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We have been in jinja, Uganda for 4 1/2 months and enjoyed our stay here immensely. It’s been a time of unprecedented growth and learning for both Claire and I. Claire has been focused on building a Youth Cell at Christ Embassy Church (CEC), Jinja and she will describe her challenges and victories forthwith. The Holy Spirit had directed me to merely be a member of Diplomat I Cell and focus on soul winning, which He started after I had returned to the States from Ethiopia. The strategy He had started giving me in New Song Church in Medford, Oregon had to be greatly modified according to the obstacles peculiar to the deceptions of the kingdom of darkness in the United States. I thank Pastor Dan for his evangelical emphasis placed before his congregation and value those times when he would take us out to nearby shopping centers to witness.  There the Holy Spirit gave me a unique strategy to minister to those who are swayed by the deceptive securities offered by life in the developed nations of the world. I still use this strategy with the more successful members of African life on this Continent. If you choose, you may request this strategy in the comment section of this entry and I’ll email it to you.

When I first arrived in Jinja, I began walking the streets relying on the Holy Spirit to lead me to those of whom He was already working in their souls. I would stop at a place that would interest me, begin reading my bible and wait for a conversation to unfold either through an interest in the activities I was observing or what they might be observing of me. Often work places were the most rewarding, as many Ugandans work for shops owned by Indians or Muslims where activity is sporadically booming when shipments of goods would arrive but interspersed with long periods of waiting for the arrival of subsequent trucks. They were often surprised that this Musungu (foreigner) would spend hours sitting with them and be so interested in the Word of God. Always my conversation would be directed in sharing the Gospel, the gift of Righteousness and a New Life in Christ Jesus. They would be surprised that God wanted His very nature to reside in them and they could grow and live a divine life of faith in His grace and providence. Both seemed to be stuck in a life burdened by sin consciousness and struggling with the challenges of this world. The Muslims and Protestants, while resting together, would get into lengthy discussions about issues of the Law (i.e. circumcision, baptism, fasting, etc.) and would refocus them on the topic of receiving a new life and consciousness the Holy Spirit desires for them. The simple message of the Gospel is the power their souls desire and many would receive and enter into Christ’s kingdom. After befriending a few Muslims, I saw the necessity to help them discover who Jesus Christ is in their own Quran. I started searching the many Suras describing the divine qualities of Christ and knew the Holy Spirit could speak to them through their own traditions as He does in the old testament to Jews. I discovered that many Muslims do not know what the Quran says about Christ and they merely replicate the sounds of the Arabic script without knowing their meaning. I began passing out Suras with the Arabic script and the English translations to both Muslims and Protestants to help them understand that the Gospel is spelled out clearly in the New Testament and the Quran. This direction was well received by both groups and I believe will help greatly as we begin living in Sierra Leone, a predominantly Muslim, Catholic and animistic nation.

We met some youth who have a compulsion to preach the gospel! Accompanied by Fred or Azallias, Claire and I went to primary and secondary schools where the head teachers/principals had no qualms about outsiders preaching to their students. Through these outreaches in the schools Claire began to be inspired to build a Youth Cell at Christ Embassy and I began to try other ways to impact the city of Jinja. The African continent has been frequented by many evangelical crusades revolving around a certain common strategy of promoting events of interest to the community, large promotional advertising campaigns, renting venues, sound systems and chairs to attract possible converts. I supported such a strategy once in Jinja where 60 people showed up to hear live music and see the Son of God movie but when the altar call was made only 2 youths received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The most rewarding outcome was they joined Claire’s Youth Cell at CEC to be trained in evangelism and I was provoked to seek a more fruitful strategy which will be described as follows.

