Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We're Back!

Hey bloggers...We’re back from Africa, and everything was amazing, and exceeded expectations! Thanks so much for your effective prayers. I’ll be back in a few hours to tell you about it...in the meantime, go ahead and communicate, and if any of you who went on the trip with me want to write a review of it, feel free to do so...

________

(Later...)

Thanks for your patience, and for getting started (currently 19 comments…and, again, the deleted ones are deleted by the authors, not by me).

And thanks, Erik and Karen, for your excellent reviews. I know you all want to hear the details of the trip, and I want to (and will) talk about it. And as soon as someone e-mails me some pictures, I will post them.

My eyes are a little inflamed from having had lasik surgery right before going, and then riding for hours in open air cars every day in the extreme dust, heat, and exhaust fumes of the overly crowded and traffic-jammed, Ugandan roads…so I have to pace myself a little in writing. I’ll do as much as I can throughout the day, but, in the meantime, continue to post your comments...



ntil you actually set foot on the soil of a place, and breathe in its air, and get in physical touch with its people and environment, you can’t really understand it. Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With about 922 million people (as of 2005) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.2% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. There are 53 countries, including Madagascar and all the island groups. In a word, it’s enormous on many levels, and you can never understand or comprehend all of it…but you can’t really understand any of it until you go there…

od opened a door for me to go to Uganda (named the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill when it was still a British territory) several months ago, through being introduced to Pastor Benard Nadiope of Good Shepherd’s Touch Ministries in the capital city of Kampala. Through a series of events that confirmed to him and me that our connection was divinely inspired, Pastor Ben was ordained with Now Ministries here at CITN on our church anniversary, and then invited me to come to do his very first Pastor’s conference. The purpose of the conference was for me to connect with other Pastors there, and to build bridges between them – most of them from many different denominations – so that more could be accomplished for the Kingdom of God there in that part of the world.

s you may know, Uganda is a beautiful country that has been ravaged by war, the evil regime of Idi Amin, poverty, and the AIDS epidemic. Child prostitution is rampant there, and children, in general, are particularly vulnerable, as the spread of AIDS has created a huge orphan population all over the country. Education, especially in the rural areas, is not easy to obtain, and polygamy is still legal. As a result, women are also easily victimized in the society, at large, and conventional prostitution is the only option that many of them think that they have to make a living.

adiope’s ministry interested and attracted me in the first place because, like Bishop Tommy Smith’s ministry in the Philippines, it is Spirit-filled, yet socially relevant and proactive in its efforts to tangibly light a candle in a very dark place. The children’s home, the vocational training for vulnerable women, the ministry to victims of AIDS, including a very successful AIDS awareness and educational seminar last year, the prison outreach, and the church’s very existence right in the middle of a well-known, Kampala ghetto, all served to convince me that I wanted to work with him. And the fact that he chose to bring his ministry under our covering, and receive me as his Bishop, proved to be an added incentive.

espite the oppressive conditions in Kampala, and of the nation as a whole, Good Shepherd’s Touch Ministries has been raised up in the last five years to become a vibrant, socially relevant and active faith-community. We were there last week to conduct simultaneous Pastors/Leaders conferences in both Kampala and Kamuli, to minister in Pastor Ben’s children’s home, in an AIDS hospital, in a prison camp, and to install Deacons in his church, and to ordain 11 new Pastors through Now Ministries. Over 250 churches were represented in the conference, including Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists and Roman Catholics. The Pastors in Kamuli were particurarly moved by the fact that we were willing to make the long, arduous trek to the area more than once (apparently, many American ministers are willing to go to the big city of Kampala, but refuse venture out to the other regions). The meetings were very successful and powerful, and the people were very open to us. In short, every one of us fell in love with every one of them!

frica has always been very special to me, but this trip took the connection that I have with the continent to a whole new level. And as I said earlier, Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa, and I shared with the Pastors in Kampala last week about the pearl and the oyster being a picture of overcoming a difficult situation, and how the people being proactive in all of the hardships of that country is serving to create one big beautiful Pearl of Great Price. In the Revelation, John saw “Gates of Pearl” to the City of God, and, as I also said in that meeting, Uganda is the gate to Africa, and in many ways, Africa is the gate to the world in regards to the coming of the Kingdom of God. I could tell you more about the ministry this past week…in the churches…in the children’s home…in the AIDS hospital…in the prison camp…and in amazing, one on one encounters with some of the most beautiful and loving people on earth…but I’ll save it for the service tomorrow night.

Mukama yebazibwe!

54 comments:

Laura said...

