Archive for October, 2013

Finally, I can report in – we have been without electricity here much of the time recently – all day today (Saturday) and portions of other days through the week.  Some outages are caused by lagging infrastructure, and others are caused by rain and water damage. It is the rainy season here, and we are getting at least one good shower per day, sometimes more.

As we drove Wednesday morning way out to rural Kiranga, we began in a rain storm, and then as we ended on Thursday, we drove home in a rain storm. Normally, you wouldn’t think that would cause much problem, but the roads are all unpaved in these rural areas, so we experienced a lot of mud, stuck vehicles, washed out sections, deeply rutted lanes, pond-size puddles, etc. Many times we would stop in the middle of the road to strategize the best way to negotiate a section of muddy ruts and pot-holes in front of us without getting stuck.

At one point, we even had to leave the road and drive up through a yard to get around a stuck truck. Then it was a matter of how to get back down the bank onto the road. We did this by the locals helping to dig out the bank to make a way for the car to approach the roadway.

Since we were making such slow headway, it was almost dark by the end of the journey back to town, and as the rain stopped the people came out onto the roads, more so as we got closer in to town. This in itself presented hazardous driving conditions since the roads were often one slippery muddy lane crowded on both sides by pedestrian traffic in oncoming darkness. I was very glad that Samuel was driving and not I.  Even so, I was more tired and stressed from the drive when I finally got back to the hotel than from the long day of teaching.

Here are some pictures of the road and the church where we spent two days teaching church-planting to a group of about sixty.



Potential in a Bottle!

Written Sunday, 9/29/13 – So this morning I was speaking in a familiar church from my last visit – Bugembe Christian Worship Centre of Peace (mentioned in last entry). I was talking about the potential present in each Christian through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Lord gave me a great illustration during the week as we were driving to and fro. When I got to that point in my message, I walked over to my day-pack, fished around inside and came out with two bottles of coke which I had planted earlier. I held the first one up in front of the congregation and then began to shake it violently, causing the first three rows to lean way back. The bottle was capped, of course, so it just fizzed inside the bottle and couldn’t get out into the air to do its thing.  I suggested that we are all full of potential just like that…but sometimes because of fear or unwillingness to follow our lives are capped off and the purpose of God in us can’t get out to affect the world around us.

I turned then to Isaiah 55:11 – “So is My word that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me void, but shall accomplish what I please. And it shall prosper the thing for which I sent it.” Then I uncapped the other coke, drank it slowly as if it were the best thing I had ever tasted. They loved it and fell out laughing (what will this crazy musungu do next?).  Then I explained that this coke lived up to its full fizzy potential and fulfilled the purpose its maker had given it – to accomplish the thing for which it was sent, i.e., to satisfy my taste buds.  Of course, then I suggested to them that they each lived like one or the other of these cokes and that their faith needed to uncap the bottle to allow God to bring them to their potential.  I closed by encouraging them to release their faith with full confidence in the indwelling Power of the Lord, that He has sent His Word forth in their lives to accomplish what pleases Him, and it will not return to Him empty or pointless. In the context of church planting, this is a very helpful concept, so that as they go the villages to plant churches, they can have confidence in His work in them.

It was a useful illustration, and one I might use again as the Lord leads. Unfortunately, I had not warned Samuel, my translator, about what I was going to do. I have trained him to try to mimic my expressions and gestures when he’s translating so that his interpretation comes across in the same way I am sending it out. And he’s getting very good at that; so much so, in fact, that in order to follow my illustration, when I shook the first bottle, he reached over and grabbed the second bottle and began to shake it in the same way.  I’m glad I was paying attention and was able to rescue the second coke before it was shaken up too much – might have messed up the whole illustration, or at least the first three rows…

I rarely use this space to fund-raise, but if you believe in what I’m doing here, you might be interested in this. Currently, I must rent a vehicle in order to get around in Uganda. This is quite costly, as you can imagine, taking funds that could well be spent on more useful purposes while I am here.

Recently, I fell into a conversation with another missionary whom I met last trip here at the hotel.   We got to be friends during that time. We continue to talk by Skype sometimes about mission-related things here in Uganda. A common need we have is a vehicle while we’re here. One thing led to another, he did some networking, and so far we have four mission organizations that would like to jointly purchase and share a vehicle for work in Uganda.

This is an amazing opportunity to save money and use God’s resources in the best kind of stewardship possible. The vehicle would be used only for mission work and would be maintained and kept secure by a local Christian teacher in Bugembe, whose integrity and reputation I have checked out thoroughly.

Here is a very brief rundown on the four organizations that would contribute to the purchase and share the usage:

  • God’s Mercy – Local mission in Bugembe that helps Ugandans set up entrepreneurial ventures  in order to move from subsistence to self-support.
  • REMCU Radio Email Connections Unlimited – Places internet and email technology into impoverished non-profits in third world countries like schools and agricultural cooperatives for the purpose of advancing their access to needed resources and communication. Here is an interesting four-minute youtube video about REMCU’s work which mentions our vehicle project at the very end –
  • GARD Grassroots Assistance in Rural Development – A non-government organization dedicated to assisting others in developing countries through clean water and education programs.
  • Meade International – Building up the Church and Planting New Churches, Uganda, India and Nicaragua, in partnership with ICE (I Care Enough International Ministries)

If the Lord should move you to participate in this venture, remember that a little goes a long way in Uganda. You can donate directly through this website using the link at the bottom, or send a check to Gail (inquire in Comments for address information).