One person has described the church this way: ‘The church is like a bundle of sticks -- some short, some long, some straight, some longer, and others zigzaggy. How do you manage this kind of a bundle? The only thing you can do to carry it is - you tie it together. And the church is like this -- the church of this kind, you love it (Love the people).
In this August News Letter, we want to share with you something about a group fellowship which arose from the Pastors/church leader's conference we had 9th -12th July last month. It was a primary factor in this conference to know the purpose of Jesus, and why we shouldn't be confined to a church building, but we should also be going out and sharing the Good News about Jesus. As Lungala Bible Ministries Uganda, we have essentially caught onto this purpose, which is to reach out to people in villages with the gospel of LOVE; bringing them to the God who loves them more.
Deo (on the left) has given a warm welcome to this church in his home, and he is so pleased that Simon and I have been able to pastor his family. His past before receiving Jesus was not at all good - he was a drunkard! He is very happy now that he can join such a Bible study, and be able to read a Bible with fellow brethren which he never could when he was a Roman Catholic.
There are three similar fellowship groups going on now in other villages, and we need to visit these as a ministry. However, these groups are a combination of many faiths/beliefs, but it is our mission evangelize these people. So far in our group there are two Roman Catholic mothers.
You may wonder how we invite these people of different faiths/beliefs when they know we are a people of the Bible! This is how we invite such people, “Will you please come and be part of our village training group? We only emphasize knowing God, and we will be reading from His book the Bible. Also we will be writing about a few things in the Bible. It won’t be hard for you at all”. With such a simple and prudent statement, many people have joined our fellowship groups both at high schools and university levels. What is interesting about such a statement is that Muslims will come; and people who believe in satanic worship etc. will come without too much hesitation. Once we have spent two to three months with them, we find that most of them would love to continue, and in most cases they give their lives to Jesus. You may wonder - how can Muslims, and people who believe in satanic worship come for such a God focused program? You might know that one of the bottlenecks (hindrances?) Ugandan churches face is syncretism, which could also be coupled with Deism! So, people come with such beliefs, and it’s our responsibility to correct their beliefs wisely using the Bible! Yes, some stubbornly refuse to accept Jesus, but many do come to Jesus once they believe the truth, and have essentially built a relationship with Him. We have them here, and we are thankful to God for their transformed lives.
This month Alex was met by a very staunch Muslim lady who asked him this question: “Are you the pastor of Mrs. Scovia?" Alex replied, "Yes. For sure Mrs. Scovia became born again”. This Muslim lady had observed Mrs. Scovia and she saw a changed life. Alex was a bit concerned - what did Mrs. Scovia do to this Muslim lady? Then he discovered that this Muslim lady had seen Jesus’ character in Mrs. Scovia! This witness sets a good example for us as the church in sharing the gospel with Muslims. As we have said - where we live is one of the strongholds of Islam religion.
In one of our door to door evangelism outreaches, we met a Sheikh (the leader of a Mosque). We asked him, 'Sir, have you heard about Jesus?' - (fearing in my heart what he would say). He responded (to Alex): "Listen son, I was a teacher of the Bible before you were born. Therefore, I know Christianity more than you; I know Jesus is the son of God. He will come back to judge the whole world, He is alive and Mohammed is dead. I know Jesus is the son of God because the Bible says so. But I don’t say that where I am now! (meaning, in the Mosque he leads). Soon, I have to leave, thank you for sharing the gospel." We were left speechless. Another Muslim we were still sharing the gospel with as well said to us: "I have a Bible in my house and I read it. I believe what the Sheikh said, but I can’t come to Jesus because all my family members are Muslims, and they will disown me!" He allowed us to pray with him and leave. Friends - that is the gospel. We go through SO many dynamics when preaching it here.
High School Ministry
Under our ministry in the High schools, Ainokusha Rhinah (3rd on the left) give her life to Jesus. She has done two terms in our program (close to six months). We have had our last meeting for the term as the schools are closed for the term break. After Ainokusha had been part of this program for three months, and before she gave her life to Jesus, she would write her prayer requests and we would pray for her at church. Eventually she received Jesus. So, next term, when they come back from holidays, we will be celebrating with them for finishing this program. Usually we have a small cake, and give them certificates -just to encourage them. Please pray for this.
The Ministry of Bible distribution
We are seriously concerned about the lack of funding for Bibles. We consider this department as the DNA of our ministry, and it is crucial that we continue to distribute Bibles to all who are without them. Every Christian needs to have his/her own Bible. It is through God's Word that we grow to know Him, and are changed into the likeness of Jesus (Rom 8:29; 2Cor 3:18). Please consider helping us with this ministry.
From witchcraft to being Born-again
In the picture below is Mr. Mugura Frank. We met him with his family when this ministry was just starting. We have known him for some years. Frank, in his story about coming to Jesus, was working with his father in the shrine (a place where they would call demons to work on people’s problems). He was also a drug addict and alcoholic. His life was wasting away. He never looked smart as you see him now.
He is a hard-working man, but drugs had weakened him. When he heard the gospel message he came to Jesus. He left satanic worship and drugs - although his father and some of his brothers still practice satanic work. Once in a while he takes a taxi to go and share the gospel with them.
We can’t forget to ask you to celebrate with us for having finished the church paving😊
We had been praying and worshipping on dusty ground; and when it rained heavily, the ground was always wet. We now have dry paving and a nice looking church. We want to thank you all for your prayers, and mainly for this church which sacrificially sets apart their time and financial support to get this work accomplished. May God richly bless you. This is how the new floor looks.
Joyce on left is our church member. She came to Jesus after demons had captivated her life. She used to go to the witchdoctors, but there was no help until we met her at her home with the transforming gospel message. We have been praying since then, and now she is demon free, as she recently told us.
A lady who had known Joyce's old life came to visit her after she had been away from the village for a long time. She was surprised to find Joyce healthier, and now she also wants to come to Jesus. They will pick her up on Sunday.
These are some photos of the happy children at our Sunday school which is led by Nakaye. That’s our home behind the kids, and the church in the background.
Below is Nakaye with the children praying in the church
Lungala Bible Community Church.
We were joined by two new members. One was following our sign posts and finally found this church.
Ladies' Prayer Meeting
We join these ladies as we pray for different departments, ministry friends, and other world-wide missionaries. The girl at the far end is the one who cleans our church every Sunday with her young sister. The other three ladies have testimonies of how God saved them from satanic work –sometimes we just have to praise God that He chooses us to minister to such people.
Evangelism and Discipleship Training with Simon
Day two of the evangelism and discipleship training with university students. I was on campus with them in Kampala for a whole week. It went really well, but we were doing it in the evening, so I get home quite late, or sometimes sleep with a friend.
Prayer Requests:1. Ministry Land
2. The discipleship program in villages
3. Provision to print Luganda Christianity Explored booklets
4. Ministry financial support (we are in a critical time)
5. Provision of Luganda Bibles for the village Churches
Simon and Alex (Uganda-Africa)