Category Archives: Chosen for Uganda

“The Lord has need of him…..”

Standard

I keep hearing these words over and over in my spirit.

“The Lord has need of him.”

This is a scripture from the 19th chapter of Luke….

“When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.  And it came to pass when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat.  Loose it and bring it here.  And if anyone asks you, “why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.”  Luke 19:28-31

Jesus needed a colt in order for the parade to begin.

“So those who were sent went on their way and found it just as He had said to them.  But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”  And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”  Luke 19:32-34

The Lord has need of him.

The Lord has need of him.

The Lord has need of him.

That colt was precious to someone.  He was a reliable source of transportation in Jesus’ time.  Someone had to let the colt go.  Without a hesitation.

Someone was surrendered to the King.

Are you?

I heard this message from Dr. Mark Rutland the other week.  It has been like a post-it note upon my spirit.

You see, there comes a time when the Lord Jesus calls upon us.

“I have need of you.”

At that moment, we have to immediately decide…

“Yes, I will go.”

A hesitation is unacceptable.

A partial yes is not okay.

There comes a time in our lives when every worship song, every sermon, every teaching, every trial, every test, every tear….

Every filling of our souls is called upon.

Its as if the Lord Himself taps us unexpectedly on our shoulder and says,

“I have need of you.”

Are you ready?

You can say ‘no’.

But the King and the parade will just go on without you.

When the Lord called me to Uganda,

He said, “I have need of you.”

I could have said…

“Wait until my children grow up.”

“I’m not sure I want to go.”

“Who me?  I don’t think so…”

But I didn’t.

I have had to table every fear, every insecurity, every attack from the enemy and say,

“Yes.  I am all Yours, Jesus.”

Everything poured into my life has now met its purpose….

To usher in the King.

This summer, my team and I will usher the King into Uganda, Africa as we minister to women and their children.  Please pray for us we desire for Jesus to be known, and not ourselves.  Pray for a triumphal procession as we bring knowledge of a living Savior into lives crying out for hope and healing.

Advertisements

“The Pause Button….”

Standard

These are the words that the Lord spoke to me in October 2011.  I was asking him why so many things were going at me at that particular time in my life.  I had a plan that I was trying to move forward with… regarding Gulu, Uganda….

But sitting one night in service at IHOP-Atlanta, He answered me as quickly as I asked….

“I hit the pause button.”

The only thing that I didn’t understand about the pause button was why He felt the need to press it upon my life….and my plans…..and my visions.

Now I know….because they were becoming Mine….and not His.

The pause button meant that though He pressed it, He would press it again!  There was a promise attached to it…that the same song would continue to play, right where He left off.  The song never changed.  He didn’t press the “stop button” or the “rewind button”…..He pressed the “pause button”.  His desire for me was to wait while certain things have had to happen over these past four months.  My job was to trust in the “pause button”.  To trust in knowing that the song would play again….that the call upon my life would resound in my heart again.

So let me share what has happened during this “Pause Button”…..

During these past four months, the Lord spoke directly to my heart that a certain man I had met was my husband.  He had spoken the same thing to him…..and I married him.  The Lord blessed me with the most precious man of God.  I wasn’t even looking to marry….remember, I had a plan of my own that I was trying to accomplish.  But the pause button started off as a good thing. 🙂  The Lord showed me that John and I are called together to serve….and together we are stronger for the kingdom.  How very blessed I am to be John’s wife….to be chosen to complete him.

Also during this time, I was hit by a drunk driver on the way to work on Interstate 85 at 5:30 am.  It was freezing cold and in a matter of moments, my life flashed before my eyes as we were rearended at a high speed and pushed into another drunk driver.  Trapped in the car, my mind raced as I wondered if my life was about to be over.  I thought that in a matter of minutes an 18 wheeler would hit us.  We escaped out of the driver side door and ran across 4 lanes of expressway.   When the police showed up, they were shocked that my co-worker and I made it out of her totaled van alive.  We both suffered neck and back injuries and myself, a busted chin….but looking at the van after the wreck, we knew God had His hand of protection upon us.  I still hold my breath when I think of that day, I still get a knot in my stomach.  A man later approached me that afternoon after hearing my story and said, “I hope you don’t mind me saying this…but I know that I know that you will never be the same after today.  I know God spared your life because He has work for you to do.  This story will bring Him glory.”  I don’t even know the man’s name.  But he was right.  I’ve got work to do.  I’ve got people to tell about Jesus.

