It has been a very busy week In Uganda. On Sunday, the team split into five groups; each one went to a different church where members preached, taught the congregation how to heal the sick, and gave testimonies. This is always a highlight on any Journey, as many have the opportunity (sometimes for the first time) to minister publicly. Once again, all returned to the hotel with stories of how God moved.
After a rest day on Monday, we went to a new town. There were about 500 people waiting for us under a tree. Kenneth set up a dental clinic where he worked all day, seeing over 100 people. Meanwhile, the team divided into prayer groups, water filter groups and children’s groups. While I taught the local leaders and pastors, the team ministered for hours. At five pm we held an outdoor meeting on the town soccer field. The people just kept coming. There was lots of music, dancing and drama. The people loved Bernie’s harmonica playing. Dee and Mark did a powerful flag dance, then led a drama with some of our team members. By the time I got up to preach, there were well over 500 people in the crowd. Too many came forward to receive Christ to be able to count. The team prayed for the sick and injured until dark. All over the field, the Lord was healing people.
A personal highlight happened for me the next day. I had been teaching the leaders about following the Seeking, Inviting, Servant King out into the community. I pointed out that most of what Jesus did, happened in the marketplace and that, instead of staying in their church building, following Him meant going to people. As I walked up the hill, a man who was crouching in front of a mud home called out to my translator and I. We went over and he (Immanuel) told us that the previous night he had met one of our team on the road. He complained of many days of terrible headaches. She prayed for him and he was healed; she then invited him to receive Jesus. He did. After I explained that in coming to Jesus, he had come into the Lord’s family and so I was now his brother and he was mine. Immanuel beamed. After a couple more minutes we left him and continued walking. He called out and asked if he could follow us. As we walked, we heard more of Immanuel’s story. He was a Rwandan refugee and had become a very serious alcoholic who went to the bar everyday and got drunk. This morning, he woke up sober, with no headache and with great joy. He went to town to tell everyone he could find what Jesus had done for him. His friends invited him to join them in drinking, but Immanuel said no, and then proceeded to tell them about Jesus. Before the morning was over, he had talked to over 50 people. That evening, we invited him to come and testify. Not only did he do so with great enthusiasm and joy, he turned to several of his friends from the bar whom he had invited to the celebration. He introduced a couple of them to the crowd. That night, his friends gave their lives to Jesus and we connected them with the local pastor and leaders. I kept thinking of Matthew who response to being called by Jesus was to invite all his friends over to meet the One who had saved him. It was the same for Immanuel. As Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today, salvation has come to this house!” Thank you Lord.
Yesterday we were in a smaller village––probably only a thousand people. We distributed 150 treated mosquito nets, enough for about 500 children. As well, we had teams distributing water filter systems. Everywhere there was prayer going on––and with it, much healing. Ears opened. Pain left. Severely blurred vision cleared instantly. The Lord gave a great blessing to Margaret. A ten year old boy, Frank, was brought to her. Frank was totally blind. He saw nothing but blackness. Margaret prayed and he began to see light; she prayed one more time and he could see everything clearly. Someone went for Frank’s father. He confirmed that for 4 years Frank had been totally blind. Margaret showed him various photos and images and Frank clearly identified them all. What a glorious miracle. Frank’s entire future was radically changed in a moment. When the Kingdom comes, what was impossible becomes possible.
This afternoon, we are back in Kalonga to do a baptism. Last week, Ben and Richard arranged to have a metal tank built and today is the first time ever that they will be able to conduct baptisms in Kalonga instead of walking to a boggy area five kilometers away. We are looking forward to a great time. What a wonderful way to finish up a remarkable Journey.