Bible memorization and business cards

6a00d83524c19a69e20111688a82d7970c-320wi“… he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law …It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees” (Deuteronomy 17:18-19 NIV).

A few years ago I had a weekly appointment with a friend for breakfast and Bible study. We decided to help each other memorize Scripture. So, week after week we enjoyed breakfast and rehearsing our Bible verses with one another.

You can buy Scripture memory cards and systems from several vendors. They’ve already done the printing for you. You just have to do the memorizing. But my friend and I decided that we should make our own. We figured that the process of making them would help in the process of remembering them as well.

I think it was Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators ministry, that used to say, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” I agree.

We stumbled on the idea of buying perforated business card sheets for desktop printers to use for our Scripture memory cards. They come 10 to a page, so, we’d pick out ten verses we wanted to memorize and then make our own. I still have nearly a hundred of these cards “rubber-banded” together in my top desk drawer.

But more importantly, I have them in my heart.

We’re not the first to realize the importance of copying, reading, and memorizing Scripture for ourselves. God told Moses that every Israelite king was to make a copy of the entire law for himself and read it daily. That way, he could rightly govern God’s people.

I like the feel of these old business cards with Scripture written in my own hand on them. They have stains from breakfast and bent corners from handling. They remind me of God’s Word and of learning together with a friend.

 

This is an updated version of my blog from February 20, 2009.

Do you use S.O.A.P daily?

Soap“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 NIV).

“Daily.” There’s something about daily habits. What we do every day eventually adds up to weeks, months, years, and even a lifetime. Daily habits, while seemingly small and insignificant, add up. Our daily habits or disciplines tend to have a shaping affect on our character.

All of us have certain daily habits. We shower, brush our teeth, comb our hair, drink a cup of coffee, etc. These are the things we do to get our bodies ready for another day. We recognize the need for having clean, prepared bodies and faces before we “face” the public. We use a lot of products getting ready. One of them is soap. Whether it comes in a bar or a bottle, we use soap to help cleanse the dirt and odors of yesterday’s activity from our bodies.

Most of us learned this habit of daily cleansing from our parents. I still remember my mother saying, “Gary, come here! Let me look behind your ears!”

I always had trouble getting clean behind my ears, at least to my mother’s exacting standards. But after years of daily practice, I finally passed my mother’s scrutiny. I don’t know if all mothers are this strict, but my mother was always concerned that someone would notice her son’s dirty ears (Or underwear. Heaven forbid that you were in an accident and didn’t have on clean underwear.).

I wonder if our spiritual lives deserve the same “daily” attention? Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He said, “Take up your cross daily.” Does taking up our cross, the instrument of dying to the old life, somehow become like the habit of using soap? Having received new life in Christ, how are we to grow up in our salvation? Does this involve certain daily disciplines?

I think it does. While developing spiritual habits or disciplines will not earn grace for us, these disciplines can cause us to grow in our desire and ability to live out of this grace, becoming more mature in our following of Christ.

With this in mind, I offer to you a daily habit of devotion that I learned from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro. He calls it S.O.A.P.

S – Scripture. Read a daily portion of the Bible, listening for God’s voice.

O – Observation. Ask questions like “who, what, where, how, when?”

A – Application. Ask “How does this apply to me?”

P – Prayer. Pray that God would help you apply His Word.

Maybe we could pray, “God, would You look behind my spiritual ears to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything. Reveal any area that I need to bring to the cross in order to find cleansing and transforming life there.”

Using spiritual S.O.A.P. makes for a great daily habit. Who knows what character might be shaped by a lifetime of such daily use?

 

This article is a reprint of my blog from 2/13/09.

The need to belong

WCC Mission Team with Iglesia Adonai members

WCC Mission Team with Iglesia Adonai members

“Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian” (Ephesians 2:19 TLB).

Belonging was formally recognized as one of the most profound human needs by American psychologist, Abraham Maslow. In a 1943 paper, he described a “hierarchy of needs” that placed love and “belongingness” in its third tier of foundational importance. Only physiological and safety needs such as food, water, air and shelter were given greater importance.

