Tuesday, November 5, 2013


A few days before we left to come back to Uganda, a man, I will keep him anonymous, prayed for me (over the phone) that God would keep me weak, so that His strength would sustain me, and not mine.  I’ve never had someone do that before.  When I first heard the words come out of his mouth, I wasn’t at all shocked.  After all, scripture is clear that “When we are weak, He is strong.”  But something about that prayer has stuck with me, something that continues to cover me as we get back into the swing of things here in Kampala. 

So we are officially into year two of this great adventure.  Year one, as most of you already know, was full of great challenges and amazing joys, and everything in between.   Wendy and I are forever grateful for all the prayers and support thus far! So what does year two have in store?  What are the plans that God has for Friday Night Church?  We continue to tell people that we really don’t know what we’re doing, but that God does, so we continue to put our trust and lean on Him for our way forward. 

One of the fist things we feel we need to do before we take any more steps forward is to solidify the FNC team.  During year one, God assembled many volunteers, some even developing into full time and part time paid staff.  Now we want to see who really is “on the bus” and who is “slashing the tires”.  In other words, who is called to minister at FNC and who is not.  After we figure out who is on the bus, then it’s time to get everyone in the right seat, according to their passions and gifting. 

I wanted to leave you with pictures from our November 1st “Fire Place” FNC’s monthly large gathering.  Thank you again for all the love and support you all showed us while we were back in the States! 

FNC Family

Todd, preaching the Word

Worshiper @ FNC

The FNC band

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


To pursue something or someone is to go after it or them with a reckless abandon of your own needs and wants for their betterment…that is my own personal definition of pursuit.

Everyone wants to feel pursued.  It is a fact of life that if you breath then you need pursued.  You may have times when it is stronger than other feelings in your life but it is still there waiting to creep up to the surface again.  Whether you are a child looking for friends, a teenager looking for your parents’ approval or involvement, or a spouse looking for attention or affection.  Whether you are a church leader, looking to your congregation for approval and support; or looking to your boss for the next advancement.  We all look and long to be pursued daily and sometimes in the right people and sometimes not. 

One thing we want to do while here in Uganda is pursue people in the loving name of Jesus, not in a strange stalker kind of way.  But it is our desire for people to feel longed for and wanted.  There are too many people in these communities and around the world, that feel like God has abandoned them a long time ago and they are on their own.  We desire to change their minds by pursuing them and helping them feel wanted.  We are trying our hardest to be a church where everyone is welcome and wanted.  Where you don’t have to be in your Sunday’s best, but you come as you are.  Where you don’t have to have all the answers to life and life’s issues, but you come and seek God’s love and keep breathing and moving forward. 

Friday Night Church has recently started a men’s and women's group for the desire of helping people learn about the love of God and how he can be the center of their lives.  So, how do you show people God’s love and that he pursues them daily?

We had a group here a few weeks ago from our home church (Ben, Ethan and Christie), I asked them to bring some specific clothes to help a family in need who’s a part of FNC.  Charles is a special man, he is married and has 4 precious kids.  His kids come to Joy Club (our Wednesday after school program) and his wife and him come for The Fireplace (monthly large gathering).  We had the privilege of taking 2 tubs of clothes; shoes, hats, just basic necessities of clothes to them for their kids.  I cannot tell you the impact it had on us as a family, but as the group from the States can tell you it was awesome.  One thing that really hit me though through this divine intervention was that they felt pursued through that meeting.  Charles led us in a prayer after we gifted them with the clothes and the first words out of his humble mouth were, “Lord who am I?”  I think we all just sat there dumbfounded at this man’s humble prayer not knowing how to process this thought. 

So, who are we?  Do we think of ourselves more highly than we ought?  Or do we humble ourselves before the Lord daily, offering our lives in sacrifice for His service?  We are all guilty of waiting for someone to pursue us, but what if we just think for a second that we should be pursuing others not waiting to be pursued.  What does that change in our view of being pursued?  Does it change anything for us?  Do we still long for that “feeling” that we need to be wanted or needed, or can we change that about ourselves?

