a blog for the summer missions training team from Bethel Baptist Church

Friday, June 29, 2007

Greetings from the Heathrow Airport

God is faithful, and after a 5 1/2 hour flight we have arrived safely in London. While half of our team is enjoying "the quiet seating area", the other half of us are now drinking Starbucks (a tall cup of coffee here is about $3.50), and we're planning on spending the rest of our 10 hour layover doing devotions together and sharing our testimonies, and, of course, sleeping and eating. We will leave from London for Entebbe around 9:15 tonight (4:15 PM EST), and Lord willing arrive at 7:45ish (12:45 AM EST) tomorrow morning. We will meet up with Karen and will fly from there to Bunia. Thank you for your prayers. We miss you already.

1 Thess 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

- Lauren for the team


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Trip Itinerary

June 28
Wilmington, DE to JFK Airport
Team family lunch, prayer, and sendoff - BA flight 182
June 29
London Heathrow Airport
Layover for 11 hours in the airport - BA flight 63
June 30
Entebbe, Uganda to Bunia, DRC
Meet Karen & Bethany in Entebbe, fly on MAF planes to Bunia to meet Gregg
July 1
Visit local churches in Bunia... it's baptism day and the shortest service will probably be at the Ville church and will go from 9 AM to 2 PM
July 2
BuniaMeet with camp leadership, have orientation for campers, introduction to "Continuous Revival" teaching by Jonas Kiningani.
July 3
BuniaEnglish Bible Camp - Day 1
July 4
BuniaEnglish Bible Camp - Day 2
July 5
BuniaEnglish Bible Camp - Day 3
July 6
BuniaEnglish Bible Camp - Day 4
July 7
BuniaEnglish Bible Camp - Testimony, Wrap-up and Sports day
July 8
Bunia, DRC to Entebbe, Uganda
Visit churches again, then fly back to Uganda
July 9
Kampala to Mbarara
Quick trip into Kampala to change money, then long bus ride through Mbarara to game park
July 10
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
July 11
Back to Kampala
Back to Kampala to take Gregg and Karen out for a nice dinner
July 12
Entebbe to London to JFK
BA flights 62 and 179, scheduled to arrive back at JFK at 8:45 PM
July 29
Report to Church and SupportersPlease join us with the Russia team to hear testimony of how God displayed His sovereignty, grace, and glory through short-term missions this summer! 6:30 PM?


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Afrika mimi nakupenda

I came to change you but instead you changed me
And I confess I came to frame you in a photograph
But you showed me why
And you turned this heart around
And I see your smile how it can be
So much brighter than me

And your silent eyes they scream
Of hunger and meaning and eternal dreaming

We smiled at you from behind the glass
And without reserve and whiter than snow
You smiled back at us
And you showed me who
And you turned this mind around
And I see your hands reach out to God
So much higher than ours

And your silent eyes they scream
Of hunger and meaning and eternal dreaming

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Carry-On Requirements

I regret to inform the team that due to airport security restrictions currently in place in the UK, only ONE piece of Hand Baggage will be permitted. This means that if you intend to carry a pocketbook (which should not be necessary), a camera bag, or anything else, it needs to fit inside your carry-on backpack. In addition, any liquids, gels or pastes must be held (in individual containers not exceeding 3.5 fluid ounces) in a single quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag. Items must fit in the bag comfortably and the bag must be completely closed. At the airport security search, the plastic bag must be removed from the cabin bag and x-ray screened separately.

Additionally, it brings me great pleasure to inform you that your outfit limitations were for the suitcase only, which means you are permitted ONE additional complete outfit in your carry-on backpack. Please also make sure you leave room to shove in two (2) t-shirts that you will receive on Thursday. Although I never did find anything on BA's website indicating a weight restriction for carry-on baggage, please remember that if you pack it, you need to carry it. That reality should keep you well under any limits that might be in place.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Hope deferred makes the heart sick...

