Early this morning the night sky opened and the rain fell like a waterfall accompanied by rolling thunder splitting the heated heavens that had been wrung dry for many months. “The rains come in March,” Micah told me. “It has been very hot before you arrived.” And almost on cue as the calender rolled over at midnight and February was dismissed March bounded across the threshold and shook itself like a drenched dog catching us all in its spray.
At 6:30 it was still dark and the power was out so I showered to the light of my iPhone and after a banana and coffee we set off for church. As we sat in Micah’s office the rain fell hard again, “In Africa when it rains people don’t come to church,” he muttered. “They don’t want to get wet.” “Rather like Canada when it snows,” I piped in helpfully. “There may not be as good a turnout in the first service, let’s pray for the weather to break,” he said.
About 100 people attended the first service at 8:30 and at 10:30 there were over 400 students present. Both services began with enthusiastic worship that was infectious and engaging.
I spoke on Paul and his letter to the Corinthian Church which had lost sight of Jesus, his grace and his love. Talked about Saul’s great learning and sincerity yet how God never gave up on him and met him with revelation on the Damascus Road. As I was talking with students I boasted about all my degrees and how knowledge and learning hadn’t prevented me from breaking trust and marriage vows and spending years in the spiritual wilderness. “But God never abandons us and so like Paul, I am a testimony to his Amazing Grace.God is kind, a father, and is willing to meet you right where you are. Our love is a response to his believing in us first and never withdrawing – just as I could never stop loving my daughters, no matter what.
Earlier in the second service the students presented an amusing drama portraying people in various situations being hypocritical and double-minded – like the church in Corinth… or in many other places today. We ended with a time of ministry and Reba, Micah’s daughter (in the video she’s playing a keyboard) was very kind in telling me that my talk had been amazing for her and many others. “Just hearing things from another angle and being reminded that I am loved by God was wonderful.”
While waiting for Micah before returning home I sat down and was immediately surrounded by young children giggling, feeling my beard and stroking my hair…..
The rest of today is quiet…. catching up on the blog and reading. Tomorrow we head out on a busy highway to Mbarara to meet Pat and the boys of her orphanage. We return on Tuesday and then I speak on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at a special event being held every night this week at the church encouraging spiritual growth.
Not sure when the next update will be….. wish you all were here 🙂