Preaching to Seven Billion with the Spirit of Ubuntu
Short-term Mission Team to Kampala in Uganda & Kigali in Rwanda
Twenty-six members from the L.A. Church and its nearby branch churches in the U.S. formed two teams and planned short-term missions in Uganda and Rwanda. Uganda is located in the inland area in the eastern part of Africa, and Rwanda is its neighboring country that shares borders with the southwestern part of Uganda. Although the two countries are close, they differ in many ways; for example, Ugandans use English and Swahili as official languages, but Rwandans commonly use French and Kinyarwanda.
For most of us, the two countries were unknown worlds which we had only heard the names of. We were filled with expectations and excitement, especially when we heard that the gospel had never been preached in Rwanda yet. We prepared our short-term missions with great excitement, wondering how many heavenly family members would be waiting for us there. We sincerely wanted to find heavenly family members there and also fathom even a little bit of Father and Mother’s sacrifice while following Their gospel path in those countries where everything was new to us.
It took us two full days to arrive in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, from L.A. via Turkey. The team for Rwanda had to take the bus from Uganda and travel eleven more hours to finally arrive in Kigali, their destination. Despite the unusually long-distance trip, we went out into the street with God’s words and abundant love to find our lost brothers and sisters, forgetting our tiredness. Thankfully, a brother and his wife, who were originally from Uganda, had come ahead of us and prepared our lodging and transportation, so we were able to focus on preaching right away. Each of our short-term teams had a goal to fulfill for two weeks as follows:
Uganda Team: Help the missionary couple find many brothers and sisters Rwanda Team: Establish the first house church in Rwanda
The short-term mission in Uganda was smooth from the start. Numerous people streamed to Zion and studied the word of God, and so we couldn’t even have meals on time because people received the truth immediately and got baptized.
In Rwanda, where the new covenant was being preached for the first time ever, it was like imprinting the first step of the gospel wherever we went. Unlike Uganda, fruits were not borne immediately, but we didn’t doubt at all that God would let us meet good souls.
What made that belief firmer was Mother’s words of blessing. Mother asked us about every detail such as if it wasn’t too hot, how the food and water was there, and how our body conditions were, and then blessed us by saying, “Bear many good fruits! All the team members, become gospel workers!” Mother didn’t forget to bless the Rwanda team to establish the first house church there.
Mother’s deep love was delivered directly to us through Her voice giving faith and courage to Her children. We couldn’t feel the long physical distance at all. We shouted, “Amen,” with tears to Mother’s words and became even more fervent for our missions.
About two hours after we received Mother’s blessing over the phone, we finally heard the news of the first fruit from the Rwanda team. It was someone who had studied for a couple of hours the previous day; he came back to our lodging, studied several subjects and received God Elohim. The brother had been in a high position in an Islamic country. He had been enthusiastic for Muslim that he could even memorize all the verses in Quran (Islamic scriptures), but he stopped his life of faith there because he couldn’t resolve his questions about the spiritual world and the feeling of emptiness, and he had been looking for the truth for nineteen years. While listening to the truth of the new covenant, he was overjoyed as his long-lasting questions were answered, and he surprised us by keeping all worship services and even participating in preaching. The brother, who speaks five languages including Kinyarwanda, French, English, and Arabic, volunteered to be an interpreter for the short-term mission team, using his talent to the full.
Mother’s first blessing to “bear good fruit” was fulfilled like this. Of course, that blessing was also granted to the Uganda team abundantly. People in Uganda showed so much interest in the Bible that we even felt bad that we had not come earlier, and almost all people kept their promises to meet and study again. We were completely in our element while preaching the truth. Many people wanted to be reborn as Heavenly Father and Mother’s children and received a new life. Seeing the souls making a resolution to live in obedience to God’s word, we gave thanks to God over and over again for calling us to the site of the fulfillment of the prophecy, “Ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’ ” (Zec 8:23).
Meanwhile, we ran everywhere to establish the first house church of Rwanda, which was the other blessing from Mother. While going here and there, Abraham’s history suddenly came to our minds. When God commanded Abraham to leave his father’s household and go to the land He would show him, he didn’t know where he was going and what was waiting for him. Nevertheless, Abraham went, relying on the word of God. Likewise, we quickly moved, believing that a place of blessing must have been already prepared.
It wasn’t easy in reality though. It was hard for us, foreigners, to find a good building because we didn’t really know anything about that place, so we couldn’t find any good place until Thursday afternoon, which was the last day of the short-term mission. However, we continued to pray and made efforts to find a worship place without giving up, and as a result, a house church was established miraculously just a few hours before our departure, and right away the first fruit was borne in the new house church. It was a moment to confirm that the word impossible is not in God’s vocabulary. We were worried about the Kigali house church in Rwanda because only new members were there, but we soon heard the news that the Cape Town Church in South Africa decided to send a worker there, and we exclaimed, “Truly our God is the best!” Our Father and Mother helped us, accompanying us from start to finish.
Have you ever heard the word Ubuntu? It means “I am because you are.” It is a Bantu term in Africa; actually, Bantu peoples live in Uganda and Rwanda, too. We feel the same. Because we have our brothers and sisters who preached the gospel to us, we were able to be where we are today, and because we have our loving Zion members with us, we can store up overflowing blessings in the heavenly barn every day. It worked during the short-term missions, too. We were happy and overwhelmed in every moment we were with the brothers and sisters, who respected and yielded to each other.
We’ve returned to the U.S. after spending such a dream-like time there. Still, one more blessing of Mother remains for each of us to “become gospel workers.” There are many things to do to fulfill it; we have to get rid of our sinful nature, become more humble, and shake off all our desire for futile things.
What is most needed to accomplish those things must be unity, and the key to unity must be love. We will make perfect unity, following the example of the love Father and Mother showed us and remembering the spirit of ubuntu that we learned in Africa, so that the mission to preach to seven billion can be completed as soon as possible.