...but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

It has long been the desire of the team to stay together for our journey, yet we were waiting for God's timing on the birth of our third child. It gives me great joy to announce to you that God has fulfilled our desire and brought to us a wonderful baby daughter, Hope Aurora. She was born on Sunday, right about the time that the church was praying to commission the rest of the team! She weighed in at 7 pounds even, and was 20 1/2 inches long. Both mommy and baby are happy and healthy, and plan to be home on Tuesday. Daddy will leave his four precious girls in the capable hands of his mother-in-law, along with the rest of the church body, to join the team as they depart for Africa on Thursday.

Please praise God with us that his timing is always perfect!

Bridget's Bunia Blog 45

There's rarely a week goes by without there being a wedding in town. Bunia weddings are a riot of colour, noise and activity.

The bride wears white, of course. White dress, white shoes, white handbag, a bouquet of white silk flowers, tiara, headdress and veil. The groom wears a dark suit. The family of the bride select a particular piece of material and all the members have an outfit sewn in that cloth. The groom’s family do likewise. As do the friends of the bride, the friends of the groom, the catering crew, the members of the choirs. It’s easy to identify the players in the game.

Bounding up and down the aisle like kangaroos is a troupe of little girls in (almost) white socked feet, white dresses and white Easter bonnets. They bound forward looking floorward in complex choreographed harmony to take handfuls of shredded paper from the baskets halfway up the aisle, and then bound back to shower the bride and groom with the paper. The attendants of the bride and groom wipe the paper from their bodies and the sweat from their brows. They are clean until the next fistful of shredded paper arrives. This is fatiguing to watch, and so must be incredibly exhausting to perform since it takes a good 40 minutes for the couple to slow-step to the front of the church. Meanwhile, another group of uniformed dancers is beginning a performance half way up the church. These are teenage girls with a more sophisticated taste in denim skirts, flimsy blouses, wigs and beauty spots or Fila hats and sunglasses.

The bride is given away by her uncle who reads out her biography, as too, does a representative of the groom’s family. These days the biographies are long, since they include primary, secondary and higher education and the current, salaried positions that both groom and bride enjoy. For Christian families, the biographies include their dates of conversion and baptism, and details of service in the church.

The essential wedding service is pretty much the same as that in an English wedding with charges and vows. However, it always takes me by surprise when the congregation shouts and claps and ululates after the vows have been exchanged. I felt sorry for the bride who was told that her ring was purchased at the local market. No Cartier 20-carat gold for her! But the point the officiant was making was that anyone could buy one like it; it was merely a symbol, not a magic accoutrement.

Several choirs bless the couple with specifically-composed songs mentioning their names and giving advice on how to live together in peace. During one of these numbers, guests are invited to present their gifts to the couple. All manner of useful household items are sashayed up the aisle and deposited in the big enamel bowl. If you purchase a wedding gift in the stores in town you can even get it gift-wrapped.

After a good two hours it’s time to leave. The dancing girls accompany the couple to the waiting car festooned with streamers of toilet paper. Hooting cars and motor bikes - carrying as many as possible - leave to drive round town and wave at the inhabitants. After the circuit, the main players go home to change and reappear an hour later for the reception and another two hours of exuberant celebration - this time with food.

Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it. She has been given clean shining linen to wear." (The linen is the good deeds of God's people.)
Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb." Rev 19:7-9



Saturday, June 23, 2007

Down the home stretch

We are gearing up to leave in just a few short days. Here are some significant milestones:

Thursday, 21 June - Bwana Asifiwe! All 10 team members now have their passports.
Friday, 22 June - Mungu ni mwaminifu! Even though we long since surpassed the team goal, we are less than $500 from having all 10 team members reach their individual support raising goals.

