Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chapter 20 - Update #15 - August 6, 2015

Thursday  - 8/6 - Second Day of Door-to-Door Evangelism

The team was a little more confident preparing for the second day of door-to-door evangelism with Glory Be to God Church.  Even though this was not the favorite activity for some of the team, they were so willing to do whatever they were asked to do.  You would have all been so proud of the team! 

We thought all of the soap that we gave away on the first day would be enough to cover both days.  But when we arrived at the church, we discovered that we were out of soap.  So Godfrey & I left the team with the church and drove to the nearby market to buy more.  This time the church cut the bars into three instead of just halves.  That still left plenty of soap to give away.   

Godfrey also wanted to start all of the shopping for the Dedication party.  I am so glad that we did this because in an hour and a half we didn’t even finish half of the food shopping!  Since I was going to be pulled away again from a team project, I wanted to at least see where the team was going.  They immediately walked to the houses next door to the church.  So I jumped out of the van and followed Katie who was with her interpreter from the church.   I stood behind Katie and listened to her as she shared her testimony.   I couldn’t have been prouder listening to her share a clear presentation of the gospel.  As I walked away I knew that she was in good hands and God was using her and the rest of the team to tell others the story of Jesus.  

Last Sunday, I visited Grace Fellowship Church in Duarte which is three of our team members attend.  I was so impressed with Kelly’s testimony mainly of the door-to-door evangelism and how it affected the majority of the trip for her.  I asked her to write that testimony out so I could share it with you...

Testimony from Kelly 
“In preparation for this second journey to Uganda, Eydie was very clear that our first priorities upon arrival were (1) to show up, (2) to be spiritually prepared, (3) to do what was asked of us, (4) to serve, and (5) to trust God first, and Eydie as our leader.  How that worked itself out in our team meetings beforehand was that we all were quite clear on the fact that pretty much none of the plans in country would be clear until we got there.  We had almost no idea what to prepare for!!  In Luke 12:11-12, it says, "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”   Well, this is all well and good in theory, but I am a list maker!  When I give a speech, I write it out before hand and memorize it.  I'm not a "wait, and God will give you words" kind of girl!  But that is exactly what God was calling me to be.

When we arrived in Uganda, it was very late so we went right to bed.  The following morning, we had a long, leisurely time to prepare ourselves spiritually as we waited for Eydie and Godfrey to pick us up.  Pastor Doug had received a call from Eydie and had word of what our first tasks would look like - sharing the gospel at the primary school before 600-700 kids and cold call, door to door evangelism in the small villages surrounding Glory Be to God church, where the Raining Hope kids attend.  Needless to say, I was terrified.  I am an extrovert, but public speaking is not my forte and I had never done anything like this before in my life!  We spent the morning practicing our testimonies and preparing ourselves to be paired off, two team members with 1-2 church members for translation.  The primary school was weighing even heavier on my mind at the time (my brain wanting to deal with one thing at a time, in order of when it would affect me), so my teammate, Katie, and I briefly discussed what we would do with our group (the youngest kids).  We maybe prepared for 5-10 minutes.  Again, terrifying!  After a long afternoon of driving from Kampala to Jinja, we fell into bed for a bit more rest before our first day of ministry.

Wednesday morning arrived, and we began to see God working.  Doug and Melanie led the morning devotions at the hotel, and despite short preparation, spoke powerfully.  We went to the primary school and saw God working - many children raised their hands to accept Christ!  We had lunch together, with fear and trembling, and then headed to the church for the task that frightened us all the most!  A time of worship and prayer with the evangelism team from the church started everything off on the right foot, and did much to calm some of my nerves.  Not all, but some.   We then headed off into the bushes, following the church members, and came upon our first struggle - they planned to split us up into teams of two, not with our team mates as we'd planned, but just one team member with one church member.  I let go of my preconceived notions, clung to God and my new friend Shamim, and followed her to the first home.  The next two hours or so went by almost like a dream - Shamim would introduce us in Luganda, find out something about the person we were talking to, then turn to me with "She's a single mom. Go."  I had prepared my testimony, but felt God directing me to share a more direct Gospel presentation, so I did.  The woman came to a decision to follow Christ!  "This one is Catholic. Go."  "This one is very sick and needs prayer. Go."  Sometimes I was able to share in English, but most of the time Shamim translated.  Each encounter saw me dependent on God for the words to say.  I don't think I ever said the same thing twice.  In the two days of evangelism that the whole group did, we saw 30 people come to follow Christ!!  I personally prayed with nine to accept Jesus!  Prior to this experience, I had only ever prayed with one person to receive Christ.  What an amazing harvest - and it was all Him!!

What followed in the next few days, I can only describe as miraculous.  God did what only He can do - using the weak and unimpressive to do what He has planned in order that He receive all the glory for what was accomplished.  We went from task to task, and, just as He promised to do, He gave words to speak and strength to accomplish every job laid out for us.  From leading devotions, to primary school, to small village, to hospital, to encouraging hotel staff, to the dedication of Raining Hope's new house, to teaching Sunday school... time after time, He showed that He is who He says He is and that He does what He says He will do.  My faith grew by leaps and bounds in such a short time, and I will be forever grateful for this second opportunity to go to Uganda.

I was especially blessed by the opportunity to see the Raining Hope children again.  Last year, I took away an overwhelming impression of their joy in the Lord.  This year, that joy was coupled with confidence.  They are more sure in their trust in the Lord - that He loves them, that they are precious, that He has a plan for their lives.  Seeing the Lord provide $120,000 in less than six months so that their new home could be purchased outright was a miracle and they could see it.  It strengthened their faith, just as it did mine here at home!  I was so thankful for the deepened relationships with all of the children, and I am so glad for the time of fellowship and worship with my brothers and sisters in Uganda.”  ... Kelly 

By time Godfrey & I returned from our shopping trip, the team was just finishing up in a time of prayer.  I saw a difference in the team from this point on.  They were overwhelmed with God and all that He was doing.  They were more confident in sharing their testimony...willing and ready!   I watched them hug their new friends and take photos to forever be a memory of what God did in these two days.  When we trust in Him, God will do what only He can do.  

We debriefed in the van on the way to the hotel.  Everyone was excited about the decisions made for Jesus and the friendships that were made.  They were excited about now going to see the Raining Hope kids for the rest of the evening!  

More about how we finished out our Thursday in the next update! 

All about Him, 
mama kisakye! 
Kelly & Hope 

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