WELCOME BACK

Yvonne said...

Welcome back Bishop, Pastors, Ambassadors and ministers/you are blessed and highly favored of God! Our God reigns, I can hardly wait to hear the report of the Ugandan trip!

We have been praying and we rejoice at knowing you are home safe.

love Yvonne

Friend4Life said...

Welcome Home, Bishop and group!! Can't wait to hear what ya'll all did!! Glad to know your home safe and sound.

Love ya all,
~L.W.~

Erik said...

Hello Wonderful Bloggers !!!

Thank you for all of the prayers and support.

I am sure in the days and weeks that follow, so many details will be shared. I can tell everyone this -- The Spirit is beautifully alive in our sisters and brothers in Uganda. God has connected us with real family. As much as we may have to impart to them, they have as much , maybe more, to impart to us about God.

The Holy Spirit is as much in our family there as here. The faith and love they have was immediately present from the moment we stepped off the plane at midnight Monday, not only in the family we are knitted to, but everyone we met there. The Peace, Joy, and Righteousness reigns in the hearts of all of the churches we connect with in Uganda. There is the overflow of the Spirit there as deep as we experience ITB here. We are indeed family, cut from the same cloth of Love.

Of the many excellent expressions of God, of The Christ we shared, one example is Bishop’s message on Thursday afternoon at the church in Kampala ( on a hill, dirt floor, sticks making the building frame, tarps – the ceiling, and beautifully colored cloths draping the interior) Uganda is the Pearl of Africa, and the churches God has connected us with there bring all of the Peace and Unconditional Love with them to impart to us and the world.

I tell you one thing, there is plenty of gas in Uganda, no lines and no out of gas signs. True in the physical, and even more true of the energy reserves they have in the Spirit. No energy crisis or shortage on that count. The message and expression of The Spirit native to them, is the same that is resident in our hearts.

CITN is and will be supernaturally blessed. We experienced a preview of the high favor God has extended to us, and we witnessed His overflowing majesty in the people as they are and who they are completely flowing in the Spirit. We were filled with the abundance that God is. Yes, Jesus came to turn everything on its head. As the world system was being shaken last week, teetering – we witnessed in an area so far removed from the billions of dollars flowing through Wall Street - the immeasurable wealth of The Christ, and riches that can never be shaken.

Certainly, we have much to offer to Uganda and Good Shepherd Ministries , and they have so very much to offer us. God has connected us with them at this time completely on time. Signs and wonders.

Erik said...

Peace ---

As much as we see in the natural around us today – There are untapped reserves we witnessed in Uganda, and I am sure many places in the created world that God has placed billions upon billions of barrels of Peace, Joy, and Righteousness. Whatever falls to our left and right, CITN especially has been hooked up to the supply from God - from ‘unexpected’ places. This is true for ALL of us, do not be surprised as renewal comes from what we may perceive as ‘lowly’ places in the natural. Worship God in Spirit and in Truth, we have within us and are connected by God to an endless supply.

I can tell you this, AIDS is NOT the future of our brothers and sisters in Uganda, and spiritual AIDS (from intimacy with many other ‘Gods’ – money, natural power, guns, anxiety, doubt - that we have been attracted to) is not our future either.

Believe.

There is abundance and confidence. The timing of the development of this particular part of the Body (CITN) has been orchestrated and connected with rivers of real wealth throughout the world, the wealth that always increases and is incapable of diminishing. Really, truly. All of the actions to knit CITN (and others) to what in the world system seems on the fringes, to Global Peace, to brothers and sisters that ‘appear’ far away, unrelated, has been the favor of God.

Why we have been knitted to what seem as far flung aspects, groups, places, is manifesting now. Our Bishop has led us to good pastures, where the grass is plentiful, rich and nutritious (and delicious).

No matter what, Trust God has already had our provision and security well planned. We have all come here to be part of it, as there are others in the world. Our particular herd, led by our particular Pastor (Bishop) , has already found the place. We have been inoculated.

Be aware. Trust, Believe.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back all from your mission journey to view God's greatness from the view of others in our world.

Thanks Erik for sharing what you experienced about the depth of Godly Love that exists there. Also thanks for your prophesy over our part of the world concerning spiritual AIDS. I agree with you in Jesus name, but not just any Jesus or a specific Jesus but the powerful God/man seated with authority at the right hand of God who is known by many names and is the redeemer of all and especially those who believe.

Will be looking for many additional testimonies from what others have experienced of Love in Uganda.

JB

Anonymous said...

Glad all are home safe and enlightened!

