And a very good morning to you from Gulu, Africa.
Yesterday I started a different new medication and last night is the first night I have slept well since this all started. I went to bed at 9:30 and slept until 6, waking with a body that actually felt rested. The fogginess in my brain is almost gone (stop laughing), the swelling in my stomach is going down and the intestinal issue is calming down. The healing hand of Jesus has surely been at work in this "old" body. Thank you so much for holding me up in prayer, you will never know what it has meant to me to be so far from home and know so many of you my dear friends are praying for me. Please continue to pray.
I cannot explain how very "spiritually dark" this area is. The people have been through so much, living through 2 wars the last one with the violent Coney who raped, plundered and took from families their young son's for soldiers and their very young daughters for sex slaves. He is now in Sudan just across the border.
At the prison of 1,600 we went too this morning we delayed the alter call as I walked out through the prisoners giving them as much time as possible to make a good choice for themselves. I was a difficult crusade for me as neither Alfred, Aaron of Geoffrey speak Acholi, this area is so isolated that most do not even know the national language of Luganda. And although a prisoner translated for me, Geoffrey stated later that he did not convey well the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge so only about 600 received Christ as Savior. One of the prisoners stated,"I have been naughty in this prison and the spiritual leaders know it but from today I have decided to change because of the message I have heard and those pastors will notice I have changed." Another prisoner stated that he forgave the children of his brother who caused him to be in prison.
My heart hurt as we drove away knowing that today so many made a poor choice for themselves again, this time concerning where they would spend eternity.
After finishing Pastor Gerald took us to the youth camp where I spoke a "tailored" crusade for the 41 boys and two girls there. These youth between 13 - 17yrs. are troubled displaced youth that have done petty crimes, theft, ect. so my story fit right in. A friend of Gerald's translated for me and he did a good job but I get a bit unsettled when one of my regular guys is not center stage with me. About 35 received Christ and we were able to give each one a Bible in their own Acholi language. Then when I went to lead them in the "Forgiveness" prayer they came and knelt before me to pray, oh the humbleness of these young prisoners.
There was just something so special about these ragged ruffians that I just could not leave without telling them AGAIN low much they were loved. So I went around the room putting their faces in my hands, pulling their faces up, and looking into there eyes as I said,"You ARE loved." One boy just could not look at me but looked to the right and left then closing his eyes altogether. I waited a long time for him to finally look at me in the eyes as I held his face. About 2/3 of the way around it was more than I could handle as tears began streaming down my face. I wonder when the last time was that they were touched with kindness. These youth are the same age I was when I made a very poor choice for myself that lasted 30 years.
Gerald and Kenneth took off to see about some other arrangements while we stopped to buy a loaf of bread for our IRM lunch. Pastor Peace ate lunch with us and everyone went for a rest that was quickly interrupted by the return of Gerald who need to discuss the two church services I will speak at on Sunday and the additional two churches I will visit before we travel to Kampala. Pastor Gerald has done an amazing job working with a number of churches to put together our itinerary in Gulu.
Right before dinner Alfred and Geoffrey arrived at by room for Geoffrey to ask to be excused from ministry as he needed to return to Kampala for a meeting at the Embassy to discuss his visa for Australia. I excused him of course and told him to travel safe and we would see him when we returned to the city.
For dinner we had Spaghetti and meatballs with cheese like the first might and I was actually hungry ........DELICIOUS!!! Fresh steamed veggies and banana bread, a meal for a king!
After dinner we will be going out to set up and show the Jesus Film at the crusade that has been going on all week. Last night it rained us out before we could get started and the is saying it might do the same tonight but we will see.
|Don't try to buy gas when it's raining - the motorbikes are packed around the pumps under the cover|
Thanks again for continued prayer covering
That none would be lost,