“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Happy New Year from Karamoja!
It is definitely the dry season! Without a trace of mud on the roads, travel is easier. But the heat, wind and dust often feel unbearable. As water sources dry up, snakes and other animals search for new ones. One evening recently, our dog, Scout, went for water. Turning around the corner of the house to his water bowl, he discovered an uninvited guest already there having a drink – a Black King Cobra! Thankfully, his bark alerted the night guards who made quick work of the intruder. God continues to protect, sustain and bless us through hard seasons of weather and of life. More importantly, in His mercy, He continues to send the water of His Word and Spirit upon the dry and weary land of this sin-cursed world.
We are thankful that the church continues to grow. Back in October we received five new members. Then, early this month, we received four adults, one of whom also presented her infant for baptism.
In Karamoja, the older men are often the hardest to reach as they tend to cling to the traditional animistic practices. So we were very happy that two of our new members received were older men. Both Loyep Daudi and Loduk Peter come from different church backgrounds and were already professing believers. We hope that their presence with us will help us reach other old men in the community. In fact, some time back, we were approached by Egiriwas, an old man who has been attending our church lately. He even told us that he wanted to be baptized. As we talked to him about his faith, it became clear that he was not understanding what a commitment to following Christ would mean for him in terms of breaking with religious practices which are contrary to God’s Word. Egiriwas has long been a well-known leader in the traditional animal sacrifices. We are thankful that he sits under the preaching of the gospel. Please pray that God would bring him to true repentance and faith and that his life would be a marvelous testimony of the grace of Jesus Christ!
A few months back, our long-time translator and ministry partner, Lokwii David, resigned from his work with us. Various factors contributed to the decision and, although we were saddened by it, we trust the Lord’s perfect will and plan. Lokwii is still a member of our church and we pray God’s continued blessing in his life. We are thankful for some other new men whom the Lord has raised up to serve with us. Louse John Bosco and Angela Paul were both among the new members received in October. They have been working together with Lokeris Simon Peter, Aleper Emmy and Lokwii Paul Omena in teaching the village Bible studies.
After some years, having added a number of new villages for the ministry, we decided to teach through Genesis again. We are currently in the life of Jacob. Teaching about his mother conspiring with him to deceive Isaac in order to receive the blessing (Gen. 27:5ff.), I have been finding myself amazed again by the way that God continually worked to accomplish His good purposes amidst such evil. My Karimojong friends are shocked with me that a man could so deceive his own father. Yet, amidst the lies and deception, God, who never lies, was speaking His truth about his plan to exalt the true Son of blessing, the Son of Abraham, Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:1).
Isaac was blind and deceived but the Spirit was speaking through him about Jesus when he said to Jacob – “Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you.” (Genesis 27:29a). More and more, God will spread His Word and bring the peoples to worship and serve Him. To that end, please pray for the servants whom He is raising up to help us spread His Word here, that they would grow in the knowledge of His grace and truth. And pray that God would work in the hearts of those to whom we minister, that they might thirst for that water that only Christ can give them.