As a charity, Revelation Life’s dream, although seemingly backwards, is for the day when we don’t actually have to be in the communities anymore. The day when the communities get together and pray for their sick, organise discipleship groups and join together to chip in for a financial emergency, is the day that we are no longer needed. Again, strangely it seems that this would be the perfect time for a charity to assist, but our plan isn’t to spoon feed.
It is often said that the nations of Africa are poor because they keep being told they are. Forever they are being told ‘Here, you can’t do that, we’ll do it for you’ or ‘Please take this, we want you to have it.’ I’ve seen it first-hand how constant handouts have given Africa a continent-wide spirit of victimisation! What’s happening in our communities, particularly Katogo 2, is that being changed.
At Revelation Life we have always had something different to give, something other than food or money to offer the families that we come into contact with every day. That something, is a deep relationship with the living God who loves them! It’s incredible to see how many lives have been changed by God’s amazing presence, but like the handouts, we don’t want their relationship with God to be based upon our presence in the community. We’ve really felt a calling forward in Katogo 2 to get the women to take on leadership roles and start being the ones giving out what they have freely received. It was during a simple discipleship session that God really blew us away and got us REALLY dreaming about seeing communities transformed.
Julie had been speaking about the Holy Spirit to a small group of 7 mamas for discipleship. The main point was that it comes in many different ways; crying, laughing, shaking etc. The only wrong thing you can do is shut yourself off. These are the words the mamas must have really picked up on. We moved into a time of worship and the presence of God fell in that small area in a way I had never seen. Mama Ashmin was hysterically crying whilst shouting praise to Jesus in Luganda. Mama Natasha was moving from hysterical laughing to crying. Both were practically being lifted out of their seats and thrown across the worship area. Other mamas were receiving the peace of God, others were shaking or weeping. They were all different responses but they were all heartfelt, honest and beautiful. Jason Upton sings ‘Freedom reigns in this place’ … so why can’t ‘this place’ be on small benches in the middle of a muddy slum? The beauty and grace of Jesus means … IT CAN! And IT DID!
The next day we went back to the mamas who had powerfully received to see how they were doing and to follow up on what Jesus had done the day before. One of the interns on the team had had a word for Mama Natasha in the morning devotionals. She felt God say that Mama Natasha had the gift of tongues. AMAZING. So in we went, straight to Mama Natasha. To cut a long story short, we answered her questions, encouraged her, prayed for her, she powerfully encountered God again and … SPOKE IN TONGUES FOR THE FIRST TIME! Thank you Jesus! On we went, buzzing on what Jesus was doing. We went to Mama Ashmin, taking Mama Sharifa with us to get the mamas used to praying for each other.
As a Christian it’s so common to see people get caught up in their own strength and words but that certainly was not the case for us. We went in, asked Mama Ashmin how she was doing and, mid-sentence, she burst into tear-filled worship. It was incredible, and definitely all Him. God’s presence flooded into the house and we, along with Mama Sharifa, started praying for her. Beautiful, truthful, personal worship followed for the next 10 minutes. Amazing, we thought. But God wasn’t finished.
Suddenly the presence of God hits Mama Sharifa and she began to weep. So now, we turn and start ministering to Mama Sharifa, including a very emotional Mama Ashmin. Mid way through praying for Mama Sharifa, I couldn’t even sit and pray, his presence was so tangible, I had to get on my face in the middle of a small slum house in Uganda. The ministering doesn’t stop there. I managed to pull myself to my chair to see Amanda powerfully prohphecying over Mama. She later said that as she was sat looking at Mama Sharifa, God was giving her visions of her past so that she could pray and prophecy so deeply into Mama’s life and allow God to bring incredible levels of freedom into her life. He is a GOOD DAD with GOOD GIFTS!!
The past two days have truly shown us as a team that we are in a transitional period where we move from givers to facilitators to the communities we work in. God is calling the Mamas forward deeper into his presence and his plans are being revealed. The victim is leaving, the leader is coming. Something is rising up and the communities are a single piece of a larger puzzle. Poverty will no longer be a state of mind, I truly believe that. Poverty will be a story of the past and God’s amazing love will flood through the communities as they sustain, support and share the God we have spent so long telling them about. Revelation Life will be the friends they have always known, not the white people who give them money. They will live their lives following his voice wherever he leads, manifesting his spirit as they live their lives in unity with one another and with God.
In other words, they’ll be living how He always intended.