Erik's blog bears such witness with what the Spirit has been showing me for months now.

Pastor Debye's proclamation of faith and message on Sunday ... ditto.

Everything is being shaken in the world system as God shows us we are not of this system but of something much greater - God's economy. An economy that can not thrive on our natural understanding of money and natural wealth, but thrives and operates on His prosperity.

Recognize the peace resident inside of you that frees your soul! Walk in prosperity and in health as your soul prospers!

Put your belief and trust in the God system - the Kingdom of Heaven - not the hell we have created in our natural world where we operate in and fear things that separate us from God.

We were not created to be separate from God or from each other - we are created to be One and recognize and honor our connectedness.

Let Your Kingdom Come - Let Your Will Be Done!

Anonymous said...

The Bish is back...

Yvonne said...

Very cool Eric, I thank God for you guys and ladies. God is great!

love, Yvonne

DoubleBack Alley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastor Dennis said...

Hey Y'all, from arcansaw, glad ya wint
glad yer back

:)

jt_the_mavin said...

Glad to have you back in the country. Looking to hear about your trip.

J.T.

jt_the_mavin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Welcome Home Everyone! Erik what you typed brought me to tears! I am so excited to hear all that God is doing! I anticipate many wonderful things to come!
Happy New Year Everyone!

Sweepea said...

Praise God you're back and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Anonymous said...

WELCOME BACK BISHOP AND HIS GROUP FROM UGANDA, AFRI....KA'
HOW EXCELLENT IS HIS NAME ALL OVER THE WORLD, FROM EVERY NATION, FROM EVERY TRIBE, TONGUE, CULTURE, PEOLPES GROUP,RELIGION,GENDER, RACE,INCLUDING THE ANIMAL KINGDOM, MARINE KINGDOM, THE VALEY, THE MOUNTAIN. HOW GREAT TO KNOW THAT THE THING THAT BINDS US TOGETHER WHICH IS UNSEEN AND SPRITUAL IS GREATER THAN WHAT DIVIDES US WHICH IS SEEN AND PHYSICAL. THAT BECAME YOUR DRIVING FORCE TO UGANDA. MY PRAYER IS, EVEN AS YOU ALL WERE OBIDIENT TO THE SPIRIT IN YOU TO GO, MAY THE BLESSINGS OF OBIDIENCE FALL ON YOU ALL ONE BY ONE.
ERIK, THANKS FOR YOUR ACCOUNT, SURELY A HIGHER SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION HAS TAKEN PLACE IN YOU. WHAT YOU SAID IS TRUE, AFRICA IS RICH IN GODS SPIRIT, THE HUNGER FOR GOD IS UNIMAGINABLE AND THE ZEAL IN SERVING GOD IS ALL OVER THE LAND THAT THE VERY AIR AFRICA BREATHES IS SATURATED WITH THE SMELL OF THEIR THIRST FOR GOD. CHILDREN RUN AROUND THE VILLAGES WITH THE GLOW OF GOD ON THEIR FACES AS THEY SING THE PRAISES OF OUR MIGHTY GOD IN THEIR AFRICAN TONGUE AND LANGUAGE. OUT OF THEIR LTTLE, THEY BRING SO MUCH, AND OUT OF THEIR POVERTY THE RICHES OF GOD IS SEEN. MAY THE LORD'S NAME CONTINUED TO BE PRAISED IN UGANDA.
LARRY USHER, I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU. THANK YOU FOR YOUR EMAIL FROM UGANDA WITHIN THE WEEK. NEXT AFRICA TRIP WILL BE TO NIGERIA AS THE LORD OPENS THE DOOR. NIGERIA IS THE GIANT OF AFRICA AND HOME OF KNOWN SPIRITUAL LEADERS SUCH AS PASTOR SUNDAY ADELAJA BASED IN UKRAINE WITH THE LARGEST POPULATED CHURCH IN EUROPE CALLED EMBASSY OF THE BLESSED KINGDOM AND PASTROR ASHIWOMOLA BASED IN LONDON. ONCE AGAIN IN NIGERIAN TONGUE I SAY 'UNUEMELA'
MEANING YOU HAVE DONE WELL.
LOVE MERCY.

Iris said...

I love Africa, I love Uganda, and I love those people. I think that I can speak for the whole group, that our lives have been touched by the love of the all the people we met in Uganda. We will never be the same.