Sunday, 24 June - The team will be commissioned during the morning service.
Tuesday, 26 June - The team will commence final packing at 7:00 PM, followed by prayer time.
Wednesday, 27 June - The team will take its first dose of anti-malarial medication.
Thursday, 28 June
  • 1:00 PM - The team arrives with their backpacks for lunch with their families (room 152).
  • 2:30 PM - The entire church body is invited to join for team prayer time (room 102).
  • 3:15 PM - Final photos, hugs, and goodbyes in the parking lot.
  • 3:30 PM - The van rolls out of Bethel's parking lot.
  • 10:30 PM - British Airways Flight 182 departs JFK en route to London.

Friday, 29 June - British Airways flight 63 departs for Entebbe at 9:15 PM
Saturday, 30 June - The team arrives in Uganda, then gets on two little planes destined for Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Continuous Revival (Testimony)

Continuous Revival does not end with inner conviction, confession and cleansing. That would leave out the further step which is the missing link in our evangelical living, the very link which releases the revival in our hearts and others. Remember again that saving faith, the first act of brokenness, was a two-way faith. Remember that the costly part of that faith was not the heart-believing before God, but the mouth-confession before men. Remember that, while it cost more, it gave us more, for as we confessed before men, it was as if Jesus confessed us before God His Father in heaven, and the Spirit confessed the Savior in our hearts. The joy of the Lord became our strength; we were saved. Finally remember that the mouth-committal horizontally was the real proof of the genuineness of the heart-committal before God. Initial brokenness was roof off, walls down. But now in the daily life? Roof still off, but what about the walls? Continued brokenness in continued revival, and continued brokenness has implicit in it the continued two-way testimony. But here we want to watch carefully. The confession that matters in the Scripture, and which is most referred to, is the confession of CHRIST, rather than of sin (although there are such verses as 1 John1:9 and James 5:16 where FAULTS is in the original SINS); and it is to the constant confession of Christ that I am called. That is my duty. That is my privilege. That is the way both to get blessing and to transmit it.

Indeed, perhaps the word CONFESSION has become so misused through its use in the confessional, that it is better and clearer to use the word TESTIMONY. Testimony to Christ is our duty and privilege. Now the first testimony we make has no reserves about it. We were sinners and said so. Probably in many cases our sins were already known in our community, and the liquor addict, the gambler, the loose-liver, the proud, the self-righteous, the dishonest, gives open glory to God that he has been saved from these things through the power of the precious blood. The emphasis is not on the sin, although that may be mentioned, but on the Savior from sin. It is not a morbid self-revelation, but a glorious magnification of Christ.

Now it is that form of daily testimony which is the missing note in our present-day Christianity. We were sinners and were saved. We gloried in saying so. But we still so often “come short of the glory of God” in daily life. No longer those old, deliberate, gross sins of the fallen days, or old false attitudes of pure self-centeredness or pride; for if we are that, we are not saved. But we know too well we are still open to the assaults of Satan. The flesh still makes its appeal to us, and we respond, although our normal position in Christ is “not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” (Romans 8:9). Even those who have entered into a sanctified experience by faith, and the witness of the Spirit, as in my own case, making real in their experience such statements as in Acts 15:8-9; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:6, still know constant temptation. The cases must indeed be rare where Satan does not make actual inroads by some subtle form of sin, either by unbelief, fear, worry, depression, hardness towards a brother, dislike, self-pity, pride, coldness of heart, impatience, criticism, unkind thoughts, the sharp word, jealousy, envy, partiality, hypocrisy, strife, the lust of the eye, evil or impure thoughts, sloth, selfishness, and the like.

So now, as we entered the way of salvation by a two-way brokenness, we must continue in the way in the daily walk. Something comes in which stops the flow of the Spirit. It is seen to be sin, however “small” we may like to call it (is any sin small which crucified my Lord?); it is confessed and forgiven. But brokenness is two-way. There is the testimony to give before men, as God gives the opening. Nothing need stop me giving it except that it would hurt my pride, my self-esteem. That is how I glorify God—by testifying, as occasion arises, to His fresh deliverances, the fresh experiences of the power of His cleansing blood in my life.

