Wednesday—(Oct 28) Conference in Makanga, Uganda
Arthur Magezi and I were driven in a beat-up car to the bush outside Kamuli, to an area called Makanga. It took one hour on marginal dirt roads to reach the Makanga, and we passed several small villages along the way. When we arrived at the church, I was not totally surprised at what I saw, since Arthur had told me that this was a new church plant in a very poor area, and there were presently no resources to build a church building.
The structure used for the Makanga church consisted of thick branches used as posts, and more branches for the frame. The roof was palm leafs, and the structure was perfectly suitable to keep the congregation and me out of the sun. Given the porous nature of the roof (there were a few places where you could look up and see the sky), I was glad it did not rain, because we would have all gotten wet to some degree, not a desirable situation when everyone has open Bibles!
The majority of 35 or so who attended were pastors and Christian leaders that came from a long way, and needed assistance to get to the conference. Motorcycles are the least expensive way to travel long distances in the bush, and motorcycle taxis are everywhere. Also, Arthur’s son Moses drove Arthur’s vehicle to ferry many who attended to the meeting.
I taught about God, the Bible and Jesus, with my teaching translated into Kiswahili. It was a joy to see their eyes light up as I explained how God created us, then sin became humanity’s problem, and how the rest of the Bible tells how God planned fix the sin problem through the Messiah. I laid out the prophecies of the Bible that gave more and more specific details of who the Messiah will be. Finally, I came to the New Testament and showed how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies, and did miracles to demonstrate His spiritual authority. I highlighted that the ultimate proof that Jesus’ death on the cross saves all who believe was His resurrection from the dead.
There were some wonderful ladies who prepared lunch for all attending, cooked over a wood fire. It was my second time in two days eating goat meat. I explained to Arthur that probably the only place in the U.S. where you can find goat meat is in authentic Mexican restaurants. Arthur told me that the average Ugandan who lives in the bush maybe gets meat once per month, either goat or chicken. Thus, our lunch, which included Ugandan rice, potatoes and ugali (a dish commonly eaten by poor people in Kenya) was a feast for most who were present.
After lunch there was a time of praise and worship, and just like in neighboring Kenya, these Christians knew how to sing and dance. It was delightful to watch, and I only imagined how the Lord must delight in the praises of these people. I told them I would like to bring them to America to show us new ways to praise the Lord.
I spent some time answering questions. All the questions were good ones, and it gave me more opportunity to emphasize God’s plan for His people, and how we need to read and study the Bible to obtain the details of how Christians and the church are supposed to function. Without using the term, I ended up presenting a basic course in Christian apologetics, that aspect of evangelism that deals with the reasons why Christianity is true. I repeatedly used the terms “fact” and “evidence” as I explained that what sets Christianity apart from other “religions” is that Christianity stands or falls on the facts of Jesus life, death and resurrection, and that while other religions are efforts of man to reach God, Christianity is God reaching us.
Thank you for your prayers.