A man with a testimony feels burdened for his people.
I was lost in a world of religious skepticism. Tossed in an ocean of cultist teachings, by God’s grace, I escaped by learning Bible truth.
I realized that a new life in Christ requires a whole new lifestyle. I had dealt in the alcohol selling business for many years, and I knew this must change. God had called me to the soul winning business instead. I had many wives, and they grew furious when I realized that polygamy was not in God’s plan.
Since my conversion, my mind has been troubled with concern for others lost in the world as I once was. “Give me a way to reach out to these people,” I prayed.
When I looked at my future, it was with mixed feelings. It was a pleasure to know Jesus in my advanced age, but my heart grieved that I did not turn to him in my younger years when my body was strong. “Nevertheless,” I reasoned, “I will do all I can to share the good news of salvation in the villages around me.”
I teamed up with local church members and decided to convert our Sabbath school program into a weekly mobile outreach effort. Between multiple families in various villages, the responsibilities were shared. A different family hosted each week and prepared a shelter of tarps where people could meet in the shade. Non-Adventist friends were invited, and seats were improvised. With our interesting evangelism strategy, our Sabbath school class grew from 17 to 40 members.
Not all who heard of our efforts appreciated them. As we planned for an evangelistic series, we were met with mockery and destain. We were referred to as “ebijengyerezi,” a word in our mother dialect which means “baseless and brainless fanatics of faith.” Because of this name calling, some people refused to hear anything we said. We had no other alternative than to pray.
In each location where the meetings are held today, more people express interest in Bible studies. We currently have 23 new people who are actively worshiping with us and waiting to be baptized. The community is warming up to the truth of God’s word, and we plan to continue this outreach until every soul has an opportunity to hear the gospel.
Before I go to my rest, I desire to see a church building in my area. At this point, we are worshiping under tarps for shelter. It is not easy to acquire land here, where incomes are very low. I would like to donate a portion of my land for the church building, but I have many family members who don’t profess my faith. They have control over the property as well, and will not consent to my idea.
God will hear and respond to our pleas for help amidst trials. We will continue to serve Him with all of our hearts, minds and strength.
Author Pastor John Kaganzi is the district leader in the Ruhandagazi area in Uganda.
How You Can Help Pray for all the various ministries in Uganda and that all the workers will stay faithful to the truth.
Pray for this new church as it seeks to find land to build their new church!
Donate The work in Uganda is growing rapidly and needs your help! If you feel impressed by the Holy Spirit to contribute to spreading the ‘Three Angels Messages,’ mark your donations “Uganda,” and send to:
Mission Projects International PO Box 151 Inchelium, WA 99138
A woman’s close call serves as an important reminder.
We often think of the poem by British missionary Charles Studd. “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
We met a certain woman whose story reminded us of this quote. She once considered herself a Christian, but had since wandered away from the faith. She began to drink alcohol heavily. While drunk one day, she tried crossing a river on a log. The water was quite swift, and she fell into it. She was rapidly swept away in the current. “God, save me,” she cried out. “I will serve You.” Just then, her dress miraculously caught on a stick in the river. She clung to the branch and managed to keep her head above water. When people walking nearby heard her calls for help, they were able to pull her safely out of the river. True to her word, the woman surrendered her life to Christ again, and was baptized. In the throes of impending death that day, she turned to the source of lasting strength and power.
There are many more people who have reached a crisis point in life, just like this woman. The desperate cry for hope and help extends all over the world. We receive requests for Bibles almost daily. “Please help me get a complete Bible,” came a message from Lagos, Nigeria. “I would appreciate it…” A pastor in South Africa reached out to us. “My name is Patrick,” he said. “I am a traveling pastor in the Lesotho mountain area. Lots of Christians here need Bibles.” He requested God’s Word in bulk quantities. From Cameroon, the word reached us that a group of people planned to distribute them in schools, prisons, churches and orphanages. “I am sending a request for Bibles in my area,” came another message from Uganda. “New converts can’t afford them.”