Some would narrow this down and say, “should we not merely put a sin right with any against whom we might have committed it, such as hard words between husband and wife, and leave it at that?” Certainly the sin must be put right with those against whom it was committed, but the testimony to God’s deliverance belongs to the whole Church. For actually no sin is committed privately. None of us lives unto ourselves. Our faces, our attitudes, our very atmosphere is poisoning or blessing all those with whom we come in contact. A quarrel between husband and wife, for instance, reaches out in its effect far beyond those two. It affects the whole household. It affects visitors in the home, workmates in the business, and above all fellow-believers in the church.

Remember it is not a question of confessing sin, but of praising for a deliverance, and giving others the chance of praising with us. Daily testimony before men in this way is an ever fresh confession of a saving Christ; but to be honest testimony, it involves some account of what the deliverance is from. It is that which puts teeth into the testimony. It is also proof of our genuine repentance and genuine brokenness, just as confession before men at conversion was the proof of the reality of my new-found faith. To be really wide open before God and man is to be ready at all times to tell of His dealings with me.

It is yet more than that—and this is of utmost importance. We remember that it was the confession of Christ before men that made Him so real to our own hearts. It did something for us, which mere heart-faith did not. Now it is just the same concerning the daily walk. The real reason why we are usually so insensitive to the “little sins of our daily walk, and why we pass them over without much concern, is just because we are not too ashamed about them, or not too repentant, or even in some cases we have given up hope of any lasting deliverance. And why so? Because, while we only wait with the roof off and deal in secret with God alone about our daily affairs, we have the convenient sense of a God of great mercy, or a Christ who died for us, of our security in Him, of an easy-going forgiveness, and so frankly we do not get too concerned about our present inconsistencies! But if we start walking in the light with others about the Lord’s daily dealings with us, telling them when the shadow of sin has darkened our path and how God has dealt with us over it, we shall suddenly find two things: one, that we have an altogether new sense of shame for sin; and two, an altogether new sense of cleansing and liberation from the sin.

We just have to face the fact that we are very human, and our human relationships are usually more vivid to us than our fellowship with God. Thus we have a far more vivid sense of shame about a sin when we tell our brethren, than when we just tell God. It is a simple fact that this openness before men does something in us. It sharpens us up concerning daily sin as never before. It is part of the secret of daily revival. It is amazing how, when walking in the light with our brethren as well as with God, we begin to come alive to attitudes, or actions, of sin in our lives which we just never noticed to be sin before, or perhaps we took for granted would always be part of our make-up.

With all this there is also the effect on others of this open testifying. We know that the way salvation is spread is by our telling the unsaved what the Lord has done for us; it does something in their hearts, quickening a desire for the same experience. So it is with testimony among God’s people. The joy and praise leaps from one heart to another when we hear what the Lord has done for another. The more direct, open, and exact the testimony, the more we rejoice.

It does yet more. It convicts. Our hearts are fashioned alike. The way the devil tempts you is almost certainly the way he tempts me. When I hear you tell of the Lord’s dealings down where you really live in your home relationships, in your business, and so on, it surely reaches me on some spot where I need the same light and deliverance. That is exactly how great revivals break out and spread.

The way is always the same. Sin is suddenly seen to be sin in some life. Someone breaks down (brokenness), and doesn’t mind who is present; he can only see himself as a sinner needing renewed cleansing. So out he comes, maybe with tears; public reconciliations are made; the conviction spreads, till dozens are doing the same thing. “Revival has visited this church,” we say with joy. So don’t you see that when there is a continuous sensitiveness to the smallest sin that stops the cups running over, when there is recognition of the sin in the light, confession, forgiveness, and the thankful public testimony to the glory of God of what the Lord has done, there is a daily revival?

