A Light Shines in Uganda

Recently I went to Uganda on a mission trip with a small group. We were there for about 2 weeks and we saw some amazing things and had some incredible experiences. Here are a few of the highlights from our trip to Uganda. Once we settled in and met the long term team, we were informed that our team would be breaking up into smaller groups, working with a national translator, and doing some evangelism and discipleship lessons. These national translators are being groomed into leaders who will go out and plant their own churches. At the end of the first day, I returned to the hotel to lie down, journal, and process the day. As I reclined in my bed I began to experience an intense headache and I had trouble focusing my cloudy thoughts. I sensed that I needed to get up and pray. After praying for about 5 minutes, the headache went away and my mind became clear once again. That evening after dinner and team time, as I lay in bed with the lights turned off, I heard what sounded like the scuffing of feet on the tile floor and it felt like someone walked up beside my bed. Then my bed began to rock slightly. I prayed and asked the Lord what I was supposed to do and I sensed Him telling me to “just ignore it.” I prayed in a whisper something to the extent of, “I am a child of God, I am covered by the blood of Jesus. You have no power of me; so you must leave in Jesus name.” The rocking continued for a few minutes but I closed my eyes and went to sleep and eventually it stopped. Over the next several days, my small group found ourselves in the same part of town every day. There was one spot with a bench next to the door to a shop on the side of a small building. We started calling this bench the “anointed bench.” It seemed that whenever we stopped there we always ended up meeting someone and sharing Jesus with them. It was amazing how many people continued to come to the Lord. It seemed like everyone we shared with prayed and accepted Christ into their hearts. One evening as we were out on the town, I met a young man named Dennis outside of a pub. He said he had come there alone. I began to share with him why we were there. As I shared the “Steps to Peace with God” tract, he seemed to be following everything I was sharing with him. Then I explained how it was Jesus who bridges the gap between us and God. I told him that we could pray together right there and he could receive Jesus in his heart and have peace with God. Dennis finally accepted to pray. Afterwards, my friend Jeff and I prayed that Dennis would be filled with the Holy Spirit. We asked Dennis to pray and ask God to speak to him and tell him what He thought of Dennis. Dennis asked, “God, speak to me.” After a few moments Dennis began to smile and I asked him what he had heard. He said, “In my mind I heard God say, ‘You are a changed man’.” We rejoiced with Dennis and shared some more. Then I noticed my friend Todd sharing with another older man named Charles; so I invited Dennis to go with me to share with this Charles as well. Charles also prayed and accepted Christ. Then Dennis, Todd, and I laid hands on Charles and prayed that he would receive the Holy Spirit. Then we encouraged Charles to ask God to speak to him. Charles prayed, “God, speak to me.” After a few moments, Charles opened his eyes and I asked, “So, what did God say to you.” There was a long pause before Charles responded, but then he said, “I think…he said that I am a changed man.” I looked at Dennis and he and I both began to smile and laugh. I then told Charles, “Charles, Dennis just prayed to receive Jesus into his heart about 10 minutes ago and God said the same thing to him that ‘He’s a changed man!’ “ At one point, another one of our small teams had gone out to share. They met a man named Simon and he prayed to receive Jesus then he asked them to pray for his wife who was at home and really sick with Malaria; so, the team prayed for Simon’s wife. The following day they ran into Simon and he greeted them with a huge smile and said, “My wife has been completely healed of her Malaria. We even went to the doctor to have her checked and they could find no trace of Malaria!” On another occasion, a different group had left town and went into one of the surrounding villages to minister. They eventually came across a little girl lying on a mat beside one of the trials. The team asked one of the girl’s friends what was wrong with the sick girl and her friend said, “She is suffering from the Malaria.” The team then gathered around the sick girl, laid hands on her, and began to pray. The girl’s head was burning up with fever. As the team prayed, my friend Namitha received a word from the Lord and she boldly said, “Little girl, you need to get up and walk.” Then the little girl got up, picked her mat up, and began to walk. Now, the girl’s head was cool to the touch. Interestingly, I have never been on a trip where we were asked to “Please stop evangelizing.” Too many people were coming to the Lord for us to do follow up and discipleship lessons with all these new believers. We were encouraged to focus more on setting up discipleship appointments and helping the translators develop their leadership abilities, since they were the ones staying in the country, ministering, evangelizing, and building their own church. However, we were told that if our follow-up appointments “fell through” then we should follow the Lord’s guidance in who to share the gospel with at that time. It was an amazing, fruitful trip. People were warm, open, and accepting everywhere we went. One lady even named her baby daughter that was born shortly after we left: Namitha. What an honor it was to serve and minister to the people of Uganda! In all I believe we saw 59 salvations, 14 healings, 17 baptisms, 5 rededications, and about 130 gospel seeds planted in people’s hearts. We also helped facilitate around 120 discipleship lessons during our 2 short weeks. Truly, God used our team to shine a light in Uganda!