Uganda 2001

In the middle of February 1977 Christian leader Janin Luhan was summoned to the office of Idi Amin, the infamous dictator of Uganda. It would be the last day of Luhan’s life. He was shot to death possibly by Idi Amin himself. The tragic event had an eerie resemblance to the rule of another Ugandan dictator – Manga, who himself in the year 1885 began a reign of terror by having an influential Christian leader executed. It was also during his reign that the first major penetration of Uganda with the gospel took place, which was followed by an intense persecution. By the end of his first year in power, Manga for entertainment roasted three Christians alive, the following year thirty-two Christians were burned alive and another two hundred were torn limb by limb. "There are powers of darkness behind these people that you are looking at, which were tearing apart this nation. " Still the love of the Lord could not be stopped from taking root into peoples’ hearts. Luhan’s death in 1977 added but a single digit to the list of Christians, around 400,000 in all, who were slaughtered or driven into exile during Amin’s seven years in power. "What they knew about Idi Amin was the towering figure, one who threw around his weight and one that his presence feared all over" Uganda’s troubles do not end when Amin was driven from the country in 1978. The darkness which had ruled through Manga and Amin continued to pattern on unspeakable cruelties during the return rule of Milton Obote. And these of course were on top of the usual litmia problems afflicting Uganda and other Sub-Saharan African nations: Rapid corruption, civil war and economic chaos. To many around the world Uganda was hopeless. But unknown to the rest of the world the seeds of change had already been sown by the Holy Spirit several years earlier. During the 70’s far from the centers of power, the Spirit of God began to move hearts to intercede in what would later be called the Jungle Prayer Meetings, believers met in secret to pray for the move of the Holy Spirit in Uganda. "They were times when they had to go to the swamps and stay in the water , hidden in the papyrus reeds so that they would spend the whole day there and in the night they would come out and they would get together and pray." At risk to their own lives Ugandan believers surrounded by popular village witches and the ruling political powers continually called upon the name of the Lord for revival. The first major break over the region came with the overthrow of Obote in 1986, ending decades of tyrannical power over the people. Though the political situation improved, the country still faced an even more serious threat – the worst AIDS crises in all of Africa. Based on the numbers, one out of 10 Ugandans were infected by the virus. The World Health Organization in 1991 predicted the total economic collapse of Uganda by the end of the 1990’s. But the Lord had other plans. Now pastors in major cities began to seek the Lord together, and tapped into the work of God in hearts by orchestrating cycles of 40-day fast with lay people as active participants. The long standing struggle with deep magic finally began to break and for the first time in 100 years, associations with it were viewed as shameful and wicked. All night prayer meetings have become the passion of the church of Uganda. The presence of the Lord has not only joined the battle for souls, but has literally exploded over the pearl of Africa. "So churches began to pray in zones, hears like bees. You can hear bees through the night bzzzz. Every community praying, every zone praying." The Gospel of the suffering Jesus and the resurrected Lord has gripped the hearts of Ugandans. Congregations were going faster than houses of worship could be built. For example one congregation has to hold 7 services on Sunday to accommodate its 35 000 new members. The International Labor Organization reports that Uganda is undergoing an economic revival, growing by a staggering 8 percent annually. Christians are spicing up the Government by upholding moral standards. Even to the point that the Department administrated that ethics has been created by the new president – also a professing believer. "I believe Uganda is in a new beginning politically and in divine timing God brought leadership, God began to put people in place." "God is working in this country." Today the spiritual atmosphere of Uganda has been changed. One in every 2 Ugandans is a praying believer and the lost are hungry for the gospel. On December 31, New Year’s Eve in the year 2000, the capital city of Kampala had a gathering of over 60 000. Ugandans held the unique millennium celebration in which the dark history of Uganda was renounced and the Lord was officially invited to touch the hearts of Uganda by their president and his wife. "Covenanting our nation Uganda to the purposes of God and to the Lordship of Jesus Christ - Amen!" Reading like an Old Testament passage the nation was literary covenant to the honor of Jesus Christ. Pass the word along: The Lord is on the move in Uganda.

...know them that labour among you... 1 Thessalonians 5:12 * ...pray for one another... James 5:6 * ...the eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of thee... 1 Corinthians 12:21 * ...there is one Body and one Spirit... Ephesians 4:4 * ...the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth... Ephesians 4:16 * ...I pray that they may be one with us so that the world will believe...John 17:21 * pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity...Psalm 133:1 "The purpose of life is companionship." *** "Worship is that form of companionship where we love on Him in response to His great love for us." *** "The most powerful drive in the human heart is the desire for companionship." *** "We inherited this drive from the One we were patterned after." *** "The difference between manipulation and leadership is motive." *** "Motive is purified and guided in the presence of God: Prayer." *** "Pride is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, an attitude of self-entitlement and a motive for self-glorification." *** "Pride starts subtly and then turns into the aggressive enemy of real companionship" *** "The Cross and the presence of God brings fellowship (heart to heart), but the world offers only socializing (facade to facade)." *** "Every relationship has a foundation. The pride of public ministry has been a foundation for too many. At some point it consumes" *** "There is a difference between worshipping the idea that we worship God and actually worshipping God." *** "Why do we want to see prayer back in the schools, when it is no longer in our homes or churches?" *** "Corporate prayer around the Throne must return the center of church life if there is to be any hope for the masses." *** "Corporate prayer produces effective preaching, not preaching produces corporate prayer." *** "If we are so in the know, why do we no longer gather together to seek God, navigate through our haughty hearts to get a glimpse of God's heart and then pray in the lost?" *** "Christianity is not an enterprise, venture for self-discovery or political or civic organization. It is a Blood-bought fellowship of prayer focused on One." *** "Prayer-based friendships are the only ones that last." *** "Prayer-bathed friendships are not incidental to ministry, they are foundational." *** "Prayer is not a ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the ministry" *** "It's one thing to tell somebody what we believe about Jesus, it's quite another to be able to introduce someone to our Best Friend." *** "We are more like Martha than Mary; More like Christian activists, than people of prayer." *** "We need unity in humility found at the foot of the Cross, not prideful uniformity that says: 'Look at us doing God's work'" "There has got to be a practical, excecutable strategy in place for us to dethrone the ministry of Hollywood in our homes and bring families and communities together via corporate prayer inspired by the Spirit. Technology is not the enemy; Our disobedient laziness is the enemy." ***