Ministry of Margaret Nelson
February 17, 2004
The Equator passes through the southern part of Uganda, and where
I live is about 80 miles north of it. If you ever come to visit us, you will
land at the Entebbe International Airport which is right on the Equator. So
our seasons don t have a lot of distinction as they do in North America.
The temperature is about the same all year long (low 90s F.), and our
seasons are based mostly upon the rains. December through
February is the hottest time of year, due to the long absence of rain
during that time. There are few or no clouds to shelter us from the hot
sun, so the temperature, especially in February, can easily go above
100° on a daily basis. People don t do much aside from hunting
We are now in that hottest time of year. This week I've probably
averaged drinking between 3 and 4 liters of water a day. You get so dry
so quickly that it s very easy to grab a liter of drinking water and down it,
without even coming up for air! I never knew I could be so thirsty until I
came to Uganda and experienced the tropical sun in all its might.
Sometimes it s even hard to quench the thirst; you just want to never
As we all know, life can be hot in other ways as well, and any time of
the year. I want to experience a never-ending, never-satisfied, thirst for
God, for His Word, and for prayer! Living on a mission field and living by
faith financially makes a person much more dependent upon God and
upon prayer, both your own, and that of others. Rather than it being a
scary thing (as it was somewhat in the beginning) I have come to really
love how this lifestyle makes me so totally dependent upon God.
Lately quite a number of people have been asking me for prayer
requests. I used to include a list of prayer requests/answers in my
newsletters, but for some reason, when I changed from a written
newsletter to an email format, I left that out. At this point, I would like to
share with you an article about missionaries, called An Individual
Influence, by Mark. A. Taylor. It was written probably in the mid-1980s
and I cut it out and pasted it in my Bible where it remains to this day.
Then at the end of this newsletter, I am going to give you a list of prayer
requests which I will include in each one from now on, including
An Individual Influence
Paul once wrote about being content with insufficient financial
support (Philippians 4:12), but we never get the slightest hint that Paul
was ever content with insufficient prayer support. He continually asked
for prayer (Romans 12:12; 15:30; 2 Corinthians 1:8-12; 1 Thessalonians
5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1; Colossians 4:2; etc.).
Here are some of his requests that we should apply today:
- That closed doors on the mission fields would swing open
(Colossians 4:3). We need to be specific. We need to know from the
missionaries what doors are slamming shut. Let s call down the power
of God to blast open the doors to village leaders, the doors to witch
doctors, the doors to political leaders.
- For the communication ability of our missionaries in cross-cultural
and different language situations (Ephesians 6:19; Colossians 4:4). We
need to specifically ask that God will grant our missionaries the ability to
make the gospel clear in those different cultures. Missionaries need to
tell us what areas are the most difficult for the people with whom they are
working to understand, to grasp, to apply. Then we need to pray in a
targeted way towards those points.
- For boldness (Ephesians 6:19, 20). That means that our
missionaries will not have paranoia, reluctance, or timidity. The earliest
recorded prayer of the first-century church dealt with boldness (Acts
- That the Word of the Lord would be glorified (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
The word glorified means characterized, meaning that Christ-likeness
would be applied in the cultural applications. For the Thessalonians it
meant that they turn from idols and that the change in their lives be
known throughout the area (1Thessalonians 3:8-10). That the Word of
God would spread readily (2 Thessalonians 3:1). We need to be specific
and pray that the gospel would spread by word-of-mouth and by life-style
evangelism. Again we need to make these prayers specific. Missionaries
need to tell us precisely what cultural practices the new Christians need
to give up in order to be a living testimony. We need to pray for these
specifics persistently, regularly, and fervently.
- For the safety of our missionaries (Philippians 1:19; 2 Corinthians
1:8-11). We need to target our prayers. Missionaries need to let us know
what immediate and potential threats they face --to the mission station,
to the churches, to their lives, to their health. Is it a political philosophy
that is threatening them? Is it a prevalent disease in the area? Is it a
pagan cult? Is it demonology? Is it physical warfare? To pray for our
missionaries is to become participant on the battlefield. Joshua was able
to gain in the battle only when Moses hands were lifted up. When
Moses got tired of standing, he sat down. When he could no longer hold
up his hands, he called for help. He knew that he must not fail the
warriors in the heat of the battle. It is clear that Moses intercession was
the reason Joshua conquered (Exodus 17:8-13). But prayer was not a
substitute for work. Moses interceded with God, while Joshua met the
enemy -- what a partnership!
It is not enough for the home church to pray for the missionaries.
Missionaries must pray fervently for the home church. Paul prayed for
the church always (Colossians 1:3; Philippians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians
1:11; Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2:13). It is
important for the missionaries also to be persistent and specific.
Missionaries, just look at some of the specifics for which Paul prayed in
Ephesians 1:17-23; 3:14-21; and Colossians 1:9-12.
- The prevalent disease here to threaten the health of missionaries
(and everyone else!) is malaria. There are other tropical diseases that
can vary from the serious to the annoying, such as diarrhea illnesses
caused by food or water contaminated with bacteria or parasites, and
- Pray for life style changes in sub-Saharan Africa to stem the AIDS
pandemic that is taking millions of lives, taxing and annihilating families
and overwhelming the limited medical resources. Pray for God s
intervention in the increasing number of orphans, many of them also
infected with HIV. In Uganda alone (the size of Oregon state) there are
close to 2 million orphans, or 1% of the population.
- For about 2 years now, I have been having something biting me at
night, even with a mosquito net. It raises welts, wakes me up with severe
itching, and within ½ hour, all signs and symptoms are gone. I've never
been able to see or identify what is biting me, and all attempts to stop the
problem have failed. It only bothers me when I m in my own home, and
this includes 2 different residences. Pray that this stops, as my sleep is
greatly interrupted each night.
- Safety from thieves, both at home, in our cars, and in the city.
Safety driving on hazardous roads. (Traffic accidents are the #1 cause of
death of foreigners in Uganda)
- Pray for my 2 Life Ministries Institute classes, in Kabanyi and
Nakazzi villages, that God will ground and solidify these churches in His
Word, and that the teachings will accurately cross both language and
- Pray that financial support will be adequate for what God wants to
be accomplished, for both myself and for Foursquare missions.
- I will be in the USA on furlough from May 7th through August 17th. I
will be traveling, visiting and speaking in a number of states. Pray for
travel safety, for adequate finances, and that God will use me.
- I need healing of an ongoing painful tendonitis in my heels that has
troubled me for a year and a half now. It has improved considerably with
prayer, but needs a complete healing.
- Pray for Ugandan presidential elections in 2006. The current
president is to step down then, according to constitutional term limits.
There is a move to get him to stay on. Pray for God s will in that matter,
plus if he is to step down, that God will raise up a qualified man who truly
cares for Uganda, rather than for personal profit.
- Pray for persecution of the churches in Kampala. The mayor has
vowed to close down all "born again" churches.
- Please uphold our Foursquare Missions director in Los Angeles,
Mike Larkin, who, with his son, was involved in a serious road accident
last Monday. The boy is doing ok, but Mike's one leg is in very serious
condition and in need of numerous surgeries and total healing.
Thank you for praying and being part of God's army!