Many of you know that my dad battled cancer during this time….he passed away at the end of January.  Wow.  No one ever told me what this would feel like.  My dad was the most special person in the world to me.  We didn’t have a father/daughter relationship where he treated me like a princess….No, he challenged me.  He believed in me.  There have been days where I’ve cried so hard that my eyes hurt and ache.  I’ve fallen to the floor crying without catching my breath.  It is the deepest pain of my soul.  I would give a million dollars to see my dad watch me walk through the international gates at the airport as I leave for Uganda again.  I’d love to see him, stretch his neck to watch me until we couldn’t see each other anymore.  Oh, how I loved him! And oh, how I miss him.  He just “got” me.  He understood me.  He knew how I felt even before asking.  He knew if I wasn’t being honest when he challenged me with a question.  He even knew what I needed…He himself prayed for John for a long time….”a man of God to lead Shannon and the kids”.  He told John before he died that he was an answer to his prayers.   

The missing is fierce.  No one told me that there would be days that I would still pick the phone up to call him….because I knew he was always available at 9:30 pm (he was a night person)…only to realize he’s gone and I can no longer do that.   No one told me that I would think that I see him in public…and that would make me cry.  I still have his voice mails saved on my phone.  Its the only thing I have left that makes me feel as if he is near.  But you know what God showed me one day?  That my dad hears the best music in heaven and participates in the greatest worship ever.  That my dad sits down at a feast with the King of Kings.  I ask God to show me my dad in heaven.  He is always laughing and smiling.  And that makes me smile. 

 

One of my CURE team members sent me an email that said this, (she had recently lost her cousin in a tragic accident)…”it is people like your dad and Thane that sent us to Africa, people like them who embellished us with love so that we could give it to others, people like them who truly cared.  And even though we didn’t want them to go so soon, we know that they too, “belong to Him.”  And the next time we set foot in Africa, they will be setting foot there with us too.”  

Praise be to the living God!  I couldn’t have said that any better.

Thanks, Emily!

Now after all of these months, the Lord has removed “the pause button” and spoke so clearly to me as I took a hike through the woods the other day, next to a beautiful river.  My husband had prayed that I would recieve a deeper revelation of God’s love for me that day.  And I did….

As I walked, the Lord began to remind me of all the things that I have been through over this past year….some things mentioned here, and some not.  I saw each circumstance come before my mind..like a “check-off list” and the Lord would say, “You trusted me in each situation and in each one you obeyed.  Everything that you have been through has been for training and preparation for Uganda.  I choose those that endure.  I choose the strongest.  You have learned to trust and obey.”  When He spoke this to me, I felt a shift in my spirit of “why God?” to “Thank you, God!!”  I smiled so big! 

Thank you, God for the “pause button”!  Thank you for choosing me to endure.  Thank you for the trials!  Thank you for the tears!!  Thank you for taking my dad to heaven!  Thank you for holding me when I did not understand.  Thank you for these tests!  Thank you for being faithful.  Thank you for making beauty out of my ashes!  And, above all, thank you for sending me a mighty man of God who wants to serve You too!

I’m back 🙂

 

“One Little Baby That Changes The World….”

Standard

Many of you are well aware of a very special baby introduced on Mighty River….

“WARD”

He’s perfect, huh?

Ward is five months old now.  I met his momma, Kim, as I began raising funds for my first trip to Uganda with CURE International.  She had been forwarded my blog and watched the river drowning ceremony.  Many Ugandan woman are urged by the witch doctors to drown their babies in the Nile River if their child is born with hydrocephalus.  Kim read about my journey and was shocked…..

For her baby in her womb had hydrocephalus.

