Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pastor Ron and Joy, Congolese, and Kampala

Sorry for the blog delay! We didn’t have internet for a few days. We visited Kampala to pick up another student from the States and get Angela’s bags. We stayed the night with a couple from Rock Harbor, the Kisslings, and they are awesome! It was fun to spend time with them. A couple of nights ago, we went to visit Pastor Ron and Joy. Their house is 3-4 minutes walking from our place. We showed up and found a bunch of kids there. It turns out, the kids in the community show up at their house every Saturday for a Bible study with Pastor Ron and Joy! We had a Bible study with them and shared some jack fruit and tea. It was such an awesome evening.

Something extra cool about Pastor Ron and Joy is that they began a church service for Congolese women in the Ugandan community at GBCC. Apparently Congolese women fill the slums of Uganda. Ugandan soldiers marry them in the Congo, bring them back, and then they tend to be unfaithful, so the women are left to fend for themselves. Most of them have children. Because they have no source of income and no career skills, they turn to prostitution to feed their children. Pastor Ron and Joy have been a part of a very small group that actually cares about these women. They introduce them to Christ, pray for them, and support them in any possible way. After they do so, the women turn from prostitution and try to find different ways of making their income.

Unfortunately, Pastor Ron and Joy are having a hard time. Since they are just surviving with their own finances, they can’t provide food for the Congolese women and their children. A few weeks after the women come to know the truth and freedom of Christ, they run out of options and are forced to prostitute themselves once again. It is heartbreaking because they don’t want to go back to prostitution. They don’t enjoy it. Many become HIV positive and horrible things happen. They seriously have no other options. We prayed together, asking God to provide for these women and to provide more help for Pastor Ron and Joy, who are taking care of these women on their own.

Thankfully, I have an awesome story. Since I have been here, I have read and heard the word “favor” in almost everything I’ve read, plus Megan and Ralph from the Rock Harbor team shared that this was “the year of the Lord’s favor” on New Year’s Eve at church. I thought it was a big coincidence, since I’m working with FAVOR of God. The night we met with Pastor Ron and Joy, I felt the urge to read Isaiah 61. When I got up the morning after, I decided to listen to the Rock Harbor podcast. It turned out to be about Isaiah 61. Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 in Luke, but he left a part of it out. There’s a part about foreigners that will tend to the flocks of the Jews. Jesus left it out in order to show that God shows favor to those who are not typically seen as “favorable” people. Mike Erre, the pastor, said that we need to live more like Christ did by welcoming and showing favor to those who are not typically favored in society. He specifically mentioned prostitutes! It was unreal. I felt like it was confirmation of God’s presence in the situation. Angela and I have been praying about getting a little involved in their ministry while we’re here. I’ll let you know if we do!

We are back in Gulu. We went to the prison again today and it was pretty cool. I have to share the internet now, so I will blog again tomorrow. Good night friends!


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