Habakkuk 2:14 says, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
And this has really been one of God’s foremost promises for me concerning what He is doing around the world especially among those places and peoples with little to no access to the gospel. It’s this promise that gives me confidence and deep assurance that it will happen; that the Karamajong will know God, they will follow Him and worship Him. Overtime I have come to realise the issue isn’t whether it will happen or not but rather a matter of when and of managing my own expectations. Because He sure is at work.
Since the last newsletter we have planted a church in a village town called Lotim which is almost an hour’s motorcycle ride from where we stay, it has started slow but the hope that God has given me concerning this place is incredible. We often have between four to eight adults and several children attend, and each Sunday we always seem to have a different face but we will get there. We don’t yet have where to congregate as our own and often find ourselves in the nearby school where the few Karamajong we have interacted with hate to meet. The first brother we were walking with who we thought would be the pastor wasn’t quite interested and he soon dropped out but God raised another who I see growing in his desire to learn, teach and lead the church. We had an opportunity to have our first open air evangelism in Lotim which was quite welcomed with curiosity and we followed it with a Jesus film with a help of a missionary friend and her students from Gulu. The Jesus film particularly raised a lot of attention and crowd that a friend of mine from the town showed interest in following Jesus (am expectant to see how this plays out). Moving forward I want to be found doing more of the open-air and Jesus film in the manyattas, my first impression of them is they make the karamajong into inquirers so continue praying with us for God’s provision for our own equipment needed to make this happen. But one of my highlights was when the members raised money themselves to buy a table cloth for the church table, this has since moved me to what God is surely doing here because as a church planter you hope the church plant will eventually be self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating and having such a small gesture is always received with gratitude of what God is already doing in their hearts even though we are still far away from a mature church. But though we haven’t bought a piece of land for the church building which I ask you pray with us about, they have already shown great interest in practically building the church building. I literally think and dream about this church plant, I want to see its pastor grow, I want to see the few men a part of this fellowship grow in their knowledge of God, devotion and commitment to him that they start reaching out to their kinsmen, I want to see the building come up which is very significant in the cultural context here.
Meanwhile at the beginning we only visited this town once a week which was also very costly and inconvenient since sometimes the motorcycles hiked the fare or never shown up at all, but God
answered when you and us prayed about a means of transport and praise God a door was graciously opened for us through some of you to have a motorcycle which we are now able to use. After a few days of learning how to ride we are now able to visit the villages frequently which has been such an added blessing to our ministry and work.
Our work with the few pastors in this land (to be precise there is only one Reverend for the Anglican church for the whole Kaabong district and only five semi trained lay-readers for the whole district plus two Pentecostal pastors for the same) is continuing to take on more tremendous importance as we continue to see that the local pastor/evangelist is the key to the spreading and growing of this gospel message among his own people. And therefore pastor discipleship or walking alongside them is of high significance for me even as I continue to learn what discipling them looks like or means. I have had to repent of so many of my attitudes towards them and break through my prejudices as I continue to learn to be intentional in loving them and being graciously patient with them.
We have also had several opportunities this month to host over 15 people most of whom were pastors from out of Karamoja and be able to help them get exposure to the spiritual condition of Karamoja and challenge them concerning missions and the place of their churches in God’s mandate to reach the nations. I have always been a strong believer in mission exposure as the most significant way after the bible to stir the heart and passion for missions in an individual heart, and this month with these my brothers and sisters just seemed to merely reaffirm my commitment to engage people in mission exposures as a means to awaken their hearts towards God’s heart for His renown. This is another area you would be praying alongside us as we seek to initiate new ways to engage people in mission exposure even as you yourself think about coming to visit and see for yourself first-hand what God is doing here.
You guys are as much a part of this work as we are, each doing their part to bring this precious message to the ends of the word; you have prayed, encouraged and given to this work in more ways than I would have imagined. God is indeed faithful to His promises.
We do remember you in prayer that God will continue to graciously lead you in His ways, and show you great and unsearchable riches beyond what you ever asked.