I am not perfect in this area of life, marriage, parenting, or being a child of God, but I trust God that I don’t have to be perfect in this area.  That He pursues a relationship with me and I with Him and that’s all that matters.  My prayer is that we can keep pursuing the broken and beaten here in Kampala to know that they are desired and loved by the Father of us all.

Thank you for partnering with us!

In His loving embrace,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


My sincere apologies for taking a bit longer in putting together this latest blog.  The month of June was filled with extra opportunities for ministry here in Kampala.  Some of them, onetime events, while others have opened doors for a more consistent partnership in the gospel. 

We had our monthly events, including “The Fire Place”, which focus for the month was “Unity”.  It seems that even here in Uganda division amongst people, not excluding those that are churched, is alive and well.  Some things in life are truly global.  Jesus’ life example wreaked of unity.  In fact, one of Jesus’ last prayers to the Father, recorded in John 17, was that we as the church would be one, and that we would be one with Him.  Jesus knew what was to come.  He knew one of Satan’s largest means of attack, was the never ceasing virus of division.  Jesus is still praying that prayer for us today.  

God is truly stretching me in ways I never knew I could be stretched.  Loving and accepting those that seem at the time, to be unlovable is one of the many areas in my life God has chosen to challenge me as of late.  Some of these people are even those I work hand in hand with on a weekly basis.  It’s difficult for me to look past the obvious flaws of a co-worker in the Gospel, and not allow it take a toll on how I treat and interact with them.   But I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and I am certain that others feel the same challenge regarding me.  God is slowly by slowly changing my heart in this area, but I imagine this struggle will far outlive my lifetime.  Thank God for His never-ending grace.   It seems this past month’s FNC theme of unity was written for me. 


I was asked to give an update on 2 things, Joel and JCI.  For a few months, we have gotten to know Joel (one of our neighbors directly outside the FNC gate).  Everyday when we pull up to come to school, he is there with his brother and sister waving and yelling “bye-bye” to us.   We have fallen in love with all of the neighborhood kids who love us just because…and Joel has a special place now in our hearts forever.  As much as we would want to pick him up at Joy Club or during the week, we couldn’t because it hurt his stomach and he would cry or grimace.  So, I finally decided enough is enough even if we have to pay for him to get better ourselves, let’s pursue it.  I thought it might be worms or parasites that needed some meds, but it was a surgical problem (umbilical hernia) that many kids need done here.  His though was causing his growth to be extremely stunted (he is almost 5 but looks as though he is 2) and causing his body lots of daily digestion pain also.  So we posted a few pics along with an explanation on facebook and within minutes had over and above the amount we needed for his surgery to take place.  So 2 weeks ago, he went in for the surgery and it was a huge success.  It has been hard to see him just laying around not able to do much, but these past few days has been wonderful to see him up and walking, laughing and playing again.  He still has a bandage on that will get removed Monday, but he has healed beautifully from the surgery and will make a full recovery.  Todd has been talking of unity within the church lately and to me this spoke volumes to me personally.  How much of an impact we as a global church can make together.  Yes, we are here in a third world country being the “hands and feet” in a very literal way of your money you send us, but without you we would be able to do nothing; even more without Jesus it’s all for nothing!  So, for those of you few who donated please feel proud that you changed this boy’s life forever and please continue to pray that they continue to learn and grow in their relationship with Jesus, because that’s what it’s all about. 

Now, Joy Club International-if you haven’t been following or are new to our blog is our every Wednesday after school club for kids; it is for ages 3-grade 5.  Currently, because kids are back at boarding school we have been running around 130, which has been a great number for us to learn and continue to train our volunteers.  We are fully expecting that number to climb in September when there is a month long break from schools.  I want to share with you some of the details about what the kids are learning and doing at JCI in the hope you can understand and start praying for their spiritual development in this area.

