We have returned from Buvuma Island where we have taught and visited church-plants for the last ten days. We are somewhat tired at this point and will take a slow day tomorrow to catch up with ourselves. Since we have been off the grid internet-wise and I want to reconnect with you briefly tonight, let me tell you a short story which Alfred, my Ugandan assistant, told us as we were driving.

We happened to pass a church that was pastored by a friend of his. Alfred was invited to preach there once when his friend had to be out, and, though Alfred does not fancy himself a preacher, he willingly serves when the Lord moves him as He did in this instance. So Alfred taught the people on forgiveness in one of the most unique ways I have heard.

He opened his Bible to the story of Noah and the ark and told the story how the animals came into the ark and were saved from the Flood. He went on to describe forgiveness. The animals, he said, came in and found their hereditary enemies also taking a bunk right next to them. The lions lay down next to the lambs, and the wolves lay down next to the rabbits, the mice next to the snakes, etc. This would not have been possible, he pointed out, except for the fact that these animals, by a miracle of God, all agreed to forgive one another during their year-long journey across the waters.

The sheep agreed to forgive the lions, the rabbits forgave the wolves, and the mice all agreed to forgive the snakes and the owls. Thus, the animals were able to survive together in close quarters for this long period.

My all-around assistant, driver and translator, Alfred.

Now, Alfred went on, if these animals managed to forgive one another, how much more should we people, who are intelligent believers with faith in Christ, be able to forgive one another and live together in peace. This take on the old, old story of Noah’s ark is, I think, rather brilliant, and it is true preaching, Uganda-style.

When he came to the end of his message, several people responded, notably a couple who were planning to separate from one another after that day’s church service. They planned to tell the pastor after church that their ongoing feud was irreconcilable and that they could not stay together. As they listened to the sermon which God sent them that day, their hearts separately became convicted, and they came together to the altar forgiving one another and ending a deep breech in their relationship. Today they remain married and happily “working out their differences.”

Now that is what is called anointing. This Alfred is indeed a man of many surprises. I’d love to borrow that sermon…but you just can’t borrow anointing.

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