Serving a God of multiplication: my twenty-fifth visit to Uganda!
It is one of the very greatest delights in my life to hear stories and receive reports of what God has been doing as a result of the visits Mission Africa make to regions. The following are two of the many examples I heard during my recent three weeks back in Africa.
Fires burning in Wobulenzi and the fruits that have been born when God raised up an evangelist!
Praise God for the fires He lights! Ever since our mission in Wobulenzi eleven years ago, local leaders have continued to carry out jointly run evangelistic missions on a very regular and frequent basis. These are conducted not only in the local area, but also to districts over a hundred miles away.
A week after our first mission to Wobulenzi we visited the nearby village of Kapeka. We met a young man there called Samuel Ssesanga, who was in the worship team. God lit a powerful flame of evangelism in Samuel, and he is now both a pastor and an international evangelist. For many years now he has been leading teams into remote villages and seeing many hundreds come to faith each time. When I met up with him in Nakaseke again last month he declared:
“I am your fruit”. He is such an encouragement!
Steve and I travelled to Gomba to take part in the consecration of the church that was built after our mission in 2009 with funds we had been able to donate. The first person we met there was Henry Kimbawa, a Rastafarian gang leader who had come to faith on the very last day of the mission. Now with dreadlocks removed and his life of crime behind him, Henry is now a highly respected builder. We were also able to visit the school in Gomba that had grown out of the church, and were delighted to find that Henry has been busy: many new classrooms have since been added!
Building a church out of tomatoes!
Our working retreat with the team beside Lake Victoria was, as always, very fruitful. As well as discussing ways to improve the effectiveness of the missions even further, we shared stories of all we have seen God doing in the past twelve months. In the report of our mission to Namusukata we mentioned that eleven young people who were converted in a previous mission to Bingo walked twenty-seven miles to Namusukata to be taught about evangelism. Returning to their village, they promptly started growing tomatoes to raise money to build a church!
Suffer the little children to come . . .
During our mission to Lusenke in January many young people came to faith. In the host church alone no fewer than one hundred and eighteen children turned up on the first Sunday after the end of the mission. Sadly, there was nobody there to take care of them!
We contacted Watoto, (Kampala Pentecostal Church) who have a team who train up Sunday School teachers. Watoto duly sent their team to serve all twenty of the churches that took part in the mission. This event was such a success that we have decided to repeat this as part of our follow up in all our future missions.
This will be done again for the first time at Luguloire (where we led a mission back in May). Jane Naigaga, the host pastor, now has no fewer than three hundred children attending her Sunday morning meetings!!
Returning from the Retreat, we headed off to Luwero for the dedication of Morris Kigongo’s church at Luwero, which we again had the privilege of funding. This too was a very happy day, with food, music, dancing and speeches in a tented area afterwards—including one from a local MP who is also a Government Minister.
From Hopelessness to Hope
I had the pleasure of staying for a week with Daniel Kato and his lovely family. As well as having a huge heart for the lost, Daniel also has a similar compassion for the disadvantaged and struggling – especially within the Body of Christ.
During the last few months we have been able to come alongside two young pastor’s widows and their families, constructing and furnishing new homes for them (including solar panels and water tanks); providing school fees, food and clothing. We are also exploring how we can help them to be set up in business so that they can be as self-sufficient as possible. Charles, the eldest of Jovans’ seven children is now top of his class at school. Pastor Sylvia’s daughters Alice and Devian proudly produced their school reports showing them as coming first and third out of a class of fifty! We praise God for being able to help these precious people – and are so grateful to you, our generous supporters, for standing with them.
Can rainwater pay teachers’ salaries?
It is always a delight to visit Steve’s school at Toggo with its 1000+ children. Scores of them mob the car as we arrived, all eager to shake our hands.
With prices rocketing and so many mouths to feed, Steve is looking to reduce costs wherever he can. One potential method is to harvest the rain falling on the school roofs by providing guttering and catchment tanks. This would substantially reduce the expense of buying fuel for the generator that currently pumps water uphill to the school from their borehole. This in turn would release money to pay the salary of TWO teachers a year. We will shortly be releasing funds to help make this dream a reality.
Return to Kivule
Daniel and I then went to see another school and borehole at Kivule, which was constructed last year as with the benefit of fantastic help from Oxted One World Group. Both projects were doing well and proving a great blessing to the village.
Since my visit last year the number of pupils has doubled! This had led to the challenge of having to double up classes in two of the classrooms – which is less than ideal from the point of view of noise and distraction levels, so we are praying for funds to be able to build another couple of classrooms, together with some more desks!
Finally, the official launch of a third church!
On the last Saturday, I had the great pleasure of attending the official launch of yet another church. Planted by Daniel near his home in Nakaseke at Easter, God has provided funds for both the land and a temporary wooden structure which can accommodate no fewer than one hundred and fifty people. It was again a really blessed and happy time, with standing room only for many of the two hundred people present – which included no fewer than twenty local pastors who gathered together to pray for Daniel and his wife Grace.
Prior to that day, I had the sweet privilege of leading Hadijah a young Muslim lady, in a prayer of salvation when she turned up at a small midweek Bible study. She came along to choir practice the following evening!
All in all it was a wonderful time of encouragement and team building, the joy of three churches opening – and even a most welcome blessing when my flights were upgraded both ways. How kind the Lord is!
We praise God for all His goodness and faithfulness and for all your fantastic prayers, encouragement and support, without which nothing of all we do could happen.
With our love,
Terry Charlton and Steve Trint
on behalf of the Mission Africa Evangelistic Team