Her name is Grace, but she didn't understand what "grace" meant. In fact, those who attended her church called her "the Judge." She drove the people from her church when they sinned, often telling them God would strike them dead. Her congregation, intimidated and fearful, had dwindled to less than fifty.
This was a woman who loved God, but was steeped in the religion of performance and legalism. She had been fasting, eating only two meals a week, for a year. It was her attempt to earn the favor and power of God. She had no idea it was already hers. Sometimes she would see miracles of healing but believed it was due to her "earning God's favor."
Then in 2007, she began attending the Discipleship Evangelism (DE) course being taught by Leland Shores. Leland, a 2005 graduate of Charis Bible College, moved to Kampala, Uganda, in 2007. The Lord called him to take what he had learned and teach it to the people of Uganda. He understood that to reach the nation, he would have to commit his life to these people and focus on teaching the Word to the local pastors.
It was in these weekly meetings that for the first time, Grace began to understand "grace." She embraced the truth of God's Word, and it set her free. Not only her, but as she took what she learned back to her congregation, it had the same effect on their lives.
Soon she had the opportunity to pray for a man who had been dead for two days. This time she understood that the result had nothing to do with her goodness but the power of God working through her. The man was raised from the dead, and the revival was on.
Her church has now grown from less than 100 to over 1,600. Instead of fearing her, the people in her congregation are enjoying the freedom they have found in the unconditional love and grace of God. This is a great example of the way a nation and a culture can be changed.
A single crusade with thousands of people in attendance is good, but it does little to establish and ground a wonderful woman like Grace in the Word of God. That requires a long-term commitment to teach and disciple people in the truth of the Gospel.
It still comes down to speaking the truth of His Word through the foolishness of preaching with demonstration and power. That is what the Lord uses to change the hearts of people. And then, as Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19, we are to make disciples, not just converts.
First Corinthians 1:21 says,
"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
First Corinthians 2:4 reads,
"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."
In Mark 16:15, Jesus said,
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
If we are to change a nation, we must not only lead them to Jesus but continue to teach them so that their minds can be renewed. Then we must train other faithful people from those cultures to teach these truths to their own people.
Second Timothy 2:2 says,
"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
With 6.5 billion people on the earth, I am certainly not the only one God has called to teach the Gospel. But I know He has called me to teach the message of His unconditional love and grace, and that message is helping to change the culture in many areas of the world.
Uganda is just one example. It's a country with a lot of zeal for the Lord but little knowledge of the Word. The result has been religious emotion and legalism. They are hungry for God but desperately need people who are willing to stay in their country and invest the time and effort necessary to disciple them.
We are using technology to communicate to the masses and have boots on the ground to change the lives of people individually. The Gospel Truth is broadcast twice daily through Lighthouse Television, a 50,000-watt station in Kampala. To follow up with those we are reaching through the media, we have a team of CBC graduates living in Kampala.
In July of last year I traveled to Uganda with my general manager, David Hardesty, to minister to the people and see for myself what our team was accomplishing there. What I found was even more than I had hoped.
Under the leadership of Leland Shores, they are working with native pastors like Grace, teaching them through the Discipleship Evangelism course. Hundreds of pastors have already completed the program and in turn are teaching those in their own congregations. Tens of thousands are learning the Word of God in a methodical and practical way. We are having an impact on the nation.
Uganda, along with many other third-world countries, is a country of wonderful people who may never be able to support the work of the ministry in their country. That is why the arm of our ministry we call AWM World Outreach is so important. Through it, we establish extension schools in other parts of the world and support the staff who give their lives to minister.
Our plans in Uganda are just beginning. We have just opened a bookstore on the busiest corner in the center of Kampala. Thousands pass by every day, hungry for the Gospel. Not only do we offer them our materials, but a member of our team is always present to pray with people.
We will be launching a CBC extension school this next year, possibly in the very same building as the bookstore. The Discipleship Evangelism program has gone mobile. Team members travel from village to village training ministers and pastors on a regular schedule. And, we are looking at the possibility of buying a facility large enough to accommodate our offices, the school, and dormitories.
Great things are happening in Uganda. Leland was able to arrange a meeting with the first lady of Uganda, Mrs. Museveni, who warmly welcomed us. She is a born-again Christian and was so excited about what we were doing that she wanted to attend the DE classes herself. What a blessing to have the government on our side.
These doors are open, and I know we must do all we can to take advantage of this opportunity now. The Lighthouse Television broadcast costs $8,000 per month. The cost of the bookstore in downtown Kampala is $3,000 per month. It takes another $5,000 a month to support our staff and their needs. And this does not include the costs of launching CBC of Uganda or the future purchase of facilities.
Would you please prayerfully consider helping us reach more people like Grace? You can do that by either becoming an AWM World Outreach Partner, a person who has committed to giving at least $30 per month, or by giving a one-time gift designated to the Uganda Outreach. Whatever the Lord leads you to do will touch the life of someone through our outreach ministries worldwide.