My heart is always drawn to New Life Church on Sunday morning. Judy is speaking at Prayer Palace this morning, and I have been praying for our service here and yours there through the night. We are expecting a very supernatural visitation from God today. I am curious as to how we will hold service in their sanctuary that is in the middle of construction. You can now see Prayer Palace roof from the center of Kampala. There is lots of excitement and vision as the work progresses.
Let me catch you up on our ministry over the weekend. Frday was a shopping day. The craft market is only open every other friday, and it is a delight. Artisans are carving, weaving, and creating everywhere, sitting on tarps, and a city block of beautiful creations are for sale. I donate my clothes each year, so I have more room for baskets, and this year bull horn creations. It’s a really fun day.
Saturday we returned to the orphanage to address many things. People in the US have sacrificed and given so much for these children, and we want to have a close relationship there so there is accountability and a bond in ministry that is God directeed. We hiked down to the place where the cistern was built that will eventually supply clean water to the orphanage as well as the community. I was making jokes about snakes as we stepped carefully on the thick brush, but I was only half kidding. Passtor Steve carried a big stick, and he promised if we were fortunate to find a snake, he would cook it for me for dinner. Then I was REALLY glad we didn’t run on to a snake. We visited the pig operation that supports daily operations. Then we met the pastor who is growing a church in the community with services at Life Mercy on Wednesdday, Friday, and 3 services on Sunday. We walked the land with Dixon and Willie, the Waterstep experts. We are SO blessed to have partnered with them. I have never met a more diligent African. Dixon knows every detail of the water and sanitation needs, and can explain all the options available in a country where clean water is so scarce. Precise time and detail is not common in Ugandan culture. He really is sent from God to help us.
We visited with the contractors who are constructing the main hall buildding. The homemade bricks have beeen baked. They stack them, I believe they said 10,000 per stack, with a large hole in the middle where they burn a fire for a couple days. They are originally formed in a wood form and left in the sun until they are stackable. A homemade wheel barrow carries them to the building, and the men threw them one at a time up to the homemade scaffoldinng whose safety is surely dependent on the Holy Spirit. A young man, whom David said was a graduate from our orphanage and school, carried a square bucket of concrete and hoisted it up to the men working on the second story. Their rhythm in moving and laying bricks and mortar was almost musical.
David met with us and explained more of the government requirements, and we were excited to learn that he has purchased a machine to process timber, and is using it to generate extra money for the building projects. In spite of his stroke and partial blindness from last year, he is full of the joy of the Lord, and is dreaming God’s dreams. The oldest children finished 3 days of government exams this weeek. There were 29 students. The headmaster was confident all would pass. Praise God! We give you the good report that God is mulltiplying your giving, and this year we are so excited to see the work spilling over into the community as they will benefit from the water improvements and church plant. The orphanage pastor’s name is Andrew. Please pray for him.
Saturday evening we met with Louis, the accountant/pastor/church planter who has miraculously talked the muslim land owner into selling him the piece of land he has beeen dreaming about for so long. When he talked to him in early 2016, the owner told him he had no land to sell, and sold a partial plot to someone else. Now Louis will own that piece, plus another small plot behind. In Uganda, a property has to be 50 ft by 100 feet to get a title. Louis was beaming as he showed us the paperwork, that actually required releases from 5 different owners since he was piecing two plots together to get a title. Total cost, around $2,200. Planting a new church on owned land in Uganda really is a miracle. Louis will start his advanced Diploma studies in Prayer Palace’s school for ministers in two weeeks. So God has helped us to connect these two ministries together. The promise that one can slay a thousand and two can slay ten thousand surely applies here. The hand of God is heavy on these leaders. I gave Louis a special gift that God told me to bring to Uganda. The moment was a healing miracle for me. Just one more supernatural plan God had set in motion long before we stepped on Ugandan soil.
Three weeks is a long time to be separated from family and church and home. You are especially dear to our hearts today as I think about packing and returning to a very different life and time. It is so amazing to experience God’s work, His faithfulness, His unfolding plans, in a place few people would imagine. I will try to post once more before we face customs and cramped planes and awful food… trying not to think about that yet!!