The Uganda Connection
As you know, the Lord has called me to teach the nearly-too-good-to-be-true Gospel to the world. But you probably don't know many of the results. This month, I want to share with you some of the miraculous ways God is confirming His Word, not only here in the States, but around the world.
I just returned from Uganda where I've had a team of Charis Bible College graduates ministering for over a year. They have been teaching the Discipleship Evangelism (DE) course to 800 native pastors who in turn teach these same lessons to 64,000 people in their local churches each week. The Word is having miraculous results in these lovely African people.
I sat with tears in my eyes as I heard them testify about how the DE teachings had changed their lives and ministries. They described the same transformation in their lives that I experienced decades ago. And this didn't happen through me directly. Many of these people had never seen me before. It was just the power of God's Word working in them exactly the way it worked in me. Hallelujah!
They were learning the Word through a simple teaching tool, called Discipleship Evangelism. This is a discipleship course that my associate, Don Krow, and I developed over 10 years ago. It is now condensed into a 48 lesson series that goes from the basics of salvation all the way through maturity in the Lord. This simple discipleship tool is bringing a missing ingredient to the Ugandan church.
Uganda is a nation uniquely ready for the teaching ministry. I'm sure you've heard of the hundreds of thousands of Ugandans murdered under the reigns of dictators Amin and Ubote. I talked with one pastor who witnessed the murder of every member of his family. As you might imagine, this carnage devastated the economy of the nation and the hearts of the people.
Since 1968 they have enjoyed relative stability, but a God-shaped vacuum has formed in their hearts. They have experienced a tremendous revival. There are now 35-40% of Ugandans who are what they call "born-agains" And the majority of these are Spirit-filled fanatics.
They are excited and passionate about the Lord. There is a spiritual climate that makes even those who aren't born again receptive to God. The whole nation is spiritually hungry. Even the taxis have sayings on them about the Lord.
But up until now, there hasn't been much teaching. I heard testimony after testimony from pastors about how they would read one verse and then spend their whole church service screaming and shouting. They said that what they were teaching wasn't God's Word because they didn't know God's Word. But now things are different.
They've learned that eternal life isn't something that starts in heaven, but an intimate relationship with the Lord right now (John 17:3). They've also learned about the grace of God. I heard more than one pastor tell how they went to people whom they had driven from the church and asked their forgiveness. They spoke of how the messages on self-centeredness had changed them and the people in their churches. Many of these churches have doubled in size since they have been proclaiming the truths of God's Word.
While in Uganda, I saw deaf ears opened instantly and many other physical healings. One pastor heard me speak of my son being raised from the dead, and the week after I left he called a man back to life who had been dead over 24 hours. He said that if I could do it, he knew he could too. That's discipleship.
I have been broadcasting our Gospel Truth television program over Lighthouse Television in Kampala, Uganda since May of 2004. I knew people were being blessed, but I didn't realize just how many. One of the reasons the Gospel Truth is so effective is because the British control from 1926 to 1962 made English the dominant language.
Lighthouse Television is a 60,000 watt powerhouse that reaches 20 million Ugandans. It was actually built by the Chinese communists to help Idi Amin broadcast his propaganda across Uganda. But my good friend, Bob Nichols, and the people in his church, Calvary Cathedral in Ft. Worth, Texas, purchased this station and have turned it into a beacon of God's truth, 24 hours of every day.
I was in a church service with 2,500 people and asked how many watched my program. Half of them raised their hands. We've been broadcasting at 8:30 a.m., and most people have to be at work by 9:00. So, it isn't the best time, but with the help of Lighthouse Television in Kampala, we have already begun airing a second daily television show at 8:30 p.m. I believe this will help us reach more than twice as many people.
Our team in Entebbe has found that the people of Uganda are full of enthusiasm for their Christian faith. They love God, but they have no root or foundation in the Word. They have been taught to be religious, but they have not been taught about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They are desperately in need of the truth of the Gospel and they are ready to move from religion to relationship.
