Greetings, one and all! July and August were just plain busy. We hit the ground running. You see, the problem with being gone from the field for a year is you have a year’s worth of stuff to deal with when you get back.
I had a backlog of believers needing baptism, so we had a corporate service and I baptized the lot of them (35, although some were out sick on the day). I will need to do another, probably closer to Christmas. The churches are growing, which is a great blessing.
Our camp, and the surrounding district of Isingiro, was badly affected by drought and famine while we were in America. We had to make multiple emergency trips out to the camp to deliver food and medicine. All told, we spent $2000 of donations on relief supplies. We’ve taken 300 adult doses and 150 children’s doses of malaria medication, over 600 pounds of beans, 1,800 pounds of posho flour, and 500 pounds of soap, along with countless other medications.
We are finally getting rain now, but it was an unusually long dry season that lasted for 5 months. Many people in Isingiro starved, and the matoke (banana) crops and other staple foods were decimated. The people are having to rebuild their plantations.
At the end of August, our good friend, missionary Tom Tracht came from America to teach a class in Ruti on the Book of Romans. I transported 55 of our folks from the four churches to Mbarara to attend. It was a good class, and dovetails very well with my own preaching through Romans. I am trying to ground our people in systematic theology, so when the cults come around, they can give a reason for the hope that lies within them. Thanks to the preaching of God’s word, and the simple fact that we love our people, I am seeing numerous people leaving the Pentecostal and Catholic organizations to attend our services. We’ve even had Muslims attend services.
My pastor at Ngarama Baptist Church developed appendicitis, and had to be brought to Mbarara for surgery. He has had a very difficult recovery. The surgery was successful, but he has developed an infection, and it may have produced pneumonia. I went to see him after church yesterday, heard him coughing, and told him to get in the car, I’m taking you to the hospital – it sounded that bad. The torrential rains this past week washed away the beans he had planted. Those will have to be replaced.
We have several people who are in need of seeds to plant now that the rains have come. People ate their seed because they were starving. If we don’t get them seeds to plant, we will be right back where we started when the dry season comes again. In any case, I have to help Theogene. I am waiting to hear from the doctor on his condition today. I can’t spare this man. He is faithful, and trustworthy. He has nine children to support. It would be catastrophic if anything happened to him.
On top of all this, the church Theogene pastors had its building destroyed by the same rains. I have an engineer checking it today to get me a cost estimate on the repairs. Here are the pictures of what happened:
As I mentioned in my last blog post from June, we need to repair our buildings. Otherwise, this will be repeated at all the other churches. I have money set aside for wells and buying a motorcycle to assist our ministries within the camp, but I have no money for building repairs. You can refer to my last email for the cost breakdown. This is not an idle request. Please consider helping us repair our buildings.
I have completed the process of getting our various passes and permits approved by the Ugandan government so we can continue living here legally. Last step, we have to all go to Kampala to be fingerprinted. Pray for our travels. It is incredibly dangerous to drive there. I can do it capably, but it’s not pleasant.
God bless you. Thank you for praying!