Mark's Newsletter April 2020

Mark's Newsletter April 2020

This is one of those times we are able to acknowledge the need for a saviour. I believe for some on realising that we don’t have every-thing figured out as humans are probably looking for someone to step up and save the known world from the pandemic that seems to be holding us hostage. So may I take this time to remind us of a saviour I found in Christ Jesus. A saviour not just from the sickness but also to carry us through the uncertainties that we always carry around.

The question I have been asking myself is; what has actually changed on a general level? We still live in one big quarantine we call the universe. So what happens when we are faced with a problem that our available resources can’t provide a solution, we start looking for a saviour and this time he has to have the necessary attributes (powerful, concerned, caring and loving) to solve the problem. The more common problems like hunger, a desire for affection and companionship, we have continued to live with without acknowledging our search for a saviour. A saviour from ourselves, our evil intentions and actions. But this problem of COVID19 demands our attention and immediate one not just to the disease but also to our reason for existence. We are getting time also to reflect on our own lives and our deceitful hearts.

We might find out a possible solution to this disease like many others but we won’t have answered that we are not exactly in charge. I very well don’t think everyone shares my perspective on life but I know we are all presented with the same facts in life and as to whether they draw us to God or further is a whole different matter. So even in this time where the loving nature and power of God is in question I hope you will look to the risen saviour and see a God who fulfills his promises to the nations by delivering a perfect sacrifice to take away all our sin and then trust that he is powerful and loving enough for you to worship even amidst this pandemic.

We as a team here in Kaabong are also taking time from work that involves physical contact in the hope that if indeed the virus spreads only through the means talked about then we shouldn’t facilitate it but before the lockdown guidelines were issued we were privileged to see some things done.

We took time off in the month of February with the pastors that we are walking with to use as a bonding and prayer time while doing the alpha course in Gulu where a friend in mission Dr. Katie facilitated. This is a course that in many ways opened us to the reality of the gospel and gave us (at least some of us) the cour-age and boldness to cast our nets wider to fish for more men. We honestly didn’t know exactly what to expect from it but the exposure was good for our brothers especially for them to see that they are a part of a great mission that was started by our saviour Jesus himself and to see what God has done through the holy spirit in other areas in the hearts of many.

One of our brothers here who pastors a church in Kathile has made deliberate efforts to reach out to another community about 6 kms from where he stays to see bible studied and hopefully a church planted in this place lomodoch. So we thank God that he has opened the eyes of our brother Michael to see this work done. Honestly with the cultural barriers we face to the gospel we don’t see how it is going to work unless the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of the Karimojongs to preach to their brothers. And again it’s always at this point I realise I need to pray and so I ask you to pray with us to ask the lord of the harvest bring more labourers into the harvest field.

So the trip to Gulu and what came out of it has in so many ways redefined our strategies. While we will still be involved individually in these ministries our target and concentration will be to see the interested and committed persons we work with get equipped and organised to see the mission the lord has given to us fulfilled. So we are spending more time with the pastors already serving and others seeking to serve as we ask and see how God answers the question of how to reach out with the gospel starting from the scriptures and a prayerful culture.

So on our agenda in the monthly pastors meeting we have made it a point to learn a ministry skill and from the last two we learnt how to compose songs using truth of scripture but doing it in the Karimojong cultural style and we also learnt how to share testimony. Most of it seems obvious but we were shocked to see how much we don’t think about these things with the intention to reach out. It has been very exciting especially the music composition and on one occasion when we tried it out at the church plant in Lotim it got the attention of many but the most noticeable is by the warriors who are unreached by the fact that they don’t speak English and dress a different way (have held onto the cultural Karimojong style). So it’s interesting that even among the Karimojong there are those divisions and without realising it the gospel is hindered. Breaking through these prejudices even in our own hearts is a prayer we want you to pray for us so that we don’t hinder the gospel.

We see our brothers pursuing this work of evangelism and song composition then also leading service but we get concerned for them on the resource question to see the work carried out. And this is because unlike many other places where the gospel has reached into the culture the support in terms of finances to do this work is very little. So on top of prayer I ask that you to see how to be a part of this support system for our broth-ers here sharing this truth. We are very thankful to God when we see a man with a whole family obligation see to it that gospel reach-es his brothers in the land. I would like you to pray for this work even more so that our Karamajong brothers who are doing this work stay encouraged in the lord and your support would go a long way to help on this.

There are new contacts we are engaging in other centres to see the work of evangelisation done there and even have worship places set up so we hope they will materialise. We got some equipment to show the Jesus film dubbed in karimojong and we are excited to use it as an evangelism tool. From the last time we showed the film here in Lotim we realised it is the fastest way to share the whole story of the life of Christ. And so our hope is that after showing the film in a new place, we shall then be available for the people who will show interest in seeing this work of God have effect in their lives and then from that point work with them through other tools like bible study and many other tools for them to grow in their relationship with Christ and also continue to serve the ministry in karamoja. So after the situation allows for us to potentially gather people to watch the movie we pray and hope that it will be a tool God uses for us to get into these new communities.

There are many ways we can do this work of preaching the gospel but the most important thing has always been to nurture a relation-ship on which to share this gospel so with all the activities that we can engage in we mostly pray for favour in the eyes of men to see this work done.

We are always grateful for engaging with us as we all continue to serve. The prayers and the courtesy calls are an encouragement. With the current situation I hope people will be drawn to Christ and not far away. For me this another situation intended for evil that I hope God will use for the good of many and I will rejoice in it too. All for the glory of our lord God.

 

Kananura Mark
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