 First of all, Pat Henry and Linda Luthy (from our home church) generously donated 2 years worth of curriculum to start off our JCI, a huge thank you again; along with craft and art supplies for the first 6 months…wow!  We are currently on the 5th lesson (out of 13) of the first set of material, which is called “Friendship First” by Group.  So far, the kids have learned that Jesus wants to be our best friend, Jesus shows us how to be a friend, Jesus accepts us, and that Jesus is kind.  We started out doing one lesson over 2 weeks but quickly realized we were too rushed so now we are taking a month for one lesson.  This month we will be talking about Jesus listening to the children, and focusing on how to be a good listener and friend.  Our goal is for the kids to fully understand the lesson and concepts and show them ways of putting these simple truths into action.  We all feel like they are responding very well to these lessons and slowly letting the gospel penetrate their everyday lives. 

The kids at JCI have enjoyed the music so much as we are doing Hillsong kids with lots of motions.  They have enjoyed our snack time every week of popcorn and juice, which is such a treat for all of them!  They also have a group time where they talk through the lesson and answer questions together as a group, and also pray for each other and share about their lives.  I think what some love the most is craft time.  This is such a time of creativity that they just don’t have the luxury of doing at home or school or even at church.  It’s amazing to me how much they have just enjoyed coloring or drawing because they don’t get to very often.  Some are such wonderful little artists that is just amazes us every time we see what they can draw.  So without your donations this would not be happening period.  

You are literally changing the neighborhood in the slums of Bukoto/Kamoga as we speak because not just one or two kids are learning about Jesus, but whole families are coming to know more about God because of JCI.  We are blown away every week at how many kids and families come to our little base camp for JCI; hopefully someday you will be blessed and be a part of this physically with us.  Please continue to pray for JCI and the impact on the community, help us to show Jesus through our actions and words, and pray for our volunteers!  

Finally, please pray for our last 9 weeks of homeschooling.  This has been quite an adventure in this area over the last year and we are so happy to be in our final stretch.  The girls are feeling more confident, adjusted, and eager to continue with homeschooling in the future.   We are blessed to have you partnering with us and hope you will continue to pray for all of our continued health, physical & emotional well-being, and spiritual steadfastness!



Friday, May 31, 2013


The month of May has been a whirlwind, so much I completely forgot Mothers day.  I walked in the kitchen after a short flight back from Nairobi, Kenya where the FNC band had it’s first ever “mission trip” to a foreign land, and my little Annie bluntly said, “Dad, did you remember it was Mothers day?”  I can’t remember a time where I had completely forgotten about such a holiday.  Now in the past, Wendy (and the girls) have on occasion diagnosed me with selected memory, but this time, I have to confess, was different.  In the states, there is no such calendar needed to tell you what holiday is coming next.  Just turn on your TV or go shopping and right away you are prepared for the up coming events, but not so much here in Uganda.  Can I tell you, I saw not one commercial or advertisement that even hinted Mothers day.  Needless to say, I now have an old-fashioned calendar hanging beside me in my office.  


Before we traveled to Nairobi, FNC and UCF combined held a worship event in the brand new UCF auditorium; it was definitely a night to remember.  More than 1200 students and family members were in attendance, with many coming forward for prayer.  Some of the songs sung that evening were, 10,000 reasons (Matt Redman), How He Loves (John Mark McMillan), and I Will Follow (Chris Tomlin). 

The Fireplace (FNC’s monthly Friday night worship event) held it’s third service as well, during the month of May.   The focus of the evening was “Forgiveness”.  In prior services, we went for the sky, hiring and borrowing other sound equipment, lighting etc.  But this time, we wanted to see what would happened if we just stripped it all down, simplifying all aspects, and seeing what God would do with what WE had and not what we didn’t have… After the evening was complete, people didn’t want to leave. Not because they wanted to hear one more song, and not because they wanted to just hang out.  I believe people were actually touched by God that night.  The stories of forgiveness that were told the following week as we debriefed as a staff were amazing.  God did His work and dwelled among us that evening. 

