The following links are from the services and conferences I led during my time in Kenya and Uganda.
I’ve been home from Africa now for 5 days. As I take time to reflect and put pictures together, I also find myself chuckling over the things that make Western Kenya and Eastern Uganda unique. Here is my list of favorites:
- Public nose picking is totally acceptable. Two friends can enjoy a pick and a conversation together.
- Muzungu fascination – children would run out to the road and all work would stop, simply because a white man was near
- Muzungu prices – my hotel in Kitale cost $300 Shillings per day extra, simply because I was a Muzungu. The zoo in Nairobi cost me $19 US more than anyone else in the group
- African time – always at least 2 hours past the stated beginning or ending time
- Food for honored guests – the honored guest always gets the chicken’s gizzard
- Greetings – bad greetings will cost you friendships and business clients. All business will be put on hold until every guest has had a chance to bring greetings to the audience.
- Ugandan handshakes – plan to hold hands for at least 1-2 minutes and renew your grip 2-3 times during that period
View my collection on Google
I just returned to Kitale this evening after 5 days in Uganda. My time in Uganda was amazing and the Western side of this country is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We entered into Uganda after crossing the Suam river. The pavement on the Kenya side stops 30-40 KM prior to the Ugandan border. This is also the rainy season in Eastern Africa, and so our drive into Uganda was more like a mud run…I was really yearning for my pickup. Not to worry though, my driver John is the best wheel man in East Africa if not the world. John is very patient and very good with his vehicle, even in the most unusual places we continued to find ourselves. Not only is John a great driver, but he is also an amazing believer in Christ and one of the greatest encouragements I have had on this trip.
As we arrived in Uganda last Tuesday evening, it was raining heavily, so our arrival in Kapsechoy was delayed. When we got to the church in Kapsechoy, the church was still about half full of people worshipping, singing and dancing. The amazing part of this whole scene was the fact that they were doing this in the dark. Eventually we hooked up a light bulb to a generator and I spoke for a few moments of introduction. We then returned to our guest house located in a national forest along the Uganda/Kenya border. Interestingly enough this is also a military outpost, so I always had park rangers and soldiers stationed around the premises.
Wednesday we began our first full day of services with the church in Kapchesoy. The Spirit of God was moving so strongly, that Pastor Adams asked me to preach again immediately after the invitation. During this service many came forward for prayer. In the coming days, we would hear of many miracles that had happened as God touched the lives in that service.
The other highlight of Wednesday was the great “Marathon Chicken” incident. Pastor Adams had prepared me that the chicken I would be eating in Uganda was known long distance running, just like their people. He had prepared me that the chicken is some of the toughest you could ever eat. On Wednesday, he saw a young man carrying a rooster, so we stopped and Pastor Adams offered to buy it. When we got into Suam, he went to pay the young man for the chicken. The door to the van was opened and when I looked over the backseat, I could see the chicken still walking around. As soon as Pastor Adams returned to the van, the chicken made a run for it and the great chicken chase was on. Pastor Adams was outwitted many times by the chicken and none of the locals would help, because they were too busy looking at the white man. Fortunately for Pastor Adams, the chicken ran into a store and was finally captured. We both are certain we heard the chicken yelling….”The muzungu won’t eat me…the muzungu won’t eat me.”
On Thursday I was taken on a tour of Bukwo District. A couple of things really stand out as you tour the country. Again the beauty of the land is breathtaking. Also you begin to see the fear that has dominated the lives of many of these people. Bukwo District is home to the Sebei tribe of people. Across the Kenyan border is a rival tribe call the Poikot. The Poikot are known for walking around completely naked. In 2003, a Poikot raiding party violated a peace agreement between the two tribes and entered into Bukwo District. They ended up burning down many homes and killing 25 people. It was because of this action that Bukwo District was formed and the military outpost was established. Even with these measures may of the Sebei refuse to build permenant housing for themselves fearing another raid. On a lighter note, is the fascination that Ugandan people have with a white man. As we would drive down the road you would repeatedly hear kids yelling “muzungu, muzungu.” I was so humored by it that I wrote the “Muzungu Song” for those riding in the van with me.
