End of year generosity

Biggest needs:

  • Better transportation (vehicle) for our family. We have a nice 4×4 car now but it is old and not made to weekly travel down the village roads therefore we are regularly fixing and replacing things on it. We need something that will be stronger and more reliable for this kind of travel we have to take weekly. ($3000)
  • Funds for staff investment opportunities like a Christmas party, monthly birthday celebrations, staff appreciation days, small groups and bible studies, and special needs that come up ($1500)
  • Funds for annual trip to the US for a time of refreshment, rest, and support raising. ($2500)

Ways to be praying for us:

  • Protection…physical, spiritual, and over our relationships
  • Increased favor with our staff
  • Strong community of friends and encouragers
  • For Sole Hope leadership as they lead us in a healthy direction for this next year
  • Wisdom in finding a new car
  • Healthy bodies
  • Encouraged hearts
  • Lara and kids visas to come through (Spanky received his work permit last week!!!)

How can you partner with us:

  • Pray Pray Pray
  • Have your church partner with us and Sole Hope through hands on events like shoe cutting parties and more. Sole Hope, Get Involved
  • Come visit us! or Bring a team to visit and experience Sole Hope and Uganda
  • Share with others. We would love for others to have the opportunity to be a part of this mission and Sole Hope www.rousehouse.org
  • Be generous. We need more monthly givers Give Monthly
  • Give a special gift to support this ministry here in Uganda Special gift

He has joy. What’s my problem?

So, he doesn’t look very happy here. He had never seen a camera before and was checking it out. He also loved suckers and could unwrap them and put them in his mouth by using  just his feet. That is talented!

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart…”                        “I desire to do your will O my God…”                                                                                                  “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing…”                                          “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him…”                                                                         (Psalms 37:45; 40:8; 145:16,19)


Every so often I think about this boy. I meet him on one of our trips to Uganda when we use to mobilize a mobile medical clinic to serve the local churches out in the bush (the middle of no where Africa).

I get caught up in what I need, want, and am working towards and forget about where true joy and satisfaction comes from. I find my self operating in the mind-set that, if I can get my needs meet, wants provided for, and goals accomplished I will be happy, feel complete, and experience real peace. It is all a lie!

I know it is a lie because I have met this little guy. He was born with no arms and has very little possessions and success in this world. He lives in a dirt floor hut, eats less than he should eat everyday (if he eats everyday), has no regular medical care near him, wears the same clothes day after day, and did I mention he has no arms. This little guy has Jesus and a joy that is unlike most in this world.

I know that those things I think will bring me joy are nothing more than surface layer desires and some even distorted desires. Let’s be honest when we get what we are striving after are we satisfied? If I reach a certain goal does it quench that longing in side of me? When I have those experiences like an amazing vacation is life really all that fulfilling? Not really. Ok, to be fair it is all good for a moment or a season and I am not saying to not pursue these or that they are bad. It’s just that I usually find my self back in that place of need, want, and seeking after to gain joy and satisfaction pretty soon, if not immediately.

So what now? How can I obtain this joy that this little boy who has barely life has?

Good news, there is a “fix to all” to this. It does cost me something but the cost is really isn’t that much of a cost to me. Surrender (abandon oneself entirely to, give in to, hand over the controls to). When I surrender and surrender daily to the love of the Father that is when I find my deepest longings and desires can be completely meet. He is the one and only (I AM) that can quench my thirst. He created me with desires and passions, therefore why would I not let Him be the one who satisfies those things in me.

What is the biggest desire you have today? It probably just came to mind, didn’t it?

Think about it for a moment. If you got that thing, had that relationship, accomplished that goal, etc., would you really be happy?

Take some time to prayerfully consider, “what is it I desire more than anything”. Surrender that to the One who loves you more than anything and let Him fulfill your deepest longings. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your deep longings and desires so the Father can engage with you in a way you have never experienced before.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart…”                        “I desire to do your will O my God…”                                                                                                  “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing…”                                          “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him…”                                                                         (Psalms 37:45; 40:8; 145:16,19)

Stories from Senegal

ctc_04_img0959I received this story from a missionary that I get to serve with in Senegal, West Africa. I asked them if I could share this story and they were glad for me to do this because of the One who gets the glory from it. It is a story of how God is still at work even when the Evil one has such a strong hold. I pray that this encourages you and opens your eyes to see how God is at work in your day and life.

