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In his latest update, Pastor Bill Issa of Reconciliation Baptist Church in Kampala, Uganda writes:

“And we know that, for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose”

Romans 8:28

These are the best words to begin this article, due to what our church has experienced recently. Although many people misinterpret the passage, it remains one of the powerful scriptures of encouragement and comfort to those who believe in the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. Indeed all things, whether positive or negative, happen at the authorization of the Great I AM!

RBC has experienced both heartwarming and heartbreaking situations recently. Among the heartwarming news:

1. We thank our Great King for sending to us young people who are passionate for Him. Brother Isaac Agaba is a Ugandan who has been living in Europe (Estonia). There the Lord saved him through the ministry of our dear Brother Paul Washer on the internet! Isaac is another great blessing to RBC. His zeal for Christ is still amazing us!

“Continue building your church, O Lord!”

2. In November last year (2018), the Lord opened a door for our church to move from the hidden area of “Nalumunye” (a bit far from the city) to a more open and busy area of “Nalukolongo” (nearer the city center). We immediately started strategizing on how to evangelize the new busy area. We used the first Sunday of 2019 (January 6), prepared a lot of food and drinks, then invited our church neighbors, friends, and relatives, requesting them to join us in our thanksgiving service, as we give glory back to the Lord for the year 2018. We knew that, in Africa, it is difficult to reject an invitation where there is food! Our ultimate goal was to share the gospel with our visitors, but also to spread the news of our existence in the area.

By the Lord’s Grace, many people honored our invitation, and we preached an evangelistic message to them. Surprisingly, after the service, we heard some of the visitors saying, “I didn’t know there was a church that preaches this kind of message in Kampala! The whole service without asking for money! This is unbelievable!” Another one said, “From today onward, this is going to be my church!” And indeed, five of the visitors didn’t stop coming to RBC, up to now! Others continue coming once in a while.

The sad part of the story is that, as we were still thanking the Lord for what we were witnessing as a church, the neighbors we had fed decided to welcome us to the area in a new style . . .

On Sunday January 27, as we entered the church to worship our God, we found that our speaker, microphones, and guitar cable had been stolen! Oh, we didn’t believe our eyes! As we were still reporting to different people for investigation, we came last Sunday (February 17) only to find our clock and nine plastic chairs had been stolen! No, this is very sad indeed! Because of the increasing numbers in attendance, our chairs were no longer enough. But just as our deacons were planning to buy some more chairs, nine have been taken! (All the blue chairs in the photo are gone.)

Everyone is suspecting either the guards who keep security of the building, or those who were renting the building before us, who might have made spare keys of the doors. The Lord alone knows the truth. Investigations are going on, as we prepare to replace the old locks with new ones and see if it’s going to solve the problem. Please, pray that a permanent solution will be found by the landlord to stop this theft, so that we don’t continue losing church property that we have acquired with difficultly. May the Lord also forgive and save those who are behind these evil acts.

Finally, the Sovereign Lord allows everything to happen for a reason known to Him alone. He gives and takes away. We thank Him for everything.

Author

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Before his current role at HeartCry, S.R. served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary.  He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. S.R. and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.

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