I’ve been back from Uganda now for over three weeks, and I wanted to share a little about this trip. First, it was amazingly special for me personally to travel with some great friends. Roger Nix has been my pastor for close to 20 years, and traveling with him to the place where our family served as Believers Church missionaries was incredibly meaningful to me. Scott and Tyler Hoxworth from Texas are newer friends, but I’ve come to appreciate and respect them both so much through our mutual involvement in training student missionaries from ORU over the past several years. For the second half of the trip, I was able to meet and really enjoy getting to know another Texas pastor - Mike Johnson, who has much rich experience in training leaders around the world.
The first week our team spent with my old friend Pastor Robert and his family in the mountainous town of Kabujogera, Western Uganda. It was a joyful gathering of old friends as we came together to build up and encourage the church in that region. I spoke to many leaders who are in a difficult season, and who came to the gathering feeling overwhelmed and burdened. It was significant, I believe, for us to be there at such a time - reminding them of who they are in the Father and bringing them encouragement in the midst of the struggle.
I enjoyed staying in Robert’s home and sitting up late talking with him and our old team - Tushabe, Israel, and Gerald (only missing Benjamin, who was at another event that week). We ate the good and simple food of Uganda and basked in the ridiculous hospitality of God’s African family.
For the second week, we traveled to eastern Uganda for a Frontline Pastors’ Conference with Global Advance - a wonderful ministry based in the US with a worldwide work of equipping leaders. I have the honor to partner with these wonderful friends in equipping leaders in Uganda and elsewhere. Our small crew from the US was hosted in the border city of Busia with amazing care and love by Pastor John Wandera and his team. It was a significant time of equipping, impartation, unity, and growing in friendship.
Many pastors and other leaders gathered from across the region for three full days of teaching and fellowship. We met in a huge tent, which filled up each day with eager participants who came ready to engage with God’s Word. Each teacher brought something that he carries in his heart with passion and depth. Among other things, we talked about spiritual formation, raising up spiritual sons and daughters, giving God what we have, and counting the cost to follow Jesus with everything.
Each day Pastor John asked us to pray for the participants, and we took significant time to do that. Sometimes people came forward responding to a particular challenge, and other times just wanted to receive a touch from the Father. It was a beautiful and meaningful time for all of us. We touched and encouraged some as they came forward in repentance and renewed commitment, some in exhaustion and brokenness, and others in joy and gratitude. Although often tired ourselves, we felt God’s presence during these times and experienced His strength and refreshment.
After the event, I had the privilege of staying on in eastern Uganda for a couple more days. Pastor John and I visited three different towns in which we met with regional pastoral leaders. In each meeting, I asked the pastors what they hear God saying about their region and nation; what dreams He is growing in their hearts. It was beautifully inspiring and challenging to listen to the responses, as these leaders poured out their souls with the longings and hopes of the Father. I came away with renewed hope and with excitement about how Global Advance can be a significant partner in helping these men and women of God fulfill the things He has put in their hearts.
Thank you for the prayer and support. We felt it and needed it. I believe Jesus was honored during this time, and that the work of His Kingdom was strengthened. Please continue to pray for Uganda and the church in that land.
I have a quick update, which I hope to write more about later. By God’s grace, I will be leading a team in just three weeks from now to the nation of Cameroon. We will be ministering in NextGen conferences - equipping pastors to empower and train up young leaders, and preaching to young people about their identity and purpose in Jesus. This will be with Global Advance again, and I am excited for my first experience in West Africa. Please pray for me!