OUT OF AFRICA
Phil Graf and I just returned from Uganda, East Africa where we led trainings in three cities…actually, we carried a some of the load but were there to coach. The Ugandans we have been mentoring did most of the training. Here are a few snippets in order of the cities we visited:
PHASE 4—RUKUNGIRI, WESTERN UGANDA
Phase 4 of our On-Expediton training is “The Book of Acts and Multiplying Viral, Missional, Church Planting Movements.” Most of those pictured attended and put into practice phases 1, 2 & 3 of our training.
They have been equipped to reach and develop others for Christ along the lines of the book of Romans; they have been equipped to empower others for multiplication; they have been equipped to align their hearts and the hearts of others with the Father’s heart for them, countering the wounds and lies inflicted upon them; and now, they have been equipped to plant, grow, and multiply churches. When asked by one of our Ugandan Co-Trainers, “Who is going to plant a church this year?” 8-10 hands were raised. Four churches (Kihiki, Rukondo, Ruhama, and Ishaka) have been planted since our last training.
Pastor Elisha, who oversees the other churches in his area, has a vision to plant 1,000 churches. That seems grandiose until you hear his strategy to launch 100 churches in surrounding towns that will in turn plant 10 churches each. We have had a part in shaping this vision and to train the leaders who are doing it. They are getting it…and they are doing it!
PHASE 1— MBARARA, WESTNERN UGANDA
Following the training in Rukungiri, we conducted a Phase 1 training in Mbarara, also in Western Uganda. This was completely led by the Ugandans whom we have been training. Pastors Moses and Chris served as Lead-Trainers, Pastor Elisha joined us as a Co-Pressenter, and Pastors Monika and Patrick from Rukungiri, and Pastor David from Mbarbara, served as Contributors. Pastor Elisha now moves to become a Phase 1 Lead-Trainer, and Pastors Monika and Patrick now move to becoming Co-Presenters.
The number 12 in the photo is the number of people in the surrounding area who prayed to start their journey with Christ, as we sent out 24 pastors for 35 minutes to share their testimonies and the Good News (“I was lost, Jesus rescued me, He can rescue you too”). The pastors came back inspired by this relational approach to reaching others with the Gospel.
PHASE 3—SOROTI, EASTERN UGANDA
We drove from Western Uganda to Eastern Uganda to the city of Soroti. Phase 3 is “Aligning Your Heart with the Father’s Heart.” While the responses to the other phases were exciting, this one was the most touching.
In Phase 3, we deal with wounds inflicted by others and lies like “I am not important,” “I am stupid.” Most leaders (and people) carry wounds from the past and messages like these. Our On-Expedition training walks these leaders through Father God’s love and His truth about them. One of our exercises is to have them cross out and renounce those lies (“I am stupid,” etc.), and write in their place God’s truth about them.
It is touching to hear tearful testimonies of pastors say things like, “I knew I was carrying this wound but I didn’t know what to do about it.” We see weights lifted as they renounce the lies that resulted from the wounds of the past. We also see weights lifted from these leaders lives, as we walk them through forgiving those who wounded them, as well as asking to be forgiven for wounds they inflicted on others.
Lots to praise God for…praising God for you,
Linus (and Sharon)