Thursday afternoon, I preached again at the church in Kapchesoy and also enjoyed a meal in the home of the pastor David and his wife Violet. During the afternoon service, a young man stepped forward to give his life to Christ. The church erupted in celebration. The pastor informed me that this young man was the most notorious troublemaker in his village, known for drunkeness and violence. In the evening I preached our first service in Suam. Suam is the border town at the Kenya/Uganda border. It is known primarily for the cooking of alcohol and rampant drunkneness. During this service two women came forward to give their lives to Christ. I later learned that one of the women was the most well known prostitute in the village. I found Suam to be very spiritually oppressive when I preached and actually have come to recognize it spiritually as the most difficult place in the world that I have ever spoken.
Friday we toured some additional areas of Bukwo and had lunch with Robert, one of the Bible College students in his home. Friday afternoon we once again returned to the church in Kapsechoy. Before I began preaching I asked for testimonies. Immediately two men came up to give their lives to Christ, their decision influenced by their friend the day before. Once again the church erupted into celebration. As I gave the invitation that afternoon, another woman came and fell on her face weeping, seeking to know the saving love of Jesus. That evening I preached again in Suam. No one responded to the invitation and one came seeking prayer…a hardened place indeeed.
Saturday was the day I had come to be a part of. It was time for our Bible College graduates to be recognized. The principal of the college had borrowed gowns from a college in Kitale, mine of course was about 2 sizes two small…what do you expect, I’m 2 sizes too big. There was great excitement with this event. Government officials came, leaders of denominations came and many friends and family. The Bible College is the first institution of higher learning of any kind to ever come to Bukwo District. One government official said he never thought he would see the garments of graduates in this district. He also pledged to become a student in the next year’s session. In all 30 students graduated. The class had originally started with 72, so this was indeed a tremendous milestone.
The other highlight for me Saturday was the arrival of my friend Kibunga Stephen from Kalege Baptist Church on the other side of Uganda. Stephen and I have been communicating back and forth online for about 5 years now. I told him, I was going to be in Uganda, and so he made a very sacrificial effort to join me. We have had a wonderful time talking face to face for the first time.
I was finally able to get cell phone service on Saturday and talked to Carol for the first time in 4 days and Collin and Caitlyn for the first time since I had left the US.
Sunday was another busy day. I started the morning by preaching the early service at the Suam PCM Church. The Lord gave me a deeply moving word for the church and when the invitation was given, nearly 20 people came forward weeping, seeking to return to their first love. This was the first time I had felt any type of true spiritual breakthrough in this village. We left Suam and returned to Bukwo, where I preached at the Bukwo PCM church. The pastor commented that he never in his life would have imagined a white man visiting their church. This church has a giving spirit that is evidenced in their willingness to host the Bible College. The service was full and the presence of God was once again overwhelming. When I began praying for those coming forward, the whole front of the church was full. As I was praying I laid hands on a woman, who immediately began to writhe and scream as I anointed her head with oil. She began rolling around on the floor violently, at which time Pastor Adams rebuked the demon within her to leave. By the time she sat up she was calm and in her right mind. This time of prayer lasted nearly 45 minutes, because so many were coming forward. In the afternoon, I spent my time with the local pastors. The graduation of the Bible College had been the first time they had come together, this was the second.
I am now once again in Kitale, Kenya and reflecting on the past 12 days. I see that my role here has been two-fold. God has used me to bring revival to places that desperately needed a fresh touch from the Lord. More importantly the Lord has allowed me to be the catalyst to join the servants of God together for the common work of the Kingdom.
Today I will be travelling to Nairobi with Pastor Adams and John. John made us a remarkable offer to take me to Nairobi, so he could spend a little more time with me. We will spend our time today fellowshipping and tomorrow we will strategize for the future. Tomorrow evening I catch a plane bound for Amsterdam and began counting the moments until I am reunited with my loved ones.
I’ve now had some time to process the events of the weekend and wanted to share them with you.
After Pastor Adams and I left the museum on Saturday we went to the church where I preached an afternoon session on temptation, using the temptation of Jesus as the passage to teach from. During the afternoon session several came forward to make commitments of renewal and repentance. When I was done preaching, a local pastor from the mountains, Apostle Musa Kibet, stood and began to speak. He taught the congregation a Swahili song he had written that talks about the greatness of God, being greater than all other things.
As Musa was singing, the Lord impressed upon me two things that needed to happen in the evening. The first was that Musa needed to lead the congregation in that song and that he needed to lead out in worship. The second thing was that I needed to solicit the testimonies of the people as part of the worship. When this service was over the people were asking if we could just go straight through until the next service later in the evening; however, it was decided that we should break for dinner.