Kim and I met and began a friendship.  The Lord prompted me to lay hands on her belly and pray for Ward’s healing inutero.  I believed that Ward would be healed before he was born.

But God had a different plan….

Ward came earlier than expected…

Much earlier….

He was born with hydrocephalus…

And at the hands of a surgeon…

God healed Ward’s head.

When I was in Uganda, Kim sent me an email that said Ward’s head now showed a cyst on his brain that caused the hydrocephalus.  They had to wait until he was older to drain the cyst….

And that time is now.

Once again, I have knelt before Kim’s lap, this time touching Ward’s head, and not Kim’s belly.  I believe for healing of this cyst.  I love this child.

But, this is not what I wanted to do…

 I wanted Ward healed before he was born.

I want Ward’s tube that I feel on the side of his head when I hold him,

 running alongside his skull….

to be gone.

I want Ward completely healed.

I want no more doctor visits.

I want to say he is healed.

But God has a different plan….

You see,

even before Ward was born…

God had a plan for him…

and his testimony.

While Kim was pregnant with Ward, she told me with tears in her eyes, that God had given Ward to her….for me.   She believes that God uses our relationship here, stateside, for me to know how to minister to the mommas and children in Uganda.

When she originally said these words…

I thought I got it…

But now I’ve “gotten it” more.

The Lord has given me a deeper revelation of my friendship with Kim.

You see, Kim looks at me in the same way that the Ugandan mommas look at me.  (Oh Lord, help me describe this look, give me words…)  The first time I met Kim, she opened her front door and looked straight into my eyes.  She looked at me as if to say, “I’ve been waiting for you.  Please help me.”

This is the same exact way the mommas in Uganda look at me.

I cannot understand one word that they say…

But I understand their eyes.

I get it.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

“Please help me.”

“I am scared. “

These mommas looked at me to do something.

They wanted me to pray.

They wanted me to hold their baby.

And pray for healing.

Most mommas would take their sick baby and place him in my arms….like I could just fix it.

Its the same look Kim has.

I left Uganda and I was able to walk away from the pain and reminder of curses and death and abandonment and pain.

Yet, when I see Kim…

I am reminded of their pain.

Just with her eyes.

God has used Kim to be these mommas’ voices in my life.

She reminds me of the call.

It has to be the loneliest feeling in the world to think that no one knows what you are going through.

Kim found hope that her story of a baby with hydrocephalus could change the way babies are thought of in Uganda.

She found hope that Ward’s life would save babies just like him.

And his story has.

In Uganda, I shared about Ward with mommas….how the surgery healed his head.  Their eyes would light up….as now their baby could be healthy too.

Ward’s story crossed language barriers,

and cultural barriers…

and saved babies from death.

One little life changed the world.

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

I ask all of you to pray for sweet Ward tomorrow as he lays before a surgeon.

“Father God, I pray right now for Ward….thanking you for his life.  I thank you for his testimony, one that began before he was ever born.  Thank you that he has a momma and a daddy that say, “yes, Lord”.  Thank you that they desire for Ward’s life to touch many.  Lord, be the hands of the surgeon tomorrow and completely heal Ward.  I pray PEACE over this family.  May Your glory cover the earth with his story.  May Ward grow up and proclaim You as his Healer.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen”

On a side note….

I want to share this video from the prayer room at International House of Prayer in Kansas City.

Its called, “Testimony Bout Jesus”.  The singers start testifying to what God has done for them.  Its worth the watch, I promise!

I think of Kim everytime I watch it…because I know she’s got a testimony.

 

 

 

 

“The Voice That Haunts Me….”

Standard

Sometimes I will lay down in my bed at night and see a face….

And hear a voice…..

Its Anna.

Auntie…..Auntie……Auntie….”  she would call my name out.

I would sit beside her lame body and try to talk to her.  I couldn’t understand one word she would say, except, “Auntie“.

Its a sweet endearing name to someone she loves.

Those words haunt me sometimes in the middle of the night.

