Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Chapter 22 - Update #11 - Raining Hope Crusade Part 3 - Testimonies

As I write, I am on a flight home from Maryland and Florida.   There is something inspiring about writing updates from a seat high above the earth below.  This flight I am in seat 10F and picture you next to me as we pick up the conversation about the end of the crusade.  
Each night at the conclusion of the crusade, we would have to pack up all of the sound equipment and transport it back to the house.  Godfrey had talked about hiring police as security guards to watch over the equipment overnight.   I am glad that we didn’t go with that option.   It just meant additional time needed to set up and tear down each night.  
I hope you have been able to see the Disney movie, “Queen of Katwe,” in theaters now! It would give you an idea of the marketplace we were in for the crusade.  The shops and places where the people live are mainly like wooden shacks.   The main road is paved but the marketplace itself is on plots of dirt.  At this time of the day, many people are traveling by foot home from work.  As it became dark, paraffin candles begin to light up the darkness of the market.  
On the last evening, when we got back to the house we spent a long time unpacking the three days of the crusade.   The following are the testimonies from some of our children and guests of what the crusade meant to them. 
JEREMIAH: (Godfrey’s friend)  “I thank God who used us in a mighty way.  I want to thank the singers (Raining Hope choir).  They were so well coordinated.  I remember watching the movie, “Woodlawn” (This is one of the Christian movies we watched throughout the week).  It reminded me that we can start in a bad state but end well.  The first day of the crusade we had challenges with setting up.  But we brought the Word of God and we prayed.   We continued on and praised the Lord.  He showed Himself alive in the ministry.   Praise the Lord that we are conquerors!   Birds of a feather fly together!  Amen! 
FRANK:  I learned that HE IS the LIGHT OF THE WORLD!  We have something HOT!    I am thankful to be a part of Raining Hope Ministries.  We started with power.  We saw many lives touched.  People who came gave their time and listened to the messages from God.  They heard the praises being lifted to God.   I saw a change in people’s lives.  Whether I was working at the machines or using the camera, I saw God move.  
HENRY:   I thank God for the machines (sound equipment)!   I am thankful that as a ministry we all had the heart to work together.  EVERYONE tried to find something to do.  I thank God for using us.  At times it was not easy but we did it together.  When we were leaving on the last night , I had some ladies ask me if we were coming back.  They were sad the crusade was over, but I was able to invite them to come to the house for the conference the next day! 
SYLVIA:  (Sylvia & Hillary are the directors of the choir)  All I wanted to do was stand and praise God.  I lost my voice at the beginning of the crusade.  I asked God to restore my voce and as I stood on that first night, my voice came back!  I thanked God for his grace! 
HILLARY;  God used me and I am blessed.  During the crusade I was humbled to think “Who am I to be a part of this team?”  We watched as people gave their lives to Christ.  This is not just a job, this is important.  The song you shared called, “Spirit of the Living God,” was a picture of that I was feeling.   When God speaks and moves He does what only He can do and it changes us!    
JOANNE: (younger Joanne)   I learned when we trust in the Lord, we will manage.  I was nervous on the first day.  Even when we did the songs with Mama Kisakye…we had not practiced together yet we were always unified.  We managed as one! 
TABITHA:  I am thankful for the grace of God.  When we first stood and all eyes were on us, I was nervous.  But seeing people saved gave us courage!  
SOPHIA:  I know that it was not me. It was the grace of God that allowed me to minister. I thank God that I am in the Raining Hope choir.  If it were not for His grace, I would have been doing it with pride.  I am speechless. 
DOREEN:  Raining Hope helps us stand in power as one body.  It gave us courage.  (On the second night the generator completely stopped working.) A friend of mine who was there said, “Even though the generator disturbed you, the pulpit was not discouraged.  I wanted more.  I wanted you to come back, for the whole week.”  I was able to invite them to come back to the house for the conference and for Sunday worship!  
BYARUHANGA: (Godfrey’s friend)  I am speechless!   I am appreciative of all that was done.  The devil tried to disorganize the crusade.  But we gave God our best.  We prayed.  We trusted God for these things.  Thank God He enabled us.  At the end I was feeling so good I want it to continue.  I am thankful for Godfrey for inviting us.  We have to be conquerors.  The power was a challenge but we still ended up on top.  I also want to say that most choirs in Africa fail because of pride and lack of unity.  But the Raining Hope Choir is very unified.  I love these people who are so united.  I LOVE THE UNITY.  It is hard to find people like this.  This is RARE.  Please keep this in your heart and don’t change.  If you get prideful it is the beginning of the end.   I was very proud of the choir.    I also saw how people were very impacted.  People were praying everywhere during the time of invitation.  Keep the light burning.  I am grateful for what was done.  
GODFREY:  Many times on the first day of a crusade people walking by question and can say, “What do these people come to do?  They should go.”  At some crusades people get fed up.  But we were different.  I saw people walk in and stay.   People see Jesus in us.  Now that the community knows who we are and who we represent, they will be watching.  They want to see if you are strong in your faith. As you walk to and from school or go to the market, you need to remember you represent Jesus.   If they continue to see a consistency in your walk with Christ, we pray that they too will want to follow Christ. 
This continues to confirm what I wrote about in Update #9 about the crusade.  Godfrey & I are beginning to see the challenge that comes with outside help to run an evangelistic crusade.  Having “muzungus” (white people) come to lead in the preaching is something we are reevaluating.   It has nothing to do with the heart of those who come to serve.  It has everything to do with culture and gaining credibility within the people group which takes time.   Part of Godfrey’s testimony that we were different and people stayed was due to the fact that he was preaching and the children were leading.  The children felt empowered and encouraged in their own assignments from God.  I have never seen them so confident as they ministered.  That night as we praised God and thanked Him for a very successful crusade, we remained speechless and in awe.  

Before the start of the crusade, Godfrey encouraged the children that God is sending us out,  “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’  And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!’” Isaiah 6:8.   Our Raining Hope Children are GOING out to Ambercort and beyond knowing He is with us wherever He sends us!   Next three updates will be about the conference!    
Our bouquet is blooming!   
mama eydie kisakye 

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