Thursday, November 10, 2016

Chapter 22 - Update #12 - Raining Hope Ministries Conference - Part 1

With the crusade behind us, on Thursday we were ready to switch gears and focus on the conference.  Godfrey asked if I would lead the teaching during this equipping time.   I start the teaching and he compliments it by bringing it all together at the end.   The crusade was to be held back at the Raining Hope house.  There would be a combination of attenders who are on different parts of their journey.   We especially invited the new believers who had given their lives to Christ over the past few days of the crusade.  There would be those that have been believers for quite some time desiring to grow deeper in their walk with Christ.  We prayed many more would attend that were just plain curious from the three days in the marketplace.  
The children were very busy preparing our compound to receive visitors that afternoon.  I am amazed at how our large “porch” area that faces the large open space of our compound has turned out to be a perfect “stage” for our Sunday Services!   It causes me to stand back in awe seeing how God is in all of the details of every aspect of our lives!   
The porch is large enough to hold ALL of the equipment, sound board and still have a lot of space for the choir to sing and move!  When I sat and participated in worship, I just marveled at the absolute perfect setting for His Word to be proclaimed!  
The tent that was so graciously provided for by precious donors covered the area where people were seated.  The tent held the one hundred new chairs that we purchased just in time for the conference.  In order to keep the musicians and machines dry from rain & protected from the sun, Godfrey and his group of friends also used additional tarps to create a temporary awning or overhang from the house to the tents.  It amazed me how creative they were using just tarps designed for the car and long pieces of timber for poles.   It did the job and kept them dry and cool!   Eventually the dream will be to have an awning installed that will compliment the house & the tents.   When you see some of the photos they have an orange tint because the tarps were orange!  
Remember how at the crusade started on Ugandan time each day?  The conference was no different!  I just waited until they were ready to pick me up.  Because I was leading the teaching, they didn’t want to pick me up until just before it was my turn.  I appreciated their protection of the speaker and the reverence for His Word.  One of the days I told Godfrey I could come early and just study in the back room.  But he said it was better for me to stay at the hotel so I wouldn’t be distracted or interrupted by others.  He wanted me to just focus on what the Lord had me to share.  I love it.  
As we set the tone for the next three days, I began by signing the song “Spirit of the Living God” by Meredith Andrews that I shared in a previous update.    I know when you signed up to be on their journey with me, sitting in seat 17C on Alaska Air or 47H & 45A on Emirates, you had no idea this would be so long!   So while you read these updates on the conference, take a moment and click on the links to the songs.  Close your eyes as you listen and transport yourself back to the tent at Raining Hope.  Hear what they heard and feel what they felt.   I want you to in some way experience what we did as we watched the Holy Spirit take hold of hearts and grow deeper in love with Jesus.  
 These words in the song were key, “We’re leaning in to all you are - everything else can wait.   Spirit of the Living God - come now and breathe upon our hearts - come now and have your way.”   The theme of the conference was “Christ in You - The Hope of Glory.”  Each day I had a specific emphasis to the message.  The first day it was, “Step in - Lean in - and Rise.”  
Because of the various levels of where people were on their journey with Christ, my responsibility was to speak truth in a way that would minister to each person at their need.  So the focus on the first day was born out of these three points: 
  1. What you have stepped into   2)  How to lean in   3)  Time to step out and rise
I emphasized that we are all on the same journey whether we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior yesterday or years ago.  We have stepped into the most exciting journey of our lives that will continue into eternity!  
Try to picture when we all “boarded” the flight on my 22nd journey to Uganda.  Our flight was only partially filled.   On the Emirates 380 planes, there is a whole upper deck that the economy level never sees.  You almost forget that there is another level unless you see the fancy staircase towards the front of the plane leading to the exclusive level upstairs.  Thanks to the commercials on TV with Jennifer Aniston promoting Emirates, we have a glimpse into what that First Class/Business level actually looks like!   Once our conference started I could envision the attendees joining us on our flight!   There is plenty of room for new passengers!  Unlike Emirates, our flight has everyone on the same level.  We are all First Class as sons and daughters of the King of Kings!   
