Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Directed

Grace In Every Detail
June 21, 2011

Robert & Mark surrounded by FOH primary students
"When we met you I felt we had run into ourselves." Those words were spoken last November in the home of Mark and Kathy Lucas of Hendersonville, North Carolina.  Words spoken by Mark for both of them to Pam and me the day after we met them. Mark is now with us in Uganda and our first three days together find us identifying and underlining that similarity on many occasions.  We have both embraced relational mentoring.  Primarily with the next generation.  We both love then and find having young adults living with us in community very productive.

The Lucases intended to lead a team of 10 on a mission trip to Sudan and Uganda and spend 13 of those days with us.  The Lord used finances, as He often does, to redirect the mission.  Kathy is with 4 young women, in Romania, ministering to the poor, orphaned, and hungry.  Mark has finished his time in Sudan and is with us here in Jinja.

Mark shares with FOH high school students
I must share our day with you.  Mark had expressed a desire to be immersed in the culture and to simply live life with us.  This led first to chicken on a stick on the way home from the airport!  And, today, my plan was to travel to Fountain of Hope High School on a public service taxi.  However, just before we left for the taxi park, Grace stopped by to discuss some of the developments of her upcoming surgery. Discovering we were going to Bukeeka, she asked if she could accompany us so that she could visit with her son and perhaps tell him about her medical condition.  We changed our plans and the three of us traveled in the Next Generation Ministries' van.

Grace went one way to spend a few minutes with Jeffrey.  Mark and I went another way so that he could speak to about 80 students at the high school.  We both felt like the Lord, by His Spirit, was working in the hearts of the students and we left rejoicing.  Mark spoke about "soil" and how nothing needs to be done with the "seed" of the Gospel of the Kingdom, but the soil needs to be cultivated and found good for the seed to produce.  Each student needs to consider the condition of their hearts; whether it is stoney, hard, or weedy ... or good and ready for the Seed.

Mark & Robert together at Mikes repair shop
With hearts full of joy that we had sown seed and it would be God who would make it grow, we collected Grace and Robert Sityo to return to Jinja.  I had asked Robert, on the way out to the school, if he had time on the way home to stop and see his father, Mike, and he said yes.  As we traveled back to Jinja, Robert asked if I still wanted to stop for a visit with his dad.  I was resolute!  YES.

After just a few minutes of greeting and enjoying each other, we sat down and the conversation turned serious and significant.  Robert's dad knows the Scriptures and was, at one time, very serious with the Lord.  But, his love for alcohol and women resulted in a "fall" ... his words ... and we found him being as honest with us as possible.  Mark, Grace, and I took turns expressing the love and grace of Jesus for Mike.  Robert was very quiet.  Robert has long experienced freedom from the abuse of his father during his growing up years.  His father had even sold him for a bottle of beer when Robert was about 13 years old!  And, he was physically beaten and verbally abused throughout his whole life at home.  He found forgiveness to be the threshold of freedom.

Grace displays the glory of Jesus to Mike
The Lord ignited Grace, who has begun a four or five day fast to seek the Lord before her surgery, and she began to conclude the conversation with a call for Mike's repentance.  Mark had reminded him that it was the goodness of God that leads to repentance.  Mike confessed that he was tired ... very tired of fighting this string that keeps him tied to spiritual failure.  Grace confidently told him that HE was the one to cut the string and find his comfort and fulfillment in the love of the Father and intimacy with Jesus.

The conversation soon left English behind and moved forward in Lugandan.  I marveled at the plan of God to bring Grace along for what I thought was an opportunity to only connect with her son before surgery, but turned out to be to use her as the key instrument to sow seed on the soil of Mike's heart.  Soon, he was confessing his need for Jesus to cleanse him.  He yielded his life to Christ.  Robert's eyes were leaking and his father's eyes were leaking ... and, of course, so were mine.  Robert told me later that he simply found himself crying, but didn't know why since he never cries.  And, when I asked if his father cries, he laughed, shook his head and said NO!  The work of God's Spirit can lubricate, not only our hearts, but our eyes.

Grace & Mark bringing Jesus to a needy woman
Evidently, the neighborhood was watching us pray for Mike to be set free from his addiction to alcohol. When we returned to the van, Robert told us that a woman across the highway was requesting that we pray for her.  Grace again was the primary spokesperson and translator for the ministry of Jesus through herself and Mark.  I was so full of joy at the ways of God and the glory of Jesus that was on Grace.  I would have never guessed.  It wasn't in my plans, but "A man makes plans, but God directs his steps."

Kathy ... thanks for sharing Mark with us.  We are blessed and Uganda is blessed.  Thanks for loving Jesus more than your own life and being committed to expressing the Kingdom of God in Romania. Many here are praying that God will heal you from the cancer attacking your body.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like it was a wonderful God-led time!

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