Maslow’s psychological theory recognized what others had claimed for centuries, that humans have an innate need for belonging. Yet, this awareness of the need does not explain its origin. From where does our need for belonging come?

In the third century, Augustine of Hippo, said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” Augustine believed that God made us with this desire for connection. He believed we were made by God, for God.

Three centuries before Augustine, Jesus prayed that this divine connection would be restored, not just between man and God, but also between believers. Jesus prayed, “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity” (John 17:20-23 NIV).

This oneness between God and man was made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. The sin that separated us from God since Adam’s fall was paid in full by Jesus. Faith in Christ’s work on the cross reconciles us to God and also gives us a message of reconciliation to others. It makes it possible for us to keep the great commandment to love God and to love others as ourselves. It fulfills our “belongingness” need to its very core.

Christ’s prayer is being answered. Those who believe in Him are being adopted into God’s family.

Yet, the three enemies of this oneness remain active. The flesh, the world and the devil, all continue to work to divide and isolate us from God and His family. Their voices are loud. They scream of hatred and racism. They point out our differences and the hypocrisies of others. They urge us to get even and never forgive. They push us to pull away, to abandon, to divorce, and even to kill.

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Gary & George

One of the most powerful parts of Christ’s prayer is that “the world might believe” because it would see our unity. That the lonely and the orphaned would see the family of God, loving and accepting one another, and be reminded of the primordial purpose of being made for fellowship with God.

Carlos & Gary

Carlos & Gary

As many of our WCC members traveled on short term mission trips to distant parts of the world this summer, we found more similarities than differences. The culture and color of the peoples in Uganda and Guatemala may have been different than ours, but their hearts were the same. And when we worked and worshiped the Lord together, our sense of belonging to one another was overwhelming. We may have been with them for only a few days, but the deepness of our belongingness can only be explained by the miracle of Christ’s prayer being fulfilled in us.

Don’t listen to the voices that urge you to push away from the table. Get connected. Get right with God and others. Jesus is saving you a seat. You don’t have to be alone anymore. You belong in God’s family with all His other children.

Taking time to celebrate

Delmi had a birthday cake for Tripp and I

Delmi and Carlos had a birthday cake for Tripp and I

“It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:32 ESV).

In the parable of the prodigal son, the older brother complains to his father about the party that’s being planned to celebrate the return of his younger brother. His killjoy spirit reminds me of the way Judas responded to the extravagant gift that Mary gave Jesus, when she anointed his feet with a pound of pure nard and wiped them with her hair.

Both the older brother and Judas were party-poopers!

Or maybe there was something more going on in these men. Both of them revealed a kind of bitterness and bankruptcy of the soul. They questioned extravagance in anything: Extravagant giving, extravagant celebration, extravagant forgiveness… extravagance seemed wasteful to them.

Yet, God takes the time to celebrate. He took a day off on the seventh day of creation. He certainly wasn’t tired, so perhaps he just wanted to take the time to celebrate. He looked over everything he had made and said, “Good job! It’s good.” And he taught us to do the same. He made it one of his top ten: “Remember the Sabbath.” Set it apart. Make it a day when you rest from your labors to celebrate God’s good gifts.

We recently took a team on mission to Guatemala. Our going to Guatemala was a kind of celebration. We were putting Christ’s call to go to the nations ahead of our own concerns. Pulling away from our own stuff and our own effort, we went to Guatemala. True celebration, true worship always involves pulling one’s affections off their own stuff and putting them on God.

While we were in Guatemala they had a birthday party for me and another team member. They had a cake with candles, they sang, they even put off firecrackers. They took the time to celebrate with us. We felt special and loved. The Guatemalans may not be as wealthy as Americans, but they are very rich in knowing how to celebrate.

Taking time to celebrate may seem extravagant. Some would say it’s a waste of time and money. Yet, God desires it. He has given us many gifts, but certainly the most extravagant is Jesus. When we take time to worship Jesus, we are expressing our love and thanks to God.