Auntie

Anna could say it in such a way that I knew she truly needed something from me.  She would touch my earrings, my watch, my skin…

Auntie

She would smile at me.

She would take one of her two pieces of precious meat and offer one to me.

It means she loves me.

We would sit on the ground together.

I remember seeing  her crawling down a pathway on the hill, dragging her lame legs through the dirt.  My eyes caught hers….she raised her arms up for me to carry her…

Auntie

I knelt down onto the path with her and picked her large body up.  Too big to be a baby.  I think Anna is around 7 years old.  But she was content in my arms.

The day we left Mbarara, we were packing up our camp and I looked over at her.  I didn’t want to say goodbye.  And if I didn’t look at her, I could ignore the pain.  I didn’t want to catch her eyes…..

For I knew her voice would go away if I just ignored her.

But she would just get louder….

Auntie!

She was laying on the cold ground with a sheet wrapped around her naked body.

Auntie

She would cry my name out as I passed each time.

I wanted to block out her voice.  I have so much love for her, but I knew that I couldn’t do anything for her.  I kept looking at her momma to help Anna, but momma was fine with me doing it.  I wanted to take Anna home.  I wanted her to be my daughter.  I wanted to bring her to a new world, a new place.  I wanted to give her warm clothes.  I wanted to hold her everyday and hear the sweetest voice say….

Auntie

And now I close my eyes at night.

And hear her passionate voice cry out for me

Auntie

I turn over and try to block her voice out

but I see her eyes,

looking straight into mine,

Auntie

Sometimes this walk is hard.  I wonder why some days I can’t just think upon the celebration and dancing in worship to the beat of the drum in Mbarara.

Her voice is what beats my heart with His.

Its as if He has taken her voice to awaken me to His call.

Auntie

That one word says….

“Come.”

  “I love you.”

  “Hold me.”

  “Touch me.”

 “Carry me.”

  “Who is this Jesus you talk about?”

“Why would he die for me?”

“Am I beautiful?”

“Come sit in the dirt with me.”

“Tell me you love me.”

“Tell me again about that Jesus.”

I met Anna in the dirt in Mbarara, Uganda.

I long to see her again.

I ask Him for one more chance.

And every night He answers that prayer with one word…

Auntie

“Oh yeah….I’m CRAZY!…..”

Standard

On the radio show Monday, I was asked to end the show with one statement…

Here is what I said….

“If what God is calling you to do sounds crazy to the world, then its probably from Him.  Because the world doesn’t understand.”

I was telling Ashley M yesterday about some things the Lord has been telling me lately about Gulu, Uganda….I told her, “I know I sound crazy.”

She said, “No, I love it!”

I was in a worship service last night and all the way from Arkansas she sent me a text….”Something Crazy by Steven Curtis Chapman is YOU!!!!”

She’s right….listen to it…..but read the words….

 

I couldn’t say it any better than Steven Curtis Chapman….

“I know a lady in Uganda, forty kids call her mama.  And everybody thought it was crazy, She used to drive a beamer, And I’ve never seen her any happier than she is now!”

Its CRAZY when love gets a hold of you.  I am so in love with Him!!!

I’m crazy.

Get crazy with me.

Its worth it.

“Listen Live Monday, Sept 26, 9 am….”

Standard

Please listen in to “The Dottie Coffman Show “on WIMO Radio this Monday morning, September 26 from 9 – 11 am. 

I’ve been asked to share about my trip to Uganda, Africa this summer with CURE International.  Joining the show by phone will be team leader, Kasie Lake from Pennsylvania and team member, Ashley McFadden from Arkansas.

Listen Live Nowwww.wimoradio.com

CURE GO TEAM UGANDA 2011

 

Kasie Lake

 

Ashley McFadden

I am so excited to share about what God has done through this trip and what He continues to do as we prepare for…

GO Team 2012!

“Lesu Love…”

Standard

This past summer in Uganda, I watched momma after momma tie their babies on their back.  I loved watching them do this!  Momma would bend over, grab the baby’s arm and leg and slide them over their back…then they would tie the bottom of the wrap around their waist and the top under their arms.  And voila….baby on the back!  It looked so easy to do….but its not!  Some of the mommas laughed at me trying to do this myself and showed me how to do it.