The connection that I felt with each hand shake, hug and kiss on the cheek was felt in the spirit. God’s love penetrated from them with every smile and word that was spoken. We are truly one people in the spirit. Not only just in Uganda, but in the entire world. I felt as though we not only connected with the Ugandan people, but we connected with the entire universe, and saw God in all, through all, touching all through time and space.

We ministered in several places… Churches, AIDS hospitals, prisons, children’s homes, and more…Some close to the hotel where we stayed, and others were hours of driving through pot hole filled dirt roads, into the depth of the jungle, where civilization was as third world as it gets. From mud huts and grass roofs, meals cooked on out door open fires, and out-houses with only a hole in the ground to relieve ones self. (I will say for the women on this trip, the out-houses where quite a challenge.) In each place we went, the blessings we received were far more than the ones we were able to give. They loved us, and embraced us with an enormous amount of love. Every smile was sincere and full of a depth of God’s love, it was as deep as it gets.

There is such simplicity to their life style, even though they lack much… (as seen through American eyes) they are a people without stress and worry, they make the most out of each moment, they embrace each occasion and enjoy it to the fullest, and when it is over they move on to the next and do the same. Time does not seem to be a factor to them. Their lives revolve around the occasion and not on the amount of time it takes. There is not a time limit on how long something must last, it last until they have exhausted each pleasurable moment. Although this was a frustration for the entire group at times, we have a lot to learn from their stress and worry free world. How many times do we really stop and enjoy the moment, experiencing all that God has to give in the now place that we are in, without thinking about where or what we may have to do when we leave that place. Abandoning all for that moment, and truly enjoy God, and really noticing what He has in His hands to offer us, and giving back in return. I know for me, I need to slow down, take a breath, and experience God in each moment of my day.

Even though they lived severe poverty, there was nothing lacking in what flows from the Spirit. God is truly there. I believe that the heart of Africa is in Uganda, and the Spirit of God is shinning bright, illuminating the depths of every dark place, penetrating through all of Africa and beyond. It will be seen as a country that changes the world.

It is good to be home, but I left part of my heart in Uganda. I have a deep love for those people. The connection made in the Spirit will always remain. I look forward to going again next year.

Love you all,
Karen
Mookama akuwe omukisa (God Bless)

linda said...

Welcome home Bish and team members. Erik your eloquence is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to hear more from all who went.

Let there be light

Linda

Nothing To Lose said...

Bishop, and the team,
Welcome home.

Eric,
When I read what you wrote, I saw in my spirit, all of these ships in a harbor loaded with the fruit you all have brought back from your journey. Can't wait to see more.

NTL

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, yall!!! Glad you're back safely!

~Hugs~Blessings~PEaCE!

Crownjewel

Anonymous said...

KAREN. WHAT A WONDERFUL REPORT AND ACCURATE ONE TOO. I WAS MOVED WITH EMOTIONS WHEN YOU SAID THAT YOU LEFT A PIECE OF YOUR HEART IN UGANDA.BRACE YOURSELF BECAUSE THE SOUND FROM AFRICA, THEIR LAUGHTER AND SCREAMS, THEIR FACES OF WARMTH, WITH THEIR CHIKENS AND GOATS ROAMING AIMLESSLY WILL BE FLOODING YOUR MIND FROM TIME TO TIME. YOUR WILL BE DREAMING ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE FOR A WHILE. IS ALL GOOD AS BISHOP WILL SAY.
YOU ARE RIGHT WHEN YOU SAY THAT IT IS STRESS FREE AND WORRY FREE.
TIME DEPENDS ON EVENT. CHURCH SERVICES LAST FOR HOURS. I FEEL SORRY FOR THE POT HOLE TOILETS, NOT ALL HAVE THE WATESYSTEM. GOD WILL REWARD YOUR LABOR AND SACRIFICIAL TRIP.
BISHOP, SORRY ABOUT YOUR EYES. THE DUST CAUSED BY UNTARRED ROADS IS NOT FUNNY AND THE BLAZING SAHARA SUN IS NOT A JOKE EITHER. AS AN AFRICAN AND A REGISTERED NURSE, I ADVISED FOR PLENTY OF REST, DINKING WATER TO FLUSH YOURSELF AND A VISIT TO THE DOCTOR FOR AN ANTIBOITICS. THE DUST MAY CAUSE SOME UPPER RESPIRATORY SMPTOMS AS DRY COUGH, SNEEZING, STUFFY NOSE, ETC. BUT I COVER YOU WITH THE BLOOD AS YOU DO ALL YOU NEED TO DO TO GET YOUR BODY SYSTEM IN ORDER. LOVE ,MERCY.

Iris said...