When God led Don Krow and me to develop the Discipleship Evangelism program, little did we know that it would one day help change the nation of Uganda. But that is exactly what is taking place. Leland Shores, who heads up this DE program, along with other CBC graduates now living in Uganda, are planning on increasing the number of pastors being trained from the current 800 to between 2,000 and 3,000 by the end of this year.
If the same numbers hold true for how many people are in the average pastor's church, this would represent about 250,000 people being discipled weekly through this program. Hallelujah! That will make a huge impact.
Lighthouse Television is also helping us open a bookstore in downtown Kampala to distribute teaching materials. Prior to my trip, I wasn't aware of how many Ugandans spoke English and that many were able and willing to purchase our materials. This is another huge opened door to the people in Uganda.
I believe one of the next big steps is the opening of a Charis Bible College in Uganda. Leland Shores had the Lord speak to him about that very thing, and we are seeking the Lord on the timing and logistics.
This combination of television broadcasts, extension schools, and DE is proving to be a very effective way to reach people from every part of the world. The Lord told us to make disciples, not converts, and that is exactly what these efforts are accomplishing. Thousands of people are being reached and changed because you have helped us broadcast the good news and send trained ministers around the world.
The Gospel Truth can be seen nearly everywhere in the world if you have a satellite dish and receiver. Most of those in the third world do not. That is why broadcasting on stations like Lighthouse Television is so important. It reaches nearly 150 miles in every direction and can be received with a simple antenna.
CBC graduates are leading extension schools, conducting DE programs, serving as missionaries, and more in many countries. Television may open the doors, but it's these faithful men and women, called of God, that are directly affecting the lives of those who live in these countries.
We have many strong leaders who have graduated from the CBC two-year college program and completed their apprenticeship. They are ready to fulfill God's call on their lives, and we are ready to send them. But as you have heard me say before, no matter how good the message or how well the messenger can deliver it, nothing happens until someone sends them.
You are the ones who send us to these countries. Your gifts are buying television time, and supporting those who have been called to live and minister in these countries. On behalf of all the people whose lives are being changed because of you, Jamie and I just want to tell you Thank You!
Normally my monthly letter is a teaching letter. But I felt it was important to give you an example of who you are helping us reach. You are doing more to affect the lives of people around the world than you may have known.
It takes thousands of Grace Partners to meet all these needs. Grace Partners are those people who give to the general account and do not receive any specific product in return. All that they give goes directly to help us reach more people with the good news.
If you are not a Grace Partner, then please prayerfully consider becoming one. If you are already a Grace Partner, please consider increasing your partnership. A Grace Partner usually gives a minimum of £20 per month, or £240 per year.
God has given me a big vision, but it will never come to pass unless faithful people hear God speak to them and then respond. That is just the way God does it; He makes us all dependent upon one another, and when we follow His plan, we all reap the rewards on earth and in heaven.
Monthly Grace Partners are tremendously important in meeting the ongoing expenses of reaching these people. However, there are two important needs specific to Uganda. First, broadcasting the Gospel Truth on Lighthouse Television is costing £3,500 per month. We are believing God for one hundred partners who will give £35 per month to meet this budget.
Second, Leland Shores travels hundreds of miles every week to meet with the pastors he is training. He is in great need of a dependable vehicle that can handle these rough roads of the back country in all weather conditions. A good Land Rover can be purchased for £8,000. If 16 partners each gave £500, or 32 partners gave £250, this need could be met.
If you would like to become a Grace Partner or help with either of these projects, please visit our partner page or call our Helpline at +44 (0) 1922 473300.
For any gift of £100 or more toward the vehicle or Lighthouse Television, Jamie and I want to give you a free copy of the same Discipleship Evangelism course that is being used in Uganda. Please check the box on the form, or ask for it when you call.
Jamie and I thank you in advance for your help. You are a blessing to us personally and to those you are helping us reach with the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news.
We love you,
Andrew & Jamie.