Paidha is a small town up a small mountain road. This time we were thrilled to see the tractor grading the road to ease the bouncing and jostling in the truck seats caused by an effort to dodge the deep ruts and rockiness of the way. We are also thrilled to hear local Bible school students asking questions and expressing discoveries – salvation comes with many benefits and promises of God, the church is a united body of believers who are to love each other and work together, the Bible teaches me to love my wife and others as people of equal value . . . Others have paved the way before us to be in this position. We are simply picking up on the pilgrimage where they left off.
Alpha came to know Jesus because Pastor Alfred continued to visit him and pray for him during a time when he was sick. He accepted Christ as his savior, and because of the dramatic change in his life and his behavior, his wife, Gift, accepted the Lord as her savior too. She was raised Muslim, and now her mother, father and sister all believe in Jesus. They earn a living baking bread and cakes, selling them in the markets. Alpha is getting Biblical training as he has completed Local Bible School and now has the opportunity to attend seminary.
Gift continues to work at their home bakery while he is away. Alpha and Gift both minister to and serve the people in their church.
Bosco is the pastor of a church in Palei. Because Bosco does not have a high enough level of education, after completing the Local Bible School training course, he is attending seminary for “enrichment”. He invited us into his hut to share some tea and home grown avocados. His wife was away working in their garden. He showed us a research paper assignment he was given to work on during the break on the benefits of Salvation. He has interviewed people in his area, sharing some interesting insight. Now he wonders how to get started on the paper – stating the problem, the thesis, etc. He has very limited resources – an English Bible, and, his own language, an Alur Bible; no Bible concordance, no Bible dictionary or commentary, no internet connection to resources, no text books, etc. We were able to request a copy of a 4-page document from a seminary professor in the U.S. on the Benefits of Salvation listing each benefit or promise followed by scripture references. It was a small effort on our part to get him started on his 15-page research paper.
Just before coming to Paidha, I was complaining because I had “nothing to do”. There is only so much meeting and greeting and sitting and visiting this administratively gifted, task oriented personality type can take, (a little embarrassed to admit . . .)!
But out of my complaining, God brought to my attention a need – a need for digitized Local Bible School materials.Their need matched my need! I was excited for this 200-page challenge! A Local Bible School session started this week. The materials being used are copies of years’ of copies; some of the pages are difficult to read, some of the pages missing. This is what the teacher uses. Just one copy. The students do not have their own copy to follow along. Much of the classroom time is spent writing on a chalk board so the students can copy the information in their own notebooks. A digitized copy was completed the night before we needed to leave for Kampala!
What we’ve experienced on this journey, is expressed better than I could as I read in my personal time of study! So, I can’t take credit for all of these next words, but we do realize, what a privilege it is to be in a place where, not only are the people who live here being affected, but we are too! “God is dramatically changing our outlook on daily life; God is raising us to a higher plain of worship and service; God is ushering us to the next step in our personal journeys with Him even if we have to press through the thickest forest to get to it. . . Every day as we get down on our knees before God in reverence and surrender, we recognize He is worthy of our praise and the outpouring of our life’s energies. We gladly give ourselves to Him; convinced that He is always for us. Obedience to Him means His very best for us.”
He is faithful and has met us at every challenge we have faced, blessed us with good friendships, protected us in our travels, kept us close to Him. We are thankful to Him and thankful for you who are reading this. Thank you for joining us on this journey! Thank you for your prayers – as you can see, they are effective!