Alfred Gets Wet

Alfred Musungu is a busy guy.  He’s a pastor and a farmer – two full time jobs.  He also has seven children and is the chairman of Pastors Unity Alliance that includes three districts in the Easter part of Uganda.

When you first meet Alfred the first thing you’ll notice is his smile.  His whole face lights up and you find the laughter spreading to your face as well.  Alfred has a gap between his front teeth that is typical of the people in his tribe, the Bamasaaba.  He’ll be the first to tell you that life is not easy, but his joy comes from faith in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Alfred Musungu, Chairman of Pastors Unity Alliance

Every month, Alfred joins other pastors in three days of prayer and fasting.  The Pastors Unity Alliance is a vital part of what God is doing to bring revival.  Pastors and their congregations come together to worship, hear the Word and pray.  No meals are served, no coffee and doughnuts. They take a cup of corn porridge in the evening and then get right back to the business of prayer.  They will pray deep into the night, sleep a few hours in the church then get up early.  By four in the morning they are praying again.  What do they pray for?  Alfred and the other pastors are firm believers in the scripture found in II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

There is a lot of witchcraft and demon worship ingrained in Alfred’s tribe.  But he knows that is not how God created the Bamasaaba to be.  The Lord created Alfred’s people to worship the one true God as only the Bamasaaba can.  God gave them a unique language, dance and heart.  Alfred wants to see his people come back to God and leave the futile sinful ways of their forefathers.  Alfred believes the prophecies that say the fire and anointing of revival will begin with the Bamasaaba and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the rest of Uganda, then to all of East Africa and then the whole world.

Various pastors in the Alliance take turns hosting the conference.  We go to a new venue every month.  Hosting over 200 people for a three day prayer and fasting conference happens every June at Open Chapel International.  This year we had rented enough plastic chairs, but the tapelines had holes and the generator blew the sound board.  Except for the persistent torrential rain, everything else went well.  It was a good thing people came from great distances without the expectation that they would sleep in beds or eat or be comfortable. Pastor Alfred had trained them well.  They came to pray and that is exactly what they did.

The people of Uganda say, “If you’re not sweating, you’re not praying.”  That means prayer is hard work.  There were not simple bless the food type prayers here.  We were in the battle and that means war against the evil powers and principalities in high places.  Even when it rained so hard we couldn’t hear the preacher and the roof leaked like a sieve, we hunkered down for the fight and won in prayer.  Pastor Alfred, along with all the rest of us, got very, very wet.  But that didn’t stop us from praying.

God was gracious to send so many people to help us by giving us the gift of their fervent effective prayers.  We expect to see a real difference in the spiritual atmosphere in our area, allowing people’s hearts to open up the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a greater way and releasing the power of God in allowing us to be more effective.  Will you help us pray.  If you can’t make it to Uganda for the conference in June 2018, just pray right now – where you are.  Your prayers on our behalf make a difference.

 

Crowd of Intercessors who came from long distances to pray.

 

People only slept for a few hours every night and then only on the floor.

 

Sound technician covers his equipment during another downpour.

 

Find Your Jonathan

We all could use a little more kindness.  But with friendship, it’s as good as you give.

Shem and I (Catherine Mabongor) were invited for a week in June 2017, to a leaders conference in Nakuru Kenya.  I knew I couldn’t go because someone had to stay home with the children.  Shem was making plans to travel alone when he got a call from his cousin (and pastor of Open Chapel in Namatumba).  God had given Sam a dream that Shem was going away and Sam was to come stay at our house to take care of the ministry.  I immediately packed my bags.  I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else to stay with our kids, but this was Sam.  He loved them almost as much as we did.

Catherine and Shem Mabongor, leaders of Open Chapel International, are a part of All Nations Network of Ministers.

Although the weather was much colder than the drought ridden Uganda, the time of being ministered to instead of being the one ministering was very refreshing.  I received individual prayer from Pastor Arley and God healed a portion of my heart that had been hurting for some time.  There were many messages preached, but my favorite was about Finding Your Jonathans.

As ministers of God there will always be those Sauls in our lives that are in competition with us and trying to kill our vision.  But God also sends Jonathans as well.  David had a covenant relationship with his friend and they stood with each other during the tough times.  These types of Godly relationships are also needed in our life to help us protect and strengthen each other.  They were both men of integrity and were loyal to each other.  In life, we may have many people who say they love us, but let God give us faithful bosom friends.  Not many people will fit into this category, but a few quality Jonathans are a true gift from God.

As the minister was preaching, I could see that Shem had at least three of these types of faithful friends in his life.  I asked my Heavenly Father to show me who I could be a Jonathan to and who could be a Jonathan for me.

Catherine and Leah

Shem received his international ordination through All Nations Network of Ministers, with Bishop Jotham Opichio as the Kenya director.  Bishop Opicho has visited our home on several occasions and we have stayed with him and his wife Leah.  In fact, for our 16th wedding anniversary, Shem and I took a holiday in Kenya at Bishop Opicho’s request.  He proved to be a wonderful tour guide and Leah a graceful hostess.  During a break in the conference I went to Leah and committed myself to be a Jonathan for her.

I feel like I came back from Kenya a new woman.  It was so nice to have time alone with Shem and although talking didn’t seem to help us sort out our issues, the prayers we received solved everything in a moment.  We received and gave forgiveness and were back on track.  It was so nice to feel the joy of first love again.

Soon life took on its usual pace with Shem traveling most of the time.  He was scheduled to go to Mbarara for nine days and I was not looking forward to it.  Usually I slide back into survival mode and just barely make it through.  But this time was to prove different.  First of all, cousin Sam came back and this time he brought his wife Sylvia.  They left their six children at home in Namatumba with Sylvia’s sister and came to help me.  It was wonderful.  They encouraged me so much with their love and respect.  Both Sam and Sylvia don’t speak English and I’m not that good at Luganda or Lumasaaba, but somehow when they speak to me I understand them.  It must have something to do with the tremendous love we have for one another.  The children, Kana and Andy, also came in to translate where needed.  I was amazed at what Sylvia told me.

Sylvia and Sam at their wedding. Click the photo to read more . . .

“Catherine, when I feel that I can’t do it any more.  Like I can’t carry on.  I just think of you.  And I tell myself that if Catherine can come from America, leaving all her family and everything that is familiar, then I can get through the difficult situation I’m facing.”

This is a tremendous thing for Sylvia to say to me.  I was amazed!  She has lost four children and she finds encouragement from me!  Only God can do that.

I told Sylvia that I am the one who finds encouragement from her.  We stared at each other for a moment then burst out laughing.  It was a true Hallelujah moment when I realized we were Jonathans for each other.  Wow!  God is so good.

Do you also need a Jonathan in your life?  Is there anyone you can be a Jonathan for?