Celebrating God’s Son we join in heaven’s joy. We admit our dependence on God and our inability to save ourselves. For we were once dead and now we are alive. We were once lost but now are found. We cannot add to this through our own effort. But we can take time to celebrate it.

Here is a video report of our Guatemala Mission Trip. We offer it as a kind of celebration for the extravagant joy that we have in serving Christ and carrying his gospel to the nations.

The worth of having nothing

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“Those things were important to me, but now I think they are worth nothing because of Christ. Not only those things, but I think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8 NCV).

We just returned from ten days in Guatemala. Ten days of having no home of our own, no car, no computer, no control over our own schedule, no TV, no Facebook, no email, no Spanish (I was dependent on a translator), and no ice (You’d miss it too!). And perhaps more challenging than any of these, it appeared there would be no cheesecake for me and no Dr. Pepper for our teammate, Eddie, until these important sustenances of life were discovered late in the trip.

At first the lack of these things combined with the lack of sleep took its toll on us. The fleshly voice in my head cried out in childish whimpers, “Please don’t take this away from me too.” Yet, after a while, there is a certain liberty in living out of a suitcase and focusing only on relationships and mission. An acute sense of God’s presence and joy seemed to increase as our comforts and control decreased.

Perhaps we all need to purge our lives of its accumulated trappings from time to time to realize what really matters. Going on a short term mission trip will certainly help with this. But it’s only a temporary fix, unless we determine to make it our new normal.

Now that we’re back in the States it’s tempting to dive back into our former routines. But what if we decide to see ourselves on mission here too? What if we choose to become like Paul who counted all things as “worth nothing” compared to knowing Christ?

Carlos, Gary, and Julio

Carlos, Gary, and Julio

Going to Guatemala we discovered the worth of having nothing. Having “nothing,” we realized that what is left is really the “something” that is most needed. What is left is what will last. What is left is relationships… with Christ, with His people and with those He is calling us to reach.

God at work in Guatemala

pastors“Jesus gave them this answer: ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does’” (John 5:19 NIV).

This is my first visit to Guatemala. Since this is the third year our church has sent  a team here, I thought it was finally time to see for myself what the Lord was doing. We have been partnering with Caroline’s Promise, based in Kernersville, North Carolina, and Iglesia Adonai, a church in Guatemala City to make these trips possible.

Whether in our hometown of Wilson, North Carolina or in other parts of the world, it has been our desire to look for where God is already working and to join Him there. We don’t go out as those who claim to have all the resources and answers to the world’s problems, but humbly, as those who only want to join the Father in His work. With this philosophy in mind, we look for local believers that we can partner with for the sake of the gospel.

I pray that we have found such a partnership in Guatemala. Pastor Carlos and Delmi lead the church as well as the Casita Adonai Christian school. I sense an alignment of vision between us. We both want to fulfill Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations and to follow His strategy of reaching “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). A mission this huge requires partnerships!

It is not our desire to send out short-term mission teams to do “Christian tourism.” We don’t want them to just to see the sights, give away some food and clothing, do some construction work, and then go home feeling better about themselves. No. We want to invest in local churches and help encourage and equip them to do the work themselves. They live there. They know the language and culture. We don’t.

And we don’t seek one-way relationships. We pray for partnerships that result in win-win relationships. How can we learn from each other? How can the international churches that we partner with form long-term relationships that cause both to prosper in doing God’s will? These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we answer God’s call to go and make disciples of all nations.

Before coming to Guatemala, I asked if there were pastors here in need of training. Pastor Carlos advised that this was sorely needed. So we planned to bring pastors together for a leadership conference on this year’s trip. Because I didn’t want to just assume what teaching was needed, I asked if I could visit the pastors in their own settings before the conference. I wanted to see their churches, their towns and interview them about their challenges before leading the conference. I came to see and hear what the Father was already doing before asking Him what He wanted me to teach.

