MISSON: Uganda Blog Update 03-09-2015

Greetings! OUR CONTAINER HAS SHIPPED!!!

Container

The intrepid truck and crane guys, hard at work.

After a year of waiting, the money finally became available to ship our container full of books to Uganda. Thank you to everyone who gave books to our library. Thank you to everyone who gave money for the container and the shipping. And the biggest thanks goes to our church family, who worked so tirelessly to get this thing prepped and shipped. There is only so much I can do remotely from Uganda, so without their hands working on our behalf, we could not have brought our dream of a public library in Nakivale refugee camp to fruition.

According to the shipping company, our container should reach South Africa by the 30th, then Mombasa by April 9th. From there, it begins making its way overland to our home in Mbarara, Uganda. Exciting!

The people at Sangano are looking forward to this library with great anticipation. Currently, there are no libraries of any type out in Nakivale. They are working hard putting the finishing touches on the building that will house the books. We have to get some benches and tables made. Once the container comes, we have to sort and organize the books, load them into metal trunks for storage, and begin hauling them out there (we can’t put them on shelves because the termites will devour them). We have people ready to man the library and manage the books. It’s all coming together.

I have been burdened with the need for a public church library for some time. Our church will be doing something very practical and of direct benefit to their community through this library, and it will allow us to reach refugees from all over Africa with the Gospel, including Muslims.

Pray for the transition through customs, that we don’t get harassed by the customs agents and our container just comes straight to our house without issue.

I have finally reached 1 Corinthians 14 in my preaching. This means I can, at last, lay the axe to the root of the many Pentecostal/Charismatic cults operating in Uganda. Pentecostalism is appealing here, because it bears such similarity to traditional tribal religions. You have people getting possessed by spirits to receive secret knowledge. You have wild, emotional, frenzied “worship”. You have pagan rituals designed to coax favors from the spirits. All disease is caused by demons, so those have to be cast out, with more pagan rituals and lots of shouting. Slap a coat of pseudo-Christian paint on that, and you have the majority of the Penticosmatic groups at work in Nakivale.

The modern Signs and Wonders movement mines the third world for money and resources, and Uganda is no exception. I am quite weary of these thieves and charlatans, deceiving and exploiting the desperate and the poor. They deal in lies, but to paraphrase the great Steve McQueen from The Magnificent Seven “We deal in truth.” And the truth makes us free.

Pray for us as we continue educating our people and sowing the truth of God’s eternal word among them.

Ignorance and Superstition

A Failed Trial in Africa Raises Questions About How to Test H.I.V. Drugs

This is why it is not enough to change hearts – you also have to change minds. Tribalism, which is now known in some places on a national scale as communism, mutes the thoughts and desires of the individual in favor of a pervasive, debilitating group-think. This group-think means that no matter what health care professionals might think, no matter what they say, even if they give the drugs away for free, people won’t use them because the group believes in their superstition more strongly than they do in the power of medicine. Many, even now, still believe disease is caused by demons, or witchcraft. They don’t trust medicine. 

If the nations of Africa have any hope, it is that the truth will pierce their hearts and change their minds and set them truly free, not just from sin, but from the shackles of tribalism.

MISSION: Uganda Blog Update 01-17-2015

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2015! I trust everybody had some great holidays – we sure did. We bought turkeys out at the refugee camp for Thanksgiving. I try to buy everything I can out at the camp, from church members if possible. It’s a way for people to earn money without my having to harm them with charity. Christmas went great. We took gifts out to our church folks like we always do, and had a big meal at Sangano for everybody.

In December we had another Lord’s Supper for the churches. I am preparing to organize some more churches, and the Lord’s Supper is a good opportunity to review the ordinances, and the importance and necessity of an organized church membership.

The kids are off school for Christmas, so we did our first Marathon VBS of the year like we do every school break. This time, we had over 500 children between the four preaching points on the last day. We got to give the gospel to a lot of children who don’t attend our church, and also hand out lots of cookies, Kool Aid, and candy bars for the guys who could say their memory verses. It was a lot of fun, and only moderately exhausting.

Marathon VBS

Anna leading songs with the kiddos.

