Sunday, 26 August 2012

Please pray for the McCourtney Family

Summer and Zane McCourtney with their 13 children are going through a difficult season in their lives.  We have know Summer and Zane for many years and till now their hearts and lifes were forever going to be in Uganda.  However, God has a way of changing things and so I have copied a part of their blog post to our blog so you can see what is going on.  If you would like to keep up to date with their progress to move back to the US then you can visit them at  please pray for them with regards to their adopted children.  They are working through the minefield of officials and government offices in two countries so that the family can live all together in the States.  This is a complicated process and, as far as we know, has never been done before.  Thankfully we serve a Heavenly Father who has all the keys to make it work.  I leave you with their blogpost from 23/7/12 to give you a bit of a insight into the situation.  If you think of them please pray!

What I can share.

What I can share..."this was not the plan." Summer being in Oregon while Zane and eleven of our thirteen children remain behind in Northern, Uganda. What we thought would be a short term separation has turned into something much more. The Lord has not revealed all of the details, but we would ask for your prayers and intercession. Mountains, huge mountains, are going to need to be moved. The cattle on a thousand hills that God speaks of in Psalm 50:10...well, he just might have to sell about 100 head.

What I can share...hearts will need to be soft towards our families unique situation, from the High Court Judge to the children's living relatives.

What I can was determined, through a series of new blood tests, that Summer does indeed have Lyme's Disease as well as Vitamin D deficiency. There is also suspicion that she is still being plagued by parasites. Right now she is taking two different antibiotics and high doses of vitamin D. Side effects are common. In three weeks time Summer will return to the Naturopath for yet another drug to be introduced, this one is meant to target the Lyme's Disease spirochetes. Would you please pray for Summer's body, she is very weak and frail.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Back to normal....what is that?

After a busy two weeks in Scotland visiting with family, friends and some supporters I am now back in Uganda.  It was good to see people and touch base with our home church at Wester Hailes Baptist church.  Thanks to all of you who made Joshua, Zara and I most welcome and who continue to be interested in our life and work with MAF in Uganda.

Joshua and Zara enjoyed their time in Scotland and were, of course, enjoying the delights of many things that came their way including being spoiled by Granny, Aunties, Uncles and the list goes on.  One thing they really enjoyed was to go out on the street and play on their bikes with friends they have made over the years when we have been on furlough.  Not having to specially arrange play dates but having the freedom just to go out was fun for them.  It was also fun for me because I didn't have to organise the logistics of the play dates either :) 

Thankfully Simon took a week off on our return and it has been great catching up with him since we were gone for two weeks and a couple of weeks prior to that it seemed like he was more in the sky than at home.  Thankfully these times pass and things settle back into a normal routine.  Joshua and Zara have just over a week of holidays left before the new school term starts.  I picked up new school uniforms for them today and the school is abuzz with preparations for the new term.  I was just wondering how all the construction projects that are underway will be finished on time.  However, there is nothing like the pressure of time to get a job done. :)

The first week of September I will be heading to Nairobi again for some meetings with MMCT (Mobile Member Care Team).  If you are wondering what MMCT does then the following statement from their website says it very well.

The Mobile Member Care Team (MMCT) is a  multidisciplinary, inter-mission team whose name says it all:  We provide a range of MEMBER CARE services like training workshops, consultations, brief counseling, psychological assessents and crisis response for missionaries.  And we're MOBILE, providing these services right where misionaries live and work. 
Proactive, compassionate member care like the kind provided by MMCT can build resilence among missionaries, prevent burnout and promote the resolution of team, interpersonal and marriage conflicts.  MMCT's services can also help missionaries remain in effective service when they pass through crises like civil war, kidnappings, car jackings, armed robberies, assault and other traumatic events.
Our staff, all missionaries themselves, have backgrounds in personnel development, counseling, pastoral care, training and leadership in cross-cultural settings.  Strengthening the missionary community for healthy, loving service in the midst of challenge, change and crisis is our passion. 

I  have had the privilege of being on MMCT East African Advisory Board for the past year and have been asked to be on it again.  This is a great honour and blessing to work with some very special people.  We will be planning for the future which will include when and where to host various training courses like SYIS (Sharpening your Interpersonal Skills) and MCMC (Member Care while Managing Crisis), looking at what was achieved in the last year and brainstorming new ideas for the future.  Pray for us as a team that we would be obedient to what God has called us and MMCT EA to for this new year and that hearts, souls and minds would continue to be touched through this ministry.

Thank you for your continued support of  our family as we serve Him in Uganda.  It has been an amazing 10+ years and we look forward to continued service with MAF and partner organisations.  If you or your Church would like to know more about us and what we do then please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions at or

A week in the life of a MAF Pilot - Simon

A few months ago Simon was asked to write up, for MAF, how a day shapes up for him in the Uganda program.  He actually wrote up how a week can turn out.  This story was to give supporters and MAF enthusiasts a clue as to what happens on the field.  The following story was published in the Life and Work magazine of which I had hoped to copy and paste in our blog but was unsuccessful.  For those who are on our blog notification list you will have received the Life and Work edition to your personal email account.  However, for those not on our blog notification list I found Simon's first copy of it and have posted it for you.....enjoy the read!