While we were at dinner the Lord prompted me that I needed to preach on the healing of Naaman. The Lord also directed me that I needed to get alone with Him in prayer. I informed my hosts, that as soon as possible I needed to return to the church and spend some time before the Lord, that I believed something great was going to happen.
After dinner we returned to the church. Pastor Adams, Pastor Wachira and his wife Esther joined me, each of us praying individually. I could hear Pastor Adams weeping and his prayers in English were just as clear as if he were a native English speaker. In his prayers I could hear him weeping.
As I was praying the Lord told me that He would reveal His healing presence in the service tonight. He told me to not be intimidated by any condition, but to trust that His hand would be at work. He also told me that the Esther had a word for me. When I inquired of Esther as to what the Lord had been speaking to her, she responded that He had shown her that His Spirit was falling upon the people and that miracles would occur during this service.
We then joined hands and consecrated ourselves as vessels in the Lord’s hands.
When I walked out to the platform, I observed the worship team on their knees with their faces to the floor, weeping as they were singing. I was overcome with an overpowering joy and began to weep, the only words coming from my mouth were “Thank You Jesus.”
The people were visibly moved by the presence of God. Some were prostrate, others had their hands raised, many were weeping.
Once the worship in music was finished, many came forward giving testimonies of God removing obstacles, so they could attend. Many talked of delivery from physical symptoms and others talked about the birthing of revival in their hearts. As I prepared to speak, Pastor Musa approached me and said: “You are to pray for the sick tonight, God is going to use the testimonies of healing from this service tonight, to fuel His the worship of His presence tomorrow.”
Before I spoke the Lord led me to pray for the removal of the spirit of stubbornness and the spirit of unbelief. Applause rang out as this prayer was prayed. I then proceeded to teach for the next hour on the healing of Naaman and the importance of his obedience in seeing the power of God in his life.
When it was over the Lord directed me to begin praying for the sick and those who needed deliverance. The Lord prompted me to have Pastor Musa, Pastor Wachira and Pastor Adams lay hands on the sick with me, as I prayed.
The second person I laid hands immediately fell when I said “In Jesus name…”
I have seen God do many amazing things, but have never had anyone become dead weight under my hands. In this first round of prayer, I prayed over some 40 people…this falling out occurred one other time as I prayed over the sick.
As I finished praying, Pastor Adams said that we needed to call everyone forward to pray for the fire of revival to take hold in each of their lives. As he called them forward, Pastor Musa began to lead worship in song. One woman screamed out and began to weep. Then each of the minister went through the crowd touching each person, asking for the fire of revival to come upon each one. As these prayers were prayed weeping was heard throughout the congregation and 2 or 3 others went to the floor.
As I finished praying all I could do was weep and cry out “Thank You Jesus.” It was now 11:30PM and many were crying out, could we continue on. We told them to go and testify, so that others would be present on Sunday morning.
When I got back to my room, I found myself weeping again. I could not even record my video journal, I was so shaken…I told the Lord, I don’t know what just happened there…but I have never felt You so strongly. Please let me continue to walk in the intensity of your presence.
Sunday morning as I came to the platform, there was a line of visitors standing in front of the church. Each one was stating that they had come, because they had heard of the miracles that had happened as the “man of God” had spoken.
Following a lengthy time of worship many came and gave testimonies of new commitments, new insights into God’s Word and testimonies of healing. One of these testimonies was from Pastor Wachira’s oldest son. Immediately when I had prayed for him, the holes in his diseased teeth had filled in.
As the testimonies were ending one of the elders placed a clock on the podium. I told Pastor Adams: “I hope that me, because I won’t be looking at it.” Pastor Wachira laughed as I told him, that I would quit speaking when God was finished.
I preached on the healing of the blind man, and Jesus revelation to him, that He was the Messiah. I reminded the congregation, that the purpose of God’s miracles is to remind us that He is fully capable of cleansing us from our sin and unrighteousness. The purpose of the miracle is to strengthen our faith and bear witness to the lost.
At the invitation another 6-8 people came forward for prayer and commitment.
During the afternoon I spoke with teenagers and church leaders. My time of teaching with the church leaders was so life impacting that Pastor Wachira made notes for each of his church leaders.
