Tuesday, January 18, 2011
NGM Update 197 Opposition Advances Fountain of Hope
Several attempts have been made to establish a church in Bukeeka over the years. Each has failed. The village was estimated at 90% Muslim and there was no interest in other religions. Robert had no line to join to wait for his opportunity. The door was open, but it would take a lot of courage to cross the threshold. The push he and his wife Sarah got was from a message I preached during a short term mission in Jinja back in 2004. "Your are the Davids of the day!" I proclaimed with enthusiastic beleif. "You are the ones to kill the giants that are fighting to keep Jesus from establishing His Kingdom in Uganda." Armed with faith, Robert and Sarah went to Bukeeka. They began personal evangelism and held church services on Sunday in a rented movie hall. No one came to the services for over 8 months as Robert preached to Sarah only. Their evangelist effort was met with machetes, witchcraft curses, and a $2,500 bounty for the head of Robert Sityo.
Historically persecution is high energy fuel that advances the presence of Jesus Christ. It was no different in Bukeeka. God gave Robert a creative idea that built a bridge into the lives of the citizens. God convinced him that if he would love the children of Bukeeka, the parents of those children would come to love him. Fountain of Hope School was the vehicle for Robert and Sarah's love. Today many within the village have come to love Robert and Sarah and what they have brought.
Of course there has been continued opposition, but today Fountain of Hope Primary School has over 700 day and boarding students and has performed well enough to draw journalistic attention. It is the school of choice within that region and boasts a committed staff of over 20. Three acres were purchased initially and another small parcel was added last year. A solar powered water system was added last year that not only supplies fresh pure water for the school population, but gives free water to the villagers. The church is filled and overflowing with believers and people are giving their lives to Christ.
School resumes next month. During December and January construction began on two permanent brick structures. When it became obvious that progress was once again being made with the development of the school, leaders of the opposition solicited the help of the village witch doctors. One came to the construction site to promote fear among the workers. He promised that if they did not cease their work one of them would be dead by tomorrow.
Fear has long been embraced as the primary means to manipulate people. It has worked for centuries and continues to keep people in bondage and passivity. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free. Freedom is coming to Bukeeka. Those who confess Jesus as Lord believe that His power is far superior to the power of demons. Robert mobilized the believers to pray and to encourage the construction workers to keep working, many of whom are unbelievers, and to trust that the God of the Bible would protect them.
The next day the very witch doctor who cursed the workers was found dead! His death struck fear in those who had organized the opposition. Sula, the long time and persistent enemy of our effort in Bukeeka (who has abused his position as the highest political officer) actually came to Robert and sought his forgiveness for all he had done in the past to derail and destroy Roberts effort to bring development to the village. He requested that the past be forgotten and that they now work together to develop the village.
The two wives of the dead witch doctor came to Robert and begged him to not let death take their lives as well. Robert assured them that their lives were in the hands of God and they should not worry. Now that their husband is dead there is no money for the school fees of their four children who were enrolled in Fountain of Hope School. They are wondering what will happen to them and their children.
God instructs us to love our enemies and to do good to those who persecute us. I have always loved Sula and have asked Robert to tell him so and that I am looking forward to the day when I can trust him as well. I also told Robert that I would look for sponsors for the four children of the widows left behind by the death of the witchdoctor. It cost $20 a month or $240 per year for each student. If you would like to sponsor one of these children, please send a check made out to Next Generation Ministries and mail it to 29940 South Dhooghe Road, Colton, OR 97017. Please note that it is to be used to continue the education of the children of the deceased witch doctor and to help demonstrate that the love of Jesus is greater than the hate of demons.
These updates are also available at http://nextgenministries.blogspot.com/ if you would like to have them in a more attractive format.