Good results from first FFBI Session
We were looking forward to our second session of Frontier Force Bible Institute for many reasons. We were excited about the material we would be presenting and were praying that our Ugandan leadership would be as excited as we were. We brought a team from Vintage Grace church in El Dorado Hills with us and would be introducing them to the work that God is doing in rural Uganda. We always love greeting the believers from our 9 churches that we have come to know and love over the years. And we were curious about follow up from our first session from May.
Our May session was on Biblical Foundations for Assessing and Growing Healthy Churches. We studied how to assess our churches and how to build health and stability into our ministries. We began our current sessions with a time for each of the church leadership teams to report on how they were able to apply the teaching from the previous session. We were overwhelmed with the excitement and good reports of what happened over the summer. Pastor Sam reported that he was able to bring more balance to his preaching based on what we learned. Robert and William from Nyenda Island shared about how they learned that Jesus was the head and owner of the church and not the pastors. God blessed them with 2 new converts right away and the church members have been more consistent in sharing responsibility. The Kanalaki church bean to focus on “Waggulu, Munda and Ebwero, the upward, inward and outward callings of the church instead of the difficulties they are facing. They reported that this new attitude has led to attendance nearly doubling. Each of the churches reported similar results and they were excited about this new session of Frontier Force Bible Institute.
We are very encouraged by the initial response to Frontier Force Bible Institute and look forward to seeing how God will continue to grow healthy churches here in the rural villages of Uganda.
22 Baptized at Ssezibwa Falls
Tuesday afternoon was a great celebration as 22 believers from Madudu House of Prayer entered the waters below Ssezibwa falls to be baptized. Here is a video of Cyprian and Margaret’s children Promise and Paul being baptized.
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We travelled to Mbale to visit Pastor Mike Mataya and to be part of a month long outreach into the predominantly Muslim communities in the shadow of Mt. Elgon in Eastern Uganda. What a joy to participate in the baptism of nearly 40 new believers, many coming to Christ from Islam.
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The floor of the church at Madudu village is covered by large mats made from Papyrus reeds that grow locally. Peter, the caretaker of the church was rolling out the mats in preparation for our week of training when out slithered a snake. It quickly retreated to another set of mats and hasn’t been seen since. Snakes are not well regarded in Ugandan villages and are often seen as a bad omen.
As we began teaching on Monday morning, Pastor William was absent as he found himself in prison for having a stolen cow in his herd, Pastor Sam was absent as his replacement at work hadn’t arrived and Pastor Alex was absent as he had to take care of some emergency financial arrangements that couldn’t wait another day. The delegation from Kanalaki village in Rakkai arrived to report that recent storms had knocked down their church building.
The book of James opens with “Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance”
We have had a very profitable time of teaching and discussion with our leadership teams from 9 villages as we conduct the course entitled “Biblical Foundations for Assessing and Growing Healthy Churches” We teach all day long, and the delegates are given homework assignments to work through each evening. The next morning we review the assignments and continue with the curriculum for the day. The key idea for practical application of our teaching is to consider each section and ask 3 questions. 1. What are we doing well in this area. 2. What are we not doing well. 3. What can we do to improve.
At the end of the week each church will have an assessment and strategic planning tool that will help them to focus on what will bring health and stability to their ministries. It has been very encouraging to see the open and honest interaction among the leaders and the genuine desire to see churches that are transforming their communities.
We began our conference on Monday with prayer for the challenges that we had already faced and by Tuesday, William had been released from prison as the real cow thief had been caught, Sam’s replacement arrived and was accepted by Sam’s employer. Alex’s financial affairs were in order and the Kanalaki church was already planning to build a brick structure instead of the traditional stick and mud.
The snake? Still no sign of him.
Mystery at Bugero
We visited the church at Bugero on Sunday and came across this curious “thing” Do you know what it is? One of things I love about the Ugandan believers is their amazing creativity.
