God bless you all. Let me quickly get to “the news.” Pastor Rama in Burundi is making great progress. He received a letter stating that we have permission to apply for a radio frequency. That means we passed the first big hurdle of getting permission to operate a radio station, but now to get a frequency, we have to prove that we are capable. This means we need a tower location, antennas, a transmitter, and a fully operating studio.
To quote pastor Rama: “We need money!” It will take about $7,000 to buy property for a tower and then more to build a tower. Yes, I still have equipment from Rwanda to use, but some of it is still stuck in Rwanda. Pastor Rama is now back in Rwanda to get a new passport, and he will help bring our things to Uganda. I had to pay quite a bit of money for an airplane ticket for him because the Rwanda-Burundi border is closed for political reasons. Ugh!
Then in June, I was happy to help a pastor in Mbarara have a big day. My visit was a big “selling point” and encouraged a lot of people to come. He normally has about 25-30, but he had around 150 for that Sunday. We had the morning service, then dinner on the grounds and games of tug of war, volleyball, sack races, and a chicken chase. We finished with an early evening service. We had 5 saved and 1 baptized. The people were very encouraged, and church attendance went up and stayed up afterwards.
For normal weeks in Kampala, we are helping three churches:
1. Mutungu – This is a church with a new pastor that we have been helping for two years now. The pastor is getting more confident and established, so we have reduced our time there to only Sunday nights. We are also doing some small building projects for him: storage and soundproofing–even his wife admitted that she could not understand her husband well because of a bad echo, but now it is good.
2. Lubaga – This is a church, where I occasionally preach, that has not had a pastor for almost two years. There is a very good layman there who is holding things together, but he and his wife are still thrilled for our assistance and teaching/training. Please pray that they can find a pastor soon.
3. Kitende – This is a new church that we started helping, which has had no pastor for three years. They have some good laymen to run it, but they also are thrilled for our assistance. Because of us, they just started Wednesday services, which I preach every week. Their Sunday attendance is going up, and they had a high day of 35 last week, which caused a couple of people to have to sit outside—yes, they need a bigger auditorium!
Some people have said I need to go start a single church myself, but to do so would mean that I would have to ignore the many churches that are calling and desperately need help. So, I think it will do more for the kingdom of God if I build radio stations, help Ugandan pastors start churches, and finally strengthen MANY pastors and churches so that MANY churches can prosper and not die. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!
In His service,
Gregg, Angela, Caleb, Hannah, Timothy, Virginia, Micah, and Zachery Schoof