Jim and Michelle Telman and their seven children were just living an ordinary life in Tennessee. They were faithful and active in their local church. Then they went to Uganda on a missions trip in 2010, and that was the beginning of an extraordinary change in their lives. This is a lesson for all of us. It teaches us that God uses ordinary faithfulness to accomplish his extraordinary will in our lives.
Initially, Jim came back from their missions trip wondering how he could raise money for the ministries in Mbira, Uganda. But most of all he noticed that they felt "homesick" for the people in Uganda. A man involved in the work there, Tony Applegate, approached Jim and said, “'Are you ready to move to Uganda? We need help with bookkeeping, construction and small business operations.' That’s when I knew God was definitely calling us and we needed to go,” Jim said. Tony had listed all of Jim's areas of expertise. Their entire family except for their oldest child moved to Uganda in 2012.
Then they got to work doing ordinary things. In addition to helping at Mbira Baptist Church, the Telmans started an acre-long garden project to help with self-sustainment. Eight years later, it continues to thrive and is now 6 acres. In 2013, Jim felt led to start a Bible college. The older church members needed further discipleship and education. In the past, it has taken a year and a half to get through a 12-week Bible course. It was a slow process answering all of their questions. Now the pace has quickened, and Jim can get through the material in less than a year. “I'm seeing the fruit of their hard work. They’re starting to understand a lot more and be able to grow as believers,” Jim said.