What we are about to share with you is a story of power, a story of who God is , a story of salvation and deliverance. It’s a story that involves you and I and those who are in Christ’s kingdom here in Senegal.

We are still awed at how God works in different ways around the world and yet He never wavers or changes. He is an absolute constant, a faithful Rock. He is all powerful!!

In this story I am going to use different names for the safety of us all.


Our story unfolds in one of the villages we minster to along with Mission Inter Senegal “MIS”. It is a story about two wives who came to know Christ in a most unusual terrifying way! The entire family is actually saved now.

These two ladies are now part of the church in this village and their story of salvation is mind-blowing and miraculous! A Sene and F Sene are both married to the same husband. There husband was a very evil man and practiced witchcraft. In fact he was the right hand man of a super powerful man witch called a Laga. They deal deeply in demonic activity. In order for A and F’s husband to maintain his power he has to do what the Laga tells him to do. This involved sacrificing his own children.

A, his first wife, only had two children left so the husband tried to take children from his second wife, F, to sacrifice. F was a very outgoing lady and very talkative, boisterous and loud. According to the Laga and demonic spirits they like to perform rituals secretly, under the radar so to speak. F was so loud and talkative about the situation to the village that the Laga and the demons refused to use her children for sacrifices. A and F’s husband had to quickly come up with a child to sacrifice. The Laga, through the influence of the demonic spirits, grew impatient with A and F’s husband and cast a spell on him and he died quickly.

Now the Laga was looking for someone to replace A and F’s husband to continue the demonic work in the village. He chose A’s eldest son P to replace his father. A and P were terrified and could not stop the events that were about to take place.

The demons attacked P in the form of a bull but only P could see this bull. It was a terrifying situation for all the family and those nearby even. P was under such fierce combat with the demons he appeared crazy!

A and F remembered how a women by the name of E who was the wife of the pastor in this village, was delivered from demons by a group of people at an evangelical center. They did not know where to turn for help and this was the only thing they could think of that could help A’s son P.

So they sent P to the same place that E received deliverance from the demons. At the evangelical center they prayed for P. He was delivered instantly from the demons. P said he could see the demons fleeing. P gave his life to Christ and returned to his family. When A and F saw P for the first time after being delivered they could not believe their eyes and were amazed. They gave there lives to Christ that day and now the whole family are believers!! Wow, Praise the Lord!

It is hard for us Americans to comprehend the magnitude of this story but it is real and God is victorious over the darkness. Rest assured this is happening in many places in Senegal and around the world. Jesus Christ is showing Himself strong! Hallelujah!

I wanted to share this story with you to remind you that GOD IS AT WORK! And at work in some mighty ways all around this world! Thank you for your prayers and financial support. You are helping and enabling us to serve some great men and woman of faith around the world!

Take just a minute now and pray for West Africa. Pray for the believers that are working hard to spread the good news of Jesus. Pray for the harden hearts to be softened to the love of Jesus. Pray that evil will not win. Pray for our workers that are giving their lives to this great work. God bless!


It’s so simple but I forget

Driving into work this morning I was having this broken, sloppy, and unrefined conversation with the MAN up stairs about how I just feel like I am not running on all cylinders spiritually. I know most of you know this feeling and what I am talking about. Those times when you just don’t feel like praying or when you do pray it is more like drawing a blank. Now to let you also know, I am tired this morning and rushed out of the house therefore I am aware that some of this is a physical issue not a spiritual one.

When I got to work I decided that I should probably spend a few minutes reading my bible before I get started. After all I am in ministry and am expected to help people figure out God’s call on their life. I might want to be in touch with or awakened to the voice of God myself before I try to help someone else.

Just before I opened the bible I prayed, “God form my heart and life and let me pay attention to the things that really matter so I can be connected with you and love life today fully.” Then I opened up to 1 Peter 2 and the words smacked me right in the face!

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

I was reminded and awaken to the FACT that I am chosen, I am God’s special possession, I am here to declare His praises, I once was nothing but now I am something. I was reminded that it doesn’t matter how I feel today, He still sees me in these ways and His mercy towards me is overwhelming.

Sometimes I just need to stop trying to pray and make it “work” and listen to what my Father has to say to me and about me! I am special and nothing can separate me from His awesomeness! I am connected to Jesus today because He is connected to me and that is where life becomes full!

