"All Things Work Together For Good"

My report on the Ministers' Training Series in Kireka, Uganda

October 8, 2013

tims blog

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
Alexander Graham Bell

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of my recent mission to Uganda - at least for me - is that this trip was not in my original plans, but was in fact the result of a different door slamming shut in my face.

You would think that by now I wouldn't be so amazed. My journey as a Christian has been nothing but a series of one door closing and another opening. And in each case I felt frustrated, angered, and even heartbroken by the closing door. After all, I'd made a commitment!

(By the way, if you haven't read Evan Pyle's article "The Problem With Commitment" lately, do yourself a favor and read it again. And in keeping with the day, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EVAN!)

In each and every case, the new door that opened led to something far greater than what would have occurred if I'd stubbornly clung to my initial path. And this was very definitively the case in my recent mission to Kireka, Uganda.

Back in February, I invited Pastor Goodman Mugisha to attend a presentation of my Ministers' Training Series scheduled for September in western Kenya. This event was going to be the send-off for the Mobile Bible College, a joint venture with Christian Life Teachings International. But after some difficult communication, I received a letter in mid-July shutting the door on both that class and the entire joint-venture idea. As a result I wrote to Goodman asking him if he would be interested in organizing an event for Uganda. I realized I put him in a difficult position: first, he'd never organized an event for me before, and second, he only had a few weeks to do it!

The fact that this event was such an overwhelming success is a tribute both to God's providence and Goodman's faith. It is also a tribute to the earnest desire of the men and women of Uganda to know and walk in truth. A Buddhist proverb says, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." The testimonies we heard after the class bore witness to the fact that these students were indeed ready.

On behalf of my fellow missionaries, Reverend Jay Pearson and my sister Kei, I want to express our profound gratitude for the great outpouring of love and appreciation we experienced in Kireka. Special thanks to our hosts, John and Sarah Kalule, who freely opened their hearts and their home to us during our stay. Thanks to all the ladies who prepared and served our meals: Dora, Stellah, Edith, Monica, and anyone else I failed to mention. Thanks to Rachel and Marvin of Christ the Answer church, who kept the daily meetings moving along. Sincere thanks to my interpreter, Joshua Wamala, whose great love for the Word of God puts such passion into his work. Thanks to Reverend Henry Musana, who traveled several hours every day to attend my classes up to the day he left town to go on his own pre-arranged mission. It was a joy to teach at Henry's church on Sunday and visit his family at his new home. And thanks to Bishop Perusi Nalumansi who invited me to teach at the Victory and Holiness Church after the seminar was complete. Last but not least, thanks to Pastor Goodman for his friendship, dedication, and hard work.

Even before the classes were over, we were already making plans for the next event, tentatively scheduled for March 2014. We discussed how it would be beneficial to the participants to have an "in-residence" program the next time, in which the students would eat and sleep at the class location. One of the participants even spoke of donating land for a permanent facility! Most wonderfully, no one talked about what WTWH alone should do for the churches in Uganda; instead, the talk focused on what we all could accomplish TOGETHER.

I will leave it to the photo gallery to fill in more of the details of our activities in Uganda. But even more I want to direct you to the video testimonies from this event. They communicate more than I could ever hope to write about in this blog.

In November I am returning to Africa, this time to Tanzania. I will meet with the Maasai elders of Madungulu to share with them the things I learned in Uganda that will make our future events more fruitful. I also plan to teach my class, "The Prosperity of the Lord's Servant." Back in May I had to cut it from the program because of the unfortunate events that happened during that mission. I also hope to revisit one or two of the other villages I've ministered in before.

Thanks again for your interest, love, and support,

In the service of His Majesty, the King of kings,



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