Amos 8:11: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” We believe this type of famine is already affecting many people in the world.
When we pause to survey God’s blessing on His work, we are inspired. Over 1100 Swahili Bibles and 400 English Bibles have been purchased and distributed. Several hundred “Steps to Christ” and other books in both Swahili and English have been shared. Forty five people were baptized in December. Bible workers study with people in their homes or sometimes in their gardens. They try to meet the people where they are.
Physical needs are not to be forgotten either. In our area, orphans often possess more provisions than the local children who have families. Neighborhood children will meet at the orphanage fence and linger, wishing that they could come in. The orphans have food, clothes, school to attend and beds to sleep on. The majority of the community children sleep on the floor, and some do not attend school because their parents cannot pay school fees. Their meal frequency is inconsistent.
We see the suffering, and do what we can. But we know that there are many areas in the world where people are dying from hunger and needless illnesses. Many are also dying for eternity.
How we long for Jesus to come and put an end to the suffering and sorrow in this world. May He give us more faith, more trust and more of a burden for others. Let us remember that while this life on earth is short, what we give to the Master has a lasting impact.
Author Bill and Becky Humeniuk
How You Can Help
Praythat God will supply Bibles to those who need to hear the Word of the Lord.
Donate.If you are impressed to help supply Bibles or care for the orphans of Kenya, send your donations to:
As an important part of his lifework, God instructed the prophet Samuel to establish schools of the prophets. These schools were to instill in the minds of the youth a knowledge of God and His Law, which would serve as a barricade against the prevailing errors of the day. Through the study of the Scriptures, the youth would develop a moral and spiritual foundation that would keep them from being swept away in the deep apostasy of Israel. The prophet Samuel invested his time in the future wellbeing of the nation by training the youth to be future leaders. “The chief subjects of study in these schools were the law of God, with the instructions given to Moses, sacred history, sacred music, and poetry. . . . In those schools of the olden time, it was the grand object of all study to learn the will of God, and man’s duty toward Him. In the records of sacred history were traced the footsteps of Jehovah. The great truths set forth by the types were brought to view, and faith grasped the central object of all that system,—the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world. . . . Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble, and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God. What a contrast between the ancient custom and the uses to which music is now too often devoted! How many employ this gift to exalt self, instead of using it to glorify God! A love for music leads the unwary to unite with world-lovers in pleasure-gatherings where God has forbidden his children to go.” Christian Education, 62.
What a blessing schools can be when faithful teachers educate their students in the knowledge of the Scriptures. In a rural area in Ruhandagazi, Uganda, Pastor John Kagzanzi, a faithful district leader, was invited to conduct a crusade for non-Seventh-day Adventist youth at a school in Katerera. Many of the students did not want to be at the school—among them a young lady named Nalinda, who had been sent to Katerera by her father. When she saw the dusty classrooms filled with buzzing mosquitoes, and the aging dormitory where she would sleep, her heart sank, and tears rolled down her face. Just then she heard music like nothing she had ever heard before, with many beautiful voices blending in wonderful harmony. Curious who these delightful sounds were coming from, Nalinda made her way to the chapel where Pastor John would be preaching. Raised in the Anglican Church, Nalinda had never seen so many happy, smiling young people singing praises to the Lord. Each night as she attended Pastor John’s series themed “Let the Bible Speak,” Nalinda’s love for Jesus grew. Now tears of joy rolled down her face. She heard for the first time the teaching about the Sabbath and the second coming of Jesus. After weeks of meetings, Pastor John invited the youth to come forward and prepare for baptism. Nalinda was the first to step forward and take a stand for the Lord. She is now witnessing to her family about her newfound love for God. Pray for Nalinda and the other students who gave their hearts to Christ in the Katerera school. If you would like to support Pastor John’s work in Uganda, mark your donations “Uganda Evangelism.”
Sunday-keepers are directed to the Adventists for truth.