Six members of our nineteen member mission team came down two days early to help accomplish our respective tasks. Four members of our team bought supplies and prepared for the arrival of the rest of our members while Nixa Rose and I traveled to see the pastors. Nixa went along as my Spanish translator as we joined Pastor Carlos and his son-in-law, Julio, on a four-hour trip out of the city to the countryside surrounding Lake Atitlan to visit the churches.

After only about three hours sleep, we left Guatemala City at 4:00 A.M. We left early to avoid a transportation workers demonstration that threatened to close the city’s streets. Poor Nixa said, “I was hoping for a little rest on the drive, but Pastor Gary and Pastor Carlos talked the whole way. And I had to translate every word both of them said!”

It was an intense trip. Our first stop was to see Pastor Diego. He is very sick and unable to care for his family and his church. His home was very humble. I felt a great sense of inadequacy as we prayed for his health, his family and his church. I’m glad we can call on Jesus for help. Otherwise this first visit of the day would have left me in despair.

We visited pastors in the mountains surrounding Lake Atitlan all day. We sat in their churches and talked with them about their families and the challenges they faced as pastors.

“How long have you been a pastor? Tell me about your church. What are the greatest challenges that you and your church face?” I would ask and Nixa would faithfully translate.

Nearly all of the pastors responded, “Our people are very poor and uneducated. We need training in how to lead our churches, about financial stewardship and how to overcome the discouragement that we often feel.”

This was exactly the kind of information I needed. I knew I had to take some time to pray and rethink the kind of training that I had already prepared. But before I could even begin to reevaluate, one of the pastors, Pastor Jose-Maria, asked if I would preach at his church that night.

“Is it possible?” I asked Pastor Carlos, making sure our schedule allowed for it.

Si. We still have three more churches to visit, but we can do it.” He replied through Nixa’s translation.

We visited churches until 5:00 P.M. before checking into a small hotel in San Juan La Laguna. I fell onto my bed knowing we were leaving in one hour for a quick meal before preaching at 7:00 P.M. I asked the Lord to give me something to preach and to please let me have it quickly. With the challenges I had heard all day from the pastors, I felt called to preach from Joshua 1:1-9, “How to Be Strong and Courageous.” And fortunately, the hotel had internet so I could use Google Translate to plan my sermon points in Spanish!

That night, both Pastor Carlos and Pastor Jose-Maria expressed their thanks for the sermon. Pastor Carlos asked, “What are you preaching at my church this Sunday? Because I think you should preach that same sermon again.” But then after a few minutes he changed his mind, saying with a smile, “No. Don’t preach it again. Because I’m going to preach it to my church when you leave. And I’m not going to tell them I heard it from you!” Pastor Carlos was always making jokes.

This is how the whole time went. We humbly tried to watch and listen to see where God was already at work in Guatemala. When the rest of our team arrived, they worked long days digging footers, making concrete forms out of rebar, and shoveling dirt. They joined the work at Casita Adonai to enlarge the school’s capacity. As concrete blocks were laid, our team put pieces of paper with Scriptures written on them inside the blocks. When we told Pastor Carlos about this, he said, “I will always remind my church about La Palabra de Dios that the gringos put in our walls. I will never let them forget this.”

Today, as I write this, the pastor’s conference is finished and our team is wrapping up their construction work at the school. As the pastors left this morning, each of them had to hug me and thank me for bringing them the leadership teachings based on the Word of God. We agreed to pray for one another that our churches would be healthy and fulfill the mission that Christ has given us.

There are still a few more days left for our team here in Guatemala. I am sure that there is much more for us to experience. But I am already sure of this: God is at work in Guatemala. And I am glad that our team could be here to join His work!

 

Let the children come

10422566_10152298380233246_6144976007977306568_n“But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God'” (Luke 18:16 ESV).

We met this past Tuesday to debrief our KidzFest event. The results were amazing. God is really blessing our church. He is trusting us with young families and their children. And when we see God blessing something, we want to make sure that we join Him. And when God sends us children, we want to make sure that we do nothing to hinder them from coming to Jesus.