Yet one more point on this heart of the matter. Many of God’s people, including the writer, know something of God’s deliverances from sin; but there is some spot still in the life which may be given the name mentioned in Hebrews 12:1, “the sin which doth so easily beset us”: and at this “weak spot” we really give up any idea that God can really, fully, and permanently deliver. It may not be some big thing, as the world calls big; perhaps it is so hidden that it is just a mere touch of sin known only to the person himself (“the garment spotted by the flesh”) but hope of full deliverance is really given up. Then we enter into this revival walk in the light step by step. We are made sensitive as never before both to the reality and the shamefulness of sin. We find that as we walk brokenly with God and one another, sins which used to beset us easily lessen in their power and falls are fewer. Then it suddenly comes to us as light that this special spot of weakness, taken for granted through the years, can be dealt with and deliverance found, if recognized as sin to be faced and hated each time it arises; the emphasis not being so much on a once-for-all crisis deliverance, but on the daily and immediate dealing with the evil thing the moment it shows itself.

Another discovery has been that the reason why besetting sin does not get dealt with is that we find a certain sweetness in the flesh; not in actual sin, of course, but on the outer edges of it, as it were. That sweetness has to be recognized as a manifestation of the flesh, and must be hated. Indeed, true repentance is hatred, and where there is hatred of sin, God’s hatred in us (Hebrews 1:9), power for deliverance is found in the blood.

In this walking with one another in the light, careful distinction must also be made between temptation and sin. We think that many earnest souls continue in bondage and under false accusation because they are looking for the impossible – deliverance from even temptation; and also because they mistake temptation for sin, and accept condemnation, and a sense of defilement when they should not do so. It also makes them confused about how far to go in open testimony and fellowship. The distinction between the two is clear. James 1:14-15 settles it for us. Temptation is continuous and will be while we are in this fallen world. Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, and continuously— “Ye are they that have continued with me in my temptations,” Temptation is the stimulation of our natural desires (the correct meaning of LUST in verse 14) whether physical appetites or the faculties of soul or spirit. Jesus was tempted in all these three realms on the Mount of Temptation. But the sudden impulse to think this wrong thought, or say this, or do that, the attraction of the eye in an unlawful direction, the first motion of fear, worry, resentment, and so on is temptation for which we are not held responsible as willful sin. It is “when lust (desire) hath conceived, it brings forth sin.” It is when we allow the temptation to lodge in us, when we continue the wrong thought, allow the resentment to remain, keep on looking, speak the hasty word, and so on, that temptation has become sin. Obviously, therefore, if we withstand the temptation as it arises, by abiding in Christ, we should not accept condemnation, and our testimony to His praise should be to His keeping power in the evil day.

Let us also be watchful to maintain liberty in testimony. How easily we can slip back to legalism, instead of walking in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. We can endeavor to walk by rule, instead of by the gentle but free compulsions of the Spirit who leads, not drives. Thus we can get into the bondage of thinking that we are under strict compulsion to testify to the Lord’s dealings on all or on fixed occasions. Testimony of this kind can become as much a set form with one group as absence of any testimony is a set form with another! We must never allow ourselves to be driven. We are not mere human imitators, feeling compelled to say something just because our brother does, or because it is the usual thing on certain occasions. We “walk with Jesus” even in the matter of testimony. There is a divine compulsion, when we know from Him within by inner conviction that we must open our lips, and when we can draw power from Him to do so; that is quite a different thing from the drive of the law, or of imitation. Sometimes the best testimony might be to testify that God has given me nothing to say! “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.”

Equally we must avoid that subtle pressure on others to see the same as ourselves, and that subtle criticism of those who do not. Of course we want others to have any light God has given us; but it was God who GAVE it us in His own time and way. Let us, then, leave it to God to GIVE it to our brethren as He pleases. Our only job is humbly and joyfully to testify to what God shows us. It is impressive in the Gospel of John to see the rest of Jesus among fierce critics and opponents on the simple basis that people can only see and receive what God GIVES them to see. Thus, this living in revival, personally and in our community, is the freedom of the Spirit. It is not a question of forming new sects or fellowships or cliques which cause divisions in churches and give an “I am holier than thou” impression. It is just to live in revival, in the light, in brokenness, in cleansing, in testimony, just as God leads, in the home, in the church, everywhere.

