it is pretty easy to see why the Acholi people are wooed so easily by these false prophets. They find it very easy to make the jump from their traditional tribal religion to the prosperity gospel because frankly there is not much difference between the two. The traditional religion of Northern Uganda is animism. Animism is a belief in a spirit world that organizes and animates the physical world. Witchdoctors act as conduits between the people and the spirits. Acholi people often visit the witchdoctor in order to communicate with and please the spirits. Often these witchdoctors attempt to display their power by performing signs and wonders. Through traditional song and dance they can manipulate the minds of the people, whipping them up into a spiritual frenzy not at all unlike the charismatic “church” in America has been doing for many years. They advertise the ability to communicate with and convince the spirit realm to work for the people.   For instance a witchdoctor may tell a person that a lack of economic prosperity is the fault of a dead relative who is hindering an economic “breakthrough.” As a result the witchdoctor might prescribe (after being paid a small fortune) a spiritual ritual for the family to perform in order to convince the dead relative to drop the economic curse on the family. The goal of religion then is to manipulate the spirit world to work on their behalf. Through incantations and rituals people work hard to convince the spirits to move in their favor.

There is very little difference between this form of animism and the false prosperity gospel. Instead of seeking help from the witchdoctor many are seeking out the assistance of “pastors” and “prophets”, self-proclaimed men of god, to learn how to create a spiritual “breakthrough” and earn the “favor” of god. Many people in Northern Uganda have traded in their visits with the witchdoctor in favor of visits to Sunday morning prayer at the local “church” where they sow their seeds of faith in order to prosper in the name of god. This is a false gospel and those of us who know the true Jesus must speak out against these deceptions which lead people AWAY from Christ..

HOW TO RESPOND

First let’s talk about what the Acholi people do not need. They do not need more “spiritual gurus.” They do not need more religious platitudes or techniques. They do not need to be taught how to “listen to God” for a spiritual breakthrough. The last thing they need is to be distracted by false signs and wonders that mislead and manipulate their minds. They do not need more rituals in the form of meditation in order to “breakthrough” or “hear from God.”

So what do they need? They need to know that God has already spoken. He has spoken to us clearly through His Word. They need to know how to read and study God’s word. They need true knowledge of God. 2 Timothy 4: 2 tells us to “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” So how do we encourage, correct, and rebuke? We preach the Word of God!

Also we need to be active in calling out those who twist and manipulate the Word for their own selfish gain. One verse later Paul warns of these false teachers when he says “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” This is clearly happening in America. Some of our largest churches are led by men who preach that God exists only to give them their best life now. Others are preaching distracting signs and wonders. Stories of gold and feathers falling from the sky are making a mockery of God’s glory. Rooms full of uncontrollable laughter and people being slain in the spirit are not true representations of the work of the Holy Spirit. Men of God need to speak out with clarity and conviction. Too many American pastors (I include myself in this number) have turned a blind eye to these lies for far too long. While we sat silent the false prophets have exported their perverted version of “Christianity” to the African continent and our silence is partly to blame.

PROMISES FAR TO LITTLE

As many honest theologians have pointed out in the past, the problem with the signs, wanders, and prosperity gospel is not that it promises too much but that it promises far too little. Why would we settle for a temporary healing when Christ offers us an eternal one? Why would we believe stories of golden glory clouds and falling feathers when the Word paints an exponentially more powerful picture of the glory of God? Why would we settle for material wealth when Christ offers us the gift of Himself. Christ is our reward and to settle for anything less than Him is an eternal mistake.

Four Corners is dedicated to teaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is communicated clearly in the Word of God. We are burdened for the state of the Church here in Northern Uganda and we believe that God has called us here to help correct it. Please pray for us as we continue this marathon of a battle against these false ideas. We have our second pastor/leader conference in September where our topic is simply “The Gospel.” It is our goal to teach clearly and effectively the essentials of the true Gospel. We hope to have many more conferences in the future. Please feel free to contact me if you or your church would like more information about how to participate in training, equipping, teaching, and leading these pastors to the Truth.

For His Glory,

Kristopher Mobbs

 

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One Year Ago Today…

As I (Julie) sit in the presence of my God this morning I am reminded of His immense greatness as the thunder roars through the skies.  Our God is great and greatly to be praised.  I rejoice this morning as I remember all that God has done since July 17th of last year.  You see, our family had been in what we call “a wilderness period” for quite some time.  We were fervently praying that God would show us our next step as He had brought us to a place of being able to say, “God, whatever the cost and whatever the sacrifice we are ready to go for the sake of of your name and your glory!”.  For many many months we waited as God was preparing us for His perfect plan in His perfect timing.