JCI (Joy Club International) continues to be a success with the children and families that surround our FNC campus here in Kampala.  Last week we had a new record of over 180 children, and with volunteers included in the count, the number well exceeded 200.  Each week, after the children have gone home, we quickly circle the wagons and discuss the highs and the lows of the evening.  The one comment that continues to repeat itself is, “How can we do more for these kids?”  Such an encouraging question from the volunteers, when you as a leader just hope your volunteers will just show up!  But showing up or sticking around isn’t a concern here.   In our last meeting, Wendy and I pleaded for the volunteers to be patient with us, that their ideas of medical assistance, school supplies, a bag of rice to send home, etc. are all things we need to address, and in time we will do so, Lord willing and providing.  The needs here are overwhelming.  Most of you, including me, reading this will go to sleep tonight with your bellies full, a roof over your head and your bodies clean.  Most of these children will not, this is not a “tug at your heart strings sort of plea” it is simply reality here in our little community.  If you want to help, then do it.  Take action.  Go to our DONATION PAGE, and make a contribution, or send a check to our PO BOX in the states.  Or even better, send Wendy or I an email or FACEBOOK message telling us you want to support the Joy Club Int. ministry.  No donation is too small and the impact your money makes is real.  And if your one of those givers (like me) that would like to be specific with your gift, I can assure you that 100% of your dollars will go directly to your specification. 

Prayer Requests:

1.  That God continues to bless FNC with provision...We are in need of several more monthly supporters.  This mission is growing, and with growth comes extra expense.  Please prayerfully consider becoming a monthly partner. 

2.   That God provides more volunteers for JCI or Joy Club Int. 

3.  That the leadership of FNC continues to look to God for our next step.

4.  Continued good health for the Gilliland family.


Sunday, April 21, 2013


Last Wednesday, the 17th was both bitter and sweet.   On the sweet side of things, we celebrated exactly 6 months in Africa; we are thankful for God’s protection and provision…but on the same day, mom and dad left us to go back to the States.  I’ve underestimated several things while being here, but missing my folks was one that hit me, and the girls rather hard.  If I had to be completely honest, before Nana and Papa arrived, we were all doing rather well, adjusting to our new surroundings and all that the Ugandan culture throws at you.  Their stay was so good for us, and encouraged us a great deal.  We were able to share our daily lives with those that are closest to us.  Seems like we did so much…2nd FNC (The Fire Place) worship service, the first Joy Club International (they were also here for the 2nd), Emma was baptized into Christ in the Nile River, 2 UCF church services, etc… Their visit went fast, and before we all knew it, they were jumping aboard the plane to head for home.  We’re going to survive, with God’s help we will move forward once again.  As time moves on, we will get used to seeing people we love come and go.  I guess the first time for anything can be at times challenging.  But I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to saying goodbye.  Dad has always said he hates goodbyes, and that he’s not real good at them…I think I’m turning into my dad.     

Friday Night Church held its second worship service this past month, the theme for the evening was “Becoming Real”.  Some of you might have caught our invitation online as we sent it out via Facebook and Twitter.  The highlight of the night was a girl named Angel.  Angel has been involved at FNC from the beginning and UCF (University Community Fellowship) for several years now.  Angel has quite a story, and after hearing it, I asked her if she would be comfortable sharing it with all of us at FNC.  You see, Angel has a few scars, not just the internal scars that come from life, but also a large scar on the topside of her body.  When Angel was just 6 years old, she was trying to blow out a large candle, when the candle accidently fell and burnt part of her face, neck and arms.  Angel is now more than 25 years old, and has lived with her scars for over two decades.  The trials she has faced because of her scars are too many to count.  Now here’s the craziest part of the story…NO ONE, yes, no one (not even ME) had ever taken the time to ask Angel about what had happened to her.   We all just assumed it was something she wasn’t comfortable talking about, so we just ignored what was in plain sight.  You should see Angel today…not that she’s completely a different girl, after all, she had already come to know Jesus.  But it seems her confidence has soared since she shared her story with all of us.  If only we could all be so brave…

I’ve ask Wendy to share a bit regarding Joy Club International...enjoy!