The providential intervention recounted here happened in South Uganda, in a township called Muhanga. Our church has preached the Three Angels’ Messages here in Uganda for years, sometimes with very little fruit. We are challenged by the influence of the Catholic priests, who work to prejudice minds against the truths we teach from Scripture. In the past, we have been unable to rent even a piece of land on which to conduct an evangelism effort. The enemy has used this organization to block the message of truth from penetrating into multiple regions.
Oftentimes, a coalition of Sunday keepers – both Protestant and Catholic – share prejudice against our work. One Pentecostal church pastor was no exception. But as he studied the Scriptures, he came across the Three Angels’ Messages in Revelation chapter 14. Not long after, he lay in bed one night when a man stood by his bedside. “Do you understand what you are reading?” the stranger asked.
“No,” the Pentecostal replied. “The meaning of the passage seems lost to me, and I cannot understand what I’m reading.”
“Read again,” the angel prompted. The following night, he appeared at the pastor’s bedside again. “Do you understand what you are reading?” he repeated.
The man shook his head.
“Find the closest Seventh-day Adventist church for an explanation,” came the reply.
The Pentecostal obeyed. The following day, he sought out our local Adventist pastor. He brought nine of his parishioners with him. They enrolled in Bible studies and soon accepted the Sabbath truth.
Excited with what they had learned, the church members carried the new light back to their church. The Pentecostal pastor stood before his congregation with conviction. “If we do not accept this Biblical message from God, we will be lost!” he said.
The entire congregation has been baptized. The Pentecostal pastor was ready to learn more, and we sent him to our ministerial college to study the truth in greater depth. In his absence, an active Adventist elder by the name of Bizimana Joseph was happy to lead this new Adventist congregation.
God provided financially for the future of the young church. As I shared this amazing story some time later, two Adventist young people decided to give their tithe and offerings to support Joseph’s stipend and other needs. A donor also gave us funds to purchase land for a permanent church building. This congregation did not have their own church – for Pentecostals worship in rented halls.
Joseph spent much of his time visiting the local community and giving Bible studies. He also helped to build the house of worship. The congregation consists of 25 former Pentecostals at this point, and we expect a rapidly growing membership when the church is ready for use. Today, only the doors, windows and painting projects remain left to be completed.
We are planning an evangelistic series at this new location to bring in the harvest, by God’s grace. We praise the Lord’s name for “stepping in” to a largely Catholic-controlled township, where the light is now beaming with increasing power.
Author Pastor Thor Pedersenis retired and lives with his wife in Australia. He has been doing evangelism in Uganda for about 20 years and is deeply passionate about the work in this country.
How You Can Help Prayfor this new congregation, for the faithful workers and for all the various ministries in Uganda.
Donate. The work in Uganda is growing rapidly and needs your help! If you feel impressed by the Holy Spirit to contribute to spreading the Three Angels’ Messages, mark your donations “Uganda” and send to:
Mission Projects International P.O. Box 151 Inchelium, WA 99138
When a missionary accepts a teaching challenge, a sudden illness proves to be a blessing.
“Elisha, you need to read this book again,” I turned to my husband. “It provides such meaning in light of current events.”
I had read The Great Controversy before, but it had never spoken to me the way it did now. After reading the chapters about Martin Luther, the conviction fastened in my heart that we must teach the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation to our students. I shared the thought with Elisha, and then with our staff. They all agreed. Of course, since the idea came from me, I was the one to whom the task was assigned.
Teaching the stories in the book of Daniel proved to be quite easy. But when we reached the prophetic sections, I had to scratch my head. “Lord, how can I teach these things to 16 through 20-year-olds who have no clue about world history?” I questioned. “They do not know anything about Hitler, Charles V, the Roman Empire, and Julius Cesar. How can I teach them without losing their interest and attention? How can all this make sense to a group of youth who are only interested in their cell phones, boy-girl relationships and food?”
I am so thankful that our God equips the sent. He saw my perplexity and helplessness. We had been teaching the Bible to our students for 9 months now. Some of these young people had never opened or read the Bible before, and had never set foot in a church. At this point, they had some idea of what God’s Word was about. My challenge was to attach prophecy to the rest of the Bible, and the method seemed unclear to my mind.
