Brother Finny did a teaching on institutional drift at Harvard (session not recorded)
Brother Finny did a teaching on institutional drift at Harvard (session not recorded)
Greetings all in Jesus name,
I (Charlton) have returned safely from my trip to Boston! It was a blessed time of learning and fellowship.
I had the privilege and honor to teach at a week long bible school along side my dear brothers in Boston! The Lord really stretched me in an amazing way and I’m thankful for the challenge.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive”
Truly it is more blessed to give and our King knows best. I have experienced this in teaching! The challenge of preparing five, one and half hour messages was intimidating and new for me. But God is faithful and gave me what was needed when I needed it.
I spoke on evangelism and leading with the terms of peace (The Gospel of the Kingdom).
Brother Matthew spoke on the Church and it’s various aspects (nation, army, body).
Brother Finny spoke about Urban Christianity and how the spread of the gospel happened in cities.
If you would like to watch the sessions here is the link. City on a hill bible school 2016 FotW-Boston
Here are a few more pictures from my trip.
If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.
Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
We mentioned in a previous blog post that the single sisters were working on starting an Anti-Abortion Ministry at Makerere University. What started with two contacts at the University has turned into a group of 10 or so students who are passionate about speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Wanda became inspired to advocate for the unborn after listening to a message by Finny Kuruvilla about abortion last year. When Elizabeth Adams and Heidi Peachey (two young women who both served with the mission here for some months) arrived last October, the first ministry they collectively prayed about starting was a pro-life ministry. Since then, they also became actively involved with a pregnancy crisis center called Wakisa Ministries. This ministry helps young girls in Uganda with crisis pregnancy while addressing their emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.
We believe that a person’s life begins at conception, and that the value of a person is based primarily on the fact that they were created in the image of God. As such, the prevalence of abortion as an accepted practice—and as what many would call a necessary practice—is a great tragedy to us, both as we think about the lives lost to abortion and the women whose situations and experiences have led them to choose abortion.
In all that we do to fight this problem, we want to remember that our primary purpose is to save lives. But just as important to us is loving women who have already chosen abortion or who are considering it. An unplanned pregnancy can be a terrifying and traumatic thing, and the women who find themselves in this situation need encouragement, support, and a real answer to the question,“what am I going to do?” Our goal is to help the mother to heal, and the child to live. We want to provide help that considers and plans for the future, not just the present. The whole situation needs to be resolved, not just the momentary trouble.
Our goal is to reach women who are already in this situation, but also to help other women to make decisions which will protect them from unplanned pregnancies. Mainly we want to teach people about God’s plan for sexual purity and try to model that in our own lives. We know that this is a message which is not popular in most cultures, and that it is a different message than that which is presented by most foreign NGOs working in Uganda. But our goal is to walk in God’s ways and to teach others to do the same, and we believe that the pattern of sexual purity laid out in the Bible (an even higher standard than abstinence) is the best solution to not only the problem of abortion, but also to a host of other issues that young people face.
In late February we were introduced to two young women who were willing to organize a group of students at Makerere University to meet and discuss the problem of abortion. Some who came to that meeting had never heard much about abortion, and were curious to see what we would say about it. Others were already passionate about the unborn child’s right to life, and one student even used to advise friends of hers to get abortions and gave them money for that very purpose. There was quite the spectrum. After that first meeting, there was quite the feeling of purpose among the students, and the young woman who had funded abortions previously shared that she would now counsel her friends not to abort and support them in that choice. We’ve met several times since to continue to teach about abortion (what it is, what happens during one) and about sexual purity. Our discussions with these students have been both sobering and encouraging as we learn more about the situation on their campus and about their eagerness to make a difference.
“He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ–with all boldness and without hindrance!” Acts 28:31
Today many people around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Now Ramadan is basically a month of fasting to pay tribute to the first revelation of the Quran to Mohammad, according to Islamic beliefs. Observance of this holiday is more evident for us living in Uganda, then it was in the States. We are surrounded by a very large Muslim population, and we need to be ready to teach about the kingdom of God and our Lord Jesus Christ with boldness!
Over the weekend Brother Joseph was sharing a story about a bold advance he made for the kingdom of God, and today seems like a perfect day to share this story with all of you.
Joseph was riding in a taxi, basically a large white 14 passenger van crammed with about 20 people, on his way to the disabilities center in Jinja last Friday. He normally keeps to himself on these rides, but this particular day turned out different. The taxi driver, a Muslim man who was loudly professing his beliefs, was ranting about Christians and sharing scriptures inaccurately and out of context.”That is a lie.” Joseph could not keep quiet, he proceeded to take out his phone, and open the Bible application. He asked a stranger to read the verses, so they would not think he was lying, out loud for the man and consequently the whole taxi. He continued to teach without hindrance and with great boldness pretty much the rest of the trip. He read from the book of Matthew, particularly focusing on the Sermon on the Mount. The driver started to soften, and explained that what he stated originally was taught to him by his Imam. As people were exiting the taxi, they expressed amazement at the different message that was being preached, and everyone asked where he fellowshipped. It turned out that Joseph was the last person remaining on the taxi, so he was able to have some good one on one conversations with the driver. The driver asked if Joseph would have some time to sit and talk about Jesus, and the Bible. They exchanged phone numbers and plan on getting together soon.
