After a couple of very hectic days, this Saturday became part one of our weekly rest day because of some unexpected rain. When it pours down like it did for most of the morning, most Ugandans remain in their homes or other shelters making public ministry fairly difficult. We didn’t complain though… jet lag, psychosis inducing malaria medication, the heat, and an overload of new experiences have been taking their toll on our bodies and minds.
Breakfast is always put out between 6:30 and 7:00 and our morning devotional time begins at 9:00. All CLD staff members, both American and Ugandan, are expected to be present at this time to focus our efforts and mindsets on Jesus. Bouge has been playing music for us to start our day with some worship and Josh Brink, an American CLD Staff Leader, has been organizing the morning scripture time.
Today however, as it is tradition for Saturdays, we had a time to share about how we were all doing and how we could be praying for each other. Josh expressed that an emphasis on family and church was crucial to the work being done here in Uganda. We ended by taking two pieces of paper each with names written on them who would be the people we’d focus our prayer on for the following week.
The rest of the morning was spent cleaning up the compound that we’re staying in. Let me tell you, this place is very secure and extremely nice. Things such as running water, electricity, internet, high perimeter walls, and beds are all extremely rare in Uganda. They have been graciously provided by contributors and fundraisers in the past 2 years and are making our stay at “home base” very pleasant.
I will be meeting with Pastor Ben, the Ugandan point man for CLD and the CLD director Shane tomorrow to start planning our time in his village of Kaliro. I spent time in Kaliro the last time I was in Uganda and it was certainly the highlight of my entire trip. I was hoping to be able to share that experience with the team and my prayer was answered when Ben spoke of how much help he needed in his home.
When I was there last, we spent 5 days sleeping on the ground three and a half hours away from the nearest source of electricity (other than generators). We preached the Gospel and were able to see dozens if not hundreds come to faith during our time there. But the story did not end.
Many people say that Christianity is a mile wide but an inch thick in Africa. There are many many many people coming to know Jesus but the depth of their faith is so shallow because the people who preach leave without setting up any further structure for disciples or growth. There’s no followup.
With out $2,000+ project money, we’ll be able to provide this follow up for Kaliro. It’s really cool to be able to take the next step in the journey that I was able to begin there 4 months ago.
So that’s what’s on the radar for now. We’ll be waking up early to head to “Light of the World Church” for a service in the morning. We’ll be asked on stage to introduce ourselves to the 1,500 or so attendees so we’re spending all of our time memorizing some Lugandan – Mukama Ya Bwazebwe, “Praise the Lord.”
A quick crazy fact about the church. Shane, the director of CLD met a group of boys named Ben (from Kaliro), Wilson, Deo and a couple of others when they were 19 years old. All of them had big dreams, but were also street kids with barely any education. That was 5 years ago. They are all now the leading pastors of “Light the World Church” which has grown to two services with more than 1,500 attending each one.
Wilson is a national icon as the leading gospel singer in all of Uganda. There are other amazing aspects to this story, most of which we hope to share with you in the future. I guess I found it funny that in my American world where all pastors need years of seminary education, I’ve met a Ugandan who is a high school drop out and leading a church of over 3,000. God is good and big.
That’s all for now. Pray that planning for Kaliro goes well and that we can dream up some cool things to do with the village and to be able to use our resources to benefit them in a sustainable manner. Some people in our group are starting to feel the effects of homesickness, so please pray that they would be comforted and not isolated.
Oh, and we had rice pilau for dinner. It’s a Ugandan dish with rice and beef. Yeah, bad title, but we can’t win ’em all.
In the incorruptible Love of Christ,
Tommy, Virginia, Luke, Kristen, Bouge (David)