God is so good. Seventeen years ago I gave up on Africa because the cultural attitude towards children as people was so low. They were seen as nothing as people so they were bound spiritually. Over a twenty one year period I had ministered in eleven different African countries, some countries going many times so I felt I had given it my best shot. Now two years ago I went back to Uganda because a close friend who has worked with me with children in the past is a missionary there. We set out with the children in the church in Kasambera to produce a model that other churches could see how important children are to God and what He can do in and through them. This now was my third visit and so far we had established a group of Spirit filled children who are hungry for God and will walk any distance any number of times a day to be in meetings. We have a ministry team consisting of eight to fourteen year olds who lead all the, ‘one to one’ ministry. Every Sunday a team of girls led by a fifteen year old and accompanied by two boys (on bongo drums) lead the whole church in praise, when the children go out they lead the junior church in worship. When they finish the presence of God is so strong one hardly wants to move. Speaking now only from my experience of Africa, all of the above is the first time I have seen such things. This visit I saw for the first time children using the gifts of prophesy and visions and interpretations, it was such a moving experience for us leading. For those children to achieve such things they have to be growing in their self esteem as well as trust in God.
Once again the timing of my visit was set by God, I was only there nine days with one complete weekend with no school visits, but on the Tuesday it was a public holiday (Ladies Day) so it was a holiday. Tuesday we had as a children’s day at the church where we had three sessions and in session two I taught on the above gifts. Following the teaching and again in the final session we gave the children time to wait on God to receive a word and then share it. Out of a hundred eight to fourteen year olds thirty five different ones shared over the two sessions and the collection of words in the first session were completely different to the ones given in the second. All the words put together in the first session made one complete message and the same in the second. These things help to show this is God and not the children making it up. To add to this proof in the first session I had each word shared publically as it was given but in the second I kept all the words until everyone who wanted to had shared then had all the words shared together so this time no child knew what another had said before they shared theirs, God was gracious. The children left that day bouncing like rubber balls they were so excited and those that could went home and told their mothers what had happened.
Saturday gave us our second children’s day with again three sessions. This time one hundred and fifty children came and all sessions began with children waiting on God for words. Every time the words and message was different and by the end of the day sixty children had brought words. We ended the day by putting the ministry team on the spot, we asked them to lay hands on me and see what words God gave them, then immediately after do the same for my friend. You guessed my words were completely different to the second lot and every member shared both times. To add to the blessing the words they gave me confirmed the words the children in Tasmania gave me in February. God truly is speaking. Sunday morning God moved faster than us, we felt we wouldn’t have the children seek God for words in the adult meeting quite yet. But several of the church leaders were off sick and the only one who could interpret for me was the pastor so we had a family service. We also felt that we shouldn’t change any plans we had so we opened the meeting for words and only children shared anything. The teaching God gave me for the weekend was to begin dealing with their hurt, pain and rejection and everyone is steeped in these needs. Every session almost everyone responded for prayer including adults on Sunday. Every session the ministry team led all the ‘one to one’ ministry. There were a number whose faces we saw change as they continually responded. One example was a young teen who had initially caused some minor problems because he was seeking attention. One can understand when you think his father died of aids and he at fourteen has become the head of the family of seven younger siblings.
Where from here? I did speak in two schools each day on the school days but the doors are closing up more on us. I was not only not allowed to pray with children but the schools most local to the church would not let me in unless I paid for some project for them. So next year we plan to try to move my trip to a school holiday time then have a three day sleep-over (never done before in Africa) in the host church at the same time training up the young ministry team more. Then go to another fairly local church taking the ministry team with us for three days of seminars for children where we aim that the team will do as much of the ministry as possible, hence moving the vision out. We also plan to give each member of the ministry team a disciple for them to train. Please pray for this goal and the finance needed as it will add a lot more to my expenses bill with all the extra feeding etc.
As you can see I am very excited and I want to thank you and bless you so very much for helping to make the above happen. Together let us give all glory and thanks to God.
Much Love & Thanks