Then one morning, after many days of struggling and prayer, it all made sense. I would start at the beginning of our earthly history, and highlight the battle between good and evil. Following the biblical account, I would share God’s revelation that all earthly kingdoms will end, and that His heavenly one will last forever. I realized that I could not teach about beasts and kingdoms without the context of the great controversy between good and evil.
All went smoothly until I reached Daniel chapter 10. Here again, I was challenged.
I stood in front of the students one morning, feeling discouraged. “I will not be teaching Daniel 10–12 because of all the historic details in these chapters,” I announced. “I feel that they would be more of a burden for you to understand than a blessing.”
As I left the classroom, I suddenly began to feel unwell physically. I turned to my translator, “Suzan, help me up the hill to my house.”
I could not make it up the hill even halfway. “Please, Suzan, just leave me here and go call Elisha,” I breathed in pain. “I cannot walk anymore.”
Suzan left me sitting on the grass and ran up the big hill as fast as she could.
I felt cold and nauseated. Elisha arrived a few minutes later with the pickup truck, and helped me into the back seat.
The two-minute drive home felt much longer as the vehicle rattled over the bumpy road. Where was this pain coming from? I could not understand. I had been just fine that morning.
My pain was so acute that I agreed to take medication for it. The pills brought no relief. Our natural remedies teacher prepared a bitter brew containing sweet wormwood and garlic. I swallowed the terrible tea.
After a short time, the pain abated, but I felt as if I had just fought a lion. Although still bed-ridden that afternoon, I felt much better.
“I need to prepare to teach a Revelation class now,” I reminded myself. “I’d better make use of this time in bed!” Elisha brought the computer over to me, and I haphazardly clicked on a study I had downloaded months before when we were in the United States.
This study and the next two just happened to be all about Daniel 8–12! I sat there, astonished. I had decided not to teach a section of these chapters to my students right before my illness struck. Was God trying to tell me something?
I concentrated on the material God had placed before my eyes. I studied these chapters for three days until I could finally stand on my feet without assistance. Whereas before I had felt discouraged and uncertain, everything seemed clear and simple to me now.
When I walked down to the classroom again, I told the students about God’s rebuke to me. “I need to teach the whole book of Daniel,” I said. We finished Daniel with a beautiful view of God’s love and care for us.
“God revealed in advance the result of putting our trust in man,” I turned the pages in my Bible. “If we repeatedly violate His law and reject His rulership, the Lord will finally withdraw from us and leave us with what we desire—subjection to man. This is how God’s people came under the successive dominion of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. And what is man without God? He is an instrument in the hands of the great adversary.”
Now, the students understood that the great controversy was about much more than one denomination being the “right” one. Through the attitude of Daniel and his companions, they understood that the conflict was about worship: whether we worship God through obedience, or Satan through disobedience to God. What an eye-opener! So many people—even really sincere Christians—have attitudes of disobedience or rejection toward God and His law without even realizing it.
As prophetic events unfold before our eyes, I am reminded that God is leading ordinary people to study and understand His Word. Let wonderful truth in its entirety be shared with the world!
The experience of my inward struggles, sudden illness and inspiration to share the Scriptures convicts me of God’s great love for His people – including a handful of turbulent teenagers in a lost village of Tanzania.
Update: After the classes on Daniel and Revelation, many students gave their hearts to Jesus and thirteen were baptized. Now they are facing “persecution” from their families for taking a stand for the truth. Nadege reports, “Some go through it with pain, others shrink from the decision, and still others give in and renounce their faith. We need prayers—very earnest prayers.”
Author Nadege Vande Voortand her husband Elisha operate Eden Valley Foster Care Mission, a trade school for underprivileged youth in Tanzania. You can reach them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Their address is Box 17, Mafinga, Iringa, Tanzania.
How You Can Help Prayfor the Vande Voort’s outreach in their home villages, and that the youth will be able to keep their faith.
Sharethis story and ask others to pray, too!
