As a continuation of my last newsletter and how God has been answering prayers on our behalf, He has provided for my airline ticket, and I am now in the USA! It all came together very quickly, so that’s why I got home before you got my newsletter saying I was coming. It was an extremely busy month, taking care of ministry and home obligations in preparation for being gone for the coming months.
The thing I love about living by faith is that things like going home on furlough are done in God’s perfect timing. He provides for me when the timing is right. I’m thankful that He has that control over my life because it removes the concern from me of deciding when is the best time to leave Uganda.
If you want to contact me for a visit or a speaking engagement, please do so by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for praying!
God Cares About the Little Things
A few days before writing my last newsletter, God had spoken to my heart that I needed to remind our prayer partners to pray fervently for us, while at the same time, thanking those of you who already pray faithfully for us. The very next day, in our little village church, New Life Center Church, without having said anything to them on this subject, the Sunday service began with a spontaneous move of repentance among the congregation, followed by prayer, praise, and loving confrontations. A real cleansing!
As a result of this service, where there was no time for or need of a sermon, the church committed Tuesdays and Thursdays for fasting and Fridays for overnight prayers. Such overnight prayer meetings are commonly held in the Pentecostal churches, but New Life Center Church had not had them this past year. That was initially a result of our building collapsing in a storm January 2007. Then when it was rebuilt in July, not only was the overnight prayer meeting invaded with cobra snakes (see photos in web site) the first night the meeting was resumed, but then on subsequent Fridays, the church was threatened in other serious ways. God protected us on every front, but the outcome was that the overnight prayer meetings have been stopped for over a year now.
Pastor David Kasule suggested the overnight meetings be held in his house, for safety, but the people insisted that this is the house of God, we want to pray here!
On Tuesday, the first day of committed fasting, and the same day I sent out the last newsletter requesting prayer from my readers, I could already tell a huge difference. Oppression had been so heavy on us that even what should’ve been simple tasks, such as going to Kampala to take care of business, had become comparable to slogging through wet cement. Here are some of the things that have transpired as a result of increasing prayers:
I went to my bank where I had a wire due, and another wire from the previous week had not arrived in my account. Neither wire was there yet, but my bank has recently begun offering Visa credit cards. So I asked the teller if this meant I could use my Visa from the USA to withdraw money from my home bank account to get some cash (most banks here do not offer that service). She said yes, and after swiping my card through her machine, asked me for my PIN number. I drew a complete blank there because I only use my Visa every 2 years when I go home on furlough. So I was about to give up my idea, when I suddenly thought to try an old PIN that I’ve used frequently with different things, thinking maybe it would work (although I suspected my Visa PIN was a bank-generated number). So the teller put in the amount I wanted to withdraw. Before she could even ask for my PIN, the paper rolled out of the machine, my transaction approved! Her eyes got big. She said she’d never done a Visa transaction where a PIN was not requested! And the next day, both my wires had arrived….
A bit later, I went over to a coffee shop that offers wireless internet. Those of you who email with me know my struggles with email/internet in Uganda. It’s something reminiscent of Seattle or Los Angeles quitting time traffic -- total gridlock, too many cars, not enough freeways. It can take a minimum of a hour just to get on line (if you‘re lucky!), and that’s only the beginning of the difficulties. So I’ve been pretty limited to using my satellite modem, which is expensive, but at least it’s dependable and “fast” by comparison. But I went to the coffee shop to try their wireless because I needed to get some information on my missing wire. Totally by “divine accident” I found that by sitting in a certain place, I could connect with linksys wireless, and even though it showed only one bar of reception, and then said, “No signal,” I was able to get on line. And… it was free! I have never seen free internet outside of the USA! And in addition, I could get on line immediately! So both days I was in town, I was able to easily get on line, get caught up on all my email and internet work, and it only cost me the food and drinks I had at the coffee shop! Japan uses their cars for a certain number of years, then exports the used ones to Dubai. Then after several years, those cars get exported to Uganda. When I bought mine 1½ years ago, it was already 13 years old, and just off the boat. The common way to have good transportation here is to buy these imported used cars, before they’ve had a chance to get beat up on African roads, keep them for 1-2 years, then sell them before they fall apart. Mine is starting to fall apart, so I’m preparing to sell it. Meantime, it’s got 2 quite smooth tires, one of which keeps going flat. Shock absorbers I bought last summer are shot and of course so is the guarantee, so the rear of the car is making a bad noise. I recently had to have front bearings replaced, and because of the poor condition of our highway (more dirt than pavement in many places) the car has all kinds of squeaks and funny noises that give me rabbit ears, hoping nothing is going to fall apart this trip. But somehow this trip, after having the car washed, it had a new sheen to it (it was not waxed) and had the looks of a new car, somehow. And about halfway home, the three of us in the car realized that it was not making any of the usual noises, it was riding firmly and smoothly on the road (not like it had bad shocks), and the tire had not gone flat in the past 3 days!
A few days later, I ran out of air time in my phone (our cell phones work on a pay-as-you-go system) at a critical time. When I hung up from my last call, the phone made a funny chirping sound, which I attributed to maybe low battery. But later when I checked my phone, that chirping sound had announced a notice that I had won some free air time!
I can only know from how God takes care of these “little things” that can simply make life easier, that He cares so much more about the big things in our lives. I know that as we move ahead in ministry, we will see even more souls saved, lives saved, and other victories due to the faithful prayers of God’s people.
Thanks for praying!