We are now in a place we have never been before, teaching Church Planting. The town is Apac (Uh-PATCH), spoken like you are spitting the word out. I have fallen into the bad habit of calling it Ay’-Pack, and so Gail is constantly spitting at me – that is to say, correcting my pronunciation. It has become somewhat of a game between us because she’s just so cute when she’s saying it – uh-PATCH, uh-PATCH! Actually we are outside the town in a small village area called Ibuje (Ih-BOO –jay). The meeting has been good so far with some 65 in attendance.

The tribe here is a new one to us and the language is completely different. Here they speak Lango, so any efforts we have made to learn basic words and phrases in the other languages are now useless to us. So just on this trip alone, we have worked with Luganda, Lusoga, Samia, Japadola, Atesso, Lugisu, and now Lango – and there are 45 others out there, making 52 languages in all in Uganda. Alfred speaks only Luganda and Lusoga, so he is getting a rest from constant translating, which is good because we have  been working steady and he needed the rest.

Yesterday, I received some very pleasant encouragement for our work, but the news came indirectly by way of overhearing it in conversation. When it first brushed up against it, our host here was talking to Alfred in the front seat. Then we leaned in and asked him to repeat what he had just said. He said that after our Church-Planting training In Kaberamaido (our next stop) last Fall, 8 churches were planted around the villages of that area. Then he elaborated by saying that 3 more were planted by some who had come to the meeting from Lira, a large town to the northwest. So that makes 11 churches planted after a single conference. That is very good news indeed!

Then, when we settled in for the night, and finally, after washing, eating, sorting, studying, etc., we turned on our internet, I found the following email waiting for me:

Hello pastor Bob,

Praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praying that this email finds you well and strong in faith together with your family. Back here we are doing well and growing stronger in Faith. I am pastor [___] (name blocked to protect him). We met back in 2015 while you were ministering at Kitale….

[this was my trip to Kenya, the only trip outside Uganda to date – I haven’t heard much of anything from that conference in all this time, but he said he found my business card in some of his materials and saw my email and was prompted to write to me ].

…You were  teaching us about church planting and it was very powerful…..Through your teachings I was able to open a new church in [___] where currently I am pasturing , I introduced the same teachings to my fellow pastors and together we have also opened 3 other churches…

[This pastor is doing exactly what I want them to do after the teaching! What a rush!!]

…We thank God to have used you to teach us anointed teachings that have brought tremendous results and expansion in Kingdom work….

However we continue to pray for you and your wife, and the missionary work you are doing, how I desire that I may host you in [___]…. that you may be able to see the work that we are doing. We are the fruits of your labour and are honored to be part of the great family that is bringing a difference in peoples’ lives and especially the body of Christ. My family sends their love and kind regards….

[Through tears Gail is saying, “We are coming!” And we probably are coming, but we don’t know when – much prayer and planning to fit it into the already fuller than full schedule in Uganda.]

Much love and hugs [a very unusual and warm, friendly closing from an African, who often tend to write formal closings!]

 

So in one day God has unexpectedly shown me 15 churches that have been planted as a direct result of the work we are doing. WHAT A GREAT DAY! And it came while I am teaching a church planting conference.

Interestingly, we have had a request to visit an isolated area on the back side of Mt. Elgon on the eastern border between Uganda and  Kenya, and the easiest way in to their area is through Kenya. Hmmm. God, what are You doing-g-g-g? I think Your plans will be made before You inform us….

So we continue the work here with a renewed expectation of what God is doing around and through us. Thank you, so many, who have supported our work to send us here – this fruit is yours to share in the Kingdom!

 

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