Greetings from Uganda! We had another marathon VBS back in August. It went great, with over 600 kids between the four preaching points in attendance on the last day. This is a vital ministry. We see many children coming for baptism every time we have a baptism service. If you want some pictures, you can check out our Facebook page.
More recently, we heard two weeks ago that disease at the main camp around Sangano had become very bad, and they had cut their rations again. Malnutrition and unsafe water, both problems at the camp, cause disease. We had 28 cases of malaria, and 12 cases of typhoid. Plus they needed food. I had no money to use for this. None. So I told them I couldn’t help. Within 24 hours, somebody had heard of the need and gave sufficient funds to buy medicine and food. Praise the LORD!
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. We wanted to take the supplies out there two weeks ago, because the need was urgent. The money failed to reach our bank in time for Sunday. Then, that same Sunday, it rained very hard. We were coming back from our church at Juru when the engine died a mile from the main road. I called the tow truck, and we began pushing the car to the road so the tow truck could find us.
Children, everybody here for that matter, have no fear of cars. I have tried to instill some healthy fear in them, but they don’t listen. As is always the case when you pull over to the side of the road/dirt road/muddy swamp/footpath with car trouble, a swarm of excited children instantly materialize to watch Mzungu TV. They began trying to “help” us push. We tried to chase them away. They wouldn’t go. So, as I knew would happen, one of them slipped in the mud and his foot went under the tire. Now the car wasn’t going very fast, and the ground was soft from rain, but it still hurt him badly.
I couldn’t get him to the hospital with my car, you know, ’cause of the engine trouble (turned out to be a bad motherboard for the fuel injector), so I sent him on a boda. He lost a sizable patch of skin from his foot, but there did not appear to be any breaks.
We kept pushing, and had to charge through a particularly swampy patch of road in our church clothes (we were muddy up to the waist, even me as tall as I am). Finally, we made it to the main road, loaded into the vehicle, and rolled to the bottom of the hill to wait for the truck. Meanwhile, a crowd of looky-loos followed us to the bottom of the hill. Some police showed up, and the boy’s father. We explained what happened, and the police agreed it was the child’s fault, although, ultimately it’s his father’s fault for failing to know the whereabouts of his child, and failing to teach him caution around cars. After the usual dithering, I finally persuaded him to take a little money for his son’s hospital fees, and the police of course wanted “money for soda”. That’s all either of them really wanted.
We finally made it home, and the car is repaired, but the repair took most of the week to complete. We went out to the camp on Sunday, and were at last able to give the gift we were wanting so badly to bring the week prior. Thank you, servant of God, who gave the gift so we could help the people at the camp who could not help themselves!
I preached from Galatians 3:1-14, which speaks of the failure of the law, or any religious laws or standards, to save us from our sins or gain favor with God. The just shall live by faith. If we are to be saved, it is through faith alone in Jesus Christ. He saves us, because we cannot save ourselves, and he keeps us, because we cannot maintain our own salvation. He does it all, and has done it once for all through His finished work on the cross. Nothing further is needed from us beyond our simple faith in Him. Every religion other than Biblical Christianity teaches that salvation/enlightenment/transcendence comes through the flesh, through human effort. The Bible teaches, rather, that the just shall live by faith – we believe God and He counts it to us for righteousness.
Afterwards, I knelt with a man named David while he repented with weeping, prayed believing, and it was counted to him for righteousness. The just shall live by faith.
It is often challenging, the work we do at Nakivale, but the rewards are eternal, and well worth the effort.