Bishop,

I sent some pictures to P. Debye's e-mail address...As I don't have your e-mail address... they are certianly not all of the pictues I took, but a few to get you started.

Chad is going to combine all of the pictures taken by the group and put them on cd. We will make sure that you get a copy of all of them soon.

Thanks
Karen

Anonymous said...

I AM VERY GLAD ALL OF YOU ARE BACK AND SAFELY HOME!

I thank God for all of you for this wonderful experience; He has allowed you all to experience.
I thank God for this mission journey. When Bishop could say NO instead he said YES!
I thank God for ALL of you who decided to listen to God; instead of your own mind.
I thank God that you did not let the Negative condition or the poverty of Uganda change your mind set of your mission. But instead let the Positive of the heart of the people embraced you
As you all let the love of CHRIST shines through you to them, I believe the same way the glory of God is shinning through each of you right now.
This is the Beginning, this is the Moment, and this is the Time for that big SOMETHING to come forth!

Erik, thank you for your exhortation and your acknowledgement view of Uganda and for prophetic words for own our Future! May God bless you!

Larry, we missed you so much! Fritz and I, and also the rest of the clams are waiting for the POSITIVES REPORT you have to give.

Karen, Pr. Henry, Pr. Chad, Pr. Ernie &Avery, Phil, John, Joel. Welcome back & home. We missed you all!

Bishop, your heart is filled with God’s love. Having the right attitude for mission is exactly what the Lord our God been searching for. You truly have a heart like Jesus. I thank God for you, for you never to have a Jonah’s attitude but always a Jesus’ attitude towards every situation that may present itself in your life.
Bishop thank you for allowing God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to work in you
I love you the Christ in you
K.D

Donald said...

Hey!

DoubleBack Alley said...

Sahib,

I am so ashamed. I was lonely. I needed to someone to talk with. You were a long way from home and I didn't know what to do. I feel terrible, but you are going to find out anyway...while you were gone, I blogged with Robert Tilton. The blogging wasn't even that good, I guess I just lost my mind. It didn't mean anything and it was totally a whim. I don't know what to say other than I am sorry and it won't happen again.

I have a mongrammed prayer cloth if you want it.

AIn't God Good?

Anonymous said...

BISHOP JIM EARL SWILLEY

YOU TRULY ARE A MAN OF GOD!

!!!!!!!! A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART!!!!!!!!

GOD’S GOING TO BLESS YOUR VISION AND THE DESIRE OF HEART. TREMENDOUSLY!!!!!!HUGE!!!!!!
WHAT’S NEXT!

dgm2007 said...

Hey bish.. So glad your back.. peace and blessings
ps cheers to all who went

Teezy313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teezy313 said...

Welcome back..but not for long...

As much as we all love having you back home we all know that there are many more places that God has for you to go and minister to...so for the time being...

WELCOME BACK WELCOME BACK WELCOME BACK!!!!

Much luv,
Teezy

The Cloud of Unknowing said...
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The Cloud of Unknowing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Son of Zadok said...

Welcome Back !

Medals of Honor upon each of you for allowing God to work abundantly in your lives. Everything in you has led to that point of being willing and able to reach out to Uganda and all mankind. This reaching does not stop when oceans lie between us. We are all connected. Though in body you travailed the miles and met the need face to face; your presence and prayers will not cease from moving mountains in the heart of Africa. However, you now have seen more with your natural eyes; these souls and faces inside of you. You, and all of us whom your words enlarge, are directing our loving intentions towards this part of Christ's glorious body. May we all reach Uganda. May our love and faith stretch out through space and time, effectual and fervent power to be most sure. May the life exchanged between you and all those you met lead to great increase inside us all. The music you've heard has only just begun. A symphony of praise is lifted up from all corners of the Earth. These ties you've established bond us together. We are connected. Thank you all for enlarging the frontiers in all our hearts. Through this; God's Spirit rises greater in us all. Medals of Honor upon you. Your hearts be filled to overflowing with brokenness, great love, and mighty faith. We've only just begun. Medals of Honor upon your hearts.

Iris,

Your thoughts about the lives lived in Uganda seem so real. To live without all the burdens of tomorrow, enjoying the now. Almost in a timeless moment for the moment alone. It seems to fall in line with the continuing Cloud posts I've been sharing, so I'd like to to add the next one today if I may.

God Bless You All & Again Welcome Back!

The Cloud of Unknowing said...

The Place of Christ continued...

