Thursday, October 17, 2013

Teaching, Preaching, and Speaking in Bundibugyo

I’d been invited to work alongside Bishop Hannington to develop material for a publishing opportunity primarily because of my unique combination of experience in publishing and in Uganda. As usual, God used that opportunity to create a partnership with Surprised by Hope that Bishop and I believe will help the various communities where his 26 churches are located. I must reveal, however, that there seems to be some secret behind the red socks regularly adorning his feet.

Our first work together was teaching a one-day, biblically-based business workshop. I love the opportunity to show people that God is in everyday life. This particular group of pastors and lay leaders came from Congo, Rwanda, and the greater Bundibugyo area. They’d heard Bishop announce the workshop on his radio program and because they trusted him, they felt they had to attend. I’ve taught this particular workshop – The Art and Science of Thinking – in dozens of villages and we always struggle with the aspect of creativity. But this group was crazy creative. They reported realizing that because they were created in God’s image they could be creative too, and feeling that their mind had been opened to new ways of applying their thinking skills in their churches and personal lives. Yea!

The second opportunity to work together involved me preaching at Mitunda Church. I continue to rebel against the idea that I am equipped to be a preacher and I continue to agree when the opportunity presents itself. This Charismatic Episcopal church offered more traditional practices that what I’m familiar with so the service was interesting. The message was about having a singular focus on God so that he could equip us for his work. The most interesting part, in my mind, was when the Bishop invited all the Congolese refugees to come for prayer. He invited me to pray over them and I regretted not being so bold as to take a photo. About 20 people in this church of maybe 50 came from Congo with nothing into a place that had almost nothing and yet they were welcomed, loved, and supported.

The third opportunity to work together involved speaking on the Voice of Bundi radio program. I definitely did not want to speak in such a formal environment. I lacked confidence. A friend prayed with me and for me, he prayed anointing and favor, he kept me focused on preparing for that message. So thankful for him. When the time came, the message was short but powerful. The station phones rang off the hook and the two pastors’ phones rang nonstop. Several invitations to come teach at various churches were made. The station manager snuck into the room and gave us another 15 minutes of program time. People seemed relieved to address the issue of business focus, cheating and bribery, and customer service.

I’m so thankful for the many opportunities Bishop Hannington created for me to teach, preach, and speak about God’s Word through business.