We hope that this testimony will be an encouragement to the saints. Our prayer is for boldness, and the opportunity to share the Word. May we be taken out of our comfort zone for the King and His Glory. Amen.
We are excited to announce the baptism of our brother Tweheyo Brian!
Brian is a former Makarere University student, who has been seeking out the Lord for the past couple of years. He came with a friend to our Sunday fellowship some time ago, and has been studying with the brothers ever since.
Brian has decided to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and today he has gone through the waters of regeneration.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
We enjoyed a lovely celebration meal as a fellowship this afternoon. Praise the Lord, today we rejoice!
God is doing amazing things here in Uganda through the SALT savings program. We are just getting started with our first group, but we wanted to give you a quick update.
This group meets at a disability center in the town of Jinja. It is composed of 20 disabled people, mostly older. The local government gave an old building to these individuals for housing, but they still struggle to provide a living to meet needs for themselves and their families.
We have been walking along side some of the individuals in this group for a couple years now and have been blessed along the way. We started the savings group about 7 weeks ago and they have just given out their first loans! These loans are meant to help recipients with their current business, start a business, or other needs they may have.
One of the exciting parts of the SALT savings program is the members are saving and lending from their own money! No outside money comes into the group for savings or loans. Our goal is to identify the resources in their hands and provide training to empower them.
The members of this group are from many different walks of life and religion. They have committed to meeting weekly for the next 12 months, so it is an opportunity for brother Joseph (SALT facilitator) to regularly share the truth of God’s word and identify persons of peace for the Gospel of the Kingdom.
“We believe God’s design is to have a holy people who live in communion with Him and reflect the life and values of the kingdom of heaven. God’s people exist to be communities of light in a darkening world.” A Vision of Kingdom Christianity
Kampala, Uganda. A city built on seven hills, with people literally everywhere. The estimated population is around 2 million! We are striving to be a community of light in this city. A people called to set a whole new direction, that takes its starting point from the Bible and not from the way things are done in the society that we live in. We are called to be salt and light, and we believe that this is a holy and important calling.
The past few months have been very fruitful here in Kampala. We would like to highlight some exciting things that have been happening, and thank all of you who prayerfully and financially make all of this possible.
After the Stierle family arrived in Uganda, the first thing that we wanted to do was reach out to our immediate community as a whole. So, what better way to get to know your neighbors then having them over for dinner! That’s right, we invited our neighborhood over for dinner. But not just any dinner, a 50lbs Nile Perch dinner!
We all had a blast working together to make this fish fry happen. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know our local community, and for the community to get to know us. Some great relationships have been formed, but most importantly the gospel of the kingdom has been shared. In fact, we are working with someone right now who has expressed a real desire to follow after Jesus. We are praising God for this, and are in the process of sharing the Christian faith and the true cost to be a disciple of Jesus.
Some of you may be familiar with the disabilities center located in the heart of Jinja, because we frequently visit there. For those of you who may not know about the center, it is basically a community of disabled people who live together in a compound like setting that was donated to them by the government. After a recent visit to the center, it was brought to our attention that a man named Richard was having a bit of problem whenever it rained. Basically, when it was raining outside, it was raining inside. The shack that he was living in was totally uninhabitable, especially for someone who has a walking disability. So the brothers decided to build him a new place to live. Praise the Lord for the material and know-how.
The brothers have also created relationships with various university students in our area. They have been studying the bible together, and visiting different Christian groups at Makerere University. The main reason we decided to live where we do in Kampala, is to intentionally reach out to students. Speaking of the university, some sisters from our fellowship have started an abortion awareness group at Makerere. We will be giving more information on this in an upcoming blog post, as well as the purpose behind the vision of reaching out to young women about abortion.
We are very excited to announce Christian Aid Ministries has decided to partner with Followers of the Way Kampala to empower, and meet the needs of the poor in Uganda. We will be administering many of CAMS aid programs such as Support-A-Widow, Help-for-the-Elderly, Hope-for-the-Handicapped, Bibles-for-the-World, as well as savings groups that Brother Joseph Ssemanda will facilitate. This savings program is called SALT which is an acronym for Shared Accountability, Lending, and Teaching. Clyde Zimmerman, a CAM field representative, recently made a trip out to Kampala to train the brothers on how to administer the savings groups. Our goal in this is to reach out to people in material poverty and teach them, not only business principles but Biblical truths. Empowerment! Our goal is to walk alongside individuals, helping them use the resources God has placed in their care, and teach them the importance of following Jesus in everyday life.
We will close with an update about brother Victor (PRAY FOR VICTOR ). This past week he went to be with the Lord, after a six-year battle with cancer. Charlton, Greg, and Wanda traveled to Kenya for the burial. He will be missed very much.
Serving the King in Kampala,
Followers of the Way