This article is part of a series of posts about a healing mission trip to Uganda in January 2017 that CHI, in partnership with Connecting Lives International Mission (which focuses on ministering to the people of South Sudan), conducted. To read the earlier articles, click here.
Our first full day in Uganda was Sunday, so Rob Krech and I tag-team preached at the afternoon service at the church which would be hosting the conference the following week. The congregation didn’t own the building – they simply leased the space for afternoon services, and we would be leasing the parish fellowship hall for the conference. We outlined the theme that we would keep coming back to again and again throughout the week – all Christians can participate in Jesus’ ministry of healing and deliverance. We opened the topic with an overview of how the Holy Spirit’s ministry of healing and deliverance had been foundational to growth and evangelism in the first four centuries of the early church. Unfortunately, that had changed over the centuries until most Christians came to believe that supernatural healing was a rare thing, if it still occurred at all. We outlined the Scriptural foundations of how healing reveals God’s nature, especially His love and power, and that by allowing the Holy Spirit to minister healing to others we are being faithful to Jesus’ commands to do what He did. We concluded with how this was a ministry that was open to all believers, not just clergy or especially “anointed” Christians.
At the conference, each afternoon began with some gloriously exuberant praise and worship music led by the South Sudanese praise team, and ended with an extended time of prayer with many of the over 300 people in attendance. Rob and I continued to tag-team in teaching, covering “If God Loves Us, Why Do We Suffer?” and “Physical Healing” on the first day. In these teachings we focused on how God is a loving Father, and that He desires to heal us. We also included some demonstrations of how to pray for healing, with several people receiving healing for knee and back/kidney-area pain during the teaching session. On the second day, we taught on “Inner Healing and Deliverance” and “Generational and Ethnic Healing”. For these topics, we spent a lot of time explaining how our hearts, minds, and relationships can be wounded by things that happen to us and our families. Sometimes this pain can be passed down from generation to generation, and afflict entire people-groups. As we pray for healing in these areas, Jesus replaces the lies and pain that we experience with His truth and love, freeing people to become the men and women they were created to be. As part of this teaching, we asked people to “take their pain to the Cross”. This was a simple ceremony where they gave their pain to Jesus, and invited Him in to heal their pain by symbolically taking a scrap of paper and placing it in a basket in front of a cross.
The last day Rob and I spoke about “Forgiveness”, and “Being Filled with the Holy Spirit”. Forgiveness is a difficult issue, especially for people who have lost homes, friends, and family members. For this, we outlined how forgiveness is a choice, not an emotion, and how it isn’t saying that what happened didn’t matter, or that it didn’t hurt. Forgiveness is giving to God the debt that you are owed by those who hurt you, and leaves the responsibility of justice to God. Forgiveness is especially important, because unforgiveness is one of the most common ways the devil prevents us from receiving God’s gifts of healing. Forgiving others is also a key part of receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Our teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit focused on the Holy Spirit as a person of the Trinity, and how being filled with the Holy Spirit is a life-long process for Christians. We have to continually choose to make ourselves open to Him, and to listen for His gentle guidance in our lives and as we minister to others. Rob and I weren’t sure how to end this session, but as we prayed together, we both received an image of the people in the fellowship hall laying hands on one another by row, as Rob and I went down the aisle praying for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. So that’s what we did, and as we went from row to row, a strong wind blew through the hall!
The evening prayer ministry sessions after we taught were as full of His love and healing as were our morning home visits. Two notable testimonies involved healing of eyesight. One woman who had serious vision loss in one eye (she could only see light and shapes) could read the writing on a church dedication plaque after prayer. Another woman suffering vision loss in both eyes – one eye had been poked with a stick, and she couldn’t keep it open; the other eye had been burned, with a near-total loss of vision. After two prayer ministers prayed with her she could keep the stick-damaged eye open, and she experienced significant restoration of her vision in the burned eye. Another healing took place when a tumor that was large enough to feel disappeared while we prayed. One dramatic inner healing and deliverance that took place involved a young woman who was being visited at night by an evil spirit that had the appearance of her dead father. Her father had died while she was quite young, and she had blamed her mother for his death. After we prayed through a lot of forgiveness and inner healing, we prayed for deliverance, at which time she said that she felt something leave her chest When we spoke to her the next day, she said that she slept well, and did not have any bad dreams about her father. Another inner healing took place when a prayer minister spent some time praying with a teenager who was considering suicide – she recently sent an email describing how she couldn’t imagine harming herself anymore.
One of the unexpected surprises of the conference was that the pastors who had come from Juba had brought along a technician from one of Juba’s television stations. This technician recorded the teaching sessions, and we have been told that the recordings have been broadcast on television in Juba. Please join us in praying that the Lord would use our time in Uganda – and these teachings being broadcast in South Sudan – to further the Kingdom of God on earth!
My next post will focus on how the Lord ministered to many of the children we met.