NOTE: I depart for Kenya tomorrow morning. I would appreciate prayer as I break this new ground.

The Buvuma Island Ministry two weeks ago, apart from the politics, was very good. Though the attendance was a bit down because of the election the following week, we had around 88 total in attendance by the end of the week. We usually top out above 100. Of course, we experienced quite a bit of chaos in the preparation days before we arrived, losing all the money for a day and finally finding it that night – very scary – then losing my driver and the car for an entire day and being confined to the guesthouse while I should have been carrying out last minute administrative errands in Jinja. Thank you to all of you who prayed for me during that time.

Highlights from the Buvuma Island Ministry:

  • Here is the latest on the “crazy” man, Moses, from the village that we prayed for a year ago.
    • You may remember that he was a permanent daily fixture in the village, but the day after we prayed for healing and a return to his right mind, he disappeared, and I haven’t seen him since. Reports from this trip indicate that he has been seen on the other side of the island in the village where his clan comes from and his father lives. He is reported to be about 70-80% returned to his right mind, has quit drinking as far as anyone can tell, and employs himself carrying water for the villagers there. So we know that within 24 hours of praying for him, he went home, apparently for the first time in years, and seems to be in a process of restoration. I will try to investigate his situation further and pray for that last 20% sometime in the near future. But anyway…PTL!
  • As we gathered for the five day Lake Victoria Bible Institute, the construction workers at a building site for a new hospital noticed the clusters of our pastors walking by frequently. They approached a group of pastors with a request. They reported that as they have dug into the base of the prominent hill that dominates the area to prepare for the hospital’s foundation, they have been repeatedly plagued by demonic activity. They said they asked the Muslims to help them, but the Muslims couldn’t do anything. So they were coming to the Christians for help.
    • They reported that they sleep in a building right at the site where they are digging. At night, they have heard voices from the darkness saying, “You are damaging our land. You must go away. You are trespassing.” Then they report that they feel “pulling” at their clothes, trying to pull them out of the building, and they have even seen some kind of manifestation they describe as a “celestial being” standing in the doorway and trying to pull them out.
    • We were told by one of the pastors that this area is historically the site of much witchcraft and demonic activity, and that in the days before the churches came to the island, there were many disappearances of people trying to cross this particular high hill. Needless to say, we sent a delegation of pastors to pray at the building site. Unfortunately, the political activity has prevented the bishop from ever following up to get the end of the story. So, maybe next trip…
    • Incidentally, while this story sounds very strange to Westerners, just yesterday on the Ugandan TV Evening News, there was a report with videos of a secondary school somewhere in Uganda where the students have been suddenly plagued by demonic attacks. This supposedly began when the head teacher consulted a witch doctor for some reason.
  • The ministry was fruitful and added some new dynamics this trip. The pastors prayed for each other’s needs at the end of each meeting, and a variety of healings took place. Notably, after being prayed for, a man whose eyes had become so bad that he was unable to read his Bible stood up and clearly read to the group several verses from the Bible; a man with a bad toothache reported the cessation of all symptoms; a serious long-term stomach issue disappeared, etc. (Luke 10:9) Again, PTL!
  • I got the husk of a g-nut they had served me with tea caught in my throat early in the week and had a hard time clearing my throat during the lesson. After that, all the g-nuts they served me with my tea were served husk-free – a lot of work for someone. What kindness and sensitivity these people have.
  • On the other hand, none of the pastor-uncles of James, the deaf boy we rescued from the island last trip, even so much as asked after him or his welfare the entire week, again underlining his desperate need of rescue.
  • An older lady came up to me after one of the trainings and asked me to pray for her. I asked her what she wanted prayer for, and she said she wanted me to pray that God would enable her to read – she had never learned, and didn’t particularly want to spend the effort to learn, but just wanted God to give her the ability. I prayed that she would want to learn from a teacher and that God would send a teacher to her – not what she was asking. But as I finished the prayer, a pastor who was sitting nearby said that he worked as a teacher and would gladly teach her to read if she would study – so prayer answered even before I finished the prayer. Don’t know if she took him up on it though. We do have to be willing to receive…
  • As I was teaching about spirituality and both the value and danger of religious ritual in their personal relationship with God, I suddenly found myself saying, “Ritual must serve you, you must not serve ritual.” The point being that ritual can lead you into intimacy with Christ, but it is not a replacement for intimacy with Christ, or a religious end in itself that never proceeds to personal relationship. I didn’t know I knew that. So God taught me something that day as well, as He often does.

All in all, a very good week.