Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Village of Mwaalo: Ciara

The Village of Mwaalo, a place that I have honestly been dreading to visit for the last five days. According to pastor Benjamin this is a very dark village. Riddled with witchcraft and evil, the pastor from this small town has been unable to successfully build her church as the constant threat of local witchdoctors prevents any light from entering the present darkness.  AS a team, we joked about how Mwaalo was our Superbowl. We  had felt that this whole trip was building up to this crescendo, and so we decided to cover it in prayer. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from this trip, is that all God desires is our obedience. When He calls us to a place, no matter how dark it may be, we must prayerfully accept his beckoning and boldly go. So this is what we did.  Unfortunately, this trip has proved very taxing on most of us, both spiritually and physically. So yesterday, there were only 6 of us that went. Myself, Molly, Courtney, Robert, ryan, and Harrison loaded the bus at 8 am and 3 1/2 hours later, we arrived in Mwaalo.  Honestly, I was very nervous about yesterday. I had NO CLUE what to expect,  but our team decided to devote the day to fasting and praying against anything that would threaten our safety and the ministry we were wanting to complete. And let me tell you, there is POWER in prayer!  When we walked up to the church, it was half the size of the one we visited in Bikoko. There were branches, tied together with leaves and the whole thing was draped in bed sheets and dresses. It was the most simplistic yet beautiful church I had ever set foot in. You see, the thing about these village churches is that the Spirit moves. As soon as each person steps foot inside the "tent of God" they worship. There are no announcements, no congregating. They simply show up, and  fall to their knees before an Almighty God.  As Courtney and Ryan shared, the Spirit was clearly moving. After 30 minutes of being there Pastor Ben waved me over so I snuck to the side of the church. As I made it over to him, he was standing with a woman who was around 70 years old. She reeked of alcohol and collapsed in my arms. Considering she spoke no English I relied on Ben to tell me what she wanted. He simply said, "She wants to be saved... she's done with alcohol, she just wants to surrender." As I looked at her, her eyes lacked any life, she was certainly a woman with no hope. So I held her in my arms, prayed over her, and with that, I gained a sister. It was humbling and moving, and after that moment worship was SO much sweeter! Seeing her rejoicing in the back of the church, knowing that her chains had been broken and her burden lifted, I could not help but cry.  AS the day went on, everyone spoke and we then continued into a time of prayer. Many people came forward asking for healing. That is the beautiful thing about Christians here. They have faith! What we would regard as issues for a learned physician, they see as simple remedies for God. As they made their way to the front of the church, we laid hands on dozens of people. Male female, elderly, and infants, all desiring the healing power of Jesus. What unworthy vessels we were to pray the mighty name of Jesus over the faithful. But what a gift to see the power of Christ descend upon his children!  The day continued and we broke for "lunch", but since we were fasting it was more like a quick nap/prayer time. We were hungry, weary, and dirty, and yet we knew that the crusade needed to happen.  At around 4 we left the church and began to walk to the center of the village. Everyone was outside of their homes and shops, wondering what the heck these white people were doing there, with speakers. TO be honest, I was kind of wondering what the heck I was doing there too haha But before I could settle into my self-doubt, Benjamin handed me a mic, asked me to sing a Lugandan song, and preach the gospel. I'm telling you, the Ugandans don't mess around.  As I stood there in front of this village, Bible in hand, I simply spoke on the love of Jesus. I acknowledged that many of them were living in fear of the witchdoctors but told them there was no reason for them to live in fear of their bewitching. To be honest, I was uncomfortable being so bold in front of an audience of purely muslims and those practicing witchcraft, but the presence of God was so apparent, I felt completely under His providence.  At the conclusion of my talk on the unyielding love of Christ, Benjamin stood up and made an alter call. I can humbly say that around 20 people committed their lives to Christ, including both of our Muslim bus drivers (whom we had been praying for since we got here).  Let's just say that the dance party in the middle of town after these commitments was UNREAL. Praise Jesus!  At the conclusion of our day, during our 3 hour drive back to the hotel, it dawned on us. In the  last week and a half, we had seen over 80 people commit their lives to Christ (that's those we know of) and 63 people had been baptized. God has clearly taken this ragammuffin group of jacked up, broken people and through simple obedience, prayer, and fasting, used us as vessels to bring Him Glory.  Tumutende!!! (praise Him) 

1 comment:

  1. Praise Jesus! I'm so proud of all of you for following Him wherever He leads you and so excited to meet these new brothers and sisters someday in Heaven!