Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Katonga Story Continues...

In May I wrote about Katonga village and the amazing things God is doing there. The post was titled "Light Chasing the Darkness" and can be found here.

God is continuing to unfold the Katonga story and it is only becoming more exciting.

When God starts something, He does not stop until He completes it. Christ's power and light and their effects are becoming more and more evident among the people of Katonga.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6

About six weeks ago, Geoffrey, who is in his early 20s and lives in Katonga, gave his life to Christ. When asked what prompted this life-changing decision, Geoffrey spoke of the faithful example of Philip (who I wrote of in May's post). Geoffrey watched Philip, a Christian, in how he lived, how he interacted with others, the decisions he made, and he noted that Philip's life was remarkably different from the other villagers.

Last year, Geoffrey decided to quit drinking and this year he took an even bigger step - choosing to give his affections and alliance to another - the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gabe, one of our recent visitors who hails from Washington state, had the privilege to begin discipling Geoffrey. Gabe and Geoffrey subsequently formed a special friendship. (Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of Geoffrey, but will post one when I do.)

Last Wednesday, 24th July, the day before Gabe and his friend Tim flew back to the U.S., they helped baptize Geoffrey, along with 11 others from Katonga village. Originally, only Geoffrey was to be baptized that evening, but on Tuesday six others asked to join, and others decided on Wednesday, causing the number to grow to a total of 12.

A primary student beams a radiant smile after being baptized last week. (Also pictured are, Olivia, a Katonga believer, Pastor Francis Waboka, and visitors Gabe and Tim.)
Tears came to my eyes as I stood at the lakeshore at the baptism, witnessing God's incredible work among the island people. I could never have predicted that Katonga, that once was so dark and oppressive and obsessed with witchcraft and alcoholism, would one day produce such a strong and growing group of believers.

Once know as the darkest village on the island, Katonga has now become the light of Lingira. It has been captured by a Much Greater and Stronger Love.

Yes, there are still lost and bound souls and strongholds to be broken, but we have the hope and confidence that what God has begun, He will complete.

A young Katonga believer is baptized.

Onlookers gather at the shore, to sing, watch and support those being baptized. Many from the village were also attracted to the shore and hopefully saw a display of God's power in their neighbors' lives.

Praying at the end of the baptism.

"Oh, wait, there is one more!" (This gentleman brought the total baptized to 12.)

Being resurrected in Christ...

Entering a new life of joy and victory!

Photos courtesy of visitor Nathan Ludlow. :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Who defines beauty?

Who defines value?

 This week in my Bibical Life Skills class I had the students describe a beautiful person and a handsome person. Their answers ranged from "sexy eyes" and "no pimples" to "American height" (in other words, tall), "nice hair," and "nice skin."

I then asked that if they did not possess all of the qualities they had listed, were they still beautiful? Some said yes, some said no.

The point of the lesson was that we do not determine who is beautiful or valuable, even of ourselves or of others, but our Creator God does. He made us, so He gets to decide our worth and He says we are priceless.

Each of us as His work of art bears His signature - His image. In this we are unlike any other part of His creation.

Our beauty and value are not determined by what we look like, by what we do or don't do, by what we achieve or do not achieve, by who we know or do not know, but by our Loving Creator. He has the final say.

I love the following video because it is a wonderful reminder that He can turn what some might esteem as "worthless trash" into beautiful treasure, to produce "music" for Him, bringing Him glory and praise.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This is Discipleship

Yes, despite my absence here on Blogger, I am still alive and kicking. :)

I have been busy, busy here on the island - between helping to host visitors at SHIM (20+ in the last two months) and working at the school. When I can, I will try and fill you all in on my recent activities.

But, in the meantime, I watched this video today and was inspired to pass it on. I believe that oftentimes as Christians we complicate God's call and the Great Commission. But, Christ gave us a simple formula to follow.

Watch this video to be inspired.