In working with students from ORU the first few days of my trip, I was incredibly blessed in a couple of ways. There is a young Ugandan man named Daglas who was helping them a lot - interpreting for them, helping to prepare meals and clean up, etc. An amazing servant and great dude. He told me he was doing all this because he himself was a fruit of ORU missions and for years had wanted to find a way to serve with them. Fifteen years ago (while Jill and I were still living in Uganda), a team from ORU came to Daglas’ village and shared the Gospel with his older brother Eddie. After a few days of spending time with the team and Pastor Gerald (whom we still work closely with), Eddie gave his life to Jesus. Eventually he shared the Gospel with Daglas who also came to Christ. Eddie is now a pastor, and I’ve worked with him a few times over the past 6-7 years. Daglas is an active part of the church Gerald pastors, and was an amazing help in so many ways to the team this year.
One day I went with the team to Kiyumba Believers Church. This is the church that had been pastored by my close friend Kayita before he died ten years ago. When Kayita passed away, his assistant pastor (Pastor Sylvia) took over, and has been serving faithfully all this time. It was so good to see her and the church doing so well. It brought back a lot of memories for me being there, and though feeling sad again at the loss of Kayita, I was able to rejoice in the faithfulness and goodness of God. We were also able to be an encouragement to Sylvia and the church members through spending the day together with them and sharing with them.
The pastors conference in Masaka seems to have been a success. It’s always so hard for me to tell, but I did get good feedback that was, I hope, genuine. In his unique way, Pastor Kintu put it like this, “This was a different conference, and Tim has a different kind of anointing. Nobody fell down under the power, but everyone left shaking their heads.” This was actually meant as an encouragement, saying that even though nothing dramatic happened - as is often what is expected in these gatherings - people were given a lot to think about. I taught primarily about the mission of the church, about being servants, and about relational ministry. Simple stuff in some ways, but in my view really vital.
On my last day in Uganda, I met a pastor in Kampala who inspired me so much. Pastor Wilson has an amazing story, and it was a pleasure to spend time with him. He began planting ‘simple churches’ in Uganda five years ago - the only person I have ever heard of doing anything like this. Now more than 700 of these churches have been started, and they go seven generations deep. This seems to be a legit movement, and I was so incredibly encouraged. The best part is that he and his co-workers are reaching witch doctors, prostitutes, the very poor, refugees, Muslims, and others that the church has struggled to reach. Jesus is at work transforming lives, and it is beautiful. Wilson was very eager to talk about working together, and I am looking forward to staying in touch with him and hopefully spending more time with him in the future.