We LOVE our job and love what we do, but one of the greatest joys we have is when we get to be part of the public confession of faith in baptisms. I have had the privilege of doing baptisms in many different environments from my own bathtub, to pools, the Nile River, & hot tubs, and it is always an amazing celebration. Though, I have to say my favorite place to do it is in the ocean with waves pouring in. It just such an awesome environment with people gathering around and taking part in the celebration. This week, after finishing up the week teaching on a Discipleship Training School, we had the privilege again to join in celebrating with three of the students. This picture is me and a good friend Virmz, baptizing Roland, who is from Uganda. I keep praising God every time I see this photo!
I just got back from an amazing time in Nigeria working with former militants who had just come to YWAM. I had an incredible time.
You can read about what God is doing in the newsletter we wrote by clicking here and downloading the PDF.
We just got back from a House Warming dinner with Jeremiah & Hope to celebrate their new home. Thank you so much to all of you who gave to help make it happen. We can’t express the joy they felt as they moved in and they wanted to say, “Thank you!” to all who have helped make it possible. Here is a short video of their new place.
The wedding has come and gone and we are so excited to be Mr. and Mrs. Lunn!! It was the perfect day, beautiful, intimate and so special, we couldn’t have asked for more! And we were blessed to have so many family and friends share in our celebration. The honeymoon was equally amazing and we came back so refreshed. We also had a wonderful reception in Seattle and were delighted to see almost 100 of James’ friends turn up to celebrate our marriage and send us off. Click on the picture above to see more of our wedding photos and check out our short wedding video below. Thank you to all who made our celebrations so special!
The move to South Africa is just a couple days away! We fly out June 3rd. We’ve found our apartment – it’s close to the YWAM facility, in the same complex as other friends and just perfect for us. We’re looking forward to making South Africa our home, settling in and starting life together there.
Here is a short video we put together of the work we have been doing in Africa.
I just got this letter from Bosco, my closest friend in Uganda. He has been serving the Lord for many years training pastors in remote areas and I have worked with him the last 3 years. Last year one of my supporters paid for him to attend the Bible School in Jinja that I was teaching on. His fire & passion are contagious and he now wants to take the training he has received to continue to train up more pastors with greater effectiveness. Here is his response when I asked him how the school was going.
You were asking how the school was and whether I was still learning as before.
This is my idea of what am gettinng out of this school, It is a major land mark in my life, a bench mark that only God could account for. It has encouraged, challenged amd inspired me. My only question is how am I going to pay God and ofcourse you for this great previledge. DEUTERONOMY has blown my head off, It has left me wondering just how great a gift God has given unto us in the name of THE BIBLE and this Bible School. It reminded me of this saying IT DEPENDS IN WHOSE HAND IT IS. Like for instance:
A stick in my hand can only chase an hungry dog away while a stick in Moses’ hand parts the mighty red sea. Do you see what am talking about?
A pebble in my sling can only kill a weaver bird while a pebble in David’s sling kills the mighty Goliath. So you see it depends in whose hand it is.
I am praying that a bible in my hand from now on will TURN MY LIFE and THE WORLD around me UPSIDE DOWN. Hopefully you are going to be part of this big dream.
You know am realising that am just going through an introduction to the Bible. I will need to start a Bible School for pastors when I get back home.
Please forgive my passion.
To see a video of Bosco leading worship in his home refugee camp, click here and press the play button in the bottom left-hand corner.
You can click on my blog to read the full article, or click on this link to hear one of my teammates talk more about the week. But this week was AMAZING!!! Here are some pictures from the week as well as a video of the pastors worshipping.
This was the group of men and women who were trainined up to multiply this ministry!
2 of the pastors color-coding their Bibles. I loved the way they got so excited about marking in their Bibles. They would sit next to each other and share the pens from the hand of the one pastor holding them up as they marked their NIV Study Bibles with great care.
While others were teaching the Overview of Inductive Bible Studies, the rest were outside preparing to teach the book of Jonah.
Pastors busy studying away.
Pastor Mandella was one of our favorite students. So passionate, yet so gentle when teaching. This is him teaching an overview of the Inductive method, showing Interpretation is not about what it means to me.
Pastor Gabriel teaching the step of Appliation and the need to see tranformation in our lives when we study. I have never heard so many “Amen’s” when anyone has taught the method before!
Collins teaching the step of Interpretation through the book of Jonah during the practice seminar.
Here’s Collins holding his visuals from his teaching. He has a mirror from home to show James 1:22-25 (the word of God is a mirror), He has a calendar in his hand with picture of Jesus and many sheep that he used to ask people to observe how many sheep they could see by only look at it one time (the need to look at the text more than one time), he has a large paper where he has written out each step of Bible study and all the potential questions we can ask in each step with great detail, at his feet is the cassette player (used to show that we can’t put a tape in and only decide which parts of the Bible we want to listen to, but must listen to what God says like listening to the radio), and then a bag on the ground filled with letters that he used to share a story that he adapted from our own story called “Katie” where he shared of an orphanage in Zambia where a boy was written many letters by his father but never learned how to read so couldn’t read the bag full of letters. He BLEW me away.