And then…on July 17th of last year as we sat in Royce and Sandra Watkins’ home God clearly presented His desire and call for our family.  The Great Commission “calls” all followers of Jesus and on this day He used two amazing people to show us what this “call” meant for our family.  And yet, this was not about our family and it was not about Four Corners and it was not about Royce and Sandra but it was about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God was answering our prayers because of His desire for His Son’s name to be shared across the nations.
As Kristopher and I sat that evening and listened to His plans being presented we were speechless.  The emotions that were running through our hearts and our minds were many. We looked at each other as we went to bed and the only words we could say were, “What just happened?”  The next morning we found ourselves on our knees acknowledging that in 5 and half months God wanted us to be on a plane with our 3 kids headed to the bush of Uganda. Humbled and blessed and completely dependent on God is where we found ourselves during the next 5 months as God accomplished in our lives what only God could accomplish in that amount of time.
So, here we are a year later praising God for who He is and rejoicing in His steadfast love. Our God answers prayers—not in our timing but in His perfect timing and we praise Him for that truth.  His faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  We see all that He is doing through His ministry here in Uganda and we acknowledge that He reigns as the Most High God! As Psalm 93 states, He is “Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!”
We are continually grateful and our hearts are continually humbled by God’s great love for His people.  His desire is for the nations to hear the name of Jesus.  So, as we begin this new day may our prayer be that God would be exalted above the heavens and that His glory would be over all the earth. He alone is worthy!
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Blessings and Challenges

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It is hard to believe that it has now been a little over 6 months since we moved to Gulu, Uganda. So much has taken place in such a short period of time. God is at work amongst the Acholi people and it is a privilege to be but a small part of it. Julie and I realize every day how blessed we are to be here. Our children are growing in their faith and in their love for our Acholi friends. Whether it is watching my wife disciple ladies who work in our LifeBeads program or seeing the excitement on the faces of my children as they take part in using soccer to present Bible stories to Acholi children, every day brings opportunities for our family to serve a forgotten people.

As with all ministry there are both blessings and challenges that accompany serving a war-torn people like the Acholi. It is a blessing to see their lives changed by the love of Jesus. It is a blessing to see widows able to pay school fees for their children with the money they have raised creating beautiful jewelry. It is a blessing to see young men use their skills to glorify God by providing for their families through the jobs God has created through FCM in farming and construction. But of course the biggest blessing of all is seeing lives redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. For if we are simply allowing our Acholi friends to invest in temporary treasures on their way to an eternity separated from God then we are doing more harm than good. But if we share with them the love of their Creator and if they are drawn unto Him by the power of the Spirit then they are truly storing up treasures that will never perish, spoil, or fade! Yes, blessings abound!

But so do challenges. It has not taken me long to come to the conclusion that a missionary has to be many things including a psychologist, counselor, and HR director! When we as missionaries are tasked with leading a ministry that serves over 1000 people then we have to wear many hats.   While the people we serve are gifted in many ways I think it is safe to say that conflict resolution is not necessarily one of them. One of the many negative side effects of war is an inability for the people to learn how mature Christ-honoring relationships work. When you spend much of your time avoiding bullets and hiding form rebel armies it is impossible to think much about loving your neighbor or showing respect to each other. Relationships often grow sour and when a people have had to learn to survive as long as the Acholi, then walls can be built up fast and minor arguments can quickly turn into major ordeals. We have dealt with our fair share of relationship drama amongst our Acholi friends recently. But even these difficulties have a way of revealing God’s graces in the moment. Let me give you two examples of God’s graces that have shown themselves to us through some of these challenges:

1) These challenges have revealed how blessed we are to have such an amazing team of FCM missionaries. It is truly an honor to do spiritual battle alongside the families currently here on the ground serving as missionaries. Both the West and Barbrey families have served the Acholi people with dignity and grace. And when difficulties arise it is a blessing to work hand in hand with these amazing servants of God. None of us here are perfect but at the end of the day we know each other’s hearts. We know that each family is here to serve not themselves or their own purposes but to serve the great and mighty King of the universe.

