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

 

Perspective

Some much-needed perspective for the geographically challenged (*cough*Americans*cough*). Folks, Africa is just plain big. Consider that, pastors, next time you tell a missionary to Africa that you “Already have a missionary in Africa.” By the way, Africa is NOT a country – it’s a continent.

Africa in Perspective