In February, I’m having another Baptism/Wedding service. Please be in prayer for that. I find that, like the Apostle Paul, I am having to lay a foundation for people with marriage. What we would recognize as Common Law marriage (living together or cohabitation) is very common here. I am having to teach people why God created marriage, and why it remains necessary today. I am attempting to restore a proper respect for marriage in a world that has done its best to defile and demean God’s sacred institution.

Another thing I have started doing is going out to each of the points and just answering questions from the Bible in an informal Bible Study. The people love it, and I really like it because it gets everybody involved, not just the men. Truth always overcomes deception. Plugging people in to the Bible alleviates a lot of the nonsense that can crop up in a church, always due to deception or failure to understand the plain teaching of Scripture.

All the money needed to ship our container of books to Uganda has come. Our church is busy getting everything organized to ship. We should have that thing on its way to Uganda by the end of the month. Praise the LORD! I am attempting to get all inspections and customs done in America so I don’t have to deal with customs in Uganda. Pray that the shipping process will go smoothly.

Predation

Namuyomba: defiled, out of school, no medical care

This culture clearly believes that men have no control over themselves, that their virility must be unchallenged, and so young girls have to bear the burden of their licentiousness and selfish lust. As a nation, we must end the exploitation of women by predatory men. We must train our boys that manhood does not require using women, and that a true man controls his own body. Fornication is a social evil that is forbidden in the Bible, and for just cause – it destroys souls and creates a society that has no respect for women at all.

“For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7

Ebola Represents a Failure of Leadership

Ebola, Like AIDS, is a Poverty Disease, and the Poverty is Caused By Corruption African Scientist: African Corruption Made Ebola Worse

Africa has vast natural resources, which are largely untapped because most of her countries are technologically backwards and pre-industrial. Those resources are squandered, and, more often than not, are simply sold off to the highest foreign bidder, usually the Chinese, and the money lines the pockets of Africa’s many kleptocrats. These foreign parasites feed on the African continent along with her native corrupt politicians, while its people get nothing. Africa should be among the richest, most developed continents in the world, but its pathologically crooked leadership guarantees that its people will continue to be denied even the most basic advancements, education, and comforts routinely enjoyed in the West.

I’ve seen it time and again in Uganda. The multitude of government agencies, all of them on the take. All of them “eating the money” to buy laptops and big American pickup trucks, or big fancy houses or supporting their mistresses. For example, Uganda’s road authority. They have a fleet of shiny new trucks, while the roads are allowed to deteriorate to the point where they aren’t even safe for foot traffic. Can’t keep the power on to the less than 20% of the population that even has it. Can’t drink the water, while most of the nation is still fetching water from wells in jerry cans. No manufacturing jobs, or any kind of real economic opportunity other than in agriculture, unless it’s working for one of the many foreign NGO’s (mazungus) in Kampala. So all their brightest and most talented people leave to work in nations where they have a shot at getting a job, leaving the country in the hands of the greediest and most incompetent. And arching over all of it is pervasive apathy – the feeling that nothing can be done.

One of my biggest jobs as a preacher of the gospel is re-establishing in the minds and hearts of our people the essential dignity of humanity. They are not animals. They are not “poor”. They are not helpless. They are divine beings, made in the image of God, royalty even, adopted into the house of Almighty God when they get saved. As such, they have boundless potential, and great value, because God deems them to be important. They don’t have to accept “the way things are.” They can change. 

It starts in the heart. First you come to Christ. Then you allow the Holy Spirit to change everything about you. Slowly, you transform from what you were, from your native culture, to God’s culture. You don’t have to go get drunk. You can love your wife and your children. Girls have more value than just being sexual playthings for predatory men. They don’t have to get knocked up. They can stay in school and make something of themselves. Men don’t have to prey on women. They can be gentlemen – like Christ. You can say no. No to sin. No to society. No to your own flesh. You can be free, unfettered by sinful desires, habits, cultural prejudices, and wicked ignorance. 

When God takes a man or a woman, He will inevitably make them greater than they were alone. His greatness becomes their greatness. Anything is possible.

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34