Donate. If you would like to give to Elisha and Nadege’s mission, mark your donation “Eden Valley Foster Care Mission” and send it to:
Outpost Centers International 5132 Layton Lane Apison, TN 37302
A young person suffers hardship for Christ’s sake.
“Do you realize that we could be in the wrong church?”
We had been faithful Christians under the umbrella of the Anglican church, and my neighbor also had been associated with the same faith. When she visited my family’s home one sunny day, Prosy went right to the point with her strange question.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“We act differently than what the Bible teaches,” she responded. “Today, I have discovered new truth that you should not miss, my friend.”
I pulled a bench over for us to sit down. “Share this Bible truth with me,” I said.
The elderly woman looked puzzled for a moment. “I can’t remember where the verses are. But I learned this truth from an Adventist pastor. Would you allow him to come and visit?”
My heart pounded in my chest as I processed the change this could mean for my family. “Yes, I would like him to visit.”
I fell into a slumber under a tree in the compound that afternoon. The day was hot and humid. A deep bass voice woke me out of sleep. To my surprise, a neatly dressed young man and my neighbor Prosy stood in front of me. We sat under the tree together, and the young man began to tell us the good news about Jesus. He also shared that there was a counterfeit Christ, and a counterfeit gospel. Referencing 2 Corinthians 11:4, he highlighted the danger of believing in the counterfeit in place of the genuine.
At this point, my parents emerged from the house nearby, also interested in what our visitor had to say. We all agreed to continue Bible studies, and everything went smoothly until the young pastor shared that the biblical Sabbath was not Sunday, but Saturday.
The truth pricked my heart, but my parents felt it was divisive. “Let him teach Jesus, but leave the Sunday topic alone,” they murmured. From that day forward, they left his presence and Bible studies permanently.
A Bible study class had begun at Prosy’s house at that time, and I decided to attend. I could not tame my passion and desire to know more.
I ultimately decided to be baptized, but not without facing resistance from my parents. I felt happiness because my heart was relieved from guilt, but I faced a battle. Their objections intensified as my desire to preach the gospel became impossible to hide. I solicited my peers to join the Bible study class, and their decisions to accept the truth and be baptized only worsened my situation at home.
I felt like my heart was bleeding when my relatives stopped paying my school fees. I had not yet finished my elementary education. My bright future seemed dim for a time, and I felt perplexed.
Eventually, I was expelled from my home, but I have found it so sweet to trust in Jesus. He will never forsake those who trust in Him. My home is the church now, and its members are my family.
I thank God, because I have been accepted into a new household, and have joined primary level 7, which is the last class in this level.
I feel peace when the Bible speaks to me. It heals my wounded heart and restores the brightness of my future. I feel obliged to spread this message to the rest of my peers in the village. I pray that they will hear God speaking to them through me.
Author Pastor John Kaganziis the leader in the Ruhandagazi Seventh-day Adventist District in Bushenyi, Eastern Uganda.
How You Can Help Prayfor the follow-up evangelistic work that Pastor John is doing to build up Christ’s kingdom. Pray for funds to build churches where the new believers can worship.
Donate. To donate to Pastor John’s work, please mark your donation, “Uganda Mission” and mail it to:
Mission Projects International P.O. Box 151 Inchelium, WA 99138
A winding, troubled life journey brings a young couple to the truth.
Arston and Penlope studied at two different universities in the Mbarara District of southwestern Uganda until 2012. That’s when they were expelled for reckless living and alcoholism. Guilt-ridden for having wasted their poor parents’ resources, they both feared to return to their homes. Instead, they wandered from town to town looking for ways to survive.
Penlope ended up in Kampala, where she had an aunt she thought could find her a job. Things didn’t go well at her aunt’s place, however. Her aunt wanted to use her as a housemaid, a job Penlope hated. As soon as she could, she found another job as a waiter at a bar. Unfortunately, working at the bar plunged her deeper into alcoholism. Soon she would do any odd job to earn a drink and some food.