During our five-night KidzFest event last week, we had 210 children attend. Not every child came every night, but we still averaged around 180 children. We promoted this event as an outreach to families who don’t attend our church. We extended invitations to the local day care facilities and the Wilson youth center called “The Spot.” As a result of our prayers and promotion, over 63% of the children that attended our event were not WCC attenders. This is a huge result because we want to be a blessing to our city, not just to our members. And God allowed us to see this happen!

Another amazing statistic was the number of WCC volunteers that showed up every night to serve. We counted around 103 volunteers that worked every night. Especially impressive was how many youth and men showed up to help. We’re not diminishing our women’s contribution; they are always the most faithful in working with children. But it was awesome to see our WCC men working with the kids. Many of the children were especially attracted to the men because they have no fathers in their homes. This was a powerful learning. We need more men in the children’s ministry, especially to make sure that little boys are not “hindered” from coming to Jesus.

Perhaps the most profound outcome of last week’s KidFest was the number of families that visited our church on Sunday for the first time. We invited them to come and watch their children perform the song that we taught them during the week. We gave out invite cards to everyone on the last two nights of the event. So when Sunday came, we were blown away by the number of first-time guests. We had the largest Sunday children’s ministry attendance in our church’s history. It was awesome. Both Sunday services were packed, especially the 11:00 AM service.

When we looked at the connection cards for all of these first-timers, we noticed a trend. Nearly all of them were in the 23-30 year old age group with at least two young children. No wonder our 3-4 year old class was packed!

As your pastor, I want to give praise and thanks to God for trusting us with these young families and their children. What a blessing! I am also thankful to God for our WCC members who really showed up during this event to serve. It is so awesome to be your pastor knowing that you really get the vision of reaching our community for Jesus. I love being your pastor!

But there is one problem. We need to do something about making room for all of these kids and young families! We’re out of room! Will you join me in prayer about this? We don’t want the size of our facility or our number of services to “hinder” the children that God is sending our way.

We want to be a church that always makes room to “Let the children come.”

Raising better than good kids

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Chief Mugatu (Eddie Gonzalez) and me.

Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.” (Malachi 2:15 ESV).

We have been working hard every night this week on WCC’s outreach event called “KidzFest 2014: Fire Island.” We decorated the whole church in an island theme. We wrote songs and Bible studies. We came up with activities and games to deepen the children’s understanding of the Bible stories we taught. Our adults and youth have dressed in islander themed outfits and labored every evening from 4:30 to 8:30 PM to inspire and teach the children about God and the Bible.

Why are we working so hard to reach out to the children of our city?

Kingdom KidsIt’s because we feel specifically called and gifted to make reaching children with the gospel a priority at our church. We also feel called to partner with parents to help them raise their children to be like Jesus. We recognize that God has called parents to be the primary ones responsible for this, so we offered KidzFest to help the parents train their kids. And now, starting this coming Sunday, we’re launching a 4-week sermon series entitled “Kingdom Kids: Raising Kids to Be Better Than Just Good” to train the parents at parenting God’s way.

We’re thankful to God for giving us this vision for reaching the next generation with the gospel. He has trusted us with 205 children in attendance through the first four nights of KidzFest. Now, we’re praying for a large turnout for our Sunday services, with many new guests coming to hear their children sing the KidzFest theme song, “God of Fire,” written by Stephen Combs and led by our WCC worship team, StedFast.

We’re especially thankful that God would trust us with helping parents raise their children to be better than just good, but to be godly, children who grow to maturity in Christlikeness.

Thankful for gospel partnerships

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3-6 ESV).

Like Paul, I am thankful for our gospel partners too. It took many of them to send our team to Uganda. Partners that prayed, gave financially and commissioned us to go. Without them, we would not have been able to answer God’s call to go to Uganda.

I am also thankful for the growing partnership that we see developing between our church and the churches in Kisoro, Uganda that Pastor George Mbonye has planted. Of course, this partnership would not be possible without partnering with Donnas and Johnny Kinton of Amazing Grace Adoptions and Orphan Care. The Kintons and Steve “Woody” Woodard of AGA really did all of the heavy-lifting to make this trip possible.

