Sarah
Pisney

 

My Story

Uganda

About Me

I accepted Christ at a young age but did not become serious about my faith until my junior year of high school.

God started putting Africa on my heart my second year of college and opened the door for me to visit after graduation. During that trip, God poured His love for the people of Africa through me. Another trip to Africa and a Seminary degree later, God gave me desire to go overseas for longer to discover if I could live there long term. I also needed to see how God could use the gifts and abilities that He had given me. I went to Uganda for two years with WorldVenture to work as an Administrative Assistant with Hope Alive!. During that time, I discovered that I loved living in Uganda. I started a Bible study with high school girls and through that, saw their immense spiritual needs.

With a love for Uganda and a heart for discipleship. God put a desire in my heart to return to Uganda for long term service. With another WorldVenture couple, I will be establishing a discipleship school for high school graduates. During the nine month period between high school and college, we will begin a six month intense boarding discipleship school. I will focus on the girls while the other couple will focus on the boys.

There is nothing like having the peace and joy from the Lord knowing that you are exactly where He wants you to be. The transforming work of Christ is needed in the lives of Ugandans. I am honored and humbled to be able to share Christ with these girls and anticipate the way that He will transform them.

Fast Facts


Birthday
10/24

Education
B.S. in Biblical Studies, minor in Women's Ministries - Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. M.A. in Inter-Cultural Studies, Liberty Theological Seminary, Lynchburg, VA

Where I Work

Honoring one's family, ancestry and culture is of utmost importance to the Japanese. About 70% of people claim no personal religion but continue to follow Buddhism and the rituals of Shintoism just because their ancestors whom they deeply respect did the same. Many new believers bend and break under the pressure to conform to what is considered "normal" by the Japanese and eventual fall away of Christianity. There is a need for the Gospel to be presented in a way that is both relevant and understanding of the Japanese worldview.

Ground-Level Perspectives

Japan is very spiritually dark and oppressed, there is less than 1% evangelical Christians. It is an open country with closed people. Shinto and Buddhist traditions exist, but people seem very lost and fill their lives with entertainment and gadgets. Christians can find it hard to share their faith with others. People are suspicious and view Christianity as something foreign, which makes any Japanese Christian seem 'less' by others—almost as if they were traitors.
— Ken & Bola Taylor

Japan is post-modern. A common theme heard is, 'My parents and grandparents are Buddhist or Shinto, but I'm not religious.' They believe in some kind of fate or unseen power, but wouldn't consider themselves religious. They believe in fortune-telling.
— John Gibbs

In Japan, many claim atheism as their religion, but will still often protect their children and cars with amulets purchased at Buddhist temples.
— Mark Penner

More about Japan

A Couple Raw Facts


Church Illustration

Unity is lacking in a Church that numbers only 1.5% of the population.

Graph

Only 10% believe in the existence of a personal God; only 50% have ever even desired help from God or gods.

 

After previous restrictions and overwhelming persecution of Christians, Uganda now has freedom of religion. This freedom is constantly affected by spiritual opposition, though. The hate and destruction spread by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has displaced almost two million people and killed another 120,000. Thousands of children have been captured for use as sex slaves or child soldiers. Tens of thousands of children walk from their villages into larger cities every single night in order to stay safe. The "Pearl of Africa" is in desperate need of Christ's supernatural love and healing from the deep wounds cause by the LRA, AIDS and poverty.

Ground-Level Perspectives

Officially, Uganda is a Christian nation. Unfortunately, the prosperity gospel has swept through the church, offering false 'solutions' to poverty and illness. The challenge for this generation of Ugandan believers is to stop relying on traditional forms of religion, which look good, but have no power to change lives. Plenty of Christians are rejecting legalism and hypocrisy, though. Their commitment to the Word, prayer, and selfless sacrifice shines as a living example of what Christ said the Kingdom of God is all about.
— Carre Gardner

There are numerous divisions in the Church, and the proliferation of independent and single-congregation denominations makes true unity a massive challenge. Pray for reconciliation and fellowship among Protestant and Catholic, charismatic and non-charismatic, denominational and independent.
— Operation World

More about Uganda

A Couple Raw Facts


Child Soldier

Children are the most vulnerable victims of "The Lord’s Resistance Army" (LRA). Thousands were abducted for use as child soldiers or sex slaves. Tens of thousands, fearing abduction, journey every night from their villages to the safety of larger towns – known globally as the “Gulu walk”.

AIDS Percentage

Uganda’s battle with AIDS massively reduced cases, from 25% in 1992 to below 10% in 2001. The government and churches bravely and successfully worked to achieve this reduction.

 

Entered
1961

WorldVenture History in Uganda

Christians in Uganda have asked for help in equipping national leaders and this has become one of the primary focuses for the WorldVenture Uganda team. Ugandans and WorldVenture workers partner together in church planting, training and developing leaders and organizing ministries for women and students. AIDS prevention, education, counseling, and assistance programs are also an important part of the work.

Today &
Tomorrow

Uganda Team Goals

The church in Uganda is growing rapidly. Part of the vision of WorldVenture’s team in Uganda is instilling a new hunger in pastors who have lost their appetite for God’s Word. WorldVenture is sending workers to Uganda to equip church leaders to preach and teach the whole counsel of God. Teams will borrow, design, and put into action training methods that can be carried on by the national church. WorldVenture workers in Uganda hope to develop effective resource programs for urban church leaders, expand evangelistic outreach to Muslims, and implement counseling programs for mental hospital patients and prison inmates.

5 Global
Objectives

WorldVenture Global Objectives

  1. Evangelizing the Peoples of the World
    • Relationships being cultivated with non-believers
    • Decisions to follow Christ
    • Believers baptized
    • People engaged in intentional discipleship
    • Bible verses translated and Christian resources created or translated
  2. Extending Grace
    • People helped through development assistance
    • People provided with medical and health assistance
    • People helped toward justice who are in illegal, immoral, dangerous, exploited circumstances
    • People helped directly through disaster relief
  3. Establishing Churches
    • New churches established
    • Daughter churches established
  4. Equipping Leaders
    • Leaders being trained for ministry through formal contexts
    • Leaders being trained for ministry through non-formal contexts
    • TCKs (third culture kids) being equipped
    • 360º leaders being equipped
  5. Encouraging Mission Movements
    • National Christians preparing to become cross-cultural missionaries
    • National churches engaged in cross-cultural missions
    • National church groups engaged in cross-cultural missions

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Prayer Focus
Pray that God will give people a heart for Uganda and a desire to become a part of His work there.

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