2) These challenges have also revealed how quickly God has orchestrated an amazing team of leaders at our church here at Abaana’s Hope. One of the main points of emphasis we knew God wanted us to focus on once we got here was helping to locate, teach, train, and encourage a group of men to step up and lead our congregation. Plurality of leadership is a non-negotiable when it comes to the New Testament church. Every NT church elected mature elders for leadership and accountability. Recent challenges are a perfect example of why every church should have a plurality of leaders in place. As gossip swirled and arguments escalated these amazing men of God took control of the situation. They prayerfully and gracefully confronted those involved and began a process of repentance and restoration. It was an honor to sit and watch what God could accomplish through leaders who are sold out for His glory.

The life of a missionary has many joys and hardships, but it is always rewarding. It is an honor to watch those we have trained use the wisdom God has given them to solve conflicts. It is rewarding to be used by God to draw people unto Himself.

Our family is humbled to be walking this journey. God’s grace is abundant and His love is steadfast. Our hearts are full and we stand in awe of his grace. Thank you for all of the continued prayers and support for God’s work through Four Corners here in Uganda. We are blessed.

 

Many have asked recently about ways to help so here are a few ideas:

Solar Bibles

Child Sponsorship

Purchase Life Beads Jewelry

Make a donation

Come and see us!

Contact fourcorners.org for more information.

 

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Mobbs Update: Everyone Has a Story

10403597_10155233793860788_3956564916148103430_nGood morning! I (Julie) thought I would take the opportunity to send out an update today. Kristopher and I along with our kids left 52 days ago to head to Gulu, Uganda. We are unable to adequately express how grateful we are to our God for allowing us to serve His Kingdom here among these people. We are great sinners in daily need of a great Savior and praise God that He has chosen us to be here for this time. There is such freedom in Christ and such a peace in living here and serving our Creator. Our prayer remains that the name of Jesus will be heard daily and that God would continue to draw the Acholi people unto Himself.

As a family we are doing really well. Our kids have adjusted amazingly well and we know that this is largely due to so many of you praying earnestly for them. We thank you and can communicate to you today that God hears the prayers of His people. We love where we are and would not want to be anywhere else.

I wanted to share about an opportunity we had to visit a family out in the bush last week. In March of 2014 when I was here for a women’s conference God allowed a special connection to be formed with one very sweet lady at Abaana’s Hope. Pamela happens to be a bead roller in our jewelry program and as I was visiting with her two weeks ago she graciously invited our family to her home. On Thursday of last week we headed out to the bush with our family of five and our pastor so that he could translate for us.

Upon arrival we were greeted with great excitement. We met Pamela’s wonderful children and were led into her ot lum (hut) to be seated. The family members entered and greeted each of us…most of them bowing to their knees to do so. Her oldest is married with one child and her youngest is 8. As they were preparing for us we had a few minutes to process our surroundings. My kids, for the first time, noticed that a family of 7 lived in a round one-room hut with only a curtain hanging to separate the thin mattresses on the ground from where we were sitting. The dirt floors were swept clean. Toothbrushes and a few other personal items were perfectly placed in the brush of the roof. In one little area was a bucket with a chicken sitting on her eggs. In another area was a beautiful handmade pot that held water. A few bicycles were placed behind our chairs and we could see a few pieces of clothing laid behind the curtain. A straw mat was placed on the ground where I could sit with Pamela. As we were sitting and talking she walked in with a basket of sodas. They know that we are unable to drink the water so they spend what little money they have to purchase sodas for us. We began to talk with Pamela and enjoy her company. Our time was cut a little short because Zoe was not feeling well. Pamela knew this from the beginning and instead of cooking for us she soon entered the ot lum, bowed to my family, and presented us with a live chicken to bring home with us. The sacrifice of this gift is one that as Americans we are unable to fully grasp.

As the time drew near for us to leave I asked Pamela how we could pray for her. We then sat and listened as she began her story…my kids listening intently. Pamela told of her past and how she was captured with 60 others by rebel soldiers. She spoke of watching as all were killed. She was beaten until she was unconscious and was left among the others as the soldiers thought she was dead. She awoke among dead bodies and was the only one of her group of 61 that escaped alive. She returned to her home but it was unsafe for her to stay there as the rebel soldiers would come looking for her. So, her family had to find other land and that is where they reside today. The problem is that this land belongs to relatives and so they are not welcome there for long. She is unable to return to the land that is hers because others in her clan have claimed it as their own and she does not want to enter into a land dispute. Her prayer is that God will open up land where her family can live peacefully and begin to plant crops. As her story came to an end I placed my hand on her hand and prayed that God in all of His sovereignty would provide for her family as only He can while fully acknowledging that the provision of His Son was and is all that we need.