Arston found work as a primary school teacher in Kamwenge, and all this time, Penlope and Arston visited each other whenever they could afford it. Then, in July 2017, Arston found a job for Penlope as a storekeeper in Kamwenge. Although their salaries were not even enough to pay for rent, and they each were evicted from their homes numerous times, they met every evening to share a bottle of waragi, or cheap local gin. Eventually, they started to live together as husband and wife.
In January 2018, Arston’s aunt found him and Penlope jobs teaching at Rushango Primary School in Kiruhura District. Here they met Ronard, the headmaster of Model Pathfinder Primary School. One Sunday during the school break in August, Ronard invited Arston and his wife to visit him. It so happened that an evangelistic series was beginning near Ronard’s house that evening, so Arston and Penlope attended.
That night, Evangelist Starence preached a sermon entitled, “Jesus, the Hope of All Sinners.” The sermon moved their hearts, and they attended the meetings until the end of the 14-night series. At the end of each sermon, when Evangelist Starence made a call, Arston and Penlope would be the first to come forward, shedding tears. Arston gave his heart to Jesus and was baptized.
When the school term began at the end of August, Arston and Penlope learned that they would be forced to teach on Sabbath. When they told Ronard about it, the administration of Model Pathfinder Primary School decided to hire them. Their salary is small, but they testify, “We don’t regret having left our jobs at Rushango Primary School, nor do we regret not finishing our university degrees. We have greater degrees now from the school of Jesus. At Model Pathfinder School we are back home; we live a life of hope. Our parents have even accepted us as children again.”
Arston attends Bible studies with us in our home regularly, and he no longer drinks alcohol. Penlope, however, is still struggling. When Arston is away, she sneaks to the bar for a bottle of waragi. We are keeping them in our family circle, doing our best to lead them into a closer walk with Jesus. A generous sponsor is sending Arston to Bugema Adventist University to complete a diploma in education, and we are looking for someone who can sponsor Penlope for the same course. We see tremendous progress in their lives and pray for a complete change to take place as they grow.
Author Pastor James Kyarikorais a retired pastor in the Uganda Conference who is still active in ministry.
How You Can Help Prayfor Arston to remain faithful to the Lord. Pray for Penlope to come to know Jesus’ pardoning love and receive the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome.
Giveto the work in Uganda. Needs include new church buildings, training for church planters, Bibles and church planter support. Send your check marked “Uganda Workers” or “Uganda Churches” to:
Mission Projects International PO Box 151 Inchelium, WA 99138
Free eyeglasses bring spiritual eyesight to a high-ranking military general.
“I am tired of this confusion of religion,” the Congolese general spoke to his wife and children. “From now on, I won’t allow anyone in my house to attend church—anyone. And no one may come to this house to talk about the Bible or to preach.”
The man’s wife nodded. When the general spoke, everyone listened.
There are churches on every street corner in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The sound of drums and music on Sunday morning greets the noise of traffic on the busy streets. “We have millions of people attending church every single Sunday,” the general explained. “Every church preaches about good news, but the lives of the people in church are full of corruption. I don’t like it.”
This is why I will not allow my children to go to these churches, he added to himself. For they would become corrupted too.
The general proceeded with his day’s agenda. Meanwhile, his wife ventured into town.
The general’s wife learned that a group called “Train Them 2 Fish,” was giving free medical care to the public. She decided to go through the eye program.
When his wife returned home, something different caught his glance.
He interrogated her, “where did you get that pair of eye glasses?”
“There’s a free medical program around the corner,” she explained. “I went there, and the people gave these to me.”
“The glasses you are wearing are the best you can buy here. They are very expensive. So, you must explain yourself,” the general insisted.
“My husband, these people are offering medical care for free. The glasses cost me nothing.”
“I cannot believe that they were given to you for free. They are very expensive,” he repeated.
“Go and see for yourself,” his wife suggested. “Or send someone to go for you and see if it is true.”
“Well, I will send my daughter. I trust my daughter to tell me the truth.”
The following day, the general’s daughter enrolled in the eye program. She also was given a pair of glasses.
“It is true Dad,” she reported. “These were given to me. They were free.”
