Gail and I keep saying that we are just small people serving God in Uganda, following Him as He leads. Apparently he has plans He has not yet revealed to us – big surprise! This eight weeks in Uganda has produced a series of faith leaps that leave our heads spinning. On the one hand, we ask if we are up to the task set before us. On the other hand, we ask if we have been prepared all our lives for such a time as this.
Just yesterday we completed our last meeting with our team here in Jinja before heading back home. At the end of the meeting several things were clear to us as a result of this trip:
1) In these eight weeks, we have broken into three new regions that call out to us for ministry – Bugala Island and the islands of western Lake Victoria south to the Tanzanian border, Masaka and the eight surrounding districts of southwestern Uganda, and Soroti in the northeast, which offers a gateway to all of northeastern Uganda;
2) There are several more areas of Uganda that are also calling to our team, and we have not yet had time to begin work there in the west, the northwest, and the central regions – but our team is urging us to include them in the near future, and there are even pastors from those regions who have traveled to be in our trainings who are calling for us to come there to give the ministry to their leaders;
3) Our next trip will include a change of program – we will spend a good deal of time visiting and surveying our previous work, verifying and recording actual church-plants that have resulted from the ministry to date, and evaluating how many there are, assessing where we have been most effective and why, and what further development and training each of these new church plants requires;
4) In the future of our ministry here, there will be a shift from two day church-planting conferences to three and five day Bible Institutes centered in each region that target Bible training for about 100 leaders at a time and centered around church-planting and development;
5) I have been surprised by a request from one denomination in the Eastern Lake Victoria region to consult with the denominational leaders on the development of a practical and biblical denominational manual for church development – they used the term “order document,” and I was immediately taken back in time to the several “order documents” I have helped to develop over the years of ministry in the U.S. (has God been training me for this? He seems to be saying, “Yes, Yes, and Amen,” and so I have agreed to pray about this possibility, and I may again need the help of former comrades in arms Charles Flemming and Sunny Lowe);
6) And finally, Gail is being forced by the unexpected fruit of her ministry to women to reevaluate what the Lord is doing with her part of this ministry (and again, I say, “Amen, and amen).
All of this is beyond our ability to comprehend at the moment. We return home on Tuesday, Nov. 8th. We leave with one U.S. president sitting in our own country, we are in the air for most of the U.S. election day, and we arrive on Nov. 9th with a different freshly elected leader. It is surreal for both of us. But to be honest, all of our own nation’s angst is overshadowed in our hearts by this ever-broadening call from God which we have to navigate carefully and prayerfully, hoping only to see the outpouring of His purpose through us.
Verse for the day, for us personally, for our Ugandan brothers and sisters, and for all Americans as we face this election day together:
2 Thessalonians 3:16: “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”