So, we left after many hugs and gracious good-byes. Humbled to the core of our existence we drove away through the beauty of the African landscape. Pamela has a story. We all have a story. Pamela’s story is one of much suffering and pain and yet her story is amazing because of what our Almighty God has done in her life. Her story does not end at the hand of a rebel soldier though many lives did. Her story continues on in the hands of her Savior as His desire was to use Pamela for His Kingdom. Praise God that she knows and understands the love of her God even among the trials. God’s grace is amazingly abundant and His power is immense. In our Bible Study with our FCM team we our studying through Ephesians. In Ephesians 3:7 Paul brings together the grace of God and the power of God. Paul states, “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power”. You see, God’s grace came to us through the blood of His Son, Jesus but then through the resurrection His power was made complete in us.

God has shown tremendous grace to His children and then empowered us to GO and share the message of the Gospel. For it is by grace that we have been saved through faith and it is through His power that we are able to go and identify with the nations to share His love.   To identify with the nations…with Pamela…with the Acholi people…we must understand how great God is and how sinful we are. Praise God for His grace and power in our lives. Because of the grace and power that God has shown in Pamela’s life and her willingness to turn from herself and trust God with her life her story is a Kingdom story.

Humbled and convicted by Pamela’s generosity, hospitality, and sacrifice for our family we remain even more humbled and convicted by the greatness of our God and His love. May we live in such a way that God’s grace and power come together in our lives to share the love of Jesus with the nations. People’s lives are at stake and we are commanded to speak boldly and loudly to every tongue, tribe, and nation. We have a mission and our mission is distinct as believers in Jesus because we have direct access to a crucified, resurrected, reigning, and returning God. There is no greater story, no greater name, no greater love, and no greater cause to stake your life on no matter the cost or sacrifice.

Please pray for Pamela, for her family, for all of the families at Abaana’s Hope, and for all of the Acholi people. Please pray that God would draw these people unto Himself and make known to His people what genuine faith in God truly looks like. We are not interested in false conversions but in true and genuine life change because of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross.

Thank you to all of our family, friends, supporters, and prayer warriors! We love you all dearly and know that God has used you to help us be a small part of His Kingdom work. We are truly blessed and humbled. May He increase and may we decrease! May God be glorified!

Julie

 

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From the Ground

10422233_10155105610435788_4899196470274124506_nWe have arrived in Gulu and we are blessed beyond measure. Our first week here has been filled with great joy, much prayer, and lots of learning. We are so thankful for Myron and Holly West and Chase and Kimmey Barbrey who have helped guide us almost every step of the way.

We are continually in awe that God has provided this opportunity for us to serve these amazing people in Northern Uganda. We are humbled and blessed. We had the privilege of attending our first worship service in the new church at Abaana’s Hope on Sunday. What an amazing group of sweet people in genuine praise of our Father.

I have been working out at Abaana’s Hope and discovering all that God is doing in this place. AH is a 45 minute drive from Gulu. With terrible road conditions, the drive is grueling and exhausting. The sweltering afternoon heat takes it toll on our energy every day. Some people groups have yet to hear about Jesus because they are hostile to the truth and it is dangerous to share the gospel with them. Others are unreached simply because they are very, very inconvenient to reach. The people at Abaana’s Hope are certainly in the latter category. Many of them are disconnected from the rest of the world and certainly disconnected from the good news that God cares for them. If the rest of the world doesn’t know they exist then why should they believe that God cares? The truth is, God knows each of them by name and they matter. They matter as much as any other human being on this planet. They are as important as any celebrity or world leader. God longs for them to know the truth about His love and His Son. We are honored to join this capable team at FCM that is tasked with sharing this news with them. There is much work to be done. The challenge however is that the work is not necessarily tangible and will be difficult to assess.  It is not about building more buildings, planting more crops, making more jewelry, or starting new projects. (All of which we are doing and will continue to do.) But the deepest need is spiritual. The most pressing needs involve a spiritual work that can be messy and confusing at times.  It is a Gospel work that is never fully completed and very difficult to grade. By God’s grace, the team at FCM is up for the task.

Chase, Cooper and Zoe are great and are adjusting better than we could have ever imagined. We attribute this to God’s perfect hand in their lives. They are taking in all the sights and sounds. We are glad to announce an addition to our family in the form of our first dog. Her name is Bingo and the kids are having a blast playing with her every day. We will start another adventure next week as we begin school. Say a little prayer for us all.

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Is this safe for your family!?

imageIs moving to Uganda safe for your family?