Questions are sometimes asked about to whom we should testify and if there should be any reservations in our testimony. Should we, for instance, tell unsaved people of the Lord’s personal dealings with us? Perhaps a simple answer, subject always to the individual guidance of the Spirit, would be that we should always testify even to the most opposed and indifferent if we have sinned in a way which was obvious to them, such as by heated words. It is to the glory of God that we humble ourselves before them and tell them of the Lord’s gracious restoration, as we have repented.

But if our testimony is concerning things in our lives about which the Lord has dealt with us unknown to our unsaved friends, then it may be that we would keep that testimony for our brethren in Christ. As for reservations in testimony, one matter about which wisdom and restraint may be needed is those sins which have such a deep hold on all mankind and which take first place in all lists of sins in the Scriptures—uncleanness, impure thoughts, fornication, adultery. God has put a barrier between the sexes which it is His will we preserve, and therefore in mixed meetings only veiled language can be used in referring to these things. Yet at the same time, of all temptations and sins this is the one which in one form or another eats most deeply into lives. Maybe the only way in which we can go to the bottom in the light with God and one another in this respect is when men get together among themselves, and women likewise. And there certainly is a need for this.

One final word about the way revival starts. It begins by one person who sees from God what it is to walk in the light. But to walk with Jesus like this involves also walking in the light with one another, horizontally as well as vertically, and that means at least one other person with whom to walk in open fellowship. Of course, as one brother said to me, “One would naturally start walking like that with the person nearest to you—husband and wife, brother and sister, friend and friend.” In other words, revival starts with two people being revived, and starts at home!


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bridget's Bunia Blog 46

No doubt the generous helping of sugar in the tea added to the animation, along with a lunch break where lunch was served, but the ISP students were genuinely excited about a two-day spiritual retreat. The singing was loud and fervent, the participation hearty, and the rapport with the speaker warm.

Robert came from Uganda for the two days to address the issues of life skills. A young, married, English-speaking African man was a good match for the ISP student body and they easily identified with him. He was well-experienced in speaking to youth, having worked with Scripture Union in Uganda before starting Life Skills Solution International. He spoke on the subjects of self-esteem, decision-making, sex and relationships, and a purpose-driven life – all of which were heartily endorsed by the students.

But one hopes that the enthusiasm for spiritual matters will prevail when a sugar-less Monday arrives and the sixth lunch-less day ensues. In fact, they’re better at dealing with these vicissitudes than I. Their prayers of thanksgiving at morning devotions bless me and challenge me in my attitude. They are tireless in their requests for help with health issues, finding money for fees, praying for grieving families and people on journeys. And they rejoice generously with classmates who praise God for providing their school fees.

Their favourite songs from the American hymn book are ‘No, never alone’, ‘’There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus’ and ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’. Umirambe loves ‘Trust and obey’; and I see in this Catholic a greater spirituality than in many of the ‘true sons of CECA-20’. Baraka, the son of a CECA-20 pastor, knows that the reputation of ‘pastor’s kids’ is bad and has determined to be different. Madit-Rwoth loves his name because it reminds him of the fact that his parents prayed for him when as a child he almost died and God spared him. Some of the students are pretty poor at writing the correct answers to the doctrine questions but their lives show that true belief is influencing their behaviour.

How does growth occur? Jesus said we don’t know how it happens. The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grain. (Mk 4:26-28) So each one of us must do the work that the Lord has given to him – planting or watering – and wait for God to make the plant grow. (I Cor 3: 5-7) It happens. I saw such spiritual growth in others at a different time in another place.

I watched the magnolia tree
respond to the warmth and light of spring.
That which appeared dead put forth buds.
Out from the dull green sheaths emerged
tightly furled pink-tinged petals
In due time those flowers will


blossom -
revealing all the beauty of the inner cup.
And so it is with you.

