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Entries in Uganda (19)

Monday
Apr282014

New Resources for the Karamoja Project

The Elder (red) of a village in the Karamoja region welcomes Andrew and Pastor Francis (pink shirt). (Click to enlarge)In a story we posted last summer about Andrew's 2012 trip to Uganda, we shared a glimpse of how a remote region of the nation impacted him and how it has affected the course of his ministry going forward. The poverty, both spiritual and physical, made such an impression that Andrew knew God had called him to action in the Karamoja region. Andrew's focused efforts in the area, since his visit, have become known as the Karamoja Project.

Rudi and Kam Van Tonder, Directors of Andrew Wommack Ministries in South Africa.
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Through the connections Andrew has made in Uganda, he has been able to equip pastors, including the leader of AWM's efforts in Karamoja, Pastor Francis Tumusiime, with evangelistic materials. Andrew's teaching resources and the ministry's Discipleship Evangelism program are now being used to reach the primitive villages of the area.

Recently, creative new outreach resources have been brought to Karamoja by Rudi Van Tonder and a pair of traveling companions. Rudi and his wife, Kam, are the Co-Directors of the offices of Andrew Wommack Ministries in Tygervalley, Cape Town, South Africa (AWMSA). In March, Rudi completed a 20-day, 7800 kilometer road trip through four countries; the purpose of which was to deliver a one-of-a-kind, mobile movie theater to Francis. The custom truck and trailer will be used in crusades to reach the most under-evangelized people groups in Africa.

Rudi sitting on the custom-made movie trailer, created for the ministry by AWMSA partner, Philip Botha. (Click to enlarge) Rudi's excursion began shortly after hearing about Andrew's desire to reach the communities in rural Uganda. The topic had come to the Van Tonder's attention when David Hardesty, the former COO of Andrew Wommack Ministries, visited South Africa in 2013. During their conversations with David, the Van Tonders shared the story of Philip and Hanna Botha, who are partners of AWMSA. Philip had a vision to build a custom trailer that he could haul all over South Africa, showing the Jesus Film as an outreach. Rudi and Kam thought such a trailer would be quite beneficial for use in Uganda as well. After hearing Rudi and Kam's excitement about Philip's vision, David expressed interest in the idea and agreed the trailer would be a great way to evangelize the outer The investment for the complete package, including the Toyota 4x4, trailer, generator, A/V equipment, camping gear for three, totaled just over $36,000 US.
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reaches of Uganda. He asked the Van Tonders to find out more about Philip's project for him. Both Rudi and Kam agreed to seize the opportunity for their branch of the ministry to sow into Andrew's Karamoja Project by purchasing everything that was required to outfit Philip's trailer and outreach vehicle.

After much hard work, the Bothas and the Van Tonders finished equipping the vehicles in February. Before heading North to Uganda, Rudi and Philip held a trial crusade in Heidelberg to make sure everything was in working order. "They managed to secure a football field in the center of town for the crusade. CBC South Africa students came to help Rudi as well as minister after the altar call at the (L-R) Rudi, one of Rudi's traveling team, Francois Pieterse, and Philip, setting up the new system for the trial run in Heildelberg, SA. (Click to enlarge)conclusion of the film. Approx 100-120 people attended the crusade. Others sat and watched the Jesus Film from the stoops of their houses. All-in-all it was a great success and really got Rudi fired up, even more so, for Uganda," Kam said.

After the test run in Heidelberg, Rudi made final preparations for the trip to Uganda. Part of the prep included connecting with his traveling companions, a Malawian man named, Allan and a CBC-SA graduate named, Francois. Allan brought a much needed skill set to the team in that he was familiar with border crossing procedures in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, where accurate paperwork was the team's least concern. While Allan was fluent in the regional languages Rudi and Philip making final preparations for the long journey. (Click to enlarge)and well acquainted with gaining safe passage into the foreign countries, he was unable to participate in the physical driving of the vehicle—that's where Francois was needed. Rudi and Francois took turns sharing the wheel as the trio covered the distance from Cape Town to Zimbabwe and through Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda.

While the trip's overall purpose was to bring the new evangelism tools and equipment to Francis in Uganda, the journey was also very valuable to Rudi on a personal level. He reached a whole new place in trusting God for his protection and provision, and he witnessed, firsthand, His awesome faithfulness. The trip Setting up the theater, after the long journey to Karamoja. (Click to enlarge)was not without struggle and complications, but God always made a way, even when there didn't seem to be a way. Rudi said God used this journey to show him things to come—especially through the opportunities he was given to minister in the classroom setting in front of CBC students in Harare, Zimbabwe and Kampala, Uganda.

