We are currently in Northern Uganda as we continue in the work of Spread of Grace Ministries. I am quite tired so please forgive me if this is very brief and to the point (and please forgive the spelling mistakes!). I am writing from a hotel bar and there’s some quite unsavory music reverberating in my ears right now and a few folks who appear to be passed out next to me…full of the spirits I’m sure. By-the-way, I’m, only here because the internet connection is stronger here than anywhere else…I promise.
The flights to Uganda were good even if the immigration and customs process was a bit laborious. It was so good to be united together with SGM Uganda country director David Otema and to enjoy a delicious meal that was prepared by Winnie Otema in their home. The evening (Wednesday) I had a good rest in a closeby hotel and we planned on leaving early in the morning to begin our journey to Lira.
Our trip was delayed by a tire blow out but it was intended for the glory of God because as we waited a young man approached us who ultimately came to faith in Christ that very morning. We finally made the 4 hour trip north to Lira where we addressed a group of about 35 pastors and church leaders. Since we arrived so late, we thought we would only stay for two hours. That quickly became almost 5 hours of teaching lessons from 1 Peter. A group from that same church joined us for a few hours on Friday morning for more training.
Friday we traveled on the dirt road for 4 more hours further North to Kitgum. I was reminded of one of the daily dangers that these people face as a large (8foot) cobra slithered in front of us. We tried to hit it but it was too fast. (It was also running for it’s life as a young boy chased it with rocks!) This area has been so torn by years and years of war and government persecution. Since we are near to Sudan it is also experiencing some of the effects of the war there. There is good deal of poverty here all owning to the effects of government persecution and effects of war. In addition the area has been living in the fear of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army and terrorist Joseph Kony). It is an area that has been spiritually resistant for some time at least until this past December when David Otema brought the Gospel and many responded, including David’s father who had left him as an orphan some 30 years ago. Now today there are over 80 believers! We will go to meet them tomorrow…I can hardly wait. They have organized themselves under the name “Calvay Bible Church-Kitgum”. We will spend Saturday and Sunday there preaching and teaching and meeting the believers. It is a poor village with very little education and most do not speak English so my sessions will be translated into Acholee.
You can hardly believe the stories of transformation that are being told in this part of Uganda! I sit back in wonder and almost tears to hear these testimonies. Moreover, I just heard from Misiker who is currently serving in Ethiopia with a medical and pastoral training team. He told me that in just one day the medical team has seen 125 patients with all of them viewing The Jesus Film. One man even came back today who commented that the love and care he received from the treatment is something he has never before seen and said, “Your God must be the True God that make people love one another!” Our partner pastor there clearly shared the Gospel with him and we are hoping that this man will soon submit his life to Christ.
SGM associate teacher Cory Fregm will depart for Mexico next week and continue working with a group of Totenac believers.
Friends, this work is a good work and a necessary work. I only wish that you could come to Uganda and see it with your own eyes. Even writing this has made me wake up with excitement. Forgive me for being so bold, but I must say that this is a worthy investment of your finances and your prayers. I hope that you will diligently offer both so that this work continues for generations to come.