We are in Week two of our Rwandan/Ugandan classrooms. Dr Larry Bazer and I landed in Entebbe on Saturday, and missionary intern Jamie brought us to the compound where we are staying after a quick meal and a few errands. Today we attended one of the churches that our hosts, Russ and Sylvia Daniels began a few years ago and heard Matt, a young man speak who himself is visiting Uganda on a missions trip from Georgia. He did a fine job and we are thankful for our hosts, who on a sabbatical, left us in the capable hands of Jamie and Pastor Naboth.
We are looking forward to getting underway in the morning with the theological training the national pastors will need to be better equipped to teach and train their own people with the Word of God. Theological preparation is one of the most important features of ministry for the pastor in order to provide spiritual food for his church people and to protect them from the many counterfeit preachers and faith healers aimed at emptying peoples minds and pockets. This is a real issue in Africa, and one which we even faced today right beside our compound.
A flamboyant faith healer who attracts as many as 10-20 thousand people for a crusade each weekend has his multiple acre location within 500 yards of our own small compound where we teach and stay. The music, speaking, yelling, and healing performances are almost deafening to those who live on this compound nearly every weekend.
People travel from all over Africa to come sacrifice their meager resources for blessings, prayer, and physical healing. Unfortunately, many will pay with all the money they have in this world to have their sick or terminally ill loved ones or friends brought in for healing. Many of these patients leave in body bags or caskets instead of being healed. The healing movement is one of the most deceitful and devastating movements on the planet because often when a person is not healed or is only healed temporarily pscho-somatically, the blame for the lack of genuine healing is pinned on the person’s so-called lack of faith when all the time the blame is actually the “fake healer”.
During the lifetime of Christ and His apostles, miracles were not done to just people who believed in Jesus as Messiah, but so that through miraculous healing Christ’s message of salvation through the cross would be validated when He died for the sins of the world. Many who saw these miracles believed in Christ as Savior because of these proofs. Jesus’ resurrection was the final validation of His messiahship which gave unanswerable proof of His claims to be God and Christ.
The looks on many of the people’s faces leaving the Holy City location, right on the street where we stay, is a testament to what happens there, or actually what doesn’t happen. There is great noise, drama, decibels of sound, claims of power, apparent healings, etc. You get the picture. But when all is said and done, in a few days, these many many thousands of people will be even further disappointed and dis-ilussioned with their lives, the true God, and the Word of God than before they came. Why? They have no frame of reference for truth! They come because they think the faith healers represent genuine Christianity which they know little about or understand. They are as Jesus said,
Sheep without a shepherd (Matt 9:36).
This is the greatest reason in the world to come to Africa to train Godly pastors in the Word of God! So pray for these diligent servants of Jesus this week as they study, pray, and labor in the Word. It all starts today!
Global Baptist Training Foundation offers four levels of training in Hermeneutics, Basic Theology, Expositional Preaching, and Evangelism. For national pastors who desire training in the original biblical languages, we also offer extended training in this area. When it is possible to return to teaching sites twice a year, the training can be completed in as little as two years (without languages). ESL is also available to all of our students.