The first point about “Stepping In” was focused on this journey they joined regardless of when that was.   I used an example of a famous but now non-existent tourist attraction called Bujagali Falls in Jinja.  It is not a waterfall, but used to have beautiful rapids of exciting rushing water.  But a new dam has stopped the flow of water.  It is now flat and locals call it “ugly.”  I asked the question, “Is your life exciting and moving or has it become stagnant not moving forward?  Is something blocking the flow and power from the Lord like the dam?”   The first point was to help give those a map to help them start well.  For those who have been believers for awhile, we also wanted to help to lift the obstacles that would allow living water to rush and flow again! 
New believers many times don’t know where to start.  The second point emphasized the need to LEAN INTO GOD.  The main focus was leaning in and developing a daily relationship with Him.  We emphasized the need to daily be in prayer and in His Word.   
Raining Hope (Psalms Ten for the first two years) has had many difficulties over the past ten years since I was called to Uganda.   We officially became Raining Hope on 9-9-09.   The next update will talk about our anniversary.   We were filled with hopes and dreams for the future.  Things were good.  But then at one point life just seemed to come crashing down.  Life became hard.  We faced so many challenges in Uganda and here in the states.  I had some who told me I couldn’t do this.  I had others tell me what I was doing was impossible.  
Ronald’s testimony was powerful on this first night.  You know the story.   He was walking down the road when he was hit by a van.  Suddenly he was lying helpless.  The story told to his sister Tabitha was that his legs were crushed.  Does that sound familiar in our own lives?  We are minding our own business and suddenly we are hit.  Suddenly, hopes and dreams can be crushed right before your eyes.   I encouraged our children that our family stayed strong and courageous during these valley times. (Joshua 1:9).  Part of the song, “Rise” by Danny Gokey says this, “Lift your head and look around you.  See the dreams you lost, they have found you.  And the heart that once was beating is coming back to life, coming back to life.”  
So the third point was you’ve stepped into your journey,  you are leaning in the hear from Him, now it is time to RISE up and get moving forward!   Ronald’s leg is healing.  At the time he was using walking sticks (crutches) and had to sit a lot.  He now has had the cast (they call it cement) removed!  Praise the Lord.  He still uses the sticks but less and less.  At one point they thought he would not make it.  Yet he did not give in or give up.  He will walk and run again.   
Dreams are coming alive again at Raining Hope.  
I want to finish this update with a testimony from Jonathan.  He is one of two of our students who is currently in nursing school.  While I was there, he and Jessica were just beginning clinical work with the hospital for training purposes.  This is part of the letter he wrote to me once I came home regarding his dreams…   “ I greet you in Christ our Father.  …  Suddenly we have new machines and am in process of learning the guitar because I always come back on weekends and am taught how to play it. My life now is full of wonders and it’s my Heavenly Father who is working in me.
At first in the hospital, patients called me doctor and I really couldn’t believe because I thought they were calling someone else. But when I realized that they were calling me, deep down inside I felt happy because that was the best day in my life that I will never forget MUM.
At this moment God is doing wonders at Raining Hope. The best thing is that my sisters and brothers are happy in Christ. We are all remnants and priceless in the midst of God’s presence. Even people call me doctor now days both outside and inside the ward.  We pass through hardship and battle but I want to encourage you that the Lord who started this great job will accomplish it. Will always put you in prayers and your family back in the states since we are now one in Christ. The Ugandan Dream is real and it’s there because of the theme that says we should be strong and courageous. Love you and miss you mum. Your son, Dr. Jonathan 
Thank you all for the support you give to the children of Raining Hope.   We finished the conference that night with the song, “Rise.”  They all signed along with me as the words encouraged them to “rise, breaking the dark, piercing the night.”  The children at Raining Hope know they were made for more.   They were made to shine.  They are an army of hope bringing the world a radiant light.   
It is time for all of us to rise and be HIS LIGHT in a dark world and be HIS Beacon of Hope.  Will you join us in the blooming, radiant bouquet of His light and hope?! 

Speechless !  mama eydie kisakye 

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