Where do you sweat in 50°C temperatures without actually sweating whilst easily drinking 6 litres a day? Sudan in the dry season! I just recently spent a week with AidSudan (now Every Village) to install their satellite dishes for live radio broadcasting.

Meeting Kerry, Kerrie-Jean and Wayne early Monday morning at MAF’s home base in Kajjansi I first did a detailed pre-flight inspection before loading up 1050 kilos of hardware, tools, food stuff, medicines and bags. Every remaining kilo was used up by fuel. Weighing just over 4 tons we took off into the calm morning skies. A quick stop after 1.5 hours flight in Arua (northern Uganda) to do immigration and refuel and the same again after 2.5 hours flight on the other side of the border in Wau (South Sudan) brought us to Malualkan after just another quick 30 minute hop. Steve who works with “Kush for Christ” was waiting for us on arrival there.

A short ½ hour drive took us to their compound on which the radio mast and studio are built. We immediately went to work running electricity out to the dish and connecting the computer and the receiver. Our techie Wayne had come all the way from Canada to assist AidSudan to get a signal lock on the satellite to enable live streaming from Texas where AidSudan is headquartered. After some trial and error things were looking good with the satellite locked on and receiving a good signal but we still couldn’t get the music streaming. Kerry phoned Canada to get advice from the company’s help desk and we soon found out that despite being told that all settings were preset they were not the settings that were required. So we continued fiddling with settings until we were all hungrily summoned to dinner. It was a lively dinner catching up with the Kush for Christ folks and having a laugh and a muck-around with the kids who were soooo excited to have visitors. After dinner we returned to the site to start cementing a 1.5 m pad for the dish which had up until now been sitting on the sandy ground. Just before 10 pm we finally finished mixing and shoveling cement and after a refreshing shower dropped into bed and a fitful sleep. In the morning we bolted the sat dish to the pad, reconfigured the settings and when we had done as much as we could do we repacked everything, loaded the car and said good-bye to our wonderful hosts.

Before loading up the plane we enjoyed a quick lunch of goat stew and chapati at the local market. A short flight of 40 minutes found us landing in Tonj. There “In Deed and Truth” run a hospital and a radio transmitter is soon to become part of that ministry. Just after we arrived at the hospital we witnessed an intake of patients with bullet wounds from nearby cattle rustling. Sadly this is all too common. As the beds were full the doctors were performing surgery outside on the cement walks.  We then spent the rest of the day assembling the sat dish before heading off to dinner and an early bed. The next day we did the same as in Malualkon – bolting the sat dish to a stable base, locking on to the satellite and trying to get the streamer to work (again without luck). Just before dinner we had everything set up. At 5 am in the morning we visited the site because of high winds from a near-by storm. Despite our fear of finding the sat dish gone everything was where we’d installed it. After a few more hours rest we again were in the ambulance driving out to the airstrip to load the plane.

We left Kerrie-Jean, a bunch of equipment, medicines and food stuff in Tonj. Kerrie-Jean is a nurse and is currently spending a month helping out at the hospital before returning with the next flight back to Uganda. From Tonj we flew to Rumbek to load up on fuel before continuing to Nasir, the third radio transmitter site. In Nasir we had to wait some time before two donkey carts showed up to carry all our equipment. From the airstrip we walked about 45 minutes to the AidSudan compound where we set up our camp. From there it was another half hour walk to the radio transmitter. We got there only to find that the preparation work had been done but needed improved. I immediately got to work bracing the base tower on which the sat dish was to stand and then proceeded to bolt down the dish while Wayne ran all the cabling into the generator house and transmitter room. Kerry started measuring out and marking the boundary of the new compound which is now being built around the radio station. Night came too soon and by torch light we finished the set-up and were overjoyed when we even got the first live stream working. Sadly we were missing a connector to hook everything up to the radio tower for broadcasting but that will be a small thing to do on the next trip. Completely worn out we walked back to our camp where our cold dinner of beans and rice was waiting. A quick wash out of a 20 liter jerry can helped wash away a bit of the dirt and grime before I crawled under my mosquito net and fell asleep on a mattress sitting on 16 radio receivers boxes we had flown up on a previous trip and are awaiting to be distributed to the local population through the local church

In the morning the donkey cart showed up on time and before long we were again sweating whilst loading the plane for the last time. But we were soon able to cool down at our cruising altitude of 12500 feet for the 3.5 hour flight back to Entebbe.

Once running these radios will transmit God’s Word and Biblical teaching in the local Luer language into the heart of the community. Local broadcasting is already happening in Malualkon and eternity will tell the story of how many lives will be changed through this work and ministry.

Once again it’s been an amazing privilege to have a window of opportunity to experience, see and help one of our many partners in their work in Sudan. Despite all the problems and bad press coming from the newest country on this planet  - South Sudan – God is at work transforming lives and communities.  Would you commit to pray for South Sudan and for MAF as we partner with other organisations like AidSudan in order to tell the lost and the needy about Christ?


MAF Pilot
(To find out more about the work of MAF across the developing world, please visit