Sorry this post is a day late.
It is so hard to believe that I will preach my last crusade of this trip today. It has been a busy 6 weeks and although I am a bit tired it makes me excited and energized as I watch the Holy Spirit work.
2005 was my first trip to the Great Lakes Region of Africa and I never would have guessed then that the trip to Rwanda would change my life forever. God has given me the courage to take each step that has brought me to where I am today having made a total of 238 entrances into prisons since 2006. John 4:35b NIV is so true, "Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest."
I was still feeling poorly so only had regular tea, toast and some pineapple for breakfast and then it was a short drive to the prison of 400+ men. The prison chaplain and Deputy O.C. welcomed us and after a short time we were ushered into the area where the prisoners were, an open area adjacent to some buildings. I was again thankful that the Lord provided a bit of cloud cover from the sun.
The distrust and curiosity I see in their faces is always so evident but as Aaron is setting up the equipment I walk up to many of them extending my hand and saying, "Jambo (an African greeting), good morning", it seems to be just the right icebreaker they need to see and hear. But their walls start to come down when we get to the first object lesson concerning receiving God's free gift of salvation using Romans 6:23 and Eph. 2:8-9. At one point the O.C. came and sat through the remainder of the crusade. I think it is a powerful thing for the inmates to watch those in authority over them also make decisions for their lives.
Decisions were made by so many and there were testimonies:
- "I thank God for today's message. My mother and brother brought me to prison and I did not think I would ever forgive them but when I listened to God's word today I decided to forgive."
- "I thank God for the message of forgiveness which touched my heart today. My Sister-in-law brought me to prison and I was sentenced to life in prison. I pleaded to the High Court to have another hearing which they approved for me. But I have been strongly thinking that if they let me out that I go after at least one of them to kill them in order to avenge my wasted years in prison. But today, in the message of forgiveness God spoke to me and I have let go and forgiven in order to secure my soul."
- I was brought to jail by my wife and my mother and they sentenced me for creating a disturbance. I failed to understand how people dear to me could do that to me. I decided to divorce my wife, sell me land and move away from where my mother stays but today, after this message on forgiveness which I thought was sent here specifically for me, I chose to forgive them. I will seek to reconcile again with my wife and mother. Thank you, I feel happy and peaceful in my mind and heart."
After we finished the crusade the O.C. invited us to his office for lunch along with the chaplains and a staff person.
After lunch we said our goodbys and Bishop Moses and Chaplain Edward caught public transportation to go different directions to their homes while Aaron and I headed to the Kenya/Uganda boarder which took us about an hour. Then it was on to our hotel in Kampala which took us about 6 more hours.
My stomach was still having issues so Aaron had the restaurant make me some soup and after eating I must say I can't express how nice it was to lay my head down on the pillow.
Continue to pray:
- Health and strength for Aaron & myself
- Wisdom in finishing details
- Safety on my travel & return flight to Oregon
That none would be lost,
Sorry, the internet is weak here and Aaron has not had time to get our personal WiFi set up so posting this late.