Being face to face with each of these church-planting pastors and hearing their stories has continued to be an inspiring experience. Seeing the people up close in this manner provides amazing insight into the lifestyles of these isolated places. Here’s a somewhat earthy insight into the life of a Ugandan church-planter.

We traveled many kilometers into the bush on the back side of Buvuma Island out in Lake Victoria to visit one church-plant. This church-planter took to heart my teaching in the CP Seminar that they should seek a place that has no church rather than plant more churches in communities that already have churches. I am always encouraging them to seek out the dark places where there is no gospel message. I warn them against simply putting up more churches in the towns where they often end of trading disgruntled Christians back and forth with the other churches instead of winning unbelievers.

This tiny fishing village lies at the end of a long forest “road” that was so bad in places that I had to walk in front of the car to guide it onto the best course over rocks, holes, streams pouring out of the thick forest, and sometimes a track that disappeared into the tall savannah grasses. The pastor supports himself with a business in a distant village in another part of the island. Every Sunday the pastor bicycles the entire distance down this narrow forest trail to come and preach and teach the new believers in the village, which seems a daunting task to me, having driven it in our car with great difficulty. Most of the members are converts from the ministry of his church-planting team.

I asked the pastor why he didn’t come on Saturday afternoon and spend the night in the village to prepare for each Sunday. He explained that there is no place to sleep. I asked if one of the church members might offer him a spot in their home. He blushed at bit, stammered some, then explained that the members are all married. It took me a minute to figure out what he was hinting at. Slowly it dawned on me. These homes are all one or two room huts with very little privacy. And after all, these are new believers who perhaps don’t quite have the “sacrifice” part down just yet….Hence, he can find nowhere to place his head overnight.  He is forced by his appropriate modesty to bicycle in every Sunday morning across what amounts to about a third the length of the island.

More stories tomorrow after more interviews.

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