Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chapter 20 - Update #12 - August 5, 2015

Wednesday  - 8/5 - Glory Be to God Church - Door to Door Evangelism 

After our successful ministry at the school, we went back to the hotel to debrief the event and have a nice lunch.  I know I have talked about this before, but I have had the best Chinese food ever right here in Uganda!  When I travel, I love to eat the local foods.  Especially in Uganda, I LOVE and prefer the local foods.  I finally decided to try the Chinese food here after about trip #4 or #5 when I realized that this was my life now and I would be continuing to come here.  I thought, what could it hurt?  I discovered that it was some of the best Chinese food I have had anywhere!    Since then, I have been able to have cooking lessons from the chef that cooks this amazing food!   The team also came to love this food last year.  So it seemed appropriate that our first big meal at the hotel was our famous chinese food! 

This gave us time to shift gears and get ready for the next ministry opportunity.  The benefit of writing these updates after having arrived home is that I can reflect on the trip as a whole and see the bigger picture of what He was doing.  I believe one of the things that had the greatest impact on this team was what we were about to venture into doing on the afternoon of our first full day of ministry.

I had also been communicating back and forth for months with specific people that are connected to Glory Be to God Church where we would serve.  Raining Hope made itself available for whatever they needed.  Instead of telling them what we could come and do, I basically said, “How can we serve you?”  Again, it was not until the day before the team arrived did I get that answer.  As I met with Mrs. Otile, Pastor Prossy senior pastor of the church and deacon Andrew, the question still was, “What is it that you would like to do?”  I responded, “We are here to serve and will do whatever you need.”  Their kind response showed me that they did have a need but they were willing to put that aside if we came with a plan.  Such kind and godly people they are!  They finally said, “Well our committee has been meeting and we have determined that what we would need the most is for your team to do door-to-door evangelism sharing the gospel with those who live in the surrounding village of the church!”  I answered, “Great!  Then that is what we will do!”  But my mind flashed to the team and how they would react to this news.  I knew that speaking in front of groups was going to take most of the team members out of their comfort zone.   I went back to our foundational truth...

Show up

Be spiritually prepared 

Do whatever is asked of you 


Trust me...Trust Him.

If there was anything that would test them this would be it.  Some of the team members were nervous.  It was a huge unknown.  Think about going door-to-door   here at home telling people about Jesus.  Now expand that to a foreign country and you may get a glimpse as to how the team felt. 

I tried to assure the team that they would not be alone.  The leaders of the church told me they would pair up with members of the church who would also function as interpreters.  The team would mainly share their testimony and leave the rest to the lead of the church member.  That seemed to bring a small sense of peace to the team yet with some apprehension. 

We arrived at the church to waiting church members.  We had to wait upon a few more people before we could leave.  The other glitch in all of this was Melanie was starting to not feel well due to her malaria medication.  Sure enough, she got sick while we waited.  She really wanted to participate but her stomach was not willing to go along with that plan!   Godfrey and I were going to order cake for the dedication and run some errands while the team was out.  So we ended up bringing Melanie along with us so we could take care of her in case she got sick again. 

We got back to the church about 45 minutes before the team arrived.  Kelly & Katie were the first ones to return.  Here is an account from Katie of that time of evangelism...
“The door-to-door evangelism was an experience that truly blessed me.  I was not in my comfort zone at all but we are convinced God does not want us in our comfort zones.  I went from one house to the next with a wonderful translator who I now consider my sister.  I gained experience, giving my testimony at each house and it was all God from the beginning.  We were in a deeply impoverished town and I saw many things which were shocking to me.  However, everyone welcomed us and listened to what we had to say.  Although we were separated, I know the rest of the team had a similar experience to mine.  God was truly at work.  We witnessed a total of 29 people give their lives to Christ within these 2 days and the church we worked with is following up with each one.  Many others told us that they would visit the church and it is clear God is at work here.  -- Katie B. 

As the others came back it was much of the same.  Yes, they were stretched but God used it to show Himself faithful!  Kelly shared a wonderful testimony at Grace Fellowship this past Sunday.  She used the phrase, “I was surprised at how surprised I was!”  She was bubbling over with excitement and joy at how God stretched her as she depended on Him to give her to words to say and the discernment to know what to do.  One of the greatest challenges was when the team discovered they would not go in pairs with each other, but were split up with church members.  Their comfort zones were definitely expanded on this day!  

But as we continued to debrief all throughout our journey, the roads all led back to these 2 days of door-to-door evangelism.  We did this same ministry on Thursday afternoon.  I saw the team become more confident in who they are in Jesus Christ.  As they shared their stories it was apparent that they were there to share His story.  They made very clear gospel presentations.  They formed bonds of friendship with the church members that led them from house to house.  They saw the need for Jesus in the lives of those they touched.  God took away their fear and replaced it with the love of God that these people desperately needed to experience.  I am so proud of each member of this team. 

Another way we were able to bless those who we visited was by leaving them with a small gift.  If I were to ask you what you thought we may have left, what would you say? 

I am not sure if any of you would have guessed, but we left them with a bar of soap!  Again, I depended on the advice of Mrs. Otile & Andrew.  They said that what the people there would respond to and appreciate is a simple bar of soap.  Bars of soap are not our typical “Dove” or “Dial” size bars.  They are actually a long “bar” that is about 18 inches long.  Mrs. Otile first told me, “If you want to leave something, we could get bars of soap and half them.”  My first thought went to a bar of “Irish Spring” and trying to cut that in half!  I thought, “We could afford to give them a whole bar!  Ha!  We actually bought the long “bars” and the church did cut them in half.  That was plenty to offer up as a gift.  The people who our team visited were overjoyed with the gesture of this very needed and practical gift.  The second day we had to buy more and decided to cut the bar into thirds which was still more than enough!  

I had asked Pastor Doug to use the time they were waiting for Godfrey & I to pick them up on Tuesday morning to practice their testimonies.  I knew that they would have to do this door-to-door evangelism.  They were more prepared for this because of that preparation time.  But Kelly said it well this past Sunday.  She said even though she had practiced her testimony, when she got to the door, she discerned that what the person really needed was more of a clear presentation of the gospel.  She shifted what she said as she went from each door, but always based on the foundational truth of the gospel.  This is why I had simply asked the team to come spiritually prepared.  We may not have known the exact details of what we were going to do.  The task continued to changed over the course of the past few months.  Yet one thing that did not change...the gospel presentation and the need people have for a Savior. 

I can’t tell you enough how proud I am to have had a team who was willing to follow and trust.  They are awesome.

He is Alive,
mama kisakye

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