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Click on the photo to see what it is
Powerful and Influential Prayer
We arrived at Entebbe airport in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday May 10 and travelled Entebbe Road to Cyprian and Margaret’s home just before the excitement began. Thursday was the day that the re-elected president would be sworn in to office. There were heads of state from 7 African countries as well as officials from Europe and America coming through Entebbe to attend the ceremonies. It was a great opportunity for protests and demonstrations and we heard reports of road closures, Police action and tear gas.
Cyprian is a leader of a group of pastors who have set up weekly prayer alters to pray for political leaders and for Christians in places of authority to have an impact in Ugandan society. The President has taken note of their activities and is appreciative of their efforts. Cyprian is among a group of Christian leaders who were invited to a state dinner on the eve of the inauguration and their leader was asked to offer a prayer for the dinner and the events of the week.
This dinner was an exclusive event reserved for only the most important people, yet through faithful and consistent prayer, Cyprian and 4 other evangelical pastors found themselves counted among the powerful and influential. Dr.Joshua Lwere, director of the National Fellowship of Born Again Pastors was given the opportunity to have an audience with the president a while ago and his approach was quite different than other religious leaders who had the same opportunity. Other leaders always showed up with a long list of what they needed from the government, but Joshua came asking “How can we be of service to our government”? We want to know how to pray for you. As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God these Ugandan pastors understand which Kingdom is greater.
What a great honor for Cyprian and a small group of faithful pastors to be recognized as Ambassadors of the High King of Glory.
Our time in Uganda has been spent preparing for the launch of Frontier Force Bible Institute on Monday the 16th. We also visited the Bulubakulu church and taught from the word. We purchased and delivered 1,500 eucalyptus seedlings to Zorobwe to be planted on the clinic property. These seedlings will grow quickly and within a few years return 10 fold on the original investment. We also met with the owner of a new building on the main road from Kampala to Kenya where we hope to open a new Bridal Boutique.
We will be teaching at the Bugero House of Prayer on Sunday and the next morning begin a very full week of teaching from the Word on establishing and maintaining healthy churches.
Thank you for your prayers, friendship and support.
Serving with Jesus Joy
Andy and Kathy
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KLM 606 – Somewhere over Greenland
We are excited and exhausted, jet-lagged and joyful, hopeful and humbled that God would allow us to participate in the Great Commission by traveling to “the ends of the earth” to serve Him.
One of the questions that we often hear is “Are you going to move to Africa”. It’s a great question and one that we have been asking ourselves for many months. When answering difficult questions it is sometimes helpful to begin by asking a different question.
Over the past 9 months I have asked the question “Is it best for us to move to Africa or to make several visits each year”? I asked this question of many Westerners as well as Africans and an intriguing pattern emerged. Most of my American friends thought it best to move to Uganda and learn the language and culture, but every one of the 20+ African church and mission leaders I talked to said the opposite.
I had a conversation about this idea with some African colleagues that I serve with on the national committee of Ethnic America Network Dr. Peter Asiamah (Ghana) and Dr. Moses Neumann (Nigeria). They reminded me that God has accomplished a great work with Frontier Force Christian Ministries over the past 12 years with us coming and going, so why change? Moses said “You will always be welcome when you come and go, but if you stay it will change the dynamic”.
Cyprian shared the same thoughts with me and we agree that we can accomplish what God has given us to do by following the Apostle Paul whose ministry was characterized by missionary journeys.
We love being in Africa and are always blessed by the time spent in the Word, Worship, Fellowship and service with our FFCM brothers and sisters. We will be in Uganda from May 9 through May 30.
We leave San Francisco on Monday at 1:55pm and arrive in Uganda on Wednesday at 2:00 am. We will be excited and exhausted, jet-lagged and joyful, hopeful and humbled but thankful to be serving in the Kingdom of God.
- Safe travels for us and those who will attend the Institute.
- Good health for all.
- that God would be honored and the Church in Uganda will be strengthened.
- Wisdom as we explore new areas and new ministry initiatives.
- We are praying for additional Bible teachers who would like to join us and teach in the Frontier Force Bible Institute
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Please take time to read our April 2016 newsletter!
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