Joy Club International has started in full force for ages 3 through grade 5.  We started with around 65 kids and last week had over 90 kids; we are anticipating more every week as word of mouth spreads this awesome ministry.  We have a fantastic group of 12 volunteers that have partnered with us every week at FNC to lead the kids in worship, crafts, snacks, games, and lesson times.  Please look on Facebook for some videos and pictures posted (on Wendy’s).  The kids have especially loved our music and worship time, really getting into the motions and dancing around.  Words are not sufficient for the supplies that were sent for us to get started with this endeavor, but thank you to all who donated and took time to think of us.  It has given us a great jump-start into what we think will be a huge impact on the community surrounding FNC.  Please continue to pray for kids to keep coming and growing in their friendship with Jesus and for our volunteers to stay focused on the task at hand.  Our hope is that FNC will be a place for families to come and learn and grow together in their relationship and knowledge of Jesus!  Thank you for your continued financial, emotional, and prayerful support.  ~Wendy

Earlier I shared how difficult it was to say goodbye, and though this is true, we would love to have to say goodbye to many more to come.  So please, if you are considering coming to the Motherland and paying us a visit and seeing what God is doing here amongst us, can I ask you to do so.  We have a guesthouse and plenty of exciting things for one to do.  Your investment won’t be wasted.    

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Friday Night Church officially opened it’s doors on March the 1st.  The band and staff worked tirelessly for 2 solid months and the worked really showed.  God took care of all the things we couldn’t, and then some.  Over 300 men, women and children were in attendance…thank you God for your provision!  Most of you reading this here in Uganda and abroad, had a huge impact.  I want to express my thanks and gratitude for your faithfulness and willingness to pray for FNC, and also for providing your time, talents and financial gifts towards God’s work here in Uganda.   But this wasn’t just a one-time event, it a beginning to something that God is continuing to mold.  And not only is He molding this ministry, he is in fact molding each one of us for His glory.

Emma, Annie and Lucy are doing so well…their new home schooling venture continues to be a success.  I know lot’s of people were praying that God would provide a safe and fulfilling environment for the girls’ studies, just so you know, your prayers didn’t fall on deaf ears.  In fact, other students and parents have caught wind of our program and plan on joining us soon!  Who knows what God has up his sleeve…

Wendy had her first Joy Club International volunteer meeting this past Wednesday and twelve people attended!   We were both overwhelmed with the response and dedication towards a ministry that hasn’t even begun.  Thanks to Cornerstone Christian Church, our first months of curriculum are covered, BUT, we are in need of supplies and snacks for the children.  Now, I know that many are wanting to send supplies, and for that we are grateful, but please take in mind the shipping costs.  Most of the times, we have found that the shipping costs are as much or more than the items that are being sent.  That said, some items are hard to come by here in Uganda, for example construction paper…I know, sounds silly that a simple product would be so challenging to get your hands on.  To help those that would want to donate to JCI, Wendy is putting together a list and a budget for the items and snacks that we will need.  Wendy or myself will post the list, and how you can donate, here on the blog and on facebook.   I don’t expect this to be a perfect solution, but every little bit helps! 

 So we’ve been in Africa now for a little over 5 months…it seems we learn something and/or meet someone new everyday.   But the honeymoon is quickly fading, and the “real work” of ministry is now upon us.  For anyone who has ever embarked on a new journey or started something a fresh, I’m sure my words are not foreign.  For me, I’m glad the newness is wearing off and the challenges are piling up.  Let me assure you the challenges though they are hard, allow me to stop and pause and ask God for His wisdom…this has been a good lesson and discipline for me.  The church is full of personalities that sometimes don’t see eye to eye, some one say “Welcome to ministry”.  But, instead of ignoring it, let’s talk about it, not running but walking hand in hand through life’s most difficult challenges.  I’ve never felt more alive in my life serving God’s people here in Uganda.   Thank you for those that are helping us stay here, your gifts continue to provide for so much! 

Thursday, February 28, 2013


It's the day before the official launch of Friday Night Church...the team is tired, but we are pushing on.  We've done all we can do, and now it's time to see what God is going to do.  Sitting here at the FNC base camp, thinking about how we got to this point in just 4 and a half months is nothing short of amazing.  The only logic I have come up with from my finite brain is that the harvest is extremely ripe here in Bukoto/Kamwokya, (a suburb here in Kampala).