If not the most common question, this is definitely the most serious.  Safety of course is relative.  Most of us believe our own surroundings are safe.  Change by nature then feels unsafe.  We tend to fear what we do not understand.  I have had conversations with Europeans wondering if it’s safe to walk the streets in America due to our lack of gun control laws.  They hear about mass shootings and believe that we all walk around like cowboys brandishing our firearms at the first insult.  They fear what they do not understand.  Media has a tendency to fan the flames of fear.  Most of the news out of Africa announces tragedies and viral outbreaks.  When is the last time you remember a positive story coming out of Africa?  Probably never.  If we allowed media to shape our perceptions of reality then most of us would never leave the house.  I mean, is it really safe to send your kids to public schools considering all the school shootings in America?  You see how we could live in fear all the time if we allowed ourselves?

That’s not to say that there are not dangers in all cultures and societies.  We are not naive enough to ignore the reality that this world is a harsh place.  Uganda itself has less than adequate medical care across the country.  We know that and yet we believe we are making a responsible decision to take our kids there anyway.

It is 3:44 am as I write this.  Julie and I are awake at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.  Our princess Zoe has been sick for several days now with a stomach virus that just won’t leave her alone.  We checked her into the ER yesterday morning due to dehydration and low blood sugar.  She didn’t respond to fluids as well as doctors hoped so they sent us here, to CHOA.  The girls even got to ride in an ambulance!  We are in a state of the art medical facility with some of the best doctors in the world taking care of our baby.  By God’s grace we are still 15 days out from moving to Uganda.  Facilities like this don’t exist where we are going.  We know that and yet we are not afraid.  We are not afraid for one reason: we believe in a God who is completely sovereign.  We believe that nothing is outside of our God’s control.  As one famous pastor put it- “there are no maverick molecules.”  This means there are no maverick viruses and God knew and allowed this virus to infect our daughter.  He also knew and allowed it to happen before we move to a third world country.  The point is, He is in complete control.  A god who is surprised by sneaky viruses is not a God worthy of our worship.  And so we cling to this faith in the Omniscient.  We trust that if He allows us to get sick He has done it for a reason and that reason is to being glory to His name.  We could easily allow this experience to shake us but somehow walking the halls of this hospital puts it all into perspective.  I see the faces of parents whose children no doubt have it much worse than ours and I know that children die inside these walls every single day.  We are never free from the possibility of death.  We are never free from the possibility of severe illness.  We are never immune to death and disease and pretending that we are only keeps us from realizing the brevity of life and the call that God has placed onto all of our lives to serve Him no matter the consequences.  Seriously, no matter the consequences….

We
Trust
God
PERIOD.
End of sentence.  Whatever He wants from us we are willing to give knowing that He will be with us through it all.  He doesn’t leave us to deal with hardships on our own.  His Spirit is always with us and will provide strength and peace that surpasses understanding and fear.

So, is it safe for our family?  We can’t answer this definitively though we pray fervently for God’s protection for our family and all families serving in other countries.  What we can say definitively is that no matter the answer to this question….JESUS is worth it!

 

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Why? When beliefs have consequences.

bibleWhy are you moving to Uganda?

This is a multifaceted question for us to answer- but the foundation to the answer lies in one simple truth:

WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE and this truth changes everything.

Everyone has an authority that they look to when determining how to live their lives. Some look to themselves, their own feelings or intellect to determine right from wrong. Some look to pop-psychology, the latest fads, or majority opinion to form their own opinions. We look to the Word of God. We choose not to be swayed by fads, feelings, opinions, and political correctness. We believe that truth is truth period, and that a lie does not become truth simply because it’s the popular opinion of today. The Word of God never changes and it serves as our compass to guide our hearts and actions.

Are we suggesting that everyone who believes the Bible should move to a foreign country? No, of course not. But we are suggesting that followers of Jesus will be open to opportunities to share God’s love in places that are less than comfortable. We are suggesting that all believers will be in the habit of looking for opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ, loving and ministering to those less fortunate for the Glory of our King.

We believe that the Bible contains within its pages the best news humanity has ever heard. We believe it contains the truth about life and that when we understand this truth the world becomes a much more beautiful place. We believe that the Bible teaches that Jesus is the answer to all that pains the world. And since we really believe this, it would be wrong to keep this to ourselves. I know that it is popular to suggest that religion should be kept private but this makes no sense at all if you ACTUALLY believe it. If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He came to earth to save us from our sins then it would be evil for us to keep that information to ourselves!