I would just marvel at the difference in Ugandan women versus American women.  These women continued on with life as they know it….cooking by the fire, washing dishes in a basin on the ground outside, washing clothes in a basin bent over, tending to the crops, working, caring for other children….all while this little bundle of joy is tied to her back.

The baby just goes with the flow….I never saw one baby crying on a momma’s back.  They always look so content and happy.

The wrap that they tie the baby on with is called a “lesu”.  Its a simple piece of cotton fabric….nothing fancy.

While I was in Mbarara, the mornings were so chilly.  One particular morning, I arrived around 7 am and the mommas were washing their babies outside in basins on the church grounds.  The children would shiver as their momma got something to wrap around them….

But some children had nothing.

My heart broke…..Oh, God, to give them something.

Some of us would offer our jackets, some of us would take a child and snuggle with him to warm him.

I made a mental note:  next year I will bring extra blankets to hand out.

The Lord used this moment and brought it back to mind this week.  I was thinking about those blankets I want to give out….

But He had a different plan.

I remembered my message I taught these women in Mbarara….

“Carry Your Cross”

On a grassy church lawn in Mbarara, Uganda, I told these women my story.  That I was just like them.  I told them that I knew what it felt like to lose a baby…I’ve lost two.  I told them that I knew what it felt like when your husband leaves…and you feel all alone.

I told them that I knew their pain.

And their loneliness.

I told them that I was just like them because I too had asked God, “Why?”

And I never had an answer.

I told them that I knew what it felt like to cry all night long.

I told them that I knew what it felt like to raise your children alone.

They lit up.  A Mzungu was just like them.

I told them that God told me that His ways are higher than mine.  His thoughts are not my thoughts….that I wasn’t to question Him….I was to trust Him.

I was to carry my cross.

And my cross would bring Him glory.

I challenged them to carry their cross, the story of their child, and claim that though they don’t know why they have a child with a disability, they can choose to say, “my child will glorify the Lord.”

“My story will testify of His goodness.”

And the women danced and sang and celebrated that they would carry their cross!!

This week the Lord gave me a vision of what to take back with me….lesus.

For each woman in Gulu, I want to give her a lesu with a scripture written in Acholi, her native language.  When a child is born with hydrocephalus in Gulu, the witch doctors urge her to loose the child off of her back by untying the lesu into the river.  When the baby drowns, the curse is broken.

I am going to Gulu, Uganda next summer to break the curse and proclaim life over these children.  And when we leave Gulu, the word will remain….

On the back of a momma, who is carrying her beautiful cross in her new lesu….

On her back, I said…

like our sweet Savior carried His cross….

For all of Gulu to see as she passes by.

For the mommas who choose to carry her cross, her new lesu will have a patch on the back that reads this:

“Momma,

This lesu is like the arms of Jesus around you.  Every time you tie it on, I pray you feel His arms around you.  This lesu holds tight the cross you carry for Him.  Feel His love for you – He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He is the Lord God Most High – your Savior and your Deliverer.

“Then He called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?’  Mark 8:34-35

Carry Your Cross

Amari, Tumusiime”

What a mark to leave on a nation!  What hope I pray is left in their hands!

He sends me to take light to a very dark place.

To show them how to carry their cross.

To be His hands and take His words.

To wrap a lesu around a shivering naked body….and put the arms of Jesus around him, and tie him to his momma’s back.

Praise the Lord for “Lesu Love”

Here is a sample Lesu….with my very favorite baby model….”African Ward” 

I couldn’t think of a better baby to try this out on!  (I think the Ugandan mommas would still laugh at me trying to do this!)  I love little Ward!  I met Ward’s momma, Kim through “Mighty River”.  The Lord has blessed me with this friendship.  Ward was born with hydrocephalus and is doing great!  You can read Ward’s amazing story before he was even born in previous posts.

If you would like to sponsor a lesu for $60, please click here:

“Lesu Love”