The English author is, I believe, speaking about the cosmic Christ, though he does not have this terminology. In fact he makes a brilliantly orthodox union of the historical and the risen Jesus in the Mary Magdalene motif, which obviously appeals greatly to him:

In the gospel of St. Luke we read that our Lord came to Martha's house and while she set about at once to prepare his meal, her sister Mary did nothing but sit at his feet. She was so intent upon listening to him that she paid no attention to what Martha was doing. Now certainly Martha's chores were holy and important...But Mary was unconcerned about them. Neither did she notice our Lord's human bearing; the beauty of his mortal body or the sweetness of his human voice and conversation, although this would have been a holier and better work...But she forgot all this and was totally absorbed in the highest wisdom of God concealed in the obscurity of his humanity.
Mary turned to Jesus with all the love of her heart, unmoved by what she saw or heard spoken and done about her. She sat there in perfect stillness with her heart's secret, joyous love intent upon the cloud of unknowing between her and her God. For as I have said before, there never has been and there never will be a creature so pure or so deeply immersed in the loving contemplation of God who does not approach him in this life through that lofty and marvelous cloud of unknowing And it was to this very cloud that Mary directed the hidden yearning of her loving heart.

G8TRGRL said...

Welcome home, all! What a life changing experience.

There is a mind-spirit-body coincidence in having issues with your sight, Bishop. Having the surgery to clear your physical vision... going to Uganda.. obviously gaining a new perspective on spiritual vision... the vision this Sunday with the Blast...

Can't wait to SEE all that is ahead of us!

ttfn

Son of Zadok said...

g8trgl,

What you just said reminded me of a sermon I listened to online this week by J. Preston Eby called, God's Perspective. A great teacher Pastor Dennis has turned me onto. In the sermon he talks about how his cornea was scratched and the physical spiritual connection God was showing him through the entire experience. Something else funny about the sermon is he says NOW over and over again. I mean he is really preachin' on the Now! on all cylinders. I kept thinking of CITN when he'd say it. A powerful sermon on the Now!

Again it's called Divine Perspective. Timely message if anyones cravin' some Preach.

hisremnant.org/eby/list.html

Son of Zadok said...

For those of you without the time to hear that sermon let me post a small portion of it.

J. Preston Eby - from the sermon
The Divine Perspective

After speaking of his surgery and a following accidental corneal abrasion.

When the healing was complete, I had perfect vision. And I told the brethren, "You know, I guess the Lord knew I needed a corneal adjustment, so He set it up." How many of you know God is good at setting things up, Amen? But you see after this the word of the Lord came to me and the word of the Lord is this. That God is adjusting our vision. God is correcting our vision. God is enhancing our vision. God is bringing us to the place of His perspective, to see as God sees. To understand as God understands. To know as God knows. To have a divine perspective. An immortal perspective. An incorruptible perspective. To see according to the mind of Christ. To see according to the heart of the Father.

And the word of the Lord came to Israel as they stood before Mt.Sinai in the midst of the thundering, and the quaking, and the fire, and the glory, and the majesty of God that appeared their before them. And the voice of the Lord came from the majestic glory and He said this:

Exodus 19:5 - Now therefore, If you will obey my voice indeed and keep my covenant, Then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me, above all people, for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

We are living in days of heaven on earth. We are standing in the interface between heaven and earth.
And it's their in the interface that the priesthood of God is birthed.

Uganda is the Lord's!
Georgia is the Lord's!
ALL - THE - EARTH - IS - THE - LORD'S !

G8TRGRL said...

Thx soz ! Very cool!

(veri word- ngwbdi: NOW go with beautiful, divine intervention!)

Anonymous said...

sigh.
Just lost ALL my blog.
It's ALL good.
Will retype later.
Gotta run.

P.Avery

Anonymous said...

So, again I say…
NTL, loaded ships indeed!

I agree completely with what Erik and Iris said about the love of the people and their desire for connection. It even shows in their unique handshakes which go on for several minutes while old friends greet each other.

A few of my favorite things:

-- Chad and Joel saying “that would be us!” when we found out Pr. Ben wanted someone to teach in Kampala while the rest of the team went to Kamuli. And the great cheer that erupted when their names were called as Bishop introduced the whole team that night.

-- John, “the one who doesn’t speak”, jumping forward to be FIRST to bless and greet the church at the conference.

--Larry, asking the children at the home “English, please?” when he heard “chimeechoo”. (Uh, Lar…that would be “nice to-meet-you”…in English!)

-- Karen, sharing her father’s magic tricks and dispelling the power of those who would deceive. It seemed as if generations of superstitious fear crumbled that day…as she replaced it with “laugh at them, because YOU know who has all power!”

