I have now completed visits to eight church plants that resulted from the training seminars and meetings Gail and I have operated here in Uganda since 2011. The pastors who planted these churches all took me seriously when I taught them to take the Gospel to the villages with no churches rather than to the cities with many churches, because these eight places were far out from the towns, deep in the bush.

Let me share some of the stories I have already gathered with this Survey Trip (see previous post). Among the challenges that these church leaders share is the resistance they receive from both those who gather at the mosques and the witch doctors in their communities.

This church at Bulyampindi is on their second building project (see the partially tinned roof) because their stand against witchcraft cost them their first building when the landlord went back to witchcraft and ordered them to leave.

One church was established three years ago, but at the two-year mark the new Christian who had hosted  the church  on her land suddenly withdrew when they began to confront the witchcraft practices in the community. She would not give up her idols or her various witchcraft devices, amulets, etc. Finally, she insisted that the church move from her property and has turned back to her old practices. This little congregation lost ten other members during this time due to their unwillingness to turn away from witchcraft. Now the remaining forty  are struggling in a new location to replace their building and move forward.

Another pastor told me that in their community the witch doctors are the ones attending the mosques, so the two forces were united in holding the community in darkness when he first arrived. This pastor was the first to plant an evangelical church in this village, and they have doggedly resisted the numerous attempts to halt their progress, praying continuously for God’s intervention and protection. Since November 2014 they have had over 100 conversions from this village, including 55 baptisms, and just last Sunday ten came for salvation. Not only that, but now that the resistance seems to be broken in the village because five other evangelical churches have opened up in the last year – it is as if the darkness has lifted. It is worthy of note that this is my observation as an outside observer. I’m not sure they even realize it, living day to day as they do inside the process of deliverance they are experiencing.

How does this “resistance” manifest? In the above-mentioned village, the witch doctors will come on Saturday night and plant amulets and “cursed” objects inside the door of the roughed out church structure– these objects are known to cause people to become sick. Across Uganda, it is often reported that this practice of hiding cursed objects even causes deaths among unbelievers who have earned the enmity of a witch doctor. It is the practice of the new believers in this village on Sunday morning to wait for the pastor to arrive before entering the church building; he will go in and remove the cursed objects, bring them out and they will burn them; only then will the church members enter and begin Sunday morning activities. What a way to start church every week!

After 3 years, this church at Kazigo has the bare bones of a building, but not even a tarp to cover their roof when it rains.

If God might burden you for such a church, they have no covering for their roof or walls yet and cannot even meet when it rains (see the picture). They need a tarp to cover their building. This would cost about $25.00 American, but the church’s annual income in this poor village is around $14.00 (25 adults, 50 children) – yes, I said annual income. If anyone wants to donate a tarp, you can do so on this website at the bottom of the page through Paypal. Please send me a comment below this post telling me that you are giving for this need so I know about it. I will make sure they receive a new tarp for their building. Of course, in time they hope to have a more permanent structure with a tin roof and walls.

You may wonder why Meade International doesn’t just pay this small amount. It seems like such a simple thing. However, Meade International has had to set the policy that we cannot build buildings in Uganda. I am asked almost everywhere I go to help pay for buildings. In fact, I was asked six out of eight visits this week – if I responded as my heart would like to, Gail and I would have to stay in Texas and only send funds to build buildings, and we would never have the funds to travel here actually to do the work we do.  Even more importantly, as a ministry, it becomes a great problem if we contribute to one church building project but do not contribute to all of them. This creates division and jealousy. This is why I have had to set the policy – we are a church-planting ministry, not a church-building ministry. However, I will take designated donations for such a specific purpose as I have mentioned, if anyone feels led to give, and I will make sure they understand it is a gift from an individual.

I will continue with more stories tomorrow…