A couple videos of the pastors in Aromo IDP (Internally Diplaced People) camp. Just click on the play button on the bottom left corner of each video to play them. See my blog entry for more details on what happenedhttp://tomakehimknown.com/dream
A clip of the pastors worshipping during our seminar.
A clip of the pastors discussing their intrepretations while studying the book of Jonah.
It is exciting to be able to go to remote parts of the globe and bring Biblical training to pastors who don’t have access to it, but we recently have been given the opportunity to see some of the pastors come out of their homes and receive intensive training in the School of Biblical Studies.
Last year while teaching in the Sudanese Refugee camps we were often looking around wishing to help some of the pastors receive the kind of Biblical education we received. There were two pastors in particular that stood out to our team: William & Paul. (If you remember from my newsletters last year, I spoke about two pastors who said they were so touched by our teaching and even wanted to see their own daughters raised up as teachers, that was these two men. They then worked to bring the churches in the area together.) When I was at the Bible School in Uganda last year I found out the cost of sending pastors there and since then have been praying for theopportunity to help at least one of these pastors attend that school. Well, God was working on their behalf! This Fall, thanks to a generous donation given to Titus Project, we will be able to completely sponsor both men to attend the nine month School of Biblical Studies. What makes this even more exciting is that the team I am taking to Uganda this year will be able to teach on the school for the last two weeks of our outreach and once the team goes home, I will be staying on in Uganda teaching at the Bible school for another two months. I am so excited to be able to go back and work with these two awesome men of God!
Also, Rady (the Cambodian leader I spoke about in my last couple newsletters – who after translating for one of our seminars in Cambodiawanted to do this Bible school here in Montana) has arrived to do the School of Biblical Studies in Montana. It is a miracle that he was able to get a visa in time and raise finances, etc.
I can’t express how awesome it is to see some of the long-term fruit of our ministry carrying on after we leave the villages. All three of these men of God will leave their Bible schools in nine months and return to their homelands equipped to train others. It literally brings me to tears just thinking about how awesome this is! God is SO good!
Please be praying for these three men as the next year is going to be a very challenging time for them as they return to school and study the Bible in a second language away from their families & churches.
PICTURES: left: Pastor Paul; right: Pastor William; below: Rady & I teaching in Cambodia
There are so many awesome stories from Uganda, but one of my favorites is also one of the most simple. John was one of the young men who came to our pastor’s seminar. He recently dropped out of school because he is completely blind in one eye and quickly going blind in the other as well. The local clinics can’t help him and one day he came to me asking for finances to travel far away to go to a good hospital.
Our team gathered around and prayed for him for quite a while. I wish I could write and say that he was healed that day, but he was not. I prayed and did not feel that I was supposed to help pay for a hospital. Instead, I told him I would take his picture and get as many people as possible praying for his healing. The following day I grabbed my camera and took the photo you see here, which he was not very happy about as you can tell. He is quite self-conscious of the way he looks and does not make much eye contact with people. That same day as I was sitting in the seminar about ready to get up and teach, I looked over at John who was intently listening to the message, and immediately was reminded of the new sunglasses I had brought with me from home.
I had just bought a nice pair of sunglasses for this trip, but the day before leaving for this refugee camp I had dropped them on the ground and scratched the lens right on top of the eye. I was quite bummed, because they were ruined. Although the scratch was barely visible, it blurred my vision. For some reason I didn’t throw them away and actually brought them with me to the camp. As I sat there I started to think, “which lens was ruined?” I looked at him and saw his left eye was blind and began to get excited with what I believed God had just shown me. I immediately ran to my hut and grabbed the glasses and was so excited to find that it was the left lens that was scratched! I couldn’t believe it, did God have me ruin my sunglasses so I could give them to John? After the teaching I excitedly gave him the sunglasses, which he refused at first, because he had nothing to give me in return, but I gave them anyways. He did not seem to appreciate the gift, and I began to question whether or not I did the right thing. Could I have offended him? I didn’t know. It can be very hard to understand other cultures.
Well, the next morning, while I was still lying in bed, John came into my hut with a big smile on his face and wearing his best clothes. He hurriedly said, “James, come out, I need to take a picture with you!” I went outside and saw he had invited a friend of his who had a camera to come and take our picture. He then pulled out his new sunglasses, put them on, and with a great big smile on his face, we had our picture taken together. He was smiling so big and I had them take the picture you see here with my camera as well. I wish you could have been there to see how happy he was. I am again in tears as I think about John again. For the first time he was able to look at people in the eyes and smile without being self-conscious. In fact, he looked pretty cool!
The previous day he had not wanted his picture taken because of the clothes he was wearing, but now he was wearing his Sunday best and had the biggest smile on his face. I still believe that God is going to heal him and I beg you to pray with me for his healing, but I believe God has begun a healing within his heart already. God is so good!