I don't even know how to begin this post... I am feeling like the proverbial "cracked pot" right now.
Last week, we had our first summer team arrive. They are a group of 10 college students that are on FIRE for Jesus and have come with the intention of starting a CPM aka Church Planting Movement. They hit the ground RUNNING and haven't stopped yet. It has been amazing! I will wait until they have gone to report the total and final result of their visit.
Remember Andrew.... one of our Summer interns?? He and Jay, the other intern, went into the roughest bar in town last week. This bar, The Bugandan Pub is mainly known for its prostitution. The result.... they were asked to come and "play some of their music" at the bar. So they went and picked out some Christian Rap and prepared to share a bit with the crowd. All the college guys and Kent, went to the pub that night and waited for their turn at "playing some music." Once they arrived they realized that is was "karaoke" night, where people have the opportunity to dance and sing and really perform for the crowd.... so much for "playing their music."
They guys took it in full stride. After the DJ announced that it was "Massive and Explosive", Andrew went for it with everything he had. I have been told that he became a totally different person, yelling, and waving his arm in typical rapper style. Totally preforming.... for JESUS. While Andrew was rapping, all the other guys were up on stage dancing. Yes ALL the other guys... Kent included, danced like there was no tomorrow, while the crowd cheered like crazy for the Muzungus! They were truly "massive" and "explosive"!
This one night opened up an opportunity to minister with the girls (prostitutes) that live there. Andrew and Kent had an inspirational idea to bless the girls with lunch, to get them away form the bar. So we called Brian, the owner of the Sankofa restaurant, where we had pizza for my birthday. He willingly opened up the restaurant for us on a day when he is usually closed, and gave us a great deal on the meal. His restaurant just happens to be across the street from the Bugandan Pub, how convenient. or should I say How GOD!
So, as the long term missionary, I was expected to lead out on this luncheon. WOW! I wasn't prepared for that, hence my feeling like a cracked pot. BUT despite all my flaws and cracks, God was glorified! AMEN!
The lunch started out awkward, but over time progressed into a nice comfortable group. We served the ladies samoas, beans and rice. There were 12 or so women from the Pub, a few Ugandan believers, and a Muzungu, who has a heart for these women, came and brought a former Bugandan Pub employee. After everyone ate, the woman who USED to share the same profession as these women told her story. She shared about where she came from and how she is now a new person in Christ. IT was AWESOME. When she finished, I wrapped up the "talking" with a quick recap of the Gospel.... how it is a free gift, and how you can't earn it, and how God wants us to live an abundant life by accepting the FREE gift of JESUS!
Then the women paired up and all the women were prayed over, 5 wanted to give their lives to Jesus. WAY COOL! After the prayer time, my team ladies each washed the feet of the woman that they had just prayed with, giving them a practical picture of how Jesus came to serve. We closed with an invitation to worship with us on Sunday. ALL in ALL a GREAT afternoon.
I know, I know, your mind is still reeling at the words "worship with us on Sunday" mine too. But that is what I said. We had our first "church" service this last Sunday. Unfortunately Kent and I were in Kampala, celebrating our 12th anniversary/ picking up a team from the airport. But we didn't mind. We don't want to be the focal point, it's not about the newest church with the "white guy pastor". It's about loving Jesus, and that is it.
Let me fill you in.... do you remember the story about the Evergreen bar.... it is actually called the Green Valley Bar and Kent has become friends with the owner, Frank and his wife, Molly. They are Ugandan and own several businesses in Gulu and Kampala. Kent asked Frank if we could meet in the bar on Sundays for worship and bible study, and he suggested using his OTHER building that is currently being remodeled into a disco hall! This disco, just so happens to be with in walking distance of the Bugandan Pub.... Totally GOD!
This is just a small glimpse into all that is going on. The collage team is doing some follow up with the Bugandan girls today. And we have the second team that is rockin and rolling as well. OH and tonight the team is returning to the Bugandan Pub to perform a drama for the whole crowd! UNBELIEVABLE!!!