Thursday, June 7, 2012

Uganda Missions' Trip

I just returned from a missions’ trip to Uganda. This was my 9th missions’ trip, and definitely one of the most fruitful in many ways.

Here are some highlights of our trip:
1. We saw people receive Christ and baptized, and I believe these to be genuine conversions. I found the Gulu region of Uganda ripe for harvest.
2. I prayed for a demonized woman one night who was delivered from evil spirits. The power of Jesus is still at work!
3. Pastor George Jabulani, the local Ugandan pastor whom we worked through, has planted 8 churches in 6 years, most of which have come about from the requests of people in surrounding villages, which are quite poor and needy. Most of these churches are also including a school, in order to teach children the Word of God and English from a young age. If you are looking for a worthy indigenous ministry to support, I can highly recommend Pastor George and inform you of how you can help support him. He is in need of about $250 more per month. I can totally vouch for his integrity and trustworthiness.
4. We contributed spiritually through church services, teaching on discipleship, praying for people, and showing the Jesus film; and physically through giving shoes, clothing and hygiene items to the school children, as well as helping to construct a brick church building.
5. I was personally humbled to preach 4 times, teach for hours on discipleship to new Christians (lessons I had written that have now been translated into their language), teach a 2-hour leadership session, and provide copies of my book for pastors to each of the church planters.
6. Having Josiah go on this trip was my personal highlight. Here are his thoughts from our trip: “As this was my first missions’ trip, I experienced many things I was not used to, such as: poverty, disease, and very poor living conditions. I experienced, even through these conditions, the joy of the Believers. When we shared Jesus to the people in the city and also in the villages, people opened up and wanted to hear all about His life. Even though these people lived with nothing in the world, all they wanted and all they needed was Jesus.”
7. A spiritual highlight was the day we walked 3 miles into the “bush” to visit a remote village called Pagiki, located 30 miles from the Sudan border. Pastor George has helped a small group of Believers establish a church there, which present meets under a large tree. As we arrived, we heard the church in joyful worship. Others came as we held a brief worship service. After each member of our team shared a word of Scripture or testimony, Pastor George turned to me and said, “Now you will bring the Word of God.” This has given new meaning to being “ready in season and out of season.” God led me to preach on the magnificence of Christ: His personhood, life, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection. When in doubt, just preach Jesus, right!? I gave an invitation and about 10 locals came forward to kneel on a mat and give their hearts and lives to Christ. What immediately followed was something I will NEVER forget: they began a praise march/dance to a small stream about 200 yards from where we had the service, in order to baptize these new Believers and others who had yet to be baptized since receiving Christ. As we baptized about 20 people, the others sang and danced in worship the entire time. You can view this baptismal experience by going to the blog link listed below.

Every time I have the privilege of participating in a missions’ trip, I am reminded of:
1. The power of the Gospel to change lives everywhere! Jesus is the answer!
2. How joyful heaven will be as people from every tribe, nation, tongue and people will one day worship before the throne of God.
3. James 2:5 where it talks about how God chooses the “poor of this world to be rich in faith.” This is what really touched Josiah in a profound way.
4. How materially blessed we are in the U.S. and yet how spiritually weak we are. I asked the Uganda Christians to pray for our nation. They were shocked when I told them about some things in our country.
5. The importance of investing our financial and physical blessings in the spreading of the Gospel worldwide.

For a complete pictorial summary of our trip (and an incredible video of the baptismal service), go to:

What a privilege we have to help make disciples of all nations!