While teaching Nelson Kato, a friend and cell member, about  the description of  outreaches in the CEC foundation cell manual, the Holy Spirit showed me that Jesus’s ministry was effective because it was based in the training of those to whom He spoke the Gospel message.  His evangelism was not directed toward the masses but to individuals with whom He engaged in divine and intimate conversation.  Nelson described an evangelistic outreach he and some of his friends had done several months previously in the community of Buwolero, 40 km. north of Jinja. They had  a great response but had no further contact with any of those who responded to the altar call. We decided to preach the gospel with those converts, going out two by two, one from Jinja team and one from Buwolero. Nelson made contact with the few people who had been converted previously and we decided to focus on winning souls and discipling them in a fellowship group rather than promoting the event showing the movie, Son of God. If in our witnessing, we noted that the person whom we approached to already be born again or belonged to a church, we would only invite them to the movie.  Then we would continue witnessing until we found some one who only desired to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We started the 3 day consecutive outreach with a small group of enthusiastic evangelists from Jinja and at the end of the first day, the 7 teams (16 born agains) that went into the community and won more souls. At the end of the first day of evangelism 27 people became born-again.  Pictured below are 3 of the teams.

Nelson

Claire & TunwereMajorie and Chuck

            The 27 Born Again converts were invited to foundational training the next morning but when their shepherds had gone to their homes to accompany them to the training center, we found that they had left earlier to work in their agricultural plots. So the 7 teams went out again with the intent to just switch our training schedule to the afternoon. Many of the previous converts from Buwolero who had witnessed with the Jinja members were not there also! We were learning of our cultural misconceptions but the Holy Spirit was not to be denied!!  Our teams composed mostly of Jinja members continued to witness and bring more converts into the Kingdom.

             Pictured here are Nelson and I witnessing and praying with 7 men who later became the community’s strongest converts! When all groups again returned to the Training Center in the afternoon, the second day converts appeared with the first day converts who had returned from tending their crops. We had a time of worship and teaching, preparing for the following day’s  community outreach. Also pictured  are some of the fellowship groups of the first and second day converts meeting with those who had witnessed to them and led them into the Kingdom.

Witnessing and Sealing Prayer
Teaching

Discussion

           On the final day of evangelism and discipleship, we arrived late from Jinja because of car problems. This day more of the Buwolero converts were involved in evangelism than the first two days and at 4 pm when the worship music began, all of those who had received Jesus as Lord were seated in the front rows. They participated in many different ways. Four men stood on the platform and gave their testimonies of how their lives had changed after putting their trust in Jesus Christ. The Jinja worship team, who had spent 3 days in witnessing to Buwolero residents led all the participants in a combination of Christ Embassy and local songs. People were dancing and singing out loud joyfully. At 7 pm we started the movie Son of God, finished with an altar call and an invitation was given to all the new believers to come to a gathering on Sunday morning for teaching, fellowship and sharing in the breaking of bread as pictured in the movie.

The Platform

Movie Audience

Movie

               Nelson and several others of the Jinja team stayed to lead the Sunday service and they reported that over 30 people had come. Nelson and some of his team have continued to travel to Buwolero every Saturday to teach CEC foundational doctrine and witness in the afternoons, They are continuing to have a Sunday Fellowship service and the Fellowship is continuing to grow through the fervor of these new believers.

Prayer Communon

Prayer

Village PaintingWe have made some great friends and mission partners, who support their ministries by their own artwork. Here’s an example that sells for $70; Black and White paintings are at $50. We are leaving in 3 weeks and would like to save on shipping costs, so make your orders quickly. You can also commission work. Describe what you would like them to paint in this style and of what colors and after its completed, they will take a picture of the completed work and, if you like it, it will be sent to you. Love the Craigs.

We are deleting this entry to support our mission partners as the logistics in buying and shipping paintings has become expensive and problematic. We choose not to explain the details and difficulties but assure the few buyers awaiting the arrival of their purchases that upon returning to the United States in 12/16, any costs incurred by them will be remunerated by us. Sorry for the inconveniences and dashed hopes. The Lord is in control and all things work out for the best for those who love Him. Love Chuck and Claire