Yesterday morning and afternoon I met with approximately 30 church leaders. Pastor Adams again had me speak from the things I had taught the previous afternoon. I could see many pastors taking notes and I later learned that this was the first meeting of this kind attended by that many local pastors in Kitale. I spoke greatly to them about their need to co-labor with one another for the sake of God’s Kingdom. I took them through practical exercises of accountability, co-laboring and mentoring.
During my teaching on co-laboring, I shared my own victories and defeats and then I invited others to share. Pastor Musa spoke up and shared that his heart was torn. He was struggling with preaching and teaching, wondering if he was even truly called to be a minister. I asked others to speak into his life and the room was silent, when all of the sudden the Lord prompted me. I told Pastor Musa that I believed he was truly called of the Lord, but that he was not operating in the strength of his call. I went on to tell him, that I saw in him a passion for worship and a capability to bring groups of people to the throne of the Lord through song. I told him, that although he has a shepherd’s heart, the preaching ministry was not his call and was therefore causing him inner turmoil. I challenged him to groom a Timothy to take over the preaching duties. I then asked the group, since many knew him if I was speaking truth? Their heads nodded in agreement. Pastor Musa then cried out to a friend and mentor to speak what he and his wife had already told Musa. It was exactly what I had spoken.
I will try the video uploads later, but even the fast internet here is not doing the trick…sorry
It has been an incredible weekend here in Kitale. Saturday afternoon, Pastor Adams and I went to the Kitale Museum, where we met Andrew a tour guide. He spent 2 hours with us and told me more about nature than I had ever learned in my life. More importantly though, Andrew saw Jesus and he opened his heart up to what I had to say.
Saturday was the most powerful movement of God I had ever witnessed in my life. I am still awestruck and my written words are not enough. I hope to have the video commentary posted for you.
Yesterday, I ended up speaking for nearly 6 hours to three different groups. We heard many great testimonies of healing and growth.
Today, I am meeting with a group of pastors for an informal time of sharing and prayer.
Tomorrow, I speak in the main prison in Kitale before leaving for Uganda where I will be for the remainder of this trip until my departure next Tuesday.
All of my Africa updates are posted at www.tangle.com under carlso20
My availability to internet access has not been as good as I had hoped, but that’s ok. I am also realizing that high speed in Kitale is equivalent to my days of 33.6 kps dial up.
After 4 flights and a 7 hour van ride, I finally made it to Kitale last night. My first night in Nairobi was wonderful as I was met at the airport by Pastor Adams and several students. We enjoyed a wonderful meal of Indian food which was new for them. I had the privilege of staying at the Mennonite Guest House and met several missionaries while I was there. My neighbor was an Aggie.
The van ride to Kitale was painful and interesting. Painful, because 14 of us were scrunched into a van that is not much bigger than a mini-van. Interesting, because I got to take in the full beauty of this amazing country. I was also blessed to see some Zebras and baboons along the way.
I preached my first service last night. The service started at 9PM and ended around 11PM. I spoke on John 21. Three people came forward to make renewed commitments to the Lord.
I went to bed last night around midnight to the wonderful sounds of an African rain. I woke up this morning and was greeted by monkey’s on the roof of the main building. I am staying at the Kitale Club. I also had the privelege of being seranaded by a marching band.
This afternoon, I am leading the first pastor’s conference. I will again be preaching this evening. The first message has given everyone here a great expectation of things to come.
Pastor Adams is waiting for someone to give me a gizzard with my meal, as it is a sign of respect. He also said the children are glad I’m here, because someone will probably slaughter an animal for a feast in my honor.
I am making a video diary, but will not be able to upload those items in the forseeable future. May have to wait until I am back at Kenyatta aiport in Nairobi.
Continue to pray for the fires of renewal to sweep this land.
It is 9:30AM in Amsterdam. I just cleared security for my last flight to Nairobi. I should arrive there around 10PM. The flights have been packed, but fortunately the transatlantic flight was only 6 1/2 hours. The airport here in Amsterdam is very modern, and probably among my favorite airports in the world. The country side surrounding the airport is very lush and very green. The memorable part of coming through this airport is the regular public address messages that go like this: “Mr. Jones you are holding up the flight to Brussells. Please report immediately or we will remove your luggage.”
I’m hoping to sleep on this Nairobi flight. I didn’t sleep much at all on the transatlantic flight.