While there were many who responded to the outreach efforts made by Rudi and his team as they traveled across Africa, there is no real way to gauge the overall impact the trip has made. Rudi and Kam are comfortable not knowing, this side of heaven, how many lives have been and will be impacted by Rudi's Rudi and his team training Francis and his team as they set up for the first crusade in Uganda. (Click to enlarge) journey, and through using the equipment Philip created and the ministry provided. "The highlight for me was the crusade we held in a small town called Kotido, Uganda before leaving for Cape Town," said Rudi, "God left the best 'til last. There were in excess of 1000 people watching the Jesus Film intently. But what was really touching was that every time Jesus’ face would appear on screen, from the moment Mary gave birth, right up to when He ascended into heaven, the crowd would applaud and cheer Him on. They gave Jesus a standing ovation."

After the long excursion was made and As dusk approaches, the team makes final checks. (Click to enlarge)the delivery of the new equipment was completed, Rudi and his team flew back to South Africa. While their journey is finished, the mission is really just beginning... The Karamoja region is the least evangelized area in all of Africa. Pastor Francis, who is now in possession of the vehicle and movie trailer, has been implementing Andrew’s DE course for some time through approximately 16 church congregations. Just picture the additional impact. Imagine the looks on the faces of the people when they see this vehicle roll into their village and they view a movie for the first time—and it's about Jesus. Glory!

Curiosity began to build before the movie presentation. (Click to enlarge)Rudi and Kam saw an opportunity to be part of Andrew's Karamoja Project and they helped meet a need. "Andrew wanted a way of reaching the unreached in Uganda, and we, through the faithful giving of AWM's partners here in South Africa, simply provided him a means to be able to do this," said Kam.

Be sure to check this blog for future updates regarding the Karamoja Project. For more details, see our Inside Story post, In the Backcountry of Uganda. In the post we share an interview with Andrew as well as pictures and video from his 2012 trip.

Jesus time in Karamoja!
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Rudi enjoying the first movie event in Uganda.
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Rudi handing the mic to Francis for the altar call.
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Hands going up to receive Jesus!
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Monday
Jul292013

Andrew's Trip to Uganda - October 2012

Andrew in Kampala, Uganda with (L-R) CBC's Dean of Education, Greg Mohr and Lighthouse Television's, Gary Everett. (Click to enlarge)Andrew Wommack Ministries continues to share the almost-too-good-to-be-true-news of the gospel in Uganda as the ministry expands its presence into previously unreached areas of the country.

Many readers probably remember the post we shared two years ago about the passing of Leland Shores III, the former Director of Charis Bible College in Uganda. Because of Leland’s unexpected death, AWM was forced to close the Kampala-based campus at the end of 2011. AWM never gave up on the extension school; rather, Andrew and his staff waited for God to bring new directors to lead CBC-Uganda. As we shared in a post in September 2012, those directors have been found in Hank and Mary Lenz. The couple welcomed Hank and Mary Lenz, the new Directors of CBC-Uganda. (Click to enlarge)150 students to class when they reopened the school at the end of January 2013.

In addition to the school, AWM has been advancing the gospel in other ways in Uganda. For the past eight years, Andrew has been broadcasting the Gospel Truth twice a day on Lighthouse Television. This station, also located in Kampala, was originally erected by the Chinese Communists for Uganda's brutal dictator, Idi Amin. Once used to broadcast Amin's propaganda, this station is now used to advance the Kingdom.

A busy market in Kampala.
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AWM also established a bookstore in downtown Kampala, at the busiest intersection in the city. Nearly 10,000 people walk past the location each day. An average of 25 people per week come to the Lord, and many more receive prayer and the baptism of the Holy Spirit through ministry at the bookstore.

More recently, the Lord has opened new doors for AWM to expand into one of the most remote areas of Uganda—the Karamoja region in the northeastern part of the country. This area is home to more than one million people, living in 5,000 primitive villages.

An aerial view of villages in the Karamoja region. (Click to Enlarge)The people in these isolated villages live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago. The tiny grass huts, in which they live, are made of sticks with thatch coverings. Some of the larger huts have two levels; the lower level is only about four feet tall, and the entire hut is only eight feet in diameter. It is not uncommon for families of eight or ten people to live in the lower portion alone! With the exception of cooking pots and mats for sleeping, the families have no possessions. Some of the villagers do not wear any clothing.

Andrew visits the village of Lodoi.
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Perhaps the saddest part of the Karamoja existence is the overwhelming malnutrition and widespread water contamination. The villagers are ranchers and goat herders, but fighting among the people has wiped out the majority of the cattle. All that remain are very small, thin goats. With the villagers' focus set on trying to find enough food to survive each day; it is a seemingly hopeless situation. They are only a step away from death at any given time.

Andrew, with a military guard (left) ministering in Moroto. (Click to enlarge)Spiritual poverty is rampant in the region as well. The Karamojan people have no idea what a Bible is or who Jesus is. Instead, they adhere to the many pagan practices of their ancestors.