“I must go for myself and see them.”
When the astonished general arrived at the corner, he came just in time for the devotional. When the program began, he approached the staff. “I want to see the coordinator of this program,” he said.
The man in front of him shifted nervously. “I’m not sure…” he began.
“I’m not here to arrest anyone, “the general assured him. “I am here because I want to see who is in charge of all this.”
The military general was led to Thomas Ongasa.
“Who are you?” the general asked.
“I am a pastor,” Ongasa replied.
“What is the name of your church?”
“What is that? I’ve never heard of the name.”
“The name Adventist means that we are waiting for the Second Coming of Christ,” Ongasa began. “And the Seventh-day part of our name is there because we worship Him on Saturday, the seventh day of the week.”
Pastor Ongasa offered to send a Bible worker to visit with the general.
When the Bible worker arrived, he marveled at the building’s security – for no one was allowed to step inside without permission. But two pairs of eyeglasses had been the key to his entry, and genuine Christianity had softened the heart of a once skeptical man.
“Come to my house and tell me more about your church,” the official said as he agreed to Bible studies. “I had made the decision that there would be no more religion in my home, but because of what I see you doing, my doors are open.”
Democratic Republic of Congo
Pastor Thomas Ongasa, formerly a conference president in the Democratic Republic of Congo, founded Train Them 2 Fish in answer to God’s call to equip young people to spread the gospel in his country.
How You Can Help
Pray for Pastor Ongasa as he seeks to minister to the high and the low, the rich and the poor. Pray for this general of the Congolese army.
Donate. If you would like to participate in helping Pastor Ongasa reach people with medical needs in Congo, mark your donation “Congo Medical Work,” and send to:
Mission Projects International PO Box 151 Inchelium, WA 99138
A church in Uganda builds a home for a destitute family.
Complacency and laziness can make a man poor—but if hard work alone could make a man rich, Mr. Didas Kacokoli should have been the richest man on Earth.
Although hard working and determined, Didas met misfortunes his life until he was forced into abject poverty. It all started when his father decided to move his entire family from Bitooma to Kibaale in 2005. In the process, a con man sold the family land that belonged to someone else—a surprisingly common practice in Uganda. The victims of the crime are virtually always the illiterate, unable to read the legal documents themselves. That’s how it happened with Didas’ parents. Illiterate, they were not able to detect the cunning deal they had been tricked into!
Three years after they moved onto the property, the father died in a car accident. Soon after, a man came to them with a title to the land, informing Didas and his family that they were squatters on his property. Didas’s heart raced as the truth sank in. It was the biggest shock of his life!
Packing up his family, Didas left Kibaale empty-handed. Moving back to Bitooma, the family built a grass-thatched house on an uncle’s land. Three months later, as if the family had not had enough troubles, their thatch house burned to ashes. The family lost all their possessions except the clothes they were wearing.
With all the tragedies, life seemed too difficult to bear. Didas resorted to drinking alcohol. Little did he know that his new addiction would only add to his problems.
To put a bit of shelter over his family, Didas constructed another grass house with walls sloping up into a roof. With neither clothes nor bedding, they slept on the ground with nothing to cover them. They hated to see dark clouds in the sky, for the coming of rain felt like mockery in a leaky grass house. When it rained, the family felt as though they might as well be outside, because inside the house, the water-logged grass dripped for hours even after the rain stopped! After sleeping in puddles all night, the children shivered and shivered each morning.
Meanwhile, Didas’s alcohol addiction grew worse, and eventually he began beating his wife. Still, he did his best to provide food for his family, and through his hard work his children escaped malnourishment. He even saved up and bought a tiny plot of land.
One day Mr. Aggrey, a nurse in charge of community services at the Bitooma Health Center, discovered the shack where Didas’s family lived. Being a Seventh-day Adventist, Mr. Aggrey notified the church of the situation, and the church came together to build a stick house with a metal roof on the little plot that Didas had bought. Now at least the family could stay dry!