We had our final "dress" rehearsal last night, and honestly felt like we were having the real service.  People from the community began to just show up.  Alfred, our security guard, told me people wanted to come in and that he had been holding them back.  I quickly told him to PLEASE let them come, and come they did!  Children of all ages, parents, college age, and even some of our elderly came out to see what all the noise was about.  God was good, we had not one complaint...but that's what happens when you get outside your walls and begin to know your community first.  You see, since we entered our base camp we have been developing bonds with our immediate neighbors.  One gentleman by the name of William has been one to love on our team in a fatherly or grandfatherly sort of way.  His cousin is our land lord, so I was introduced to William right away.  William is an amazing person, and  loves the Lord.  He and I share with one another at least once week on Williams small but pleasant veranda.  His home sits just to the west of our gate, so I see him and we greet each other just about everyday.  William is somewhere around 70 years and struggles with Parkinson's.  His hands shake violently, but his warm smile and heart never falter.  William owns most of the land around us, he is a proud Ugandan, in a good sense of course.  We plan to travel to his village in May...one of his daughters is getting married and he wants me to attend.  I was honored and will for sure be with William in May, Lord willing.  Did I mention there were children that entered our base camp last night?

God planted Friday Night Church in the midst of more than 500 children...seriously, you wouldn't believe how many kids from ages 1 to 12 years surround our base camp in just a 50 yard radius!  Now there are some things in life you should definitely pray over before acting on, and then there are others. If you have a neighbor in need, or about 500 of them, and you can help meet that need, then you'd better act.  Some of us need to open our eyes, get off our knees and look around.  Friday Night Church has introduced and is soon to announce to our community a new ministry that will specifically target children.  This ministry will meet on Wednesdays after school for two hours here at the FNC Base Camp.  God has given us plenty of space, and we intend to use it all as much as we can.  The name of this ministry will be called Joy Club International or JCI for short.  The name and idea of Joy Club originated several years from our good friend and mentor Pat Henry.  Pat saw the need in her hometown of Mt Sterling, IL and acted upon it.  Joy Club still remains as one of the the most influential children's ministries in the area.  So with Pat's blessing, via facebook and email, we have decided to use the name (adding the I for international) and basic concepts, while adapting it to Uganda.  And if last nights turn out was any indication of how many kids will show up, we are in serious need of even more space and volunteers!  But I know God will certainly provide...  

So that's about it for now...the girls are doing so well, they are adapting to this amazing place.  Wendy couldn't be happier, but her plate has gotten more full these past several weeks.  JCI is her ministry, we do it together, but I know she is the one leading out on this one, and I'm grateful for that!  PLEASE keep our family in your daily prayers, for our continued good health and steadfastness.  Blessings...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Hello to all!

Wanted to quickly post some updated contact info for us (The Gilliland's) and Friday Night Church.

Our new Ugandan PO BOX address is:  

Todd Gilliland
PO BOX 75632
Kampala, Uganda

(Please continue to use our US PO Box for monetary donations)

Phone Contacts:

FNC Base Camp:

Todd's cell:

Wendy's cell:


Friday Night Church
The Kissing Well



Monday, January 28, 2013


God, I'm not sure what you have in store for this place, Your plans are just that, YOUR PLANS.  Kids are playing all around, you can hear their innocent little voices, one is now crying out to momma.  A rooster crows near by, and someone has just knocked on the gate to come in.  Mornings in Kampala are  special, dusty, but special.  When the sun comes, you are welcomed by Africa.

