Team Bombo is home from Africa (well, there is one couple still traveling in South Africa by choice). But the rest of us are home trying to get back into this time zone after an exhausting couple of weeks. We ended up having over 6,000 patient visits (some patients do see multiple doctors) and 323 decisions for Christ in the six days of the clinic. By all accounts, it was a significant week of ministry in the rural suburbs north of Kampala, Uganda.
We had dinner in Kampala on Monday with Pastor Alex and his wife, Millie, and they related a story from just last Sunday. One week ago, after we had gone, they had four Muslims come to church seeking God. They shared and prayed with them for three hours after the services. That story confirmed what both Pastor Alex and myself concluded anecdotally about this year’s medical clinic. The repetitive nature of the medical mission in that community is softening hearts to Christ. Especially the Muslims. Alex and I both noted a crowd that was much friendlier than usual. They were appreciative, engaging, and more thankful than we’ve ever seen before.
There is something to say for sticking somewhere long term.
But that’s not the only place where we are seeing opportunities to reach the community with some hope. Last Sunday morning, we – yes, we right here at Peninsula – began a fresh round of ESL classes. Last season we had about four people attending. This year we upped our visibility a little. Well, a lot. Apparently, the lawn banner is perfect to draw the attention of those wanting some help with English. Last Sunday morning, we had someone from the preschool attend, someone from SBECC, and the rest from the community. Thirteen people in all came to the first class. They came from Guatemala, Taiwan, Mexico, China and Japan. Their levels of English proficiency varied. But this is great news.
We’ve been promoting it for a while now, and have obviously found an itch that needs some scratching. And this one is right in our own back yard. There are people in our own community that will come to something we offer at church if we just take some action to help them meet their own personal need.
There is a field waiting to be harvested. We need to pray for the laborers to work the fields. And I think sometimes we forget that the field is white to harvest even in our own back yard. Pray for Sharon Posse and her team as they present the love of Jesus to people who want to improve on their English skills.
And pray for Pastor Alex and the church in Bombo, who must live and minister in a heavily Muslim area, hardened most often to the Gospel. But they get sick and need a doctor. May physical needs drive them to understand their spiritual needs.
There is something to say for sticking somewhere long term. People are watching to see if we really love them. Even here at home they wonder, “Do they really care?” We must figure out how to show them we do care, and then watch God work. It’s going to be a great fall.