Sawyer Family Farm

Since we moved to Uganda in 2016, we have often used the phrase “I never imagined I would say/do/have…” and we have learned a lot over the last 7+ years. One of the main things that has surprised us is the large garden we have at our house. With both of us being “city” people, garden and farming were never in our vocabulary.

We started with a few small beds of fruits and vegetables that we couldn’t get in Uganda, and we have expanded our garden to have many options. We grow our own sweet corn, colored bell peppers, jalapeños, lettuce, squash of different types, tomatillos, sweet potatoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and green onions. We have banana trees, mulberry/blackberry bushes, jackfruit tree, avocado tree, mango tree, and orange trees. We also grow local foods like beans, maize, potatoes, tomatoes, and greens to share with our neighbors. It has been a blessing to be able to make meals out of the vegetables from our garden, and to share our abundance with friends around us. It is certainly not something we imagined we’d do with some of our time, but we continue to expand our family farm.

When we moved to Uganda we brought our one dog: an English Bulldog, named Jezebel. Over the years, we’ve had 5 dogs, a couple litters of puppies, 2 hedgehogs, a rabbit, and now we have added 6 new chickens.

Leland and Adalyn started scheming about wanting to have chickens a few years ago, but I said I would not have much to do with them because I already had a lot of work to deal with in the garden. While it took several years for planning and actually making it happen, this year we bought our chickens. We currently have 6 chickens that Adalyn can identify, each with their own unique name: Applesauce, BBQ, Crispy, Drumstick, Egg-selent, and French Fry. And already we’re averaging one egg per day, with more layers growing and hopes of producing more soon.

Adalyn loves animals, so she enjoys all the animals at our house. And she enjoys helping in the garden, while also eating the fruits and vegetables (jackfruit is her FAVORITE).

And of course, she hasn’t neglected the 4 dogs we currently have and always makes time to play with them. While the Sawyer Family Farm is not something we expected when we moved to Uganda, we have enjoyed the adventure. Below are several more photos of our family farm for your viewing pleasure. =)


Why Disciplemaking is SO Important

What is a disciple? Is it different than a convert? What do I mean when I say discipleship or disciplemaking?

One of the things we have felt over the past several years is a constant need to DEFINE terms and clarify what we mean by them; what the Bible means by them. It comes from a belief that the words we say and use have real impact only when there is a shared and clear understanding of what those words mean. When I would ask my father-in-law, “What color is that stop-light?” he would automatically say, “They are all green.” He was color-blind, so he had never seen colors through my eyes and we didn’t have a common understanding of what each color was.

Similar things have happened here in Uganda. When we moved here seven years ago, we thought we had a great understanding of the English language…boy, were we wrong?!?! Words we always knew to mean one thing suddenly had a very different meaning, both in Uganda and in other parts of the world. Even our British friends question our English so much that we have stopped saying that we speak English, rather that our family’s heart language is “Texan” and we are learning English.

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Reunited DiscipleMakers

This month I had the pleasure of reuniting with the first women’s discipleship group. This was the first time we were all together to share and spend quality time with one another since we concluded our meetings at the end of 2021. I have made phone calls to each of the ladies throughout the year and we worshipped together at the women’s conference in December 2022, but this was the first time we were ALL TOGETHER to share what God has been doing through and in each of us over the past year.

We started the morning together in praise and worship. It was a beautiful time to worship and thank God for our time together and for watching over us while we were apart. We shared challenges from the past year and how the Lord had stood with us throughout the year. We shared ways we could be continuing to pray for one another, both personally and in regards to making disciples. While each of these women has different challenges, styles, and ways they are discipling others, the confidence I saw in them was truly a testament to the Holy Spirit working in their hearts.

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2023…New Year, New Opportunities

As a New Year is upon us (beginning year number eight for our family in Uganda), we are off and running towards the work that the Lord has put before us. Last year was such an encouraging and challenging year, and as we look back on it we can see how God provided for many things throughout. If you haven’t read the reflection on 2022, I would encourage you to go HERE first.

Once we know where we are coming from and where we want to go, we can clearly try to plot the course for the upcoming year. We have spent the past two months clarifying some of our 2023 ministry, personal, and family goals, and I want to take a minute to share those with you here:

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7-Year Ugandaversary

We are happy to celebrate 7 years of living in Uganda. It is hard to believe it has been that long, and at the same time, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long at all. Like any place, there are things that frustrate us, but there are also many things we love about living here. There are many things we count as blessings and there are many things that make us shake our head and laugh. It’s a fun mix, and God is always faithful in reminding us that He’s got us.

So with that being said, We want to share some fun everyday life items with you….

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2022 Recap – A Year at Warp Speed

What a year it has been! Having now celebrated Christmas in Uganda, we are taking the time to reflect on the past year – personally, as a family, and as a ministry. A New Year will bring NEW opportunities, but first, let’s look back on a great year…

Discipleship Groups – At the end of 2021, both Gina and I finished meeting regularly with our discipleship groups. Those groups had been meeting for more than three years (thanks to Covid lockdowns) and we were ready to launch into new groups. The other women’s discipleship group met throughout 2022 and finished their meetings in November 2022. We have now completed 4 discipleship groups of men and 2 of women, plus one more co-ed group. Those are in addition to the 12 groups we have walked with in MTI. In total, we have discipled over 120 men and women to be passionate disciples of Jesus and to be make disciples in their churches, communities, families, and villages. In September, we also began new groups – Gina with a group of women and Leland with a group of men. We are seeing the fruits of disciplemaking and spiritual growth in many of these churches, and we thank the Lord for this focus. (Click HERE for more.)

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“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…”

Matthew 28:19-20 have been some of our key scriptures in the work we do in Uganda. After Jesus’ resurrection, He commands his disciples, “Therefore 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 that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is the call for every follower of Jesus, whether around the world in a different culture or in your own home, workplace, neighborhood, or village. We are all called to make disciples of Jesus.

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Training and Equipping for Ministry

Last Saturday, November 19th, we were thrilled to celebrate and mark the 21st Graduation of our theological school, Messiah Theological Institute (MTI). We had 27 graduates completing the training that began back in April. It was a day full of celebration, congratulations, singing, dancing, and joy. And it marked the completion of these students commitment. It was a really good day!

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On the Journey – TOGETHER

Marriage is such an important institution in all of human history. And in Scripture, it is the ONLY time that “two become one.” It is a permanent union between a man and a woman all the way back to creation itself. It is a covenant we make with one another. It is an image of the Trinity. It is a metaphor of Christ and His Church. It is beautiful and bears good fruit. And it takes work and effort.

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Adalyn’s First Decade

Adalyn turned 10 years old today. Double digits! For those parents who have already walked through this journey, you know how quickly time flies and how fast kids grow. Adalyn is a blessing to our family and we are so thankful for who God has made her to be. She is funny and compassionate; she is fiesty, sarcastic and adventurous; she loves being at home but she also loves traveling to experience new things; she loves our life in Uganda but she also misses her family and friends in America. She is independent, courageous, smart, thoughtful and forgiving. We love her dearly, and we hope you enjoy watching her grow with us.

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