Ministering “On My Own”

This was an interesting 2nd Sunday in Easter. Bishop Gogo had to go to Kampala for a House of Bishop’s meeting on Friday and Saturday and he decided to stay through Sunday. So on Saturday, Bryan and I decide to go the next day to Nabumali to worship and pray with the church there. This is the place where Bishop Gogo wants to build the cathedral for his diocese. There is Nabumali Buildinga chance for them to buy the property next to this small church for $2,000 USD. It’s a really good price and will be a good location for them. It’s right on the side of a main road which is well cared for and will be paved soon. Please remember them in your prayers. They are like most of our churches here, small and poor, so they are praying for the Lord to provide the money for the purchase of the land that they could never afford on their own.

Sunday morning, Bryan comes by to get me about 9:00 am. Bryan is a young man about 16-17 years old and is still in what we would call high school. He will be my interpreter if the church wants me to preach. Since this will be the first time for me to minister at a church in Africa without a Bishop, I am wondering how things will go with just the two of us.

Nabumali is only 12-15 miles from our house so the easiest and coolest (temperature-wise) way for two of us to get there is to go by bobaboda, which is a trip!!! You’re on a little 100-125 cc motorcycle on a main road with taxi-vans and other large trucks driving as fast as the vehicles will go. And the larger guys have no a problem with forcing the smaller guys to get the heck out of the way every once in a while!!! If you don’t get out of the way, you get run over, literally!!!!!! I think some of that comes from the dislike between taxi-van and bodaboda drivers because of the competition for passengers but I still haven’t figured out why the bodaboda’s feel the need to force bicycles and people walking out of the way as well. They will go out of their way just to see if they can get them to move. Yep, bodaboda rides can be very interesting with the right driver that’s got an attitude going.

Now you might be thinking that it would be better to take the taxi-van since they are further up the “food chain”, which it is if you’re going a long way, but with them you usually have 20-25 people stuffed onto 14 worn out seats that were poor when they were new and only get worse with age. At least half of the folks that you are traveling with haven’t had a bath in the last four or five days and you know that at least two of the four people that are invading your personal space are in that half. In addition, Africans are cold natured so the widows are closed. And after being overloaded inside they also overload the roof with stuff, making the shocks and springs something that worked at some time in the distant past but no longer. Once they are loaded up, the course of business for them is to see just how fast they can get to wherever they are going!!! If you read the newspapers here you notice that sometimes they don’t make it there, so for me, the idea of being in one of those things when it flips seems like my personal space would get just a little too invaded!!! Kind of reminds me of the old saying, pick your poison!!!

So off we go on our bodabodas. The ride is typical; wind in your face, dust in your eyes!!! Once we get there, the church seems to be having a good time so we join in and begin to pray and worship. And yes, they do want me to preach, which always amazes me.

As we are worshiping, the Lord changes what He wants me to share. You would think that I would get use to that. I now share an encouraging word for the ladies of the church, which out number men two or three to one.

After my homily and more worship, we ask if anyone needs prayer. At first no one moves and I think, “Well, so much for that idea.” Then one lady comes for prayer and that gets it going!!! Before it’s over we pray for all but two adults and about half of the children.

I forgot to ask the first person that I prayed for if they were better and if they felt like God had healed them, so I’m not sure about her, but everybody else said that they felt better and felt like they were healed!!!!! That’s cool!!!

Now, there were no blind eyes opened or deaf healed, but then there were no blind or deaf prayer requests either. Most of the healing seemed to be for things related to malaria.

The next thing I need to do is get the Lord to show me how to teach them to believe and pray for each other expecting to see the Lord stretch forth His hand to heal.

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