AFRICAN MISSION UPDATE – JUNE, 2000
“I keep falling in love with Him (Jesus) over and over and over and over again . . . He gets sweeter and sweeter as the days go by. Oh, what a love between my Lord and I. I keep falling in love with Him over and over and over and over again.” These are the words of an old, old song that perfectly describe my sentiments of late. I am continually amazed at the love and sweetness of our Lord, as He proves Himself to me again and again.
Perhaps you know that I traveled to Africa for two weeks of ministry in June. You may remember the fact that when I was in Uganda in March, a pastor from Tanzania came to visit me. At that time, he extended an urgent plea to minister in his town, and he continued to press in after our return. In fact, by the time he made his second contact with me, he had already planned a large women’s meeting at which he wanted me to introduce the ministry of Aglow.
Even though this was actually an answer to prayer, I still prayed long and hard concerning God’s will for me. During that time, circumstances were aligning themselves perfectly for me to be able to go to Tanzania. Terry and my pastor gave me their blessings. God supernaturally provided the money for my expenses. He provided an airline ticket during one of the busiest times of the year. He provided a place for me to stay in Uganda and native friends to travel with me to Tanzania. He also worked on my behalf so that I was able to get visas for Uganda and Tanzania in a relatively short period of time.
All in all, in the natural, it appeared as though I should go. Even so, I did not receive the confirmation and the peace of God concerning my going until two to three days before my proposed departure. Prior to that, from time to time, there were anxious moments as I waited upon Him to reveal His perfect will. I knew that there was no way I was going to Africa unless I knew for certain that it was His will. There was no way I would have the grace or anointing that I needed without the confidence that I was there in His will.
In the midst of my waiting, God ministered to me again and again that He is an on-time God. He is never late. So there is/was no fear of missing out on anything by waiting upon Him. If we are asking and seeking, we will find. He will reveal His heart to us, and it will be on time. In all of these things, He is teaching me/us to trust Him implicitly, knowing that He is in full control.
What a glorious time in the Lord I had! The people in Tanzania were so exuberant at our coming and welcomed us with great fanfare. Though we ministered many times in the same seminar, each time we arrived at the meeting place, they treated us as though it was our first time there! I was the first missionary to come to their village, and many of them had never seen a white person.
Even though our main mission in Tanzania was to introduce Aglow, in the process, the Lord used us to minister healing and deliverance and to establish a sense of destiny and purpose in the hearts of the people. They had come to the meetings thirsty for and expectant in the Lord, and testimonies bore witness to the fact that they had not been denied. Praise God! In writing to the Aglow International headquarters, the Tanzanian pastor wrote:
“We thank God and praise him for he has a wonderful plan for Tanzanian women cause he has already sent sister Betty Goldman to our place last month (on June this year) from U.S.A. Her visitation to our place has imparted a lot of spiritual gifts to Tanzanian ladies who are still giving out testimonies of what God has done for them. Some of them have a lot of problems in their family but they are already solved; marriages have been restored, people have got the healing, spiritual and physical needs have been solved by God through your ministry brought to us by sister Betty and there is a revival now in our church. Government officials are still asking at what time and when will this women’s Aglow start and when will sister Betty come again.”
In Uganda, I ministered in the church of one of our team members, and what a lovely church it was! Their bamboo walled “building” was situated near the top of a steep incline in the city of Kampala and reminded me very much of the “city set on a hill” spoken of in Matthew 5:14. Day after day, the Word went forth, line upon line, precept upon precept. God strengthened and raised that body to higher levels of faith and vision through the teaching and prophetic ministry. He did a marvelous work, and none of us will ever be the same! Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. Be glorified, O Lord, in all the earth. All praise to You!
Before going to Uganda and Tanzania, I had the privilege of spending some time with one of our church sponsored YWAM (Youth With A Mission) missionaries, who was here in the States on a Sabbatical. At that time, she invited me to come to her base in Amsterdam to minister. Prior to that time, I had not really felt a calling to go anywhere outside of Africa. In June, however, when traveling to and from Africa, I had to fly with a different airline, and I had two long layovers in Amsterdam. Upon our approach and while there, the Lord began to turn my heart toward that nation and its people. The airport seemed enveloped with a spirit of gloom and heaviness. My heart cried out to God on behalf of the people to set the captives free.
Upon my return, as I have prayed for The Netherlands and God’s will concerning me, I have felt that He is drawing me there. That being the case, I am planning to travel to Amsterdam to minister during the first two weeks of October. I am believing God to provide $1,100 for the trip. My airline ticket, which will cost around $630, must be purchased by the middle of September. Would you consider praying about giving a gift to sponsor this ministry? The Dutch are a very depraved and often hardened people who need the Lord desperately, and our missionaries truly need the encouragement of re-enforcement from the home front. If you feel to send a tax-deductible donation, please make it payable to “The Spirit & the Word Ministries.”
We are feeling called by God to assist, as He provides, with two African projects. As you pray, if God touches your heart concerning these needs, please do consider sending a contribution to help. The projects are:
1.) Project Looking Ahead – This is a project that is being spearheaded by three Tanzanian pastors. They are planning to open a counseling center in Karagwe where they can minister to the spiritual needs of the community. As a means of drawing people to the center, they are hoping to provide communication services and to establish a secular and a spiritual reference library. They are trusting God to provide the monthly rent for a building they have secured in the middle of the town. When I was in Karagwe, we prayed over it, dedicating it to the work of the Lord. In assisting these pastors, we feel that we have the opportunity to touch a whole community for Christ. We would like to provide reference books, computer equipment, and financial assistance to help our brethren reach the inhabitants of this very poor nation.
