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Teaching in the Bugembe Christian Worship Center

I am teaching daily at a church in a village close by called Bugembe from around 4:30 – 7+. I say 7+ because there are so many enthusiastic questions that I am never done by 7 pm. This class is a joy, and I am just going over the basics of what happened to them when they met the Lord, what being a Christian is, what you do with sin, what is the nature of their relationship with Him. Here in Uganda many churches teach that you can lose your relationship with God by sinning, and these folks in the evangelical group of believers (the Born-Again Federation of Churches) are often confused by these strong teachings that misunderstand God’s heart on this matter. So this kind of teaching grounds them, and this group is just eating it up. How often can you just sit down and discuss virtually any spiritual question you might have with someone?

They are asking simple things like “What happens if I commit a sin as a Christian?” “Is there any sin that God won’t forgive?” “What is the work of the Holy Spirit?” “Is Jesus 2013-02-25 17.44.53God?” “What is the Trinity?” “What does eternal life really mean?” “Why did Jesus die on the cross?” “What does it mean that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit?” “When the Bible says we are free, what does that mean?” I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to answer these kinds of questions.

I have to say that this teaching is so life-giving to me that every day I look forward to this time with them, so eager, so attentive, unafraid to ask any question. We cover the field with their questions, and I am just loving it. Any difficulties of coming here or staying here are put into perspective by the life flowing in the people – how can I say this clearly. I feel like I am standing in the River of Life when I am teaching these people. I come away both exhausted and enlivened at the same time. It’s easy to say I love the Ugandan people, their spirit, and their daily struggle against the odds.

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The children of Bugembe who always come running when they see our car pull up, crying, “Musungu. Musungu.” This literally means, “White. White.”

One girl, a young woman, named Winnie is a good example. She asks deep questions every day, often quoting scripture to frame her question. It is obvious she has come to her question by meditating in the scripture. I asked her yesterday when she had first become a Christian. I fully expected from her depth that she would say she had met the Lord as a child, because her depth and her obvious love for Jesus is inspiring. She was saved in 2004. She’s only 9 years old in Christ, living in conditions of poverty and deprivation that try the soul daily. Yet she is a deep thinker and a seriously spiritual lady. There is a range of maturity to youth in the group, but they are all sincere believers that make my heart want to sing. Every day when I’m done teaching, the pastor comes up to me and hugs me. I don’t see a lot of hugging in Uganda, but he hugs me and thanks me for teaching his people every day.

I feel really good about my work with the Ugandan people. I am excited every day to make eye contact with the demonized man from the village as we drive through to the church. He’s always there, we always see each other. Sometimes he isn’t even aware I’m there even when he’s looking right at me, but other times, he acknowledges me in some way. Only that first day was there any hostility or “demonstration.” Still, every time I see him, I just know there’s more going on with him than being the town drunk. I always wonder what God has in mind when He causes our paths to cross. This is a good place to be!

Pray for our disciple G, who was the pastor in the prison who was released and came the ministry at Bujjowali. His wife has left him because he hasn’t found a job and he is struggling mightily with it, as you might imagine. Life is difficult here for sure. But he comes to the teaching time, sits attentively, asks intelligent questions, and always grips my hand with a gratitude for my coming that is deep and heartfelt.