Visiting a missional community

IMG_3967Last week I went on a trip with a co-worker of mine to Athen, GA. If you are like me the only thing you know about Athens is that it is the home of the UGA Bulldogs and some of you may know Athens Church too. (this is a pretty great North Point and Ridge Church partner church) But there is something really cool happening in this college town that most don’t know about.  There is a movement happening, a movement of God and it has the potential to change the world!

The reason for our trip to Athens was to visit with some potential ministry partners of United World Mission. At UWM we love and live by the idea that we can reach the world with the Gospel and love of Jesus through partnering with other organizations, churches, groups, families, universities, etc. We love this concept of the “Church” working together so we all work trying to find and create new partnerships around the world.

In Athens there are a couple of really cool ministries or groups of people that are making a huge impact on missions by reaching international students on the UGA campus…the nations are coming to us! One of these partners that I was meeting with, Launch Global, is taking the idea of missional community and running with it! They are moving into neighborhoods, intentionally building friendships with internationals, and seeking out ways to serve them, love them, spend time with them, and share Jesus with them. Many in these groups are learning foreign language like Japanese and hanging out at Islamic centers! These people have devoted hearts for missions, the missions they are running after just happens to be their next door neighbor.

While I was there I had the opportunity to go to one of their weekly gathering where they study the bible, worship, and share stories of how they have seen God use them in the past week. POWERFUL! They then write every name on this large board of someone they are trying to make friends with or are disciplining. With 20+/- people who are a part of this group I read 143 names they pray specifically for each week. Some of these names were from some of the most unreached countries in the entire world. Places that you will be killed for speaking the name of Jesus. You want to talk about reaching the most unreached and loving those that are far from God, this group is doing it everyday!

My takeaways were seeing just how intentional this group were with their daily lives and using every moment and interaction to allow Jesus to shine through to their world. This experience was inspiring. Inspired me to consider how God wants to intentionally use me everyday to love this world and let others know who this amazing God is through my life.

Please pray for this Launch community as they love, serve, and lead others to Jesus! Also, pray that God will make you aware of the mission field that He has put in front of you today.

What can you start doing today?

Some of you may follow me on Facebook and saw an article that I posted earlier this week about missional living. The article suggested 8 easy ways to live missionally.  It sparked a brief conversation between a good friend and me. **Let me tell you first that this guy lives out his faith, missional living, better than most American Christians that I know or have heard of. He, day by day, is loving on and serving those in his neighborhood. He is relentless in-spite of how messy and jacked up it can get…and it gets messy up often!

His point was just that, missional living is not easy. While I agree with him, I also believe that each one of us can start doing something today that is an easy next step in living out Jesus. Practical ways of being His hands and feet, salt and light to the “world” around us.

The problem I see is how we, churchy people, label missional living as something radical that only missionaries do or those crazy people who move to poor neighborhoods and say they are called to do. When in reality (God’s perspective) we are all called to live missionally. I am NOT saying that we are all called to be missionaries or sale our houses and move into a low-income areas to start a church! No not at all! ~Well some of us are probably called to do things like this if we are to be honest with our self.~ But for every single one of us we are “called” to love our neighbors, serve those in need, and live in a way that will point others to worship Jesus.

My question for each of us is, “What is one simple way we can start living missional today?”

Take a look at this article then ask where, who, how can I begin being missional. I would love to hear what step you are going to begin taking today towards missional living! Let’s start a movement of love, love that is in action!!!

This is my fb post regarding missional living. you can read it by going to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse
This is my fb post regarding missional living. you can read it by going to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/spanky.rouse

Celebrating getting dunked!

Just a couple Sunday nights ago we had the chance to celebrate Greyson putting his faith in Jesus! Last year on Thanksgiving night Grey and his cousin were talking about God and through a simple conversation his cousin lead him in a prayer. After conversations with Nana (my mom) and with us he definitely understands his need for Jesus!

Fast forward to a year later we had a special event at Ridge Church called Family Birthday Celebration. A huge celebrations it is!!! Family Birthday Celebration is a special service where we celebrate through baptism the decisions children have made to put their trust in Jesus as their personal Savior. Family, friends, and small group leaders all join together to help celebrate this decision in a big way!

I will let you see it for your self.

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Grey Rouse – Family Birthday Celebration from Ridge Church on Vimeo.