Impact Blog

Uganda Report #2: "And it shall prosper..."

As I write this, I am waiting at the hotel in Mityana for the team to arrive. They are coming in from all over the world. We will spend two days here on orientation, preparing buckets for water filters and getting meds ready for the clinics. We are doing some things for the first time on this Journey. For one, instead of doing 6 medical clinics, we are only doing two. On the other days, we will go house to house providing medical care (where needed), distributing anti-parasite medicine and mosquito nets (the single most effective way to reduce the rate of malaria), and pray for the sick. In the evenings, we will gather at a central outdoor place in the villages and conduct a healing and evangelism meeting.

I have come away from our four days in Kalonga very encouraged. Once again, the Lord has shown us that with His enabling, we can do more than we think. Two years ago Kalonga was a forgotten place. This community of about 30,000 people is not even officially recognized by the government. There are no public schools, no electricity. When we arrived there was no safe water source anywhere in the community. This is my third trip since then; every time I have seen significant progress.

The land that we purchased for the widows and refugee families is now fully cultivated. They have already had one harvest since receiving the land in March; they are now planting and cultivating for another. On the day we walked around the land there was a group of the community working together to build another mud house. First they build a framework, then pack it with mud. When it fully dries in a week, a final smooth coat of mud goes on. It is hard work, but what I heard was the sound of much laughter and joking. It was a delight to see them working together, helping one another to succeed.

We spoke with several widows and families about their new life. All were happy, but one stood out for me. Agnes is the mother of six. She told me that as good as it is to have fertile land, the greatest blessing is having their own home. This gives them a security that they have not known before. Now Agnes does not have to choose between homelessness and working all day on someone’s land just to raise money for rent. Instead, when her crops are planted, she can work for someone else and keep the money she earns to improve her children’s lives. She was so happy to tell us about how for the first time she and her family are starting to thrive.

Pastor John, Richard (who is our on-the-ground administrator), Ben and I spent a long time talking on Saturday. Much has happened that we didn’t know about. As Ben reported, they have planted 23 other churches in neighboring communities since Impact Nations first started working with Pastor John. The Kalonga church has gone from one to two Sunday morning services. But there was something more, something deeply significant that came from our conversation. John started to talk about how this community that he has been in and pastored for many years is undergoing change at many levels. John told me that Kalonga used to be dominated by witchcraft; this is no longer the case; its influence continues to steadily decrease. He said that family life has changed. There is less violence and less angry outbursts. Kalonga is becoming a peaceful place. John spoke about the hopefulness that now marks this community.

Both Richard and John talked about how demonstrating the Gospel has made all the difference––both the practical demonstrations (like clean water, medicine, food etc.) and the supernatural demonstrations of God’s love and power. It is as if the heart of the community has now been opened to receive the Good News wherever John goes.

On Saturday night I followed John through the dark to the other side of town to meet a woman who had come to Christ eight months ago. She had been a well-known witch in the town. I was greeted by repeated hugs, handshakes and laughter when I entered her house. As we sat in the near dark (there was one candle), people from her neighborhood started coming in. I met a woman who she had led to Jesus just 3 weeks ago; there was a very excited man who she had led to Jesus just last week. There was a first time visitor, other new believers and a group of children. We had a wonderful 90 minutes together as I read a story from the Gospels (they had no Bible), then I simply asked them what it meant to them. It was a wonderful time. This is the flame that is spreading from house to house in Kalonga.

For me, all this began two years ago during a prayer retreat with my son Ben in Canada. As we prayed about where Impact Nations was to focus, we both strongly sensed the Lord tell us to begin with Kalonga, Uganda. He has been so faithful to His word to us. I feel like we are witnessing a transformative miracle.

I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Is. 55:10-13
  “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, 
      And do not return there, 
      But water the earth, 
      And make it bring forth and bud, 
      That it may give seed to the sower 
      And bread to the eater, 
11      So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; 
      It shall not return to Me void, 
      But it shall accomplish what I please, 
      And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 
12      “For you shall go out with joy, 
      And be led out with peace; 
      The mountains and the hills 
      Shall break forth into singing before you, 
      And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
13      Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, 
      And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; 
      And it shall be to the Lord for a name, 

      For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
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