Sunday, March 4, 2012


Small Is the Next BIG Thing

Peter, Assina, and daughter Precious
Babies are big.  The witness of the birth of my two last children made a huge impact on me in two major ways.  First, I concluded that the miracle of my wife giving birth to the babies was something that no man could ever do, resulting in a quantum jump in respect for her and all women.  Secondly, my wonder at our life-giving God in such a miracle left me speechless and in awe of Him.  The partnership between God, who gives LIFE, and man and woman who make a small micro contribution of a sperm and egg results in a miracle that is beyond spectacular.

There is a parallel reality in the spiritual realm.  God said, "Let's make man after ourselves."  Just as every fruit bearing tree and ever fish and every bird, and every plant, and every animal reproduces after its own kind, God make man to be like Him so that He could have a family.  The consequence of man's rejection of intimacy with the Father was independence.  Ever since man has been on his own until the love of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ reconciles the orphan man back home into the Eternal Family.

God does the miracle of giving Life, but He has a partnership with His sons in  planting the seed in the lives of those who are still orphaned.  It's an amazing miracle.  I, along with the Oklahoma Team, witnessed that miracle in the life of Emma.  I've made mention of Emma as the friend of our driver Peter.  They have know each other since the days of being "thugs" together in the village of Mbiiko.  They share life together in the taxi industry when Peter drove taxi and Emma was a conductor.  They got drunk together, did drugs together and raised all kinds of hell as lost orphans.

About three or four years ago, short term missionaries, who came to minister with Next Generation Ministries in Uganda, began to plant seeds in the heart of Peter as he started driving those teams here and there.  This afternoon Peter shared his story as he was overcome with gratitude for the faithfulness of those who come from the West to share, by life and by lip, what it means to be sons of God and part of the Family of God.  Those seeds were given life by God and Peter's life is a miracle. He is not the same man that he was.  He now carries that same seed and it was His love for the Father and his friends that he began to plant seeds in his friends.  Emma was one of them.

Melvena helps wash Emma's feet & encourages
Until two weeks ago, it looked as though the seed Peter shared may have fallen on hard ground. Emma talked like he would respond to Peter's love, but he dodge him over and over.  While we had our water well drilling training in Nsenge two weeks ago, we came across Emma on the street.  Next thing you know, Emma entered the van and traveled to the work site with us.  He joined the training and come to our compound to celebrate the completion of the project.  Last Sunday He accompanied Jeff, Sera, Peter, Assina, Precious, and me to Bukeeka where I was preaching and Jeff was singing.  Monday we invited him to join us on a trip to Kampala as we took our friends, Elijah and Elisha, to their boarding school. We shared a meal with Emma in a nice restaurant before returning home.  Yesterday, Saturday, Peter found Emma waiting for him to make sure that he could come to church with us this morning. The previous Sunday in Bukeeka, Emma had confessed Christ and this past week had avoided all of his bad habits.  It looked like the seed was beginning to break through the soil!

Emma chooses new shoes
After sharing a delicious Sunday dinner, Peter shared the story of how the Lord brought him to Assina and then to Him.  It was a moving story and Emma was there to catch it all.  Emma then shared that he had been having dreams during the nights since he stopped drinking.  The men prayed for him and then we washed his feet.  The Oklahoma team brought a tote of men's shoes with them and they brought it into the sitting room and let him pick out a pair he liked.  He was wearing a shirt that had a tear in the back of it.  One of the men suggested the team give him a shirt.  He ended up with two of them!

Emma gets a new shirt & new life
with help from an old friend
After spending the morning in a village church and then an afternoon of fellowship in the Lord and ministry it was obvious that it was a BIG day.  But, it was small things that communicated the love, grace, and mercy of Christ.  The small seeds promise to bring in a BIG harvest.

God is amazing.  His family grows bigger and bigger as small acts of mercy, love and grace take place.

For more photos and additional perspective on the day with Peter and Emma take a look at TEAM UGANDA AND BEYOND written by the short term mission team that is currently working with us here in Jinja.

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