"As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received now freely give."
We spent four months, before our trip, studying this verse and many others that showed how Jesus shared, and how he instructed the disciples to minister. Is seems simple, but it was our plan. Before we left Ocean View, our prayer was to see three simple churches started, like in Acts 2:42-47 (or life groups, house churches etc.. ) We wanted to make them disciples, teaching them how to obey and baptizing them, Matt 28:18-20. We wanted to cast a vision for growth and multiplication. (Jesus first sent out the 12, then it was 70)
AND THAT IS WHAT WE DID!
Our first weeks were spent walking the streets looking for people of peace, people who were open to the Gospel, who would be the "soft soil". Everyone we met, we would share the Gospel with and ask if we could pray for them for anything. When we prayed we saw miracles take place.
People lame with arthritis....... walking!
People suffering from asthma........ breathing!
People burdened with unemployment....... working!!
People blind ..... seeing!!!
Over and over again we saw God move in mighty ways!! In one meeting, a man needed a job. So our team prayed, not 5 minuets after they finished praying..... the phone rang. It was the man's former employer, giving him his job back!!
Belinda - had suffered from arthritis for years, it was a long painful process to stand up and walk. She spent most of her time on her front porch because it took to long to walk anywhere else. We prayed, and God healed. We immediately encouraged her to find someone else who needed prayer. (Freely you have received now freely give) Her husband's eyes had been injured in an accident years ago, they were in constant pain. We guided her through praying for her husband, and HE was healed. So we asked for more... Her neighbor had horrible asthma problems, it would take him 30+ minutes to walk up a single flight of stairs because he had to stop and rest every other step. So we encouraged BELINDA to pray for him, she did and he was healed. When he left, it only took him 5 minuets to walk up the stairs to get home!!!
Over and over we saw God move. These "power encounters" opened up the door to share God's love and mercy. Not every one accepted. Several times we would have to remind ourselves of
the parable of the soils, our job is not to make them grow, but to sow the seeds broadly!
As the trip went on, we began moving from seed sowing to discipling. We would meet with those who were hungry for more of Jesus. We would walk them through, bible studies and teach them how to share how they had become new creations.
As they began to share their faith and as we continued to share as well, we started forming groups that would meet together for prayer, worship and study. We were seeing our goals met!! It was amazing!
This trip has given us more clarity as to what our roll in Uganda will be. We are filled with more passion to see a Church Planting Movement take place. To raise up local believers and teach them how to be disciples, and watch them catch the vision of taking the name of Jesus through out the region.