As I sit here writing this blog entry, I am about 30 minutes away from heading to the airport where we will begin the long journey to Uganda, Africa. This will be somewhere around my tenth time to this country. I have been so many times and built so many lasting relationships that the anticipation of trip comes not only from the excitement of being a part of a mission halfway across the world but also from the excitement of getting to old friends.
Nevertheless, it is not the company of old friends and familiar faces that keeps me going back time and time again. The Holy Spirit is moving in Uganda in a powerful way, and getting to be a part of such a major move of God as he draws in his sheep by the hundreds is intoxicating. It's like a drug. I can't get enough of it.
As you look back through church history, it appears that the Holy Spirit has moved in a powerful way in particular geographical areas at particular times. Who knows what causes these events. Many people have speculated, and I'm sure that there a minutia of details which came together at just the right time to act as the catalyst for these events that have so often been referred to as "revival." In any case, what is not a mystery is that for some reason or another, God sovereignly ordained it so that at certain times in certain places there would be an outpouring of his Holy Spirit. Just to name a few…
In the eighteenth century, there was the Moravian Revival in Herrnhut, Germany and the Great Awakening in New England. The revival among the Moravians spawned a prayer "meeting" which lasted 100 years as people continually took turns praying and interceding around the clock. It also spawned the modern missionary movement as they sent out more than 100 missionaries to spread the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. The Great Awakening, which is more well known, began in New England with the puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards and his church. People everywhere began to be woefully aware of their sin before a just and holy God and began to repent as the Holy Spirit was poured out in a powerful way.
In the nineteenth century, there was the Second Great Awakening in America led by the great "revivalists" like Charles Finney. In the early twentieth century there was the Welsh Revival in Wales. Later in the twentieth century there was the Argentina Revival, the Toronto Revival, the Brownwood Revival, and the Pensacola Revival, just to name a few. Of course many if not all of these "revivals" have been fraught with controversy, and some people have used "revival" as means to gratify their greed and pride. Nevertheless, one cannot deny the work of the Holy Spirit despite the shortcomings of God's people.
I mention all of that only to set the context for what God is currently doing in East Africa and in Uganda specifically. It cannot be explained in human terms. Once while in Uganda, I had two young children, a brother and sister, walk right up to me and tell me (through a translator) that they wanted to give their lives to Christ, and that they were willing to die for it because their parents were Muslim. They couldn't have been more than 12 and 10 years old. They did give their lives to Jesus, and I don't know what happened to them. I've never been to any other place in the world where the Holy Spirit is moving in such a powerful way.
As I am gone, I will try to keep my blog updated with stories of what God is doing and what he is allowing us to be a part of.