How Do We Answer the Heart Cry of a Nation?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Featured, Field Updates, Prayer | 0 comments

How Do We Answer the Heart Cry of a Nation?

Gulu Stadium Prayer 12-31-2005 (001)

A baptism of deep desperation hit our gut in 2004 during the national prayer gathering in the Gulu stadium. We rent our hearts for a broken nation (Joel 2:13), weeping like Hannah over the barrenness in the land (I Sam. 1:10-11) and crying out as Rachel who could not be comforted for her children who were no more. (Jer. 31:15) And, as we wept… God began healing…

Healing of the land means “healing the destiny of those who are of the land…” Their hearts, bodies, families, spirits, emotions, businesses, churches, land, and even their calling… We believed God would heal all of these things and that is what began…

“Can you help me reach my people?”


This was the cry of one person after another, as they entered the doors of the little “house of prayer” where our growing team was living.

“Reach your people? How do I help you reach your people?”

The Depths of Need

What could I do? One person, few resources, no knowledge of Bible translation (as my father has done for 60 years), or teaching English and literacy to tribes deep in the jungle (as my mother has done for 60 years)… What could I do?  And yet this destiny burned in the heart of the people. They carried a vision, these who had received healing, to now bring healing to others.

“Disciple them,” I heard the Lord say, just as is already in His Word. 
Isn’t that His command? “Make disciples of all nations?” And this was His nation…


But I hadn’t come to do that. I had only come to pray… But as our prayers were being answered and peace and healing were returning, discipleship was a must.

The Course of a Lifetime

How could people be restored – transformed from the inside out – so that peace would be lasting? How could progress, resettlement, and even development come without discipleship?

Discipleship is transformation… the renewing of minds… “according to the Word of God” (Rom. 12:1-2). Discipleship is learning to think like Jesus and develop character, Kingdom core values, Biblical foundations, and pure motives – all based on the Word.
 This was a whole new walk… and it would take a lifetime.

So, I settled in for the course of a lifetime.

I realized I could run and reach one village, or I could bring a 100 people to me; teach, train, mentor and equip, with the help and instruction of the Holy Spirit; and then see them run and reach 100 villages for Jesus.

Training Grounds

I had learned about portable Bible Schools my first year in Uganda, as I took a position leading a Bible college in the south with 150 students from five East African countries. During that year, I had no idea what a God-appointed training ground it would be for me. I learned the vision from the people – how they could reach their own people, tribe to tribe and ethnic language to ethnic language, faster than anyone else could.


I wrote the Field Trainer’s Manual that year, ran the campus, established a clinic, held prayer gatherings on the school grounds, organized team meetings, and established leadership development amongst the student body.  In addition, I was assigned to oversee 42 portable Bible schools simultaneously across five East African countries, driving to one after another – week after week – teaching, training, expecting, inspecting, mentoring, and monitoring.

Those sites were training grounds, and I had no idea how desperately I would need this training later…

One by One

A few years later, still during the war, when the people poured into our little mission house of prayer in northern Uganda, I knew what we were to do. The land must be discipled, or we were not obeying the command of our Lord Jesus. No transformation is lasting without the heart changing first.

One life at a time, one day at a time, all our efforts and vision were toward multiplication and acceleration. Equipping and training these ones who were asking, knocking and seeking, so they could train others. II Timothy 2:2 became our pattern, and “fruit that remains” (John 15:16) became our goal. Mending the nets to contain the harvest of souls was our model, and Jesus’ life, our greatest example.


The first twelve graduates trained in our Gulu Bible school became the leaders, equipping and sending others with an aim to reach into the bush, the villages,  the camps, the jungles, the rural churches, and the most remote and unreached places on the map. That was our goal. 
The Word must “run, where it has never gone before.” (II Tim. 2:9)
 Everyone must hear! (Rom. 10: 14-15)

Answering the Cries

Within five years, we had discipled and equipped for leadership with practical experience in church planting, prayer, children’s work, and youth ministries, over 5,000 people. Each person was trained in two months of intensive discipleship.  Over 40,000 Bibles in more than 12 languages were distributed. Trauma Rehabilitation multiplied to over 36,000 people, churches were planted, new converts baptized, existing churches grew in villages and in the bush, and the hunger for the Word spread faster than it could be satisfied.


What an incredible and amazing challenge to have!!… that the hunger for the Word is greater than the capacity to meet the need to fill it. An incredible but heartbreaking problem.

For the harvesters are there ready to go, but laborers are needed to send them…
Bibles are there, the villagers and remote areas are there, and the people are hungry for the Word, for the Truth, and for the Bread of Life. Over and over their cries, their calls, their pleas come in:

“Will you come?” “Please, will you come?”

Hearts for the Hungry

Our African missionaries, carrying the truth, going where others will not go are ready, trained, and more than eager to be sent.

We go… and we keep on going… but we can only go, when you are willing to send…
Please, will you send the teams? And in sending, will you, too, be the “laborers needed in this massive harvest?”

Father, may we not fail the hungry. May we be willing to lose what we cannot really even keep, in order to gain what we can never never lose! (I John 3: 17-18)

Our hearts embrace you, love you, and pray with you,
”Here we are, Lord, send us!”

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