-- Phil, sharing at the AIDS clinic, “I love you, I’m sorry, Please Forgive me and Thank You.” Declaring that we are one and God is already in each one of us.

-- P. Henry, working with cameras and members of Good Shepherd in his hotel room—watching the start of their media ministry!

--P. Ernie and Bishop, with children from the congregation climbing onto their laps.

--Erik, still holding his buffet plate but not hesitating to animatedly answer questions from one of the hotel chefs about who we were and what we were doing—he had noticed a difference in us.

--Children at the home entwining their fingers with mine and playing with the hair on my arms, smiling as we walked through their garden and watching for the moment I would look at them to smile back—trying on my sunglasses and trading off with their friends without a struggle.

--Bishop, pressing through to give a powerful prophecy and teaching to the church that is the pearl to the Pearl of Africa.

My focus was on the team and I saw the Kingdom of God operating—one mind, one accord—the Christ in action—connecting with and empowering each other and the Christ in Uganda. They came back to you forever changed…loaded ships ready to reveal their cargo!!

P. Avery

Pastor Dennis said...

Just lookin in, sounds like Uganda was a great experience. I cant wait to see the rest of the world......

Peace,
Dennis

Brenda said...

Welcome back Bishop and team, glad you got there safe and back. My son told me how awesome the conference was and he gave me a blow by blow account. Machion and I was talking about how three years ago i was to go do a conference in Uganda but it was not worked out so i could go. Then i tried to send the kids shoes but was not able to get full support from everybody so i ended up doing it myself and that started my relationship with my son Samuel who gave you the bangle for me. I've been helping them every since and now i join a church with a Bishop who goes over to the very country that i help and i sent money so my son could attend. As Machion put it only God can work that out and if i didn't know that i was in the right place at the right time i know it now. Thank you Bishop for listening and obeying the lead of the Holy Spirit.

peacemaker said...

Erik and Karen...
As always, you captured the revelatory thread that was woven all through our journey. What a beautiful, eloquent, way to share.

Pastor Avery...
You wrote:
"--Children at the home entwining their fingers with mine and playing with the hair on my arms, smiling as we walked through their garden and watching for the moment I would look at them to smile back—trying on my sunglasses and trading off with their friends without a struggle."

And:
"--Bishop, pressing through to give a powerful prophecy and teaching to the church that is the pearl to the Pearl of Africa."

After having to take a moment to compose myself, what became clear was your memory about the children seemed to be the attitude of All those to whom we were privileged to meet. I believe their innocence and desire to share love is the foundational desire and attitude of the people of Uganda in microcosm.

Bishop's prophetic declaration to the people that day is one that I'll never forget. We witnessed him travail in pain as that all so important word was coming forth and saw the release and relief as it was born into the hearts of those who had ears to hear.

A nation was changed that day.

I was blessed to be there with all of you.

Peace
PM

peacemaker said...

Ok...I just noticed all your paragraphs began with the letters from the name UGANDA.

I might be slow, but I'm sure.

Very cool...
PM

Nothing To Lose said...

The connectors desire, is that we are connected to the connection.

John said...

First of all, Well Said Bish, UGANDA (very nice). We decided or it was decided for us (divinely)that the theme of trip was Unity. I have never felt more connected to a group of people, the group that went and the people we met. Our steps were definitely ordered. This was the best ministry trip I have ever been a part of. Thank you Bish for making it possible.

Erik said...

NTL - as you wrote that at 1038 AM, the same was being spoken at the church. Beautiful manifestation of exactly what you said.

Larry Usher said...

Where do you start?

With God!

Where do you end?

With God!

Life changing.
Life confirming.
Intimate.
Raw and immediate...in your face...

Uganda!

Love & emotions worn on the sleeve for all to see and partake.

People who embrace you with a childlike faith, who instantly acknowledge that you come in peace and love. People not afraid to hug and clasp your hand and speak incredible words of friendship in your ear.

People like sponges waiting on the edge of their heart to hear the next phrase you impart, as a flood of love and wisdom seems to effortlessly flow from the Spirit of God within.

Uganda, a beautiful paradise, a beautiful people, a beautiful future, a beautiful connection...the beauty in all of our hearts has increased; favor and grace poured out upon us too much to contain...what can you say...to explain?

Bishop, Pastors Ernie, Avery, Henry & Chad, Joel, John, Phil, Erik & Karen all were expressions of God's loving hands and voice. Each selected by God for His purposes to be fulfilled on this adventure, each absolutely essential for the success of this trip.
My gratitude goes out to Pastor Ben for asking me to pray about going in the first place and to Bishop for listening to the voice of our Father to open the churches' trip to anyone interested. Thank you!