It is with thanksgiving in my heart that I offer this video to report on our Uganda mission trip to our church and to our many partners. As Paul did, I pray with joy and thanksgiving as I consider what God has done and will do through our gospel partnership.

Please join me in joyful thanksgiving and praise as you watch this video report!

Surrendering to Yesu

Pastor George Mbonye and Gary preaching at Kisoro, Uganda

Pastor George Mbonye and Gary preaching at Kisoro, Uganda

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42 ESV).

Today began with dark rooms and cold showers as the electricity was knocked out yesterday by a storm that left our hotel without power for nearly a day. It also began with much activity because many of us had to surrender our rooms in the new part of the hotel, pack our things and move to the old section, so that the hotel could accommodate visiting dignitaries. We could have refused, but we are working to build a relationship with the hotel manager that allows us to further share the gospel with him and his staff. The manager was in a bind. He had overbooked the hotel, so we offered to help. We are learning that surrendering to Jesus, or as the Ugandans say, “Yesu,” sometimes means surrendering your new room for an old one.

At breakfast we laughed about the cold showers and using flashlights to find our things. I heard no grumbling, just the flexible adjustment to changing circumstances that we are learning together here. We did discover that two of our team members weren’t feeling well, so we prayed for them and encouraged them to stay at the hotel and rest, while the other members went out for another day of training and teaching. They would rather have been teaching with us, but sometimes surrender means we have to rest when we’d rather be working.

After breakfast, we loaded up the vehicles and traveled to Kashinge Baptist Church and Child Development Center. It was a short, but bumpy ride as the road is barely passable. As we arrived on the Kashinge campus, and the children gathered on the lawn to greet us. They brought out plastic chairs for our team to sit while facing the children who sat on the ground. The children welcomed us with poems and songs. One poem was about the terrible scourge of AIDS, while the songs were songs of welcome.

They sang, “We welcome you visitor. We are so very happy you are here. Thank you for coming. We love you very much.”

After introductions were made, we gathered in the church for hymns and instruction from Pastor George Mbonye for the day. The team scattered to teach the children, while Monte and I taught the adults in the church. Monte preached from Luke 19 on Zacchaeus and the importance of a life transformed by salvation. I preached from Exodus on Moses and how God overcame his five excuses.  Monte had 7 people raise their hands indicating that they had prayed with him to surrender their lives to Jesus.

In my sermon on Moses I used five words from their own language that all started with the letter “K.” I had taught the pastors the previous week at the Pastor’s Conference that their sermon points should be accurate, simple and memorable, so I didn’t want them to think I didn’t practice what I had taught them. I had bought a English-Rufumbira Dictionary here, so I wanted to surprise them by using their language in my sermon.

When I began using their language for my sermon points, they laughed at my feeble efforts to pronounce their tribal tongue. But it was good natured laughter. I think they really appreciated my attempt.

Their favorite sermon point was number five, “kurekura,” which means “surrender” in Rufumbira. After my closing prayer, Pastor George further explained the time of decision to them. Pastor George has been my interpreter at every session. When he was finished talking, I was surprised and overwhelmed to see everyone in the room raise both hands in surrender and shout “kurekura!” and “Yesu!” which meant that they were surrendering their whole lives to Jesus.

After this, George had the men go to another room for prayer and the women stayed in the church to pray together. Robin and Pastor George’s wife, Robinah, prayed for the women. I went with our team of men to pray for the Ugandan men. We had each man sit in a chair in the center of the room as our team prayed for each of them individually.  This was a powerful time.

Afterwards the church served us a hardy lunch of rice, beans, goat and matoke (made from plantain). During lunch, Pastor Joseph (George’s brother, who pastors this church) was very gracious. He wanted all our emails and promised to keep in contact with us and pray for us.

We returned to the hotel and headed to the local Kisoro coffee shop called “The Coffee Pot.” I ordered a cappuccino and internet. Of course, the internet was down again.

Apparently, surrendering to Jesus sometimes means unpredictable internet service too.

Written from Kisoro, Uganda on June 19, 2014