Uganda Summit Meeting – Day One

The travel from Portland to Entebbe was very long, made worse by my inability to sleep sitting on an airplane. But the layovers in Minneapolis and Amsterdam gave refreshing times to walk as well as get to know my team members. Arriving with all our bags gave us a feeling of great triumph! You know why I look a bit worn! My personal luggage would have fit easily into the red bag. The other three are all materials for the conference attenders.

We spent the first night at Banana Village, a delightfully rustic retreat center, south of Kampala. The highlight was watching the monkeys play. You can get a glimpse here. It was not as cute when they were chasing Steve and Celistia’s two year old granddaughter!

My moment of panic came when the adapter that connects my PC to the projector wouldn’t work which means much of what I was prepared to teach wouldn’t work. I tried everything I could, but no go. So I was in my room wiped out, needing sleep, and also needing to revise things. I did some and decided to sleep and do it more efficiently. Of course my head didn’t cooperate so I pondered until I finally got up about 3:00 and did some more revising. Then I set my alarm for 6 and slept soundly. I set up before our 7:00 am team prayer and everything worked (!!), but then it didn’t work right after breakfast. So I flexed and the teaching went very well.

I taught about four moods of Psalms starting with Psalm 3.

  • Lament: A cry to the LORD out of distress grounded in trust for who He is.
  • Praise: Proclaiming the worth of the LORD for who He is and what He does in both our adoration and in our service
  • Imprecation: Angrily begging the LORD to punish evil doers for the sake of justice.
  • Trust: Emotive celebration of the LORD’s goodness and faithfulness, believing He will act graciously

After I was finished, Celestia led them in a time of using the moods to express their own psalm. Then they shared them in their regional teams. I sat in on the small Uganda team and heard Emma lament the death of her parents – no one would tell her what happened to them. She grew up in loneliness without anyone to care for her.  Even though she was able to get her education and now can take care of herself the tears would not stop even as the praise went on. As we talked after the group broke up, she cried through the lament of needing the love of her parents or at least an explanation of what happened to them.

Jumah is the bishop over 32 churches in South Sudan. In the wars his area was destroyed so no one could live there. He told of men coming to the door, demanding money, and if there was none or not enough, the person would be killed. One day he was driving and saw what seemed to be a motorcycle accident. As he stopped to help, he realized that both men had been shot as they rode along. Had he continued without stopping the same would have happened to him. Now they live in the camps now with virtually no water or food and he supervises the churches there.

There is a conflict in the churches in his home area and they asked him to come help settle it. Someone spread the story that he was associated with the rebels, which is a death sentence. To go back would seem to be like committing suicide. He asked God for help. The people who started the rumor called him and asked him to come, saying it was all OK – which sounds like a set up to me. But he asked God and decided to go. He will leave the summit a day early to go. We pray the seeming change of mind will be true and he can help resolve the conflict rather than being executed.

The stories here are horrific, but their testimony of the reality and power of God is greater still. There are four more days to go.

11 thoughts on “Uganda Summit Meeting – Day One

  1. Thanks for posting. Praying. Good to know you made it alright . Can’t imagine what you are experiencing. Your post is very sobering. Praying your equipment works and you can get good rest to keep doing the Lord’s work.

  2. Our sunset team leaves for Uganda tomorrow – maybe we will cross paths. Our hearts break with your stories. I’ll be praying for your ministry there

  3. Know that you and your team are being covered in prayer. Prayed with Sherry on Sunday morning. May God give you all that you need to serve those suffering so much.

  4. Such great teaching – I will write my psalm using the moods – oh how I miss/love your teaching ❣I will be praying for you, Celestial, and and Jumah‼️

  5. Praying for God’s continued protection and comfort for all. Bless you Gerry for your faithfulness and anointing! Truly you are sent by God!

  6. It’s great to read about what your apart of the work God is doing. Please keep posting! Thomas & I will be praying for you Gerry.

  7. Gerry I can’t begin to fathom the pain and suffering that these brothers and sisters experience. It seems so incongruous as I type this on my iPad Pro, seated in the comfort of my warm home with a full belly and just about every convenience within my grasp. May God forgive me for my selfishness and my failure to truly understand the expensive gift of God’s grace and how so many others in the world demonstrate that his grace is the only thing they possess and the only thing they can hang onto. Praying for protection, strength and wisdom for you as you use your gifts to build the kingdom.

    • We who are rich must learn to share wisely with those who are in desperate need. Day 2 will focus on the worship this morning stuck me so deeply as they sang “The Lord has been so good to us, given us so much” as they live in the camps with nothing

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