Each one of us I'm sure was overwhelmed at some point of this experience only to find themselves somehow having to be pulled away from the people at the end. As I left Pastor Ben and the group of well-wishers at the airport, I found myself turning around to catch one last glimpse of each of them before diappearing in the crowd...love doesn't say goodbye, love says "until we meet again!"

Which I'm sure we shall...

...more later...

Love,

Larry

Thanks to all who inteceded on our behalf, and for the kind comments and your love...we ARE family!!

Larry Usher said...

Kettly, Fritz, Mercy, Pastor Avery, Yvonne...thank you for your comments & prayers. Erik & Karen, I couldn't have said anything better myself...I appreciate your ability to put in words what is still just kicking around in my heart!

Love you all!

Larry

Anonymous said...

DBA! We love you, we're sorry, please forgive us, thank you!

That was too funny!

P. Avery said...

Brenda, I brought your bracelet home. Call me at church so I can get it to you!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

My apologies for this taking so long to coomplete.

P/col Ernie said...

One of the things that I learned during my years of leadership in the military is that almost nothing brings a unit, a group of people, closer together than accomplishing something difficult, enduring an ordeal, TOGETHER. What the CITN team did in Uganda was physically, emotionally and spiritually HARD. We did it together. We uplifted one another and the strengths of one reinforced the weakness of another. We were one body and were incredibly rewarded.

A special part of our hugely successful trip was in the SUPERB leadership we had. I thank God for my Bishop and thank Bishop for not only this opportunity but for all of the blessings you have brought into my life.

I must mention P Avery and the bag that she carried. As a compliment to Bishop’s leadership she mothered us all and I don’t know everything that was in the bag but I did see an endless supply of sanitary wipes, water and snacks (including melted chocolate bars) come out of it. It is a blessing to be married to such a woman of God.

The comments about the country, the people and the presence of God blogged by other team members are “spot on”. I am excited about the increase in depth and breadth of my relationships with the powerful men and women of God who were my fellow travelers.

I will close this entry by asserting that CITN has a powerful new presence on the other side of the world. We will be blessed by them seven times seventy times. With Good Shepherd Ministries as a part of our family, together our effect on Uganda will be positive and powerful and uplifting.

Rosette_Uganda said...

Bish, And the whole team from Uganda....sorry, from CITN, Its good to know you are safely back. I have read through the blogs from the team members and I cant help but smile and laugh. But this being my first time to blog, I'll not post my comments yet until I am sure I am doing the right thing. Its taken me ages to get an account but looks like I finally got it. Watch this space for comments from Uganda.

Akuume

Rosette_Uganda said...

Ok, finally I get to say what is on my heart. To the CITN family especially Pastor Debye, thank you for allowing the team to travel all the way to Uganda to bless us. Thank you for your prayers. You dont know how much I wondered what we would do if anything happened to the Bishop and the group (woman of little faith??). Anyway, I have read almost the entire blog and laughed, smiled, felt sad...just a mixture of emotions. The most interesting is Karen's because it was just spot on, no sugar coatings. sorry about the challenge with the Pit Latrines...and our lack of time management. beleive me, we'll improve. It will definitely be better next time as we learn from our mistakes.
We already miss you guys....Pastor Chad, the youth miss your way of making a point with your hands...Pastor Baker and Pastor Larry, Sylvia misses you most. Joel Nunn, I knew you even before you arrived in Uganda for obvious reasons, I have a little son called Joel.John and Phil, I personally didnt get to interact much with you but still feel your presence. Erik, those that interacted with you (Especially Sylvia) say you are a very jolly and interesting person. Bytheway, just your hair was enough to mesmerise us. Prs Ernie and Avery, you are a great team. Avery, I have definitely learnt something from you as a woman. Karen, you seemed reserved, yet am now surprised what can come out of you. Girl, you are articulate.I wish I could write like you. I hope I havent missed out anyone. But all said,we really appreciate you guys. You made a big difference in so many Ugandan lives and they'll take a while to "recover" from that effect. We already miss you and there is still alot of excitement even from the ordained ministers. Pastor Ben is taking this week to organise things here and there and get things back in order, and internet not being a luxury, you'll probably hear from him next week. Otherwise, we love you all, thanks for loving us.

From the Good Shepherd's Touch Ministries,

Mukama abawe omukisa.(God bless you)

Rosette Nadiope