Tuesday ended up being a good day of getting a lot of work done at the hotel. I sit outside the restaurant so I can see many of my friends and have time to visit. Godfrey came so we could plan for the conference. We worked so long that the hours turned from breakfast time to lunch! My friend who is the Chinese food cook saw me so he made a meal for me!
We went into town to run just a few errands before heading to the house. There were a few people I still had not seen. Another one of the ladies had gone into Kampala to buy new fabric and wanted me to stop by.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at the house with the children. When I came they were already in a time of praise and worship. They were preparing for the conference tomorrow, practicing with the new sound equipment. When they finished it was about 5 pm. We decided to enter into our War Room
Bible study time early. We normally have our devotion time starting between 7:30 pm-8 pm. By starting early not only are they more awake, but we wanted them to get good rest in preparation for the conference.
We had such a good time of study. This chapter was on accountability. They all ask great questions and have really good insight & responses to questions. After the Bible study I spent time with Annet who was really touched by the materials. As we talked, I watched Tamare in the sitting room with her Bible doing her homework from the book. They love having this time of study!
We had some supper before I headed back to the hotel. I think I made it back by 9 pm which is early for me! I always feel bad for the person at the front desk who waits for me to give me my key each night if I am too late!
Doesn’t matter what time in the evening I come to the room, I still am ready to lay my head down on my pillow. I just get up in the early morning hours to do my study and preparation to speak.
Wednesday morning I think I was up at 3 am! I had changed and added to what I was going to speak about at the conference. Before I came, I thought I was suppose to speak on prayer. But Godfrey changed things just before I arrived. Godfrey has me as the main speaker and he would do the closing with prayer and invitation. We wanted to emphasize prayer but also to bring spiritual hope to the community . My notes began to shift. Instead of just focusing on prayer, Jeremiah 17:7-8 became the focal point. I spent the early morning hours in study and prayer before heading to the morning devotion time for the hotel.
That morning I began sharing with the staff the same material I am sharing at the home with the children. They were all so encouraged by the song, “The River” by Jordan Feliz, that talks about going to the “river of Living Water.” Now when I walk around the hotel, the staff that attended will say, “I’m going to the river...” and they will use the sign for “river!” It is really a blessing!
Godfrey had so many errands to take care of this morning, he let me work at the hotel and prepare. It also gave me time to visit with others. Mary, my tailor came to visit and pick up fabric from me to make dresses. I also had a few moments to meet with a good friend, Pastor Ken who usually is in Uganda in January when I am here. Short visit but we were able to encourage one another in our ministries.
I have also been thankful to have time to visit with Robert Otile each morning. He is helping us with our other land on the other side of the lake. Apparently if I would have come last week I don’t think I would have seen many of the staff. They had a large group here for conferences of over 300 people. They left Saturday the day I arrived. God is good!
Godfrey ended up taking care of home business longer than expected. By time he came to the hotel to pick me up it was after 4:30 pm! Ugandan time...all is normal! But the children had already started the conference. When we arrived they had already begun the praise the worship time. But words can not express what happened in the next few hours.
The first day of any conference will always be small and then build. We had a few visitors but knew that mainly the first day would be our family. Because we had to rent the tents, we decided to get smaller ones to save money until we can buy them. They were the perfect size for the first day. Even though it was mainly our family, the tent seemed full! When we engaged in praise & worship, I watched the kids and the staff just explode with joy! They were dancing and singing and just lifting their praise to our God. Praise & worship with the children is always one of the most precious times we have together.
It was also a blessing for me to watch Henry, Frank and our friend, Pastor Jacob on our new sound system. We are thankful to the Lord for the answer to prayer. We had about 1/4 of the money come in for the needed equipment. But we were able to purchase 2 speakers, the mixer board and 2 microphones. It was just enough to get by for the conference! We will continue to raise money for for the needed equipment for the conference & newly launched outreach fellowship.
The Raining Hope Praise Team did a special before I was invited up to speak. They sang, “Amazing Love” and the beauty of the voices just lifted our spirits even higher.
As they continued to sing, I was invited to come and we entered into a time of hearing the Word. One of the main focuses of this first day was HOPE. As I have been talking to various ones at the home, I am finding out more of their past and how it has affected them throughout their lives. A common theme is the loss of hope, especially when they are told to give up or they are not good enough.
As I spoke on hope, we talked about why do we wait until December 31st each year to begin a new year of hope? So we had our own “Happy New Year” celebration on January 20th! I had everyone stand up...we counted down from ten...and then said, “Happy New Year!” We celebrated a new beginning and a new hope! It was really energizing!
Turns out that this became a significant moment. I can’t explain what happened in the next hour or so as we entered into a time of prayer and commitment after I concluded. Pastor Godfrey led the time of commitment as the praise team sang. He called for the children to have a renewed sense of hope. He said, “We can’t wait until December 31st!” I watched one of our older boys come forward as well as Pastor Godfrey’s niece who has been around. He kept leading the invitation so I went to pray with these two. I had my eyes closed. When I opened them, I saw more of our children on their knees as Godfrey was praying over them. We had seven children total who came forward and had lost hope...but no more! They were committing to starting new. We met with the seven of them after the conference. I was so touched to hear their stories and how they desire to grow in their relationship with Christ. Godfrey said, “Tonight was for our children. We needed this to help prepare them to reach out to the others that will come.”
As we finished, we signed and danced to the song, “Different Drum.” It was one of the most exciting moments. There was so much joy that was flowing from our compound. At one point, there was a group of Presidential campaigners going by our compound trying to compete for attention. But we were able to say, “We are campaigning for Jesus!” It is interesting to have this conference at the house because all of the surrounding neighbors can hear the Word of God proclaimed!
After the meeting with those that came forward, Godfrey & I had a reconciliation meeting with one of the students. There were some issues that needed to be smoothed out between the two of them. This is also one of the students who came forward at the end of the conference. We defeated the enemy that night as they were able to communicate and clear up misunderstandings. Always beautiful to watch when this type of reconciliation defeats the enemy!
As we had a little supper and just all relaxed after tearing down the equipment, Godfrey said, “They are so happy. They are so happy.”
There is a joy that is indescribable happening at Raining Hope. The first night of the conference went beyond anything we could have imagined. Continue to pray for us as it is close to 3 pm on Thursday and the second session should be in the next hour...or so! It is 4:00 am in California so most of you will get this after the second day of conference is completed. Continue to pray for the final day of conference on Friday!
I have spent the day today studying as it has been raining! Focus today will be on God’s Grace!
mama eydie kisakye