The purpose of this trip was to start churches in areas where there may not be a church or strengthen the existing one. Our team ministered in dozens of small villages in four areas this past summer: Iganga, Bugiri, Nakaseke, and Kumi. It would be almost impossible to tell all the great things God did during the month. The team of 20 Americans and many nationals shared the gospel with 2,388 men and women and 876 trusted Christ as Savior. We saw 52 new house churches begin and another 22 home groups started that were going to be cells of a traditional church. Over 75 new believers joined us as members of the team, sharing their new faith and opening their homes. We also saw close to 100 new believers baptized and identifying themselves with Christ during the month! Thank you for standing with us through your prayers. Below are a few photos showing a baptism, gatherings, training, sharing the word in homes, and getting to know these families.
Each day we had breakfast together as a team, worshipped and prepared for the day. The American formed teams and were taken to the various site daily. Once there, they met their nationals, broke into pairs and reviewed their testimonies and the sharing of the gospel. Then teams including the nationals and interpreters were formed. Each team would go out seeking that person of peace. We prayed that God would lead us to them. We knew this was the person of peace if they one, listened to the messenger, two, received the message about Jesus and placed their faith in Him and three, if they wanted the team to stay to meet others in their families and so share with those other family members or if they wanted the team to return the next day for further stories.
Each day we revisited these new believers and disciple them more in God’s word. We taught them how to share their story and the gospel. We invited them to join us to tell others in the village. At the end of the week there were gatherings in homes with many friends and family. We modeled for the new believers, assisted the nationals and new believers to do this and watched as they taught others in the gathering so the new believers would know how to share their testimony and share the gospel. This helped them to be more confident and competent to continue to tell others about Jesus. These new believers gathered on Sunday at the traditional church to worship and rejoice for the work God did in the village.
One neat story was that on my team there was an 83 year-old lady. She was so excited to be telling people about Jesus we walked those hills together! She would not be left behind. She taught in the morning with me and was such a trooper. We shared in a bar one day with about 6 men and some women. Later that day one of the men, Amuza, wanted us to come to his home to talk about Jesus but the timing did not work and we missed his son who came to get us. Finally, we did visit and learned that he had married but the woman was not a believer and did not want to raise the family in church. So, after some time he had an extra marital affair, and contracted HIV/AIDS. His wife divorced him. He was sad, frustrated and experienced the disrespect from his sons. He knew he had done wrong and wanted to get his life back on track. He thought if he found another Christian woman who would marry him all would be well. We had much to talk about. We answered questions which eventually lead to us sharing the gospel. We told him he needed to return to God and repent of his actions. He realized that he was trying to set the stage for his life, but things were not going as planned. He realized too that he was doing it all wrong and needed to start by confessing his sin against God. He surrendered that day to Christ! We went back the following day as he wanted his sons to hear this same message. Only one son was there as we shared with him about Jesus. This son saw a change in his Dad and wanted to hear more. We shared the gospel with him and he too trusted Christ as Savior.