What are we seeking first?
Well friends it has been a little while since we have given you an update on life here.
We have settled back into Ugandan life quite well – this does not mean that we are without many a frustrating moment when confronted with how corrupt and evil our country has become. We pray that God will have mercy on us and that people will still turn to Him. What is most frustrating is the state of the church – but having said that we know that God is ultimately the one who is saving and transforming individuals to become part of His Body and that He is still at work despite the alarming trends we see here in the church.
What is very upsetting is that greed and corruption have now become a deep part of many churches and church leadership – especially in the urban churches here. Jane recently showed me a flyer of a Christian women’s crusade coming to the area. She was interested in attending and had hope that it would provide her some help and guidance as a mother, wife and woman of God. I looked at the theme: “Dealing with the Grasshopper Spirit...Numbers 33:13”. I told Jane I was concerned that it was just “the usual “. She attended on Tuesday when a Nigerian Pastor was preaching. When she related parts of his message I was not surprised. He said things like – “Why do we (as Africans) stick to poor people. We need to be with rich people. Befriend a poor person – you will die poor. Befriend a rich person – you will die rich. ” Jane felt so bad about what He was saying that she prayed in her heart that by some miracle she would get time to talk with the pastor and confront him on his message. A miracle occurred! While Jane and her friends were waiting outside after to get a boda-boda (motorbike for hire) the pastor pulled up near them in his car and asked if they needed a lift. Jane pounced on the opportunity (much to the chagrin of her companions) and kindly asked the pastor that why we never hear about sin and repentance in relation to God’s blessing on our lives; why do we not talk about how witchcraft and our ancestral practices keep us bound in wickedness and poverty? He did not give her a solid answer – only that he felt that not all the sins of the nation would hold a Christian bound in poverty. What we see is that many people who call themselves Christians are the very ones tied up in the national practices of theft, witchcraft, and corruption. We know that many people, in the name of Christ, are making orphanages, churches and Christian schools their business—a way to attract funding from the west to provide their wants and needs. The nicest cars in Uganda are driven by the “biggest” pastors here in Uganda.
I believe God does not mind us prospering – in fact, I believe he desires it. It is one of the reasons God has sent us here – to help to see Ugandans come out of their poverty! But God always starts at the same place. Repentance. We must stop from doing things our way and start doing things his way. This is not a one-time choice. This is a daily choice. It is one of the most difficult things. We must seek first the kingdom of God. Then “all these things” will be added to us.
I believe that God wants to change us, the Sperlings, to more and more give up our selfish habits and our own way of doing things. As God changes us we believe He will use us to change others.
Right now we are praying for men and women to disciple in the work we do and just generally in the Christian walk. Of course it is not us who disciples, it is our Lord through the Holy Spirit. We desire to be used by God to facilitate the men and women and children of Uganda to hear God’s word and follow Him.
Please pray that God will lead us to the men and women He wants us to mentor and disciple.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Yesterday Jane and I celebrated eight years of marraige. It has been eight years of God's faithfulness -- with Jane going through 4 C-sections and a major illness after Kenny's birth. Along with trips back and forth between Canada and Uganda and the deaths in Jane's family, it has not been a very easy eight years but God has been faithful to us and has kept us faithful to Him. We praise Him for that!
We celebrated by first going out to a local restaurant for Ugandan food and then we met up with our friends, Francis and Adrienne who are still honeymooning here in Jinja -- they were celebrating 10 days of marriage! We enjoyed a romantic candlelit evening at Gately on the Nile. We had lots of laughs and exchanged stories about how some of the local tribes send relatives (such as an Aunt) to make sure things go well on the honeymoon.