Death is real

Sunday afternoon Brian, Pastor Terry and several other Ugandan Pastors we work with traveled over three hours to grieve with a Pastor/Church Planter named Timothy. His wife Grace gave birth to a beautiful baby boy just 2 weeks ago. However, Grace had serious complications and remained in a coma after the baby was born.

We spent multiple nights praying for Grace and Timothy. We have had many conversations about death as we have been here, brought about by things like visiting a malnourished children’s home, meeting many orphans, and praying for Grace and our cook, Susan, who has lost 2 family members since we have been here.

Grace’s death was difficult for us to swallow as Americans. It was a senseless death. If she had only had adequate healthcare this could easily have been prevented. She simply bled to death.

Death is so raw and real here! Everyone we encounter knows death intimately. Daily, people die from lack of medicine, lack of knowledge, AIDS, auto accidents, inferior care etc.

This is just one of the many needs that flash before us each day. There are so many needs that sometimes it is overwhelming. But God is good! The reality of death has shaped this culture for the positive and negative.

In a negative sense, people are often living in survival mode. Some don’t have hope for tomorrow, much less their future. So live for today. This is played out in many ways such as stealing, violence, and hopelessness.

On the other hand, it also has some positive effects. The Ugandan people are all about their family and community. They are very relational. They truly come together to provide for each other in times of trouble. For example, there were about 1,000 people at the burial for Grace.  They gave over 1,000,000 shillings ($400, which is more than many people make in a year here) to the family to help Timothy care for their 6 children.

Most encouraging, however, is their openness to spiritual things. In the absence of material distractions and in light of the reality of death, the Ugandans are hungry for hope which the truth of Scripture amply supplies. They are open to hear about Jesus in a way that many people in first world countries don’t understand.

Is it a difficult life? YES! In no way do we want to diminish the struggles that these precious people face each day. On the other hand, I envy them. I envy their freedom in worship, their thankfulness for each thing they receive, their eagerness to give thanks in difficult circumstances and their yearning for God.

Pastor Timothy summed it up, when he saw Grace’s time was coming to an end on this earth. He told  Pastor Terry that he was simply trusting God’s will and rejoicing that she would no longer be in pain. Lord, help us to set our mind on things above. Give us your perspective on this World and the things in it. Give us your eyes.



So hard to recap

How do I summarize the last week and a half? How do I tell you the highlights? Which story do I pick? Everyday we are seeing God work. We are crazy busy.

Our first team is here and doing a great job. We started in the village of Nzigu doing a two day Vacation Bible School and Women’s Conference. On the first day of the conference, we asked the women to share testimonies of the Lords’ work in their lives. I can sit here and share several testimonies, but you probably won’t read the blog anymore if I write too much 🙂 On the other hand I am almost due for two weeks worth of blog posts, so here it comes. One woman stood with great excitement as she shared that her husband once tried to kill her. She was a Muslim and when she accepted Christ, her husband decided that he was going to kill her with his machete. He went to the watering hole to sharpen his machete and called her to join him. There he asked her to renounce her faith in Christ or he would kill her. She refused to deny her new found faith! She said that he stood there for ten minutes and started crying. Her husband dropped the machete and wanted to know more about this Christ she now loved. He became a believer. These women’s faith in the midst of struggle is incredible.

The next day, we attended one of East Africa Outreach’s Bible School Graduation in Bukanga. This class is the largest to this date, with 29 graduates. It was an all day affair, full of speeches and testimonies of the power of God’s Word in the lives of these Pastor’s and church leaders. It was incredible. Here in Uganda, a majority of people are not educated even to the high school level. Many Pastor’s do not even own their own copy of the Bible. They will simply repeat teachings they hear on the radio. Unfortunately, these radio teachings are based on visions and dreams, not on the Word of God. One Pastor confessed before the crowd that “Before this Bible School, I was a false teacher. Now, I teach the truth.” How amazing.

As we left the Bible School, our bus blew a tire. We were close to an hour away from Jinja, where we are staying. Half of our team went and shucked beans for an elderly lady with cataracts and the other half went and shared Christ with another family. Three people accepted Christ. God used a possibly frustrating experience for good. He’s good at that.

Some of the children Cadance was sharing the gospel with and her interpreter
Some of the children Cadance was sharing the gospel with and her interpreter

We spent two more days in a village named Kabizzi (small pig) sharing the gospel and teaching at a women’s conference. Cadance went out with part of the team and while the older girls were sharing Christ, she shared Christ with some of the children. Five children accepted Christ!!!!! That evening she shared with me, “Mom, I didn’t even want to go this morning, but I went, and God used me!” I am so proud of her. She has gone out everyday with the team and although there have been adjustments that we have needed to make, she has done awesome! The team noted, that you would never know that this is their first time in Uganda.

There are so many stories. So many ways we are seeing God move and work here in Uganda. Even as I sit here today God is moving. I stayed home from going out to do evangelism. The fishing village the team is working with is very far away and I thought it would be good to give the children a day off. But as I thought I was taking today off from “ministry”, God brought a young woman to me at the house. She is from England but here working and she just needed someone to talk to. Pray for my new friend as we begin meeting weekly. Pray that the Lord would open her eyes to the truth of God’s Word and would guide her.

Lastly, I want to upload lots of picture, but it still proves difficult to do through the blog. However, I am uploading them via facebook. If you have not done so yet, please friend me on Facebook (Jerilyn White)  if you would like to see pictures, and have more frequent updates.

