Wow! We are back from Uganda. What an amazing mission trip. So many wondrous events!
We started planning this trip over a year before we went. Lots of prayer and fore thought. We gathered an amazing team. Eleven of us went. Five of which have never been on a mission and some have never been out of the USA. You would have thought they were veterans for many years. I have never seen a team work so close together and be in full unity with each other and the Living Word of God.
Before we left we were all talking and praying. The Lord spoke to us and said do not be intimidated, but to pray. So we knew we were going to be a part of something special. Our whole mindset was love. If you didn’t know what to say, love them, if you didn’t know how to pray, love them. And that’s what we did. We loved them, and man did we see lives change.
The first week eight people went. We went to Bujiri and the surrounding area. We went into villages where many had never seen Muzungus (white people) they would stare and many would rub your skin to see if it would come off. We had a lot of fun with this. We preached to hundreds in little remote areas that didn’t even have roads to get there. Many times we made our own paths and hiked a short way to their church where we showed Gods love through our words and actions. With worn out tarps and rags and in some cases branches for coverings we shared Jesus. They would get there hours before us and worship. You could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as we came close to the meeting. Many people would come up for salvation and many more were healed and touched by God.
Kids everywhere. Part of our team took on the mission to minister with the children. They brought toys, games, candy, anything you could imagine, but most of all, they brought the love of Christ. They ministered to over 300 at a time more than once while there. Never tiring, they shared and gave all they had. It was so beautiful seeing this ministry of love and self sacrifice turn into countless salvations and healings.
It was great being a part of this. This was some of our forth time ministering with this ministry based out of Bujiri. Yes. We will continue to return and minister there.
The first church we went to we had a very special surprise. A young man named Johnson was there. Two years ago while in Bujiri We prayed for him. He had a curse put on him and was turning into a snake. He was in a trance stiff as a board and would not blink. We had to prop him up due to he was trying to slither out of the chair. We prayed for him and anointed him, broke the bonds of Satan and he is on the praise and worship team dancing and singing for Jesus now. He gave his testimony and gave Jesus glory for his healing and setting him free and gave thanks to our team for being the ministering hands that freed him. This may not have been the case but the willing went, others sacrificed through prayer and financing to allow our teams to go and minister. Thank you all for making it possible. Everyone who prayed, gave, and or went has an equal part of this testimony and many others not mentioned.
From Bujiri we went to Jinja, where we teamed up with Pastor Samuel. Samuel is the first man I ever led to the Lord in Africa 5 years ago. He is now a pastor, and I had the honor of marring him and his beautiful bride Mary while there this trip. A true blessing for me! Samuel will always hold a special place in my heart. The wedding ceremony was beautiful. We had it in a large church under pastor Zachariah, (the ghost pastor) they call him that because the Muslims keep trying to kill him but he is very much alive. I had the honor of speaking and performing the wedding their while he translated for me. I am truly honored.
Day 3 in Jinja, We held a baptism in Lake Victoria. Powerful day, we baptized around 13 people, many traveled very far to be baptized that day. As we explained baptism, and why, we saw their lives change. Men and women who could not hold their heads up or look at you for embarrassment and shame, came up chest out head up full of the Holy Spirit. People from the shore could see the transformation from bondage to full freedom in Christ. We prophesied over several and already we have heard testimonies of them coming true. We prophesied over two young men that they would be leaders and plant a church in their village. Word came last week that they have planted a church and are leading that village. Theirs is the only church in the area and it is growing very fast already.
Then off to Kampala for a week long medical mission. The rest of our team flew in Sunday morning 130am. They hit the ground running. We saw over 1444 people in the clinic. That was just the ones we gave tickets too, not to mention many children that came with parents, church workers, and others that seemed to slip in. Every day we had to turn hundreds away. That’s hard, there is so much need, truly the fields are ripe and the workers are few. We had 3 nurses. Gwen Edland, Gretel Rowland, Norma Jean Hackett. We had two volunteer Ugandan nurses who helped too. Bobbi Hodges and Angie Sweeney worked triage, Dr. Troy White, Brenda DeLuca, and Jeff Largo worked the eye clinic, Jerry Ozment, Roger Hodges, and I, Garland was the evangelizing team.
We were stationed in Pastor Fred’s church where we ministered two years ago. A church full of love and worship. We took everyone through the evangelizing groups and shared Jesus with them. Many came to the lord. Then we sent them to the eye clinic, and medical teams, where they were ministered to physically and spiritually again. The eye clinic saw 515 and the medical team saw 929. Hundreds were saved through their love. Many were Muslim. We had many testimonies of healings, deliverances and salvations. On one occasion I went to the eye clinic to check on them and was able to minister with Jeff and a young girl named Grace. She was from a witch doctor family and was being told to quit school and now that she was developing breasts she should start having babies. We ministered to her and she gave her life to Christ. We prayed deliverance over her and she was set free. We explained baptism and she could not wait to be baptized, so we obliged, we got some water and baptized her right in the clinic in her chair. She raised her head up proud and glowing in Gods Glory. I mean radical visual change just like in the lake earlier. She returned every day for more of Jesus Word and to be discipled.
There was so much happening with healings, salvations and so many in the Muslim community coming to Christ that the streets and market places were buzzing with what was happening at that church. Well the TV station heard about it and sent a reporter out to find out what was happening. They interviewed several of us and then started interviewing the Muslims leaving the clinic. They happily shared what was happening and were amazed at the love that was being shown, totally opposite what they have ever expected and experienced. The Muslims were advertising for Jesus on local TV and the station aired it all. Gave Jesus full glory on TV. Well Satan was mad and tried to start a riot the next day. Jesus even woke our daughter Kristin up at that very time in Knoxville, TN, and had her praying too. Wow we serve a mighty Lord.
Well we know the Word and the Word is truth.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
On the last day of the mission hundreds came very early and demanded to be seen and would not leave and forced their way into the church. When we got there the church was packed, and we were only going to see 90 people that day then shut down the clinic. Well we rejoiced, prayed with everyone and went to work. We took our 90 people through the evangelizing teams and sent them to the clinics area. There were a couple hundred left waiting to be seen with no plans on leaving till they were seen by a doctor.
Jesus had other plans. We preached salvation to them, and you could feel the presence of our Lord all through the room. Thirty one came forward and gave their life to Christ. We took their information and they sat down. Then Jerry, Roger and I started praying and laying hands on them one by one and the power of God was unleashed. Jesus turned a riot situation into a healing service. Eyes were opened, arthritis, fevers, pains of every natured were healed. The room was full of His power and Glory. People left whole in Christ and healed. I had never experienced a time like that but it has truly changed my live forever.
I want to thank you all again for making all this possible. Jesus thanks you, He knows it takes the whole body of Christ to bring our Father Glory, and through all your prayers and support, you made it possible.
God bless -
Reverend Garland and Gretel Rowland