By Wilberforce Okumu

Pastor, Pearl Haven Church, Mbale, Uganda


Acts 21:10-14:
And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

In my interactions with many of today’s ministers, it is amazing how we each try to arrange for a soft landing in the would-be mission field before attempting to go on missionary trips. While it is logical and practical, the reality on the ground of ministry work spells differently for those of us who choose to look.

In Acts 21, Paul was accurately warned by an authentic prophet by the name Agabus. Those traveling with Paul “saw the point” and tried to warn him not to embark on the journey. Who in their right mind would want to go on such a disastrous journey? Yet Paul resisted all this discouragement. He went on to Jerusalem and consequently was arrested. But what were the results? Paul was taken to Rome as a prisoner. Reading the book of the Acts from this point shows that the gospel reached the headquarters of this world superpower. The church was established in Rome from where Paul wrote most of the epistles that have helped to preserve the apostolic instruction for the New Testament church.

I believe that this one trip to Jerusalem opened for Paul a great door and opportunity to take his ministry to new and higher dimensions that he would otherwise have never achieved.

God requires such people to entrust with some of His major kingdom business. There are yet many frontiers that have not been reached and taken for Christ that will require very serious people to confront. Obviously Satan has a head start. King Herod was already established when Jesus began his ministry. Satan has a well established, tested and oiled machinery with kingdoms and governments all fashioned to to his advantage. One must be deadly serious to attempt to fight this system.

There are yet a few front lines to be taken in the battle for the salvation of people and proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many frontiers have fallen and a few remain. Obviously the remaining are more problematic and sinister. The obvious victories of the church are becoming far spaced but so much remains to be done.

Who is God going to entrust with his end-time assignments? They must be very determined, willing even to run contrary to the popular and logical standards of the church on earth today. To wait for the cue from other Christians and favorable circumstances may lead to complacency and procrastination.

When we came to Mbale, we were told that this town is very difficult. A friend of mine located a convenient site for a church in Kampala city which is much more affluent. It was only the inner voice of God that kept me on the right path. Now we have a congregation in Mbale and the church is growing with a lot of promise.

We are now praying about going to the Sudan, bringing young people from there back to Mbale. We will train and equip them and plant them back in Sudan.

For now a lot of our effort is in building Pearl Haven complex to host the missions base and local congregation currently being prepared to be a sending church for Ugandan missionaries to other areas.

At this point allow me to appreciate the work of Workers Together With Him under Rev. Tim Sullivan. They have chosen to minister the necessary truths even to very remote places of the world and shied away from the popular trends of ministries today. It takes determination to travel to Uganda two times in six months.

Matthew 9:38:
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.



From the October 2004 issue of The Vine & Branches