This morning I preached for the first time since our move to Uganda. Thank you to the many who were praying for my preparation and the services. It was a huge encouragement to know that I was supported by so many who I love in prayer. The message came from Ezekiel 47:1-12 and the river that comes from the Temple. I focused the message on the Spirit of God in our lives but I also brought it teaching on false prophets. "There are other rivers," I told them. In Uganda there are many false teachers who use the appearance of Godliness to deceive people and take their money. I challenged those in the church to respond to every opportunity with the question "where did you get that water?"
Before I spoke there was a time of testimonies. Two men shared of different visions they have had. The first said, "Church, God has spoken to me in a vision, we must repent." The second man spoke of the death of his sister last week explaining how God spoke to him in a vision bringing comfort and light. I felt a strong unity in the room before I ever began to preach. It was obvious that the Spirit was moving and preparing us to listen.
This is the road near the church. To the immediate left is the road we take that dead ends at Kisugu AGC. Very soon Pastor Ouma will be walking me through this neighborhood to introduce me to the people there.
When we are all this clean and tidy it's absolutely time for a family picture. Here we are standing just outside the church. To the right in this picture are the stairs that lead up to the sanctuary.
Kisugu is our oldest church, the first one started by the WGM missionaries who came to Uganda from Kenya. This is the third time I've preached through a translator. I'm still a rookie but I'm catching on. Some words don't translate very well so I have to think through how I talk. It's fun to work with the translator to try and get the message across.
I've been working on a Luganda "script" to use when I speak to congregations. Multiple times a day I whisper it to myself to try and get the words lodged deep into my memory. Today I finally got to try it out. Jade was so excited to record my effort so you could see. We've told you how important Luganda is. Since most Ugandan people here speak English they are very surprised to here a muzungu (white man) speak Luganda. In the video you notice that they keep cheering or clapping or laughing in the middle of what I am saying. They kept expecting me to stop and were shocked when I kept going. At the very end you can hear me say "kati luzungu" which means "now English". They laughed that I even told them I was switching languages. It was a thrill to express myself to them in this way. By speaking this much Luganda to them I was able to show them that I think they are important and I am truly here to serve and love them. What an awesome privilege!
Thank you again to all who pray and support us. We hope that this brief update will give you a glimpse into the work we are up to right now. On Wednesday I leave for six days of training and teaching in the villages. I will be sure to take some pictures and share updates on how that time goes. We sure do love you folks! Mukama abase omukisa. (God bless you).