It is because of our biblical worldview that we are moving to Uganda. We go because the Bible informs us that the God of the universe sent His Son to die on a cross to save wretched sinners such as us and He rose again three days later so that we could live eternally with Him. We go because Jesus commands us as His followers to take this message, the true message of the Gospel, to every tongue, tribe, and nation. We go because we truly BELIEVE that Jesus is the ONLY way to eternal life with the ONE true God. We go because Jesus is worthy of our lives and our praise. We go because there are people in the bush of Africa that desperately need to hear the name of Jesus proclaimed. We go so that He will become greater and we will become less. We go because Jesus is our ALL! We go for the sake of Jesus and His Word!

In our brokenness we began to PRAY BIG as a family. God was stirring in our hearts. We began to understand that God was deserving of every part of our lives with no strings attached. We wanted to give our lives over to His purposes—not our own. God brought us to a point where we were able to offer ourselves to Him for His glory so that He could lead us regardless of the cost or sacrifice.

You see, this is not about the Mobbs family. We deserve nothing. We are sinners deserving of death. If left to our own selfishness we would choose comfort and silence. And, yet while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. It is by His grace and His grace alone that we are able to go and serve. So, while our flesh would choose comfort and silence, the God of the universe commands us to sacrifice the things of the world so that the name of Jesus might be proclaimed loudly to the nations. So, again you ask WHY? We go because we BELIEVE that Jesus is who He says He is and by His grace we heed to His command to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”.

 

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Crazy or Convicted?

AH Kids

You are moving where? Why? What are you thinking?

If mouths don’t speak it- faces certainly do. When we tell people that we are moving our family of 5 to a third world country, to live and work amongst a forgotten people group, and to serve a people who have nothing but love to give us in return, these questions are the inevitable and understandable thoughts in people’s minds. Are we crazy?

Well, maybe so. Maybe we have lost our minds, dragging our kids out of their comfort and security, selling a nice home and most of our possessions to begin this journey. OR maybe we are doing something that makes total sense. Maybe we are doing the only thing that makes sense of our lives. Maybe this open door is exactly what we were created to do.

Over the next several blog posts Julie and I would like to make a case for the latter by answering some of the most common questions we have received as we have informed people that we are moving to Gulu, Uganda.

Questions like:

-Why?

-Is it safe for your family?

-What about your kids’ schooling?

-What will you be doing?

It is our hope that by answering these questions some may be inspired, encouraged, and motivated to make a difference in their own world. But not just any difference. We hope that you hear in these posts the truth that we are not interested in only making someone’s life better for the short time we have on this planet. The Bible informs us that our lives are like a mist that appears for a brief moment and then vanishes. It is NOT our goal simply to improve that brief moment. Our purposes and prayers are much deeper. Stay tuned to see and hear what we mean as our next post seeks to answer the question, WHY?

Caveat: I realize that these posts are accessible to the entire world- including all of our Facebook friends. I know that we both have friends from many different backgrounds with many different worldviews- some that may conflict with our own. We embrace this and would love to engage with anyone who has questions about why we think and live the way that we do.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Moving to Uganda!

God’s grace never ceases to amaze me. Though it is not always apparent when life seems hard, hindsight often reveals the fact that God’s grace is always at hand. As we look back at the last 10 years of our lives, Julie and I are now beginning to see clearly what God has been doing. He has been moving, shaping, and readying us for His purpose. Often we get caught up in chasing our own dreams and fail to realize that God has something much bigger and better in store for our lives. We are very excited to announce to the world that we will be moving to Gulu, Uganda to join Four Corners Ministry in the work that God is doing among the Acholi people.

Both Julie and I have been actively involved in short-term international mission trips for many years. We have been blessed with opportunities to minister in 8 different countries on 4 different continents. All of these trips have been amazing opportunities to see God move in foreign countries. However, nothing pierced our hearts quite like the trip we took to Gulu, Uganda in October of 2013. Julie and I fell in love with both the Acholi people and the Four Corners Team on the ground in Gulu. We knew that we wanted to partner with this organization in some capacity in the future. Who knew the future would come so soon?

Four Corners Ministries has offered our family the opportunity to serve in Uganda and we have humbly accepted this opportunity.  Julie, Chase (9), Cooper (8), and Zoe (4) and I have one way tickets leaving Atlanta on January 2nd!  We are so excited to join the work that God is already doing through Four Corners.  Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for considering supporting us on this journey to serve God by serving the Acholi people.

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