1) Thank you, thank you for praying for Passion Kampala. The short story: Only 50-60 of those who signed up were able to attend, but we did pray that those who God wanted to go would be able to attend, and there were options for the extra tickets. John and I did not attend due to a) my parents being here (!!), b) 35,000 people in attendance, and c) John having that pesky malaria. (Side note: When I told a friend we would be missing church that Sunday due to malaria, my friend sweetly/sarcastically noted that Jim Elliot would have gone to church. ...Thanks, Steve.) But this account--Chris Tomlin and Hijabs--from a friend who went with the refugees, was a great picture of the goings on (photos included). The Gospel was crystal-clear, it seems.
The Q & A last Wednesday was attended by forty (maybe half Muslim?), and was nothing short of exhilarating. Some who weren't able to attend the event still came with miraculous stories--e.g. I was supposed to have a liver operation, and I called on the name of Jesus and was healed--as did those who attended: I can't speak English well at all, but that night I understood every word.
Almost the first hour of the Q & A was full of raving over the event and simply its uniquenesses for refugees who hadn't seen anything like it: The crowds, the happiness, the message about God's creation praising him, their own image on the JumboTron. The whole Q & A felt much like I would picture an African tribal meeting, with everyone sitting in a circle as members took turns in the middle, speaking their piece, after which everyone clapped.
We had wonderful jumping-off points from the event to talk about worshipping God with our lives, and to present the Gospel again with clarity and challenge. The most difficult point was handling with courage but discernment the assertion made by one man that Muhammed and Jesus were both ways to our great God, who is the same God in his mind. I feel like the Holy Spirit gave us a lot of wisdom to deal with that as we described Jesus as the only Door, the only Way. At the end, we encouraged people who had decided to follow Jesus to tell someone at the refugee center, and offered that we could meet again to keep answering questions.
Wow. I feel so awestruck to have seen God work in this way...I am in awe of the way His arm is working here, and the way He loves these people, speaking to them like this.
My heart has been heavy for these individuals pursued by God, and I feel like I need to keep praying. If you would, please keep praying with me.
2) John is much, much better, and simply has a bit of fatigue, which is complicated by a schedule requiring more time than we actually have! The first day of the medicine is brutal, and he shivered so much he could barely talk. I think I will always remember being up in the middle of the night with him that night, just praying and praising together as tears rolled down my face. He was in so much pain. I am so thankful for a cure. It gives us a lot of compassion for people who contract this all over the world. It also encourages us that after three days, he was done, and one of our greatest fears from when we came is something that can be walked through. And having my parents here allayed a lot of stress that I would have been enduring alone. God is good and so faithful.
3) My parents leave tomorrow. Though I feel a little sheepish typing this in light of people like Amy Carmichael (who left her mother for life to go to India), I can tell that this will be hard, saying goodbye to each other for a year--especially my kids, who for two weeks, have been in a blissful hybrid of the two worlds they love that are home.
Thank you, friends, for praying--for holding up our arms. Seeing God in these ways has been a form of rich worship and praise.