Exposed to the warmth of friendship
and the light of God's truth,
your faith has been nurtured.
Your inner spirit exposed -


One day we'll witness the revelation of the full bloom.



Monday, June 04, 2007

The Official Packing List


  • Bible, notebook, journal, pen (the kind that doesn’t leak on planes)
  • Passport w/yellow immunization card (turned in to the leaders)
  • Malaria medication (turned in to the leaders)
  • Hand sanitizer (unscented), 2 X 1/3 rolls of toilet paper
  • Personal hygiene items (e.g. deodorant, anti-bacterial soap, shampoo, what you need to get ready)
  • One each: wash cloth, hand towel, bath towel; decent flat twin-sized sheet (will not come home with you)
  • Student identification card
  • Writing paper or note cards for Thank-you notes; supporters list with addresses will be provided
  • A gift item to leave with your host home


  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm (SPF 15 minimum)
  • Insect repellant with DEET
  • Things to read and do on the plane (i.e. card games, books)
  • Camera (don’t forget extra memory/film and batteries)
  • Spending money (No more than $100 in new, clean, unripped, $20 or larger bills only)
  • Windbreaker or light jacket
  • “Shower” sandals
Some of you will also need:

Clothing needs:

  • Enough undergarments to last one week
  • 4-5 outfits
    • dresses/skirts/jumpers mid-calf or longer
    • modest blowse-type tops covering your shoulders
    • khakis/jeans with no rips or worn out bits
    • short-sleeve collared shirts
  • 1-2 long-sleeve shirts/sweaters/sweatshirts
  • 1 pair of shoes dressy enough to come to church in, sturdy enough to walk a mile in, and comfortable enough to wear every day all day for a week
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of long “Bermuda” shorts
  • 1 set of sleeping clothes suitable for mixed-gender setting
  • A modest bathing suit (GALS, no midriff / GUYS, drug-free)

Do Not PACK:

  • Any type of Personal Electronic Entertainment Paraphernalia
  • Perfume or cologne, excessive makeup, expensive jewelry
  • Food items other than gum or mints
  • Anything that would call unwarranted attention as an American, a tourist, or a wealthy person
  • Anything that you would not want to get lost, stolen, or damaged
  • Anything that is not specifically mentioned on this list

General reminders:

  • We will have some Congolese ladies do laundry at the seminary, but you can still wear each outfit several times while we are there.
  • Use a laundry marker to put your initials into any clothes that you want back after laundry.
  • Put everything liquid or gel into ZIP-LOC bags.
  • You need to pack in one large suitcase and you will be carrying team-related items.
  • You should pack your carryon (back-pack sized) to meet all your needs for a full two days.
  • What you wear from the US to Entebbe is in addition to this list, but you need to be prepared to be “in uniform” when we land in Bunia.

Contact Russell if you have any questions about anything you are packing.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Continuous Revival (Conviction, Confession, Cleansing)

Here then are the three main points of Continuous Revival that we have covered so far--Walking with Jesus, Brokenness, Cups Running Over. But when cups do not run over, which is very often—then what? Only sin stops the inner witness. Then how are we to know what the sin is? The answer to that is to be found in reading on in this key chapter of 1 John 1.

Verse 3 has spoken of two-way fellowship, and verse 4 of fullness of joy. Verse 5 gives a surprise. John says he is now going to give us the inner truth about Him with whom we walk. He is ... love? No --“God is light.” If it just said “love,” that would be easy, for I might escape a too strict facing of sin by saying, “Well, anyhow He loves”—which is indeed what I have often said. But “this is the message ... God is light.” What then does that mean? Well, nothing could be more simple. The obvious main function of light is to reveal things as they are.

The Scriptures themselves say that—“…all things become visible when they are exposed by the light...” (Ephesians 5:13). Light is very silent, does not push or drive anyone, but is inescapable to any honest person. You can’t lie to light. If you hit your toe against an object in the dark, you may mistakenly say that it is a table. But when the light is turned on in the room, you can no longer continue to say that it is a table if it really is a piano. Light just gives you the lie.