2.) The Spirit & the Word Church – This church was birthed in June, 1999 when Ruth Payton and I conducted a church planting crusade. When we were in Uganda in March, they had grown into two congregations, and God seemed to be really blessing. Now, it appears as though they have had to move to another location because they could not afford the rent where they were. They lost about 40 people in the process. They are presently meeting in a school. They have been paying on a piece of land that cost about $1600. They owe about $1100 on it now, but they are having trouble making the payments. We would like to be able to help them purchase the land so that they can at least have a place where they can worship God unhindered.
Our God is an awesome God! He is able to do abundantly more than we ask or think. As we seek His face together concerning our (yours and ours) own personal needs, as well as those in the nations, may He prove Himself mighty on our behalf. May every need be met in Him according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus. May His kingdom be extended into all the earth! We love you and bless you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! Please know that our continued thoughts and prayers are with you.
In His service,
The Spirit & the Word Ministries
“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers . . . praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God” (II Chronicles 5:13 – 14). At the dedication of Solomon’s temple, God’s glory descended like a cloud, and the priests were unable to stand in His presence. When Judas and his band of men went to apprehend Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, many of them fell backward, for they could not stand in the awesome presence of the Living God (John 18:1 – 6). John, on the isle of Patmos, also fell as a dead man at the revelation of God’s glory in Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:12 – 17). While in Uganda, God’s glory and presence were so thick, that many there found that they too were unable to stand before our awesome God. Some fell to their knees: some fell prostrate of their own volition, while others just yielded to the power of God. We were deeply humbled by His awesome visitations. We were made to hunger, not just for visitations, but for habitations of His glory and of His presence.
I must share one particular incident with you regarding the power and goodness of God. To make a long story short, my ministry and travelling companion (Ruth Payton) and I had prayed for a man at the guesthouse to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My heart was grieved when he failed to receive his prayer language, and so I sought the Lord and also sent a plea for help to Mildred Corley via email. A couple of days later, this man (Michael), desiring more exposure to our ministry, accompanied us to one of our meetings. During the ministry time, in which God was moving mightily by His Spirit, I once again prayed unsuccessfully for him to receive his prayer language. The next day, the pastor came to our guesthouse to return a Bible Ruth had left at the church. In casual conversation, she said that many people had spoken in tongues during the meeting the previous day. I asked her if that was unusual, and she said, “Yes!’ Then she went on to tell me that she had wanted me to pray for the people to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. She had touched me lightly, at one point in the service, to share her request with me, but, I, being restrained by the Spirit, had failed to respond promptly. By the time I looked over at her, she was deep in worship. Soon afterward, though I was unaware of her desire, the Lord inspired me to tell the people that He really wanted to baptize them in the Holy Spirit. The pastor said that at that point, the Holy Spirit moved across the congregation like a wind, and many people spoke in tongues — some for the first time and some who had not done so in 2 to 3 years. I had no idea that had happened because the native language of the people “sounded” like tongues to me, and I did not discern the difference. I was so humbled and blessed by her report. I had labored in prayer and grieved over one man who had failed to receive, and God, in His goodness, moved sovereignly by His Spirit to baptize a whole group at one time! He truly is a wonderful Lord!
Over the course of our two weeks in Uganda, Ruth and I ministered in schools, at a women’s conference, at a hospital, in various churches, and in outdoor crusades. In all, we saw about 105 people receive Christ. We were invited by the chief of Namagera to conduct a church-planting crusade in his village. About 30 received Christ. Native pastors, who had accompanied us, announced plans to return a week later to begin weekly services. After our return to the States, our host pastor (Daniel Lubowa) told me that the people were assembled and awaiting the arrival of the native pastors the following week. There were more men present than women and children. That was a real work of God — usually it is the opposite. Daniel said the people wanted to honor us for our ministry to them, so they named their church “The Spirit and the Word Church.”
As I have mentioned in the past, the Muslims are aggressively penetrating Uganda. Not only are they offering free schooling to the children of new converts, but they are now giving $5,000 to each Christian pastor who will turn to the Islam faith. (It is extremely difficult for people living in such a destitute nation to refuse such offers.) After reading What Christians Should Know About Muslims and after a time of sharing, two of our host pastors were moved upon by the Holy Spirit to accept God’s mandate for them to take a ministry team into Sudan, a Muslim stronghold. Praise God that His conviction superceded their fear! That same sense of destiny seemed to capture the hearts of the women in Jinja who had gathered for an Aglow formation meeting. Women’s Aglow has been given a call to reach the Muslim women, and now is the time. While Ruth and I were in Jinja, we had the opportunity to share the Gospel with two Muslim young ladies. They seemed drawn to us, visiting us at the guesthouse and serving us a scrumptious dinner in their home. Even though they did not receive Christ as their Savior, they did request prayer for healing. A friendship was forged, and the door is open for further ministry to them. It will not be by might or power that the victory is won, but by the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6).
Each time I return to Uganda, I see that the people are growing in their faith and vision. God is doing a great work in that nation, and I thank Him for allowing me to be part of His ministry there. I also thank Him for all of you who have also shared in the fruit through your prayers and your giving. The Bibles and the monetary gifts that were given to the Bible school students and to the ministries, respectively, were deeply appreciated. I pray that you will reap many times that which you have sown. Only heaven will reveal the full impact of your ministry to the precious people of Uganda.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20 -21).
The Spirit and the Word Ministries
AFRICAN MISSION UPDATE – JUNE, 2000