Monday, May 23, 2011

Village Evangelism

Crusade in Ndolwa
May 23, 2011

I've been on an unplanned Internet fast, but my email inbox has definitely not!  After we lost power ... electricity for those of you from a developed nation ... last Thursday we have been without Internet service until just before the sun went down tonight (Monday).  I discovered a lot of work waiting for me among the 74 emails jammed into my gmail account.

Last Thursday, while our house experienced a brown out,  I traveled to Kampala and picked up ten young men who are part of the Dove Voice Band.  They stayed with us in Jinja on both Thursday and Friday night before I returned them to the capital city on Saturday.

Robert Sityo has been working to see a church planted in a small village called Ndolwa for the past several years.  He has trained a young man to be the leader of the church.  His church in Bukeeka led a crusade for that pastor, named Godfrey, all of last week to help the church get started.  Sunday morning they baptized 74 new believers!

A river ran through it .. Kumuli Road
Robert had asked if I could come with the Dove Voice Band for some music and to preach at the Crusade on Friday night.  Robyn and Blair accompanied us and we traveled more than 3 hours over an absolutely terrible road to reach the village by 5 PM.  It was an even longer return trip as navigating potholes in the dark .... some large enough to house a tiny village! ... reduced us to a crawl in many places.  The heavy rains we encountered on Thursday and Thursday night also make the round trip even more memorable.

The Lord prepared the hearts of the people in this village for His Good News.  After preaching a short and simple message from Ephesians 2, I asked people to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.  African crusades appear to be a bit chaotic by American standards, so it is hard to estimate, but there must have been around 25 to 30 people who responded to that invitation, including the major of Ndolwa, according to Robert.

Elisha praying with Richard and his wife Grace
One young father named Richard was the first to arrive in front of the recently erected platform.  He had his second born daughter with him.  He wanted to give his life to Jesus and requested that we pray for his daughter who was suffering from demonic attacks.  We asked him if his wife was around.  She was.  She soon stood with us and also yielded her life to Christ.  Out of all those we prayed for Friday evening, I sensed that God was doing a genuine work of grace in this young couple.

The open air and the marginal sound system didn't help the Dove Voice Band, but it made no difference to any of us.  We celebrated the goodness of God in providing Jesus for the needy people, from every tribe, tongue, and nation, with singing and dancing.

 DVB singing "Make way for Jesus"
This coming Friday we ... 8 members of the Dove Voice Band, Robert Sityo, Jeff Kasigwa, Pam, Blair, Robyn, Peter, and myself ... will leave for Western Uganda on a 12 day mission.  We will be ministering to medical students at Kampala International University Medical School in Ishaka on Saturday.  On Sunday morning we will be in a large church and on Sunday evening we will be having a night of praise and worship with several churches in Mbarara.  We will spend Monday and Tuesday there, doing whatever asked to do, before moving on to Kamwenge to be with Edgar for a couple of days in a seminar he has organized.  On Saturday we will enjoy a day of music and ministry on his farm.  Sunday we will be in Edgar's church and travel back to Jinja on Monday.  Yes ... we need and depend on your prayers!

Blair & Robyn ... really good friends with these guys
The update on Catherine is not all that good.  While we saved her life from an imminent death, her body now is demanding the drugs and alcohol it was so used to.  Her withdrawals are pretty serious for a body that found those substances as necessary as air to breathe.  This morning the doctors advised us to either move her to a drug and alcohol treatment center or to have Jinja Hospice work with her.  The supervisor at the hospice told us they limit their work to any kind of cancer patient and to those who are HIV positive, but not those with addictions.  We were referred to a man nearby who works with alcoholics.  Catherine is so addicted that her urine smells of alchohol and she has not had anything to drink for more than two weeks.  Yes ... we need and depend on your prayers!

Robyn insists, and Blair concurs, that I include a photo of me preaching.  Just goes to show you how much I love her and Blair.

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