On Saturday afternoon at 4 pm, the church-planting team from Christcare Church in Bujjowali planted a church. This is the team that I worked with initially when I first arrived, pouring in for 3 weeks, then going with them into the village of Naminya to evangelize. I accompanied the teams several times, and they went by themselves several times.

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Soul-Winning in Naminya – 3 Adults receive Christ.

This is how it came about. Our methods for entering a community are based on Luke 10:1-12. We enter a village, seeking the son of peace (v. 6). This is largely determined by spiritually sensing the openness of the community and seeking a specific home from which to begin a more permanent presence in the community. The son of peace will be a person who readily receives the good news of Jesus, or even, perhaps, a Christian who lives in the community who desires to influence their neighbors for Christ.

The first time the team went into Naminya, they led many people to the Lord. Even though one team was rejected by an Islamic man (who later rode by us in the road on his motorcycle, scowling at us), the efforts of the day yielded about thirteen new souls. In one house alone, four people received Christ. The team decided that this house would be their starting place, their son of peace. However, when Samuel and I investigated just a little, we did not agree that this felt like the starting point for a church. So we considered their report and continued to be open to the Lord.

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Worshiping under the mango tree.

Just last week, as we were traveling in the car around the cowpaths and narrow dirt roads to find a starting point from which we could walk to the neighbors easily to witness to them, we “stumbled” on a small cluster of homes set back in the banana and jack fruit trees that we both felt the Holy Spirit point out to us as a wonderful place to have a church. We spoke to the residents, and they were mostly already believers, including one ancient lady who was quite happy to see us. This was the hospitable attitude that the son of peace has, which indicates that this might be a good place to start. As they welcomed us and brought seats and refreshments for us, we asked if they would allow us to meet under this beautiful mango tree and hold a church service for their neighbors. They were overjoyed at the prospect. Their walk to the nearest church was over a mile, and often they missed the services.

So Saturday we  broke into two teams and began walking house to house sharing the good news and inviting people to come to a worship service at 4 pm. I was very surprised at how many people lived back in the trees, whose homes were hidden from any road access, and which we wouldn’t have even known about if we hadn’t gotten out and walked the paths that snaked through the community.

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Drunk man (sobering up) seeks Jesus.

At 4 pm we began, and the neighbors slowly trickled in over the next hour and a half until we had 26 in all. We had a great worship service under the mango tree, and many gave testimonies as to what the Lord was doing in their lives. Toward the end, a downtrodden looking little man wearing very dirty clothing, approached the gathering. He was somewhat drunk, but I think on the sobering up side of his latest bout with alcohol. I had seen him peering through the bushes at the edge of our clearing, and lingering on the outskirts of the little circle of homes as we sang and worshiped . He said that he needed to be born again, which is the Ugandan expression for receiving Christ. He was placed on a mat at the front of the group by the ministry team and they prayed for him, and he prayed for Jesus to come into his life and deliver him from alcohol. The team will, of course, have to follow-up this commitment to help this man with his addiction as they can.

Kids at Worship in Naminya

Even a couple of cute “kids” were attracted by the worship songs!

It is impossible to tell how this work will go forward. It takes lots of watering for any new plant to grow. It will take a lot of dedication from the ministry team, who have to travel some distance to reach this place far back in the center of Naminya. But please pray that this small and humble beginning will produce an independent church in the near future that will begin to win souls, minister to this unchurched community and then plant churches itself in the surrounding communities. We already met one couple in our walking on Saturday who urged us to go plant a church in the next community further to the North, since that is where their children live. They attended this first meeting with great joy. So, you see, the vision is already growing in the heart of this new church-plant. Praise the Lord!

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