Seeing Pastor Charles and some of the men he is discipling again is one of the highlights of the trip! In arriving, there is a sense of urgency as they have been waiting for the rains – they are here now! They have come late, so the time for planting is NOW! It’s a privilege to be able to work alongside them. This time – planting onions (a first) – thousands of onions! A good long day of working side-by-side provides rich opportunities for conversations and camaraderie. Not to mention the first-hand experience and deeper connection to so many New Testament illustrations of fields, gardens, gardener, soil, plants, planting, seeds, growth, weeds, plows, yokes, harvesting, etc. Bible passages come even more alive and active while working in the fields.
Two days later Pastors Charles and David were together for the drive to Kitgum, a town to the north, where we would all facilitate a couples’ marriage conference – a first for the church in Kitgum. This time planting seeds of truth in hearts – the truth of God’s word. Two of the topics requested were How to Love Each Other and Finances (doesn’t sound too different from home! 🙂 )
- How to love each other – allows for teaching about Christ’s love for and relationship with the church as an example for husbands and wives and their relationship with each other (Ephesians 5:1-33); and, as in a marriage, the church’s distant relationship with Christ can be a result of forsaking their first love for Him. (Revelation 2:4)
- How to manage finances – at the core, and before even beginning to discuss finances, must be honesty. Without honesty and openness together, there is no unity. Three of Jesus’ disciples, Matthew, Mark and Luke, quoted Jesus as saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25, Mark 3:25 and Luke 11:17). (Much silence was noted in the group here).
There are so many cultural differences that at times it seems impossible to know where to start; but with God’s word, it is possible to quickly get to the heart of how He designed us through Christ to love each other and live together. What a privilege to see this first-hand!
As the conference came to a close, the rain began to fall and poured all the whole way back “home”. Joyful thankfulness for the rain!