The church is still reaching out to help Didas and his family. In order to cultivate enough food for his family, Didas needs more land of his own. Also, the family needs help paying the school fees for the children, without which the illiteracy which caused them so much misfortune will live on in Didas’s family. Please pray for the Bitooma Church to have means to continue helping this family with their physical poverty. Most importantly, pray that soon all of this man’s misfortunes will be redeemed, and that Didas and his family will find true, spiritual wealth in Christ!
Author Pastor John Kaganzi Pastor John is the leader of the Ruhandagazi SDA District in Bushenyi, Uganda.
How You Can Help
Pray for the Kacokolis and other destitute families to find both temporal and spiritual help in their local Seventh-day Adventist congregations.
Pray for Pastor John’s evangelistic work in this land of poverty.
Give a gift to help needy souls in Uganda. Please mark your donation “Uganda Mission” and send it to:
Mission Projects International PO Box 151 Inchelium, WA 99138
A bar owner’s plot to stone the new preacher in town backfires.
He did not seem to be preaching, but visiting homes with love! His kindness and commendable conduct gave him a wider audience than he would have otherwise had, and he ended up drawing people’s attention to serious, deep Bible study. To the surprise of the whole village, his Bible class under the tree in the marketplace grew bigger every day.
It would have been no problem, but his teachings disproved some popular religious dogmas as he emphasized “the Bible and the Bible only.” He kept repeating the slogan, “If it is in the Bible, I believe it; if it is not in the Bible, it is not for me.”
Irritated by the new teachings, one of the local religious leaders came to my bar and tried to recruit people to attack the preacher and disrupt his Bible studies. I decided to go and cause chaos myself by throwing stones at the preacher, because his meetings had cut into my business. Instead of coming to the bar to drink beer, the people now gathered under the tree to drink the Word!
Slipping several stones into my pocket, I strode to the market and stood at the back, leaning against the tree whose shade the preacher used for his classroom. No sooner had I put my hand in my pocket to pull out a stone than the preacher walked up to me, grasped my free hand and began using me as an illustration in his sermon! As he spoke about Daniel chapter two, I unwillingly followed along; yet in my mind I kept thinking of how I could harm my captor.
Suddenly, the preacher read the verse that tells about the stone that hit Nebuchadnezzar’s image and crushed it. Sensing my opportunity, I drew a stone out of my pocket. “Do you mean that a stone like this will crush you?” I asked.
The preacher’s mouth dropped open as I took a step back and raised my arm. Before I could throw the rock, however, a man behind me jumped up and restrained my hand. Then several other men jumped me and escorted me home.
The next day, the preacher came to visit my family. Each week after that, he came to my house every Sunday to give us Bible studies. One month later, my wife and I were baptized along with our second born son and 14 other people.
Since the closest Seventh-day Adventist Church is four kilometers from our home village, our little congregation has decided to establish a church in our neighborhood. At first, we enjoyed worshipping under the tree; but because the rainy season has begun, we are looking for a house to rent for church services.
Following Jesus has caused me some serious life changes. For one thing, I closed the bar. A bigger problem, though, was that I had been polygamous with three wives. I decided to desert the second two and be faithful to my first wife; but as you can probably imagine, the abandoned wives are as furious as wounded buffalos! They detest my decision to follow Jesus Christ. I request your prayers that God will give me wisdom on how to handle my former wives. Please also pray for my relatives and friends who are persecuting me. Pray that God will open their eyes so that they can see the truth I have seen. Pray that they, too, will be “stoned with the Word” and change their course to follow Jesus!
Patrick Kafobeero is a new Christian living in Nyabubaare, Kakanju, Bushenyi, Uganda.
How You Can Help
Pray for Patrick and his family to remain strong in their new faith. Pray for his friends, former wives and relatives to see the beauty of the truth that has changed his life.
Pray for the family of believers in Nyabubaare to be able to establish a permanent place of worship.
Give a gift to support God’s work in Uganda. Please mark your donation “Uganda Mission” and send it to:
Mission Projects International PO Box 151 Republic, WA 99138