I'm re-reading a book I purchased a while back called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".  Donald Miller, most famous for his book, "Blue Like Jazz", says, "That it's hard for a person to write great stories when they are living one."  Not sure if that's my excuse for not writing lately, but I'm wondering if there is some truth Don has uncovered.  He also goes on to say that, "People need to be forced into a good story, something needs to happen to change their current course or story." For example, getting fired from or quitting your job, selling your house, a death of a loved one, a life threatening accident, your parents divorcing, the list is endless.  Which brings me to a question I would like to propose on those that care to read this blog...What are you living for?  Seriously, what makes you get up in the mornings and do what you do?  Is it a mortgage, car payment, school loans, pressure from society, your kids, your spouse, that next vacation or holiday, (and by the way, none of these are bad things to get up for).  But I ask you, what story are you living, is it boring, or is it one that would make an amazing movie?  Think about it...most of us live for stuff, really, at the end of the day, what have we accomplished?  Donald Miller writes, "Imagine going to see a movie about a guy that has a house, drives a Volvo, wife, two kids, goes to work M-F, works for the weekends, goes to church then gets older, has grand kids, gets cancer then dies.  Honestly, what kind of movie or story would that be?  Don't know about you but I would ask for a refund.  But this is exactly the kind of stories most of us tend to live.  What makes a great movie or story? risk, tension, faith, the unknown, passion, determination, fight?  All the above.  Yet most of us are content with driving a Volvo.  

Now, I can't tell you how much I would love some normalcy, things to be even remotely predictable for  even one day.  Maybe in chapter 2 God will write a few normal paragraphs for us, but for now we continue to trust.

Wendy was asked to teach Kindergarten (the same school the girls go to) on a Saturday, and started on the following Monday.  Can you say, predictable?  She loves it.  It's definitely had its challenges, but God has led her through them.  Oh, and the girls are doing so well.  Our days begin before sun up, around 5:15 am, and are out the door by 7:05 for the 20-30 minute commute, depending on the "jam" (that's traffic for all those who want to know).  Can you believe that I am the first one up...trust me, it's something that still surprises me and WENDY!  Lucy found a friend named Dawn.  I asked her this morning what she liked most about Dawn and she replied, "She is still black." (Have no idea where this came from, but she had just woken up.) Yes, Lucy is getting crazier and funnier with each passing day.  Emma is growing up in front of our eyes, she's beginning to be a real young lady...and responsible!  Don't know where she gets it.  Annie continues to be miss fashion, adapting her style to the Ugandan culture...her room is the cleanest and most organized, even more than mom and dads.

FNC Base Camp is looking AMAZING!  You all should see it for yourselves...you would be proud!  The paint is almost complete, and some new desks and chairs have been purchased and are in place.  The recording/rehearsal room (the blue room) has found a partner and has agreed to help us with the equipment part of things until we can afford to attain our own.  Just last week I posted on Facebook that FNC had it's first decision for Christ right outside my office window.  And the best part, I had nothing to do with it!  Martha, our new admin, shared with me the news that our painter, Pastor Dan, (yes he really is a Pastor at a near by church) struck up a friendly conversation with the gentleman that served the staff lunch earlier in the day, and before he was done, he asked Jesus to come into his heart.  Honestly, I am in awe of the work that God is doing, even today as we are just moving into our

Some prayer requests I want to ask you all for...

1.  God would make MARCH 1st (our first FNC Night) what He intends for it to be.  That those who need to be there, will be there.

2.  Continued health, physically and spiritually for The Gilliland's

3.  Provision for FNC rent and salaries.  Rent is $400/mo, Salaries are $800/mo

4.  Wisdom for FNC, that God would make his perfect will clear to the leadership.

Thanks once again for all the prayers and support, they really do help and go a long way here in such a far away place.  For the readers that took my earlier paragraph regarding "story" offensive, please accept my apologies in advance.  My heart desires people to live the life that God desires, a life that is full, a life that Jesus calls us to.  God's story is amazing, the best story lived in history, a story that is still told even after 2000 years, a story that continues to be lived through His people, a story that saves.  When Jesus returns and the lights come up, I want to see my name listed as the credits roll.

For UPDATED PICS of the BASE CAMP and FNC Band...please visit out PICS page.



Friday, January 4, 2013


God is moving and the ride seems to be getting faster and faster.  We have certainly had our challenges with many more to come, but when God decides to move, He moves, and nothing can stop His amazing will.  In just over two and a half months, God has blessed us with not only a house, but now He has decided to bless us once again with a Base Camp for Friday Night Church!  I'll have to admit, with the budget we were starting with, I really thought we were only going to be able to afford a small rehearsal room or office, and for that I would have been most satisfied.  But when God moves, He not only moves, He provides!

