This past week started off with laughs and tears, and included hitting a motorcycle.
Last Sunday we stayed home due to sickness, but recovered rather quickly. Samuel texted me last Sunday night asking what Romans 8:28 meant. He has been through so much. I responded with something like, “Wow, that’s a big topic, can we talk Monday at 10 am?” He agreed and it was a fantastic time. I fully expected and planned to do a lot of listening, but Samuel was hungry. He was asking questions.
What’s so incredible is that for the past two to three months I have been going through studies and giving messages on suffering. As I covered with him the Scriptures which I had been studying, he devoured them. He highlighted them, asked questions, texted me later asking me to remind him of a reference for a particular one. That part of the conversation ended with Shane and Shane’s, Though You Slay Me video.
Did you know many Ugandans can spend a lot of time in prayer and fasting? It is the Christian culture here to spend Friday nights at church in all night prayer services. Christians can pray or fast for hours beyond that. We as Americans tend to look at all this spiritual “work” and point to little physical results – no house, little clothing, no vehicle, living in a third world country, not improving themselves to American standards – but we’re missing something. I tell you the truth, I think suffering has enlightened him more to God than me or most American Christians I know. He better understands suffering. He doesn’t like it, but he better understands it.
So the time with Samuel included laughs and tears. He said he was encouraged and sensed the Spirit. For that I praise God. I am now meeting with him regularly to see where God will open up a job. Our next meeting is Wednesday. We both would appreciate your prayers for him and a job, especially as a single dad.
Other highlights of this week included our worker Ruth getting glasses, the college ministry, Michelle’s Bible studies (she held three this week), lunch with Tommy and Sandra Boone (our Equip teammate’s parents who are visiting), looking to diagnose another noise on our vehicle, and yes, hitting a boda (motorcycle with a driver and passenger that pulled out in front of me from behind a taxi without looking).
Both riders of the boda are fine. Long story, but an accident with two tractor trailers in a ‘round-about caused traffic to go the wrong way in the ‘round-about. We saw the accident, entered the ‘round-about the correct way, kept left, slowed down (all with absolutely nobody directing traffic) and the boda darted from behind the taxi without looking! I was so mad at the guy, even blurted out a yell at him, “What are you doing?!!!” [Wonderful missionary example]. Michelle screamed, then immediately cried. Our vehicle lightly tagged the boda – enough to knock it over. It slightly scratched the front passenger side (remember the driver sits in the car on the right) below the plastic of the bumper. The passenger was able to jump off and land on his feet safely. The boda driver couldn’t have been more than just a few years out of school and there’s no training for them. Both riders walked away and seemed fine. The driver was apologetic to me. I bet he won’t dart out from behind a vehicle without looking any time soon. Josh, who was in the back with Brittany, said a few minutes later his legs were still shaking from the ordeal. Praise God it wasn’t anything more serious. Your prayers are appreciated and important!
Finally, I spoke at Bugembe this morning. I appreciate pastor Jabel and his wife, Janet, inviting us there so the church could pray for the girls before they leave for the States. The church service went to 2:20 pm. I spoke about 45 minutes. We had the countries of Uganda, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and the US represented, along with a man from Tennessee who spoke, as well. The church is also trying to raise $300 US to reinforce the wooden poles that termites are eating. The church building is actually leaning and could collapse in the near future if something is not done.
At the service the girls received a word of knowledge / prophecy from the lady from Austria, who told them that fear was an issue, but encouraged them to believe that God has all things in control. She gave a picture illustration of what she saw in the Spirit during the prayer time. It was encouraging to hear and the word she gave the girls addressed the very issues we’ve been facing. As a symbol of the victory that the girls have in Christ, she blew a shofar (Jewish ram’s horn – see photo, although her shofar was turned a bit and longer). That was a first for us, but a nice picture of the reality of God’s promises.
Monday is a trip to Kampala for Equip Uganda. Another busy week coming up, but we love it!