Monday, March 23, 2015

A Night in Pingere

Our family at the crusade in Pingere


Sharing Jesus at the bar

Drink break - kids always watching us

Tea time

Our kids doing school work - while being watched


Josh preaching

Yes, my kids are in this picture behind the gang of kids!

Drying fish with Isaac

Luka LOVED it

Our home for the night

And the temp INSIDE our home!
March 15, 2015

God kept putting a crazy idea in my head, so finally I asked Josh what he thought.  Josh was thrilled to hear I wanted to take the whole family to the two day outreach with our church in Pingere.  Now that may just sound like camping to you but let me try to explain.

Pingere is a village next to Lake Kyoga about an hour from Obulle.  Pingere has two sister church to our church in Obulle and Josh has taught there for years now.  We know and love the people there.  Taking our family there would mean sleeping in a tent in the pastor compound, using a latrine, enduring temperatures over 100 degrees, keeping an eye on and entertaining a two year old while doing evangelism, teaching in a church, and at a crusade, bringing all our water,  having meals very late…and of course loads of children staring at us.  Ok, that all just sounded like complaining and affirms I am a suburb girl and it is only by God’s grace that I live in the village in Africa

It seems I cannot fully explain what it is like taking your family of 7 to a village overnight (yes, we live in a village but in our home so this was different).  I guess it is kind like roughing it camping – in Africa.

We arrived late morning as the group was about to go out evangelizing.  We got our sunscreen on, grabbed some water and joined a group.  Josh took Lydia, Luka and Malai with his group and Karlie, Grace and I went with another group.  We walked just less than a mile and started to visit homes.  The first family scrabbled to gather seats for our group in the shade.  My group seemed very shy.  Pastor Martin took the lead and shared with the family.  Then he asked me to share.  I was glad I had been looking in the Bible for what to say just incase I was called on.  I shared from Eph. 2 and how God has given us a free gift.  The family did not accept Christ but we planted a seed.

Our next home there was an old women smoking (unusual in this culture) and she did not want to hear what we had to say.  She told us satan had taken her long ago.  Pastor Martin used me to as a guest to ask her if I could share with her or pray for her.  She agreed.  I shared Ps. 139 with her and talked about how God knows her, made her and loves her.  Then I asked her name and she was so upset she left and that was the end.  Others told us people have come before and take your name on a computer and shared lies and other weird things I didn’t fully understand.

We shared with a few others too.  I was challenged by it all.  Honestly, we were not brought up sharing our faith and going “door to door” sharing Jesus.  I don’t even do it much on the mission field.  I struggle to find what to say and where it says it in the Bible.  I want to know God’s Word more!  I prayed a lot while with sat with people and I know God is at work.  It is good to get out and meet people, share with them and give them a chance to know life in Christ.  I was touched by it all.

Josh’s group was more bold in sharing and seemed to stop anyone on the street, cooking or at the bar and share Christ with them.  One person gave their live to Christ when they shared.  In other groups many people received Jesus.  Praise the Lord!

I know our kids were effected by it all too.  It was challenging for them too but really moving for them to see people with out Jesus and the church sharing Jesus with them.  I am thankful they could be a part of it.

But it was SOOOOO very hot!!!  Well over 100 degrees and we could not get enough water.  It was really hard.  

After all that we rested at church, were given tea (not exactly what I wanted when it was so hot but it was nice of our friends), then lunch.  We were treated like honored guests.  Josh taught in the afternoon while the kids and I sat on mats at the pastor’s compound and they worked on school work.

Then we all went to the center for the crusade.  It was a fishing center and people seemed a bit rough and the kids were easily angered by each other and did a lot of fighting.  The church members had loud speakers set up (can’t have a crusade without loud speakers) and began singing.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the singing and dancing.  Our kids were a real spectacle and usually had about 20 kids staring at them.  Josh preached and gave an invitation for people to come to Jesus.  A young boy came forward and a man from the bar dropping his drink as he came.  By this time I took our three youngest kids to the van to retreat for a little while but it didn’t take long and the crowd of kids found us.  There was more singing and then another message and invitation.  We left when it got dark but we were told of many, many people coming to Christ by the end of the crusade. 

We had such a fun night under the most beautiful umbrella of stars!  Luka was in his glory helping Isaac, the pastor we stayed at, put fish on a drying rack.  Isaac and his wife dry and sell fish.  It was interesting to see the process and just be apart of their lives.  We were once again served tea, by this time it had cooled off nicely outside so we could enjoy our tea.  I loved the fellowship and just being with everyone in their normal life.  I put Malai to sleep in the tent then joined the others for a wonderful meal under the stars at ten at night. 

I liked sleeping in our tent, looking up at the multitude of stars, and listening to the quiet night sounds.  However, when 4am came and a pair of roosters outside of our tent would not be quiet, I was not so happy – not at all happy!

The morning was cool until the sun began to heat things up at 8am.  We packed up, enjoyed tea once again with peanuts and said good bye.  I thanked Isaac and Betty and they told us how loved they felt that we stayed with them.  How cool is that.  We showed our friends love by choosing to stay with them.  I think it shows we trust them too.  And they blessed us with their hospitality. 

Our family was very thankful for our time in Pingere.  Josh, Lydia, and Karlie really enjoyed the crusade.  Luka loved his time with Isaac and the fish.  I enjoyed seeing and being a part of life with our friends – like our late night meal together.  We were privileged to be a part of about 100 people coming to Christ!  Pray for the church as they now disciple these new believers and embrace them into the church.  For years the church would share in Pingere and there was never any converts, but this time God was at work so we are excited to see the Kingdom grow.

One more thought.  I live in the village and know my friends here and their lives but again, in a new way, I realized what it is like to live like them.  Why they don’t know what time it is or keep time, why meals are late and take so much time, why kids are dirty, how difficult it is to drink enough water, or be alone, and what it is like to have no bathroom and have everything outside.  It just gave me greater insight.  And I walk away knowing how greatly blessed I am.  And maybe what a snob I am.  I have no need to complain.  I had a lot to pray about.  I know God used this visit to work in my life.     

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