So many things happened on our trip to Uganda that it is hard to know what to write about and what to leave out. It was a great time!
Wednesday: Kampala, the capital of Uganda, was our first destination; it took six hours to get there, where we would spend the night in Ephraim and Jova Tumusiime’s home. We had just gone to bed and were reading when we felt the bed begin to gently shake – for quite a few seconds. “John, what is that”? “I don’t know”. “John, it’s an earthquake”! “No, it has lasted too long to be an earthquake”. So, it stopped. Then, a few seconds later the bed and whole house began to shake violently and the big metal gates to the compound were clanging together loudly. There was no doubt it was an earthquake. Marty was looking for a way out of the house, but the quake stopped abruptly. John still wasn't sure it was an earthquake, but Marty has experienced earthquakes before and was convinced it was one (although she had never been in one so severe). She was prepared to escape if it happened again (but realized she didn't know how to get out)! Next morning we were told that there was a 5.5 magnitude earthquake on the Richter Scale at the epicenter, which was many miles away. (Marty promptly located all the home's exits as well as the location of the keys.)
It has since occurred to us that God often works in the Natural first and then the Spiritual/Supernatural. We believe that earthquake was a demonstration in the Natural of what God had planned for in the Supernatural in the remote area of His Kingdom in Africa to which He was sending us.
|Early-Morning View from our Hotel Window 06:27 7-8-13|
(the time on the photo is US time)
Friday - Sun: We were headed for our destination, Kakaari, a very remote area, down in the Great Rift Valley, near the border of The Congo. Absolutely beautiful, verdant country with spectacular views of the valley, volcanic crater lakes, tea plantations and bananas! The trip to and from Kakaari took another 1-½ hours each way (total 3 hours a day for 3 days). The actual village itself was about 15 miles off the paved road and on very, very rough, narrow dirt roads. Motion sickness first thing in the morning became a problem for Marty, but it cleared up in about a half hour once there.
|Rice, peanut gravy, ugalie, boiled bananas |
That area of Uganda is the banana capital of the universe! Needless to say, bananas are staples there – green cooking bananas (aka plantains in the West); yellow bananas; red bananas (sweet and tangy); boiled bananas; mashed bananas (matoke); fried bananas; banana beer (saw it [smelled it] being brewed in the village). Groundnuts (small red-skinned peanuts) are also a staple there. One treat was a peanut sauce/gravy served with each meal. During the dictatorship of Idi Amin, the Ugandans were able to stay alive and relatively healthy by eating bananas and groundnuts, which provided sufficient nutrients.
|Boiled Bananas - Fried Cabbage|
All day Friday and Saturday was dedicated to teaching and ministering, in a mud church with a corrugated tin roof, to about 30 regional pastors and other leaders from various villages in Western Uganda. How some of them got there remains a mystery (the area was so remote). Some made real sacrifices to be there. The theme of the conference was “Building for Growth”. We also led impromptu workshops on Saturday on Discipleship through Cell/Home groups; the Gift of Prophecy - Prophetic Intercession - Five-fold Prophets.
|Impromptu Workshop (Notice the Bananas All Around)|
Sunday was just a great and wondrous (and long) day. The little church was packed and John delivered a powerful faith-building message! The faith level was really high. Marty had, had a dream on Thursday night that had her really puzzled - it just didn't make sense. She prayed and sought the interpretation. Then in the wee hours of Sunday morning she got the interpretation. It was - that there were folks in the church that were mixing witchcraft with Christianity and were deceived and also very confused as a result; there needed to be repentance - rejection of the witchcraft and total commitment to the Lord. The two leaders of the group, Ephraim and Mark, agreed that was an accurate interpretation and we had a time of congregational repentance. Then there was a short teaching on the infilling of the Holy Spirit. There were many children there. When teaching about the Gifts of the Spirit and being “Baptized in the Holy Spirit” Marty pointed out that with children the Holy Spirit isn’t a “baby Holy Spirit”; He fills children and they operate in the Gifts of the Spirit in the same way as adults. When the church was given the opportunity to come forward to receive the Infilling (Baptism) of the Spirit the pastor got all of the children in the congregation and brought them to the front of the adults that had already come. When we prayed, the presence of God was very powerful and the people responded with much joy and enthusiasm. But to see how the children responded to His presence was just an amazing and beautiful thing. We tried to get photos of them, but it wasn’t possible.
We would be remiss if we didn't mention the singing and dancing in that church. The only instruments were two primitive drums that had skins across both ends; they were played with a stick and the hands. Truly, no other instruments were needed! There was even a choir. Wow! What harmony!
|They Were Having a Great Time|