Leaving Uganda

Well, we are just wrapping up quite a day—our last in Uganda.

We taught at length on what it means to dethrone the tyrant of self and find freedom from the pride of certainty in our own perspective. Many of us brothers contributed by sharing testimonies, insights, and truth from the Word of God. The theme has remained consistent throughout: you’re not going to get all the grace you need directly from God alone; you’re going to have to humble yourself to receive grace in its various forms from the body.

After that, we taught extensively on becoming part of the bride of Christ through baptism, by means of the pledge of a good conscience—becoming the bondslave of Christ by losing our independent autonomy and assuming His name, identity, and very Spirit.

The back-and-forth dialogue was intense at times. The pastor who came yesterday brought an even larger contingent of his fellowship today. At one point, he leapt to his feet and asked, “I’ve been baptized in Jesus’ name already, but what must I do to be part of this kingdom community that you describe—should I be baptized again?” We feel a great deal of respect for this man; he could be a pivotal asset to this work.

We had intensive talks about marriage. The culture here necessitates that the bride and groom cannot be married until he has paid the dowry, which costs exorbitantly, and has financed an epic wedding, another fortune. Thus, people live in sin, as if married for years or even decades, waiting for the day when they can pay the dowry and afford the epic feast. Subscribing to cultural customs forces them to live in sin. We did a lot of dismantling and reasserting of God’s patterns and word.

At the end, we had a powerful baptism of five new members to this fledgling church. Two couples also took marriage vows, consecrating their unions for the first time.

Our hearts have been expanded and enriched by this experience. These are dear, lovable children of God, and there are so many more ready to take initial steps toward the kingdom. You feel the burden of the Lord as we search to know how to support, guide, and protect this fledgling work. Please pray for them. One sister, formerly resistant to the path God is leading them onto, said today that she wants to be in the next baptism, and that is a massive victory!

Emmanuel is remarkably gifted—has the decisiveness and authority of a true leader, the anointing and charisma to lead worship like you can’t imagine, and the depth of conviction to appreciate the bona fide word of life. Pray for him—that he might visit us in Waco, and that God would support and uphold him in this enormous task.

We love you all. We head out for Egypt tomorrow. We covet your continued prayers!

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