I want to take a moment in today’s blog to thank God for the “Ministry Machine”. I was impressed, while driving out to Pallisa, this morning that I should give God more glory for the vehicle that he has given us and maintains for us in Uganda. The “Ministry Machine” is a 20 year old Toyota van with 240,000 kilometers on it. It has taken us to all regions of Uganda. We’ve traveled down narrow alleyways, down muddy crater-filled roads, over millions of potholes and countless speed bumps. Despite all of this, it carries on. The air conditioner does not work but the windows open!
I’m currently reading a book by Mark Batterson called “The Circle Maker” (I highly recommend it), and I was compelled on our trip this morning to circle the “Ministry Machine” in prayer. In this prayer, I was thanking God for his provision, appealing to Him for protection of the teams that it carries, and claiming a promise that God made to Joshua.
“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses”. Joshua 1:3
I have changed this promise that I have been claiming for the “Ministry Machine”. I am claiming victory, for Christ, in every place that it travels. God has so blessed the investment that Due Unto Others made in this vehicle on His behalf.
Tonight, on the journey back to Jinja, we had a little scare in the van. We were about an hour east of Jinja, and it was almost dark, when one of our trunks flew off the roof-top rack. It flew back and exploded on the highway. Perhaps my prayers from this morning were helping, but we were able to make a 3 point turn and go back about 200 yards for the trunk. Also fortunately, the trunk had contained some reading glasses and not multiple medications. We did a NASCAR pit stop where 10 team members jumped from the van and gathered the glasses while David scrambled to the top of the van. We were able to secure the trunks again and make another U-turn heading to Jinja. The best I could tell, only the trunk latch was damaged and one pair of glasses was broken.
Thursday, in Pallisa, we got a slow start and saw 213 patients. Today, we saw 375! This gave us a 2 day total of 588.
Thirty of these 588 were inmates at the local prison. Jill, Pastor Fred, Jamil, and I broke off from the team to go to the prison. While I worked through the medical patients, Jill shared a few words with the inmates. After she would speak, it would be transferred into 2 different languages to cover the different tongues represented. She talked of God and his healing power, both physically and spiritually. She offered Jamil as an example and he graciously joined her at the front of this group. When the time of sharing and witnessing were over, 26 inmates accepted Christ for the 1st time!
Through our spiritual clinic at the school clinic, at least 2 students accepted Christ! While we were at lunch I was teasing with Jamil, saying that he was “preaching up a storm” at the prison. He dawned an impish grin and said that he did not want to be a preacher, he wants to be doctor! He continued to help me translate with patients and once I caught him looking in a girl’s ear with the otoscope. I joked with his teacher that he was going to jump from Primary 3 to medical school!
We were able to deliver 68 -bibles to the prison, insuring that all of the new believers had a bible that they could read. We also were able to give the bibles that we brought to the students of Arise and Shine school. They were a big hit and the students were quick to write their name in their copy to assure that they kept it!
We were able to see Sylvia today. She is a girl that we took emergently to Mbale hospital the first time that we travelled to Pallisa in 2012. She has sickle cell disease. She is chronically anemic, but much less ill than when we saw her last time. We were able to start her on some iron therapy and some medicine for a stomach ache that she has been suffering with. It was good to see her doing so well and attending school.
We are sad to leave Pallisa behind, but we are excited to join Pastor Henry in Jinja for the next 2 clinics. Pastor Henry is who I first worked with when I came to Uganda in 2011. Since we are staying in Jinja, there will be less time in the “Ministry Machine” over the next 3 days, but I won’t stop circling it in prayer. If you are so inclined, please join me in making this 1994 van a fixture in your prayers!
Still preparing for “Due Season”,