Bethel Christian Academy is a small, but growing school of 65-70 students strong.  So strong they are having to move into a larger facility.  Reba Rwothumio, Micah Rwothumio's daughter, (my long time friend and Pastor of UCF) had been attending this school for more than a year.  Emma, Annie and Lucy were invited to come and visit the school the last few days of the term back in December.  The last day they were there, the school performed their annual Christmas play/musical with all the parents in attendance.  It was a blast, and for the first time since we left the states, I sensed a small slice of normal.  During the play I leaned over to Micah and asked how much this place would cost to lease, all the time thinking the property would be way over our meager budget, not to mention it probably not being available.  Micah said, "Probably around a million shillings or so per month", which is around $400.  I'm not sure if Micah saw my eyes, but they for sure got bigger.

Two days went by before I got up the nerve to go and meet with Miss Esta, the principal and director of Bethel Christian Academy.  She was happy to talk with me and even called the landlord of the property before we were finished.  I wasn't shocked to hear that 7 other people had called regarding the compound, but something still told me not to give up.  Then Miss Esta revealed to me what they were paying in rent...one million shillings!  I just about hit the floor, the exact number that Micah had guessed.  Honestly, this property is worth three times that, and maybe more...but we were a long way off, or it least I thought, from getting this compound.  Miss Esta gave us the landlords number and told us to call him, that he was waiting for our call.

Godwin's has been my friend and right hand man since we arrived.  Our relationship began up country back in April of this year, when Micah decided I needed to see the "REAL UGANDA".  We had discussed going to see the wild kingdom many times over the years, but I guess this time Micah ran out of patience.  Godwin's or Gody, was a last minute addition to the trip, and boy I'm glad that he joined us.  Gody is coming to 30 years and was recently married to a wonderful Kenyan lady named Nancy...we love Nancy and we love her smile...Gody certainly married UP!

So I asked Gody to call and set up a meeting with the Landlord.  Gody is the one that found and negotiated the deal for our home.  After meeting with the owner, Gody not only got us the property, but negotiated the rate at 1.1 million shillings!  Just 35 dollars over what the school was paying!  The Landlord knows Jesus, and he knows that Jesus will be shared in his property.  Though he didn't say it, I think that's why he chose us over the rest.  God bless this man.

So that's the story of how God gave us this compound...honestly, words or even pictures can't describe how amazing this new campus is.  It's HUGE, with way more space than we ever imagined having at this point in the ministry, and the location couldn't be more perfect.  Just a 12 minute drive from my home and just 15 minutes from UCF (our home church).  But God is helping us plan well.  The first thing we are doing is painting the place inside and out.  We have already hired 4 people to help us facilitate the property.  First, a Care-taker, his name is Alfred.  Second, a night guard, his name is Sam.  Third, an administrator, her name is Nancy, and fourth, a foot soldier or property manager of the compound, and his name is Godwin's!  All four are sold out to Jesus and can't wait to see what God is going to accomplish here at FNC Base Camp.

WE NEED YOUR HELP...if you've taken the time to read this story of how God is moving amongst the ministry of Friday Night Church, would you please take a moment and ask yourself if you could help us with not only your prayers but a financial gift?  Now is the time. For most of you, I've not up to this point asked you point blank to help support this ministry, but God is moving, and we need your help.  One time gifts are great, but what we really need are monthly commitments...commitments that will not only support FNC, but families that are employed by FNC.  God has provided, He is providing and He will provide.

Entering the compound from the main gate...

Main house and Welcome center/ Admin Offices...

Green space...

Outside of BLUE ROOM or Recording Studio...

Housing for Alfred and Sam...

Entering main house, welcome center...

Inside BLUE ROOM or recording studio...

Hallway from the welcome center to the offices...

Kitchen area...

Inside classroom for The School of Creative Arts...

Office #1

Outside of the compound/base camp

Office #2