Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Since November 16th, many lives have been changed through the gospel of Christ. On November 18th and 19th, our Rwakaraba PAG church held an open-air crusade in a nearby village named Bubaare. And just like God promised in Isaiah 55:11, when He speaks, His word will not return empty, but will accomplish what He intends and will prosper in what He sends it to do! During our first crusade, two women realized who Jesus was and surrendered their lives to Him, and two people were healed of chronic diseases/pains. I managed to capture a moment in worship as our choir sang "Webare Yesu," meaning "Thank you Jesus!"

Livelihood chairperson Mable speaking in Ikumba
The following week, we went back to the Ikumba only this time with the head of the Livelihoods department. We traveled with about 15 other VSLA (Village Savings and Loans Association) group leaders to a home in Ikumba to discuss how their VSLA was managed, and to discuss how to implement these strategies into their own village groups. 11 years ago, the group was started to increase income to support farming activities and to begin saving long-term. Now, the group of 35 members have countless success stories about how the group has changed their lives and provided a way where they thought there was no way to grow financially. One woman told about her grass-thatched house that was transformed into a permanent brick home through a loan and now protects her from the cold of the mountains. Another woman was able to pay school fees for 3 children and rebuild her home that was previously destroyed by rain through loans. The future they see is one where their group can grow in all capacities and invest in families at the household level.

On Wednesday November 29th, our small group that typically meets in the home of our neighbors decided to reach out to our community. As we set out together, our first and only stop of the evening was directly across our church where 2 women were transformed by Jesus even before we came. We were simply able to be part of God's sovereign plan for them to receive Jesus that day.

After following up with one of those women, we went to see a friend of the church currently in prison that Friday afternoon. The guards had favor on us and let us visit in a room where we could hug and chat with Karen face to face. She told us of the difficult conditions in the local prison, including overcrowding, lack of blankets, food and other necessities. Our small group of 5, made up of Sarah, our neighbors Dan and Sharon, and our boda boda driver Ezra, prayed for our sister and her future.

That weekend, the church held their second open-air crusade in a village named Kiora, and after several complications we finally set up our speakers and had 11 people total receive Christ into their hearts and lives! Following up with new believers has been somewhat of a challenge, but a joy nonetheless as the Word of God encourages all of us.

Finally, after many conversations, our boda boda driver, Ezra, made his way to the PAG church and before he left the building, he understood for the first time who Jesus was and decided he couldn't live without Him!

As many people, myself and Sarah included, are transformed every day, please join me in prayer over the Christmas holidays for people all over Kabale as they begin new journeys with Christ and share the good news!