God is light. Silently, inexorably He shines on and in us, revealing things just as they are in His sight. Have you ever noticed the pivotal place given, even in salvation, to our response to light? In John 3, we are distinctly told that men are not lost because of their sins, for they have already been atoned for, but they are lost for refusing the light. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Light silently showed them exactly what they are in God’s holy sight, but they won’t take it. No, they will never “come to the light” and admit themselves to be what God says they are; but the only way any of us have been saved has been by responding to that light and saying about ourselves what God says. Thus our eternal destiny hangs on whether we love darkness or come to the light.

But even as this is true concerning the unsaved and the necessity of their “coming to the light,” it is also true in 1 John 1 of the believer and the necessity of his “walking in the light.” He also can walk in darkness (verse 6), if he wishes to do so. That is to say he can refuse to admit, concerning himself, what God says about him; he can have other and more convenient names for his sins. Worse still, he can be either a deliberate hypocrite (saying he has fellowship with Him, but really walking in the darkness), or he can be self-deceived and not recognize that he is sinning when he is saying he has no sin (verse 8).

So it gets down to this. Sin is a revelation. It is God who graciously shows us sin, even is it is He who shows us the precious blood. Sin is only seen to be SIN—against God—when He reveals it; otherwise sin may just be known as a wrong against a brother, or an anti-social act, or an inconvenience, or a disability, or some such thing. Indeed that is often the extent of the message of a “social gospel,” to be rid of sin as a hindrance to brotherhood, as an inconvenience to human progress; not as coming short of the glory of God. GOD shows us sin. We do not need to keep looking inside ourselves. This is not a life of introspection or morbid self-examination. We do not walk with sin, we walk with Jesus; but, as we walk in childlike faith and fellowship with Him step by step, moment by moment, then if the cups cease to run over, He who is light, with whom we are walking, will clearly show us what the SIN is which is hindering, what its real name is in His sight, rather than the pseudonym, the excusing title, which we might find it more convenient to call it. Let us say again, it is so simple. God does not speak in terms of general condemnation leading to despair of past or fear of future. He speaks in simple specific terms of any actual sin in the present which is hindering the inner witness of His Spirit.

What do we do then? Well, that is obvious. 1 John1:9 says, “If we confess our sins ...” The word CONFESS is the word SAY with the preposition CON or WITH added. Three times over in those verses 5-10 man has said his own say (verses 6, 8, 10); but to confess is to say with another, to say what another says. To confess is to say about my sin what God says about it. “You say that is sin, Lord; so do I.” That is confession, of course, with the desire to be rid of the sin and the actual ceasing to do the thing, or maintain the attitude, or whatever it is. Then where there is this confession, we all know there is the word of promise, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We may say the cleansing is almost automatic, where there is the confession. That light which shines so unchangingly on the sin, shines also on the blood. “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

When walking in the light, we read, both sin and the precious blood are seen, the one, praise God, canceling out the other. And it is important to remember that confession of sin does not deliver by itself. It is THE BLOOD that cleanses, and we must always pass on from confession to faith and praise for THE BLOOD, believing that the blood alone is what glorifies God and delivers us. Folk often remain depressed and mournful and asking others to pray for them after confession of sin, when they ought to pass straight on by simple faith to the blood ever flowing and cleansing.

Once again, where the blood cleanses, the Spirit witnesses, and where the Spirit witnesses, the cups always run over! So we are back again where we started—walking with Jesus step by step, brokenness, cups running over. When they stop running over, it is always sin. Sin is seen as sin in the light of God. As we walk in that light, we recognize and confess our sins; the blood cleanses; the Spirit witnesses; and the cups run over again!


Memory Verses (Conviction, Confession, Cleansing)

Here is the fourth set of verses to work on for our last team training meeting on Saturday, 16 June:
  • 1 John 1:7-9
    “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  • 1 Peter 1:18-19
    “...knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”