Prayer Requests:

Praise- the missionary from the islands that I asked you to pray for, received his passport with all necessary documents in tact.

Praise- the team has had a wonderful experience. They are ending up their time of ministry this weekend and fly out Sunday. Pray that they would finish strong and that they would have safe travels home. Pray for their transition back into American culture.

Prayer for My new friend from England.

Prayer for us as we continue to “do life” here. Pray that God would make it very clear to us if our time here is just for the summer or if it is to be long term.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Thank you for walking this journey with us. Thank you for praying for us! Thank you for partnering with us!





Our Visit With You Was Not Without Result

At Acacia Community Church, Pastor Terry has started a series in 1 Thessalonians. I have been spending my time the last two weeks working through these verses. I don’t seem to get but a few verses in, before the Lord brings to mind something or someone to pray for. One day this week, I wrote specifically about the following verse.

” For you  yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result.” I Thessalonians 2:1

I wrote out my fears and my hopes and desires for this trip but ultimately, I prayed that this trip would not be without the results that the Lord wanted, not what I wanted. Just a few days later we had a visitor, Andy Smith. He came by to visit Pastor Terry and as he greeted me said, “You were with that team that came to the island in 2011!”

In 2011, we took a team from Petsworth Baptist Church to Uganda. We visited Lingira Island and spent the afternoon in evangelism. Some of our team went to one village and the other part went to another village. One team went into a village where Andy and Kiki had seen little fruit. This village was very dark. Alcoholism was rampant, no children were going to school, men regularly beat and left their families, their hygiene was little to none (feces was everywhere), and there were only two believing families in the village of about 200.

In this village a woman accepted Christ the day our team visited. Soon after we left, this woman’s house burnt down. Her husband abandoned her and refused to rebuild the house. For 6-8 months this woman lived under a tree with her children. She made her living brewing banana beer but, after accepting Christ, realized that she should not live this way. With no income, no home, and virtually no husband this woman had an incredibly difficult time. But each week she would come to church not asking for handouts but giving testimony of the Lords faithfulness for healing of sickness, or a church member who had shared food with them. What an amazing picture of praising God in all circumstances. Through the testimony of this woman there are now 40-60 believers in this village. Many of them meet weekly at a home for Bible Study.

The Gospel changes people and it can change a community. Now, every child except one is attending school. They have built their own pit latrines, on their own initiative. This community is forever changed…. by one woman’s faith as a result of hearing the Gospel, by a couple people sharing the Gospel, by one mission team,  by one act of obedience in sharing the gospel!  Thank You God for using Your people to do Your work! What a blessing it is to be part of your team!

The Lord’s confirmation is so sweet. Our obedience is never wasted.

Prayer Requests:

-On Wednesday our first team arrives. They will be here until the end of the month.

– Pray for Andy Smith, the missionary we mentioned above. His passport has been misplaced in one of the government offices and he returns for a trip to the United States in two weeks. Pray that his passport will be found with all the necessary paperwork.


Jinja at last!

Whew, what a whirlwind of a week. We arrived safely with all of our luggage. The children did amazing on the plane. I was so proud of them. Aletheia made lots of friends on the plane. Debbie Nester, our missionary host, lost her passport in London and they found it on the plane. She was able to get back on our connecting flight without any difficulties. We were so thankful. That situation could have been a mess.  Continue reading “Jinja at last!”


Leaving on a jet plane…

Tomorrow we leave! It’s hard to believe that this time has come. It’s been an emotional roller coaster packing, preparing, celebrating and saying goodbye. Thank you for all of the prayers especially for our children and the grandparents saying goodbye! 

We will continue to keep our blog up and running while we are away. My goal is to post weekly. Remember that you don’t ever have to miss a post, but they can be delivered right to your email address. In the top right corner of the page is the word FOLLOW. Add your email address there and you won’t miss a thing.  Continue reading “Leaving on a jet plane…”


Thank You

We can’t begin to start to say thank you to all of the people who have encouraged us, prayed for us and sacrificially given to this trip. We have been completely humbled and overwhelmed by the ways that the Lord has provided for us over the last two months.

We have been overwhelmingly supported by friends and family and even people who we don’t know. One of the things that the Lord has really put on our hearts is that you are not just supporting us in what God is calling us to do, but partnering with us. You as our supporters are very much a part of what God is doing in Uganda and in us. I wanted to tell you just a few stories of things that the Lord has done to provide for us in this venture.  Continue reading “Thank You”


East Africa Outreach

A video testimony of Terry Nester from East Africa Outreach of the Lord’s faithfulness in Uganda. This video will give you a great picture of some of the things we will be doing this summer in Uganda.

Update on our fundraising:
Expenses in Uganda: $1000 (transportation and room and board) more til fully funded
Expenses in USA: $2640 ( mortgage and health insurance) until fully funded
Other items to be donated: Suitcases, used lapel microphones, soccer balls. For an extensive list, please please visit our post “Total Transparency.”

If you would like to donate to meet these final costs, you can do so online at https://fundly.com/walk-of-faith-to-uganda.


Only God can change a heart

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;

I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekial 36:26

Easter weekend we visited friends at an Easter play. One of our friends asked Cadance, our oldest, if she was excited about our trip to Uganda. Her resounding answer, with rolling eyes and all was, “No, they didn’t even ask me if I wanted to go!” A little later, I heard about this conversation and I embarrassingly tried to explain it away, but that conversation gave me a real glimpse into her heart. Continue reading “Only God can change a heart”