Here’s the good news: God is moving in Uganda—even in the remote areas of Karamoja—and His Word is beginning to go forth in powerful ways. Recently, Ugandan President, Museveni, publicly repented for all of his sins, as well as those of his nation, and he dedicated Uganda to the Lord. Uganda is in revival, and God has positioned AWM to be a big part of what He’s doing there.

Natives of the Karamoja region.
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Last October, Andrew visited Karamoja with a Ugandan pastor named, Francis. Pastor Francis is from the southwestern region of Uganda and was among the first Ugandans to be discipled through AWM. Pastor Francis has personally discipled more than 300 ministers and, with AWM's help, he teaches the Discipleship Evangelism course on five radio stations, reaching thousands of people on a daily basis.

Andrew teaching (Click to enlarge)After seeing the physical and spiritual poverty of the Karamojan people, Andrew knew he had to do something to help them long-term. As he shared his heart with Pastor Francis, Andrew learned that after pastoring for twenty-five years, Francis had heard from God that beginning in 2013 he was to turn his church over to an associate and begin traveling to teach Andrew's Discipleship Evangelism course The peolpe listening (Click to enlarge)full-time. In January 2013, Pastor Francis came to work for AWM, and through their partnership they are reaching the people of Karamoja.

Francis travels to Karamoja regularly and uses the Discipleship Evangelism program to train approximately one hundred believers. He teaches up to five lessons over a couple of days Andrew praying (Click to enlarge)and then sends the disciples out in groups to show the JESUS film in the native language of the people. This in itself is a huge deal, as most of the people in this area have never seen a movie. Just showing the film could draw every person in the entire village to come and watch.

After viewing the movie about Jesus, villagers have a frame of reference as to who Jesus is and what He did for them. Immediately after The Elder of Lodoi giving Andrew his staff and stool. Pastor Francis (pink shirt) Pastor Robert holding the staff. (Click to enlarge)watching the film, Pastor Francis’ team gives an invitation to receive the Lord. Over the weeks that follow each outreach, the new converts are discipled by those who have already received the Discipleship Evangelism training.

In addition to these efforts, CBC-Uganda will take their future mission trips to the Karamoja region, bringing hundreds more laborers into this harvest field. With these avenues in place, Andrew and Pastor Francis plan to reach all the villagers in the region with the gospel within three years.

For more on the Karamoja project, be sure to check out our Inside Story post In the Backcountry of Uganda. In that post we share an interview with Andrew as well as pictures and video from his trip.

Adapted from the article Uganda–October 2012, originally printed in the Spring/Summer 2013 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries Gospel Truth magazine.

Monday
Sep172012

Meet the New Directors of CBC-Uganda

CBC-Colorado graduates, Mary and Hank Lenz, the new directors of CBC-Uganda. (Click to enlarge)Leland Shores III, a 2004 graduate of Charis Bible College in Colorado, launched CBC-Uganda in February 2010. He had been on the mission field in Africa since the latter part of 2005, and experienced tremendous success as he answered the Lord's call to make disciples in that region. Sadly, for those who knew him, Leland went home to be with the Lord in June of 2011, at the age of 49. At the time of his passing, CBC-Uganda had approximately 130 students enrolled. CBC graduate, Dean Crooks and his wife Linda stepped in as the school's interim directors. The couple led the students through the completion of the school year and held CBC-Uganda's first graduation ceremony. After graduation, Andrew and AWM's World Outreach Director, Wendell Parr, were forced to put CBC-Uganda's classes on hold until they found a full-time director.

Now, 14 months later, plans are in motion to re-open the Ugandan campus for the coming school year. The Lord has raised up a husband and wife team from Colorado to lead the charge; Henry A classroom at CBC-Uganda in Kampala, ready and waiting.
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(Hank) and Mary Lenz, have been named the new directors of CBC-Uganda.

Hank and Mary were fellow classmates and friends of Leland's. The couple graduated from CBC-Colorado in 2003, and Hank apprenticed in 2004. They first came across Andrew as a result of a friend inviting Hank to Andrew's annual Men's Advance. Hank remembers enjoying the message of grace that he heard Andrew teach, but he was sure there had to be a catch—he never found one.

The Lenzes managed a camp just outside Woodland Park, CO when they sensed God leading them to attend Bible school. One Sunday while visiting a church in Colorado Springs, the couple picked up materials from CBC which included information about the Expand Your Vision conference (now called Campus Days). It wasn't until they were on campus and classes had begun that they realized that Hank and Mary sit for a moment on the tailgate in Colorado. (Click to enlarge)CBC was an extension of Andrew's ministry.

Both Mary and Hank enjoyed their time at CBC and they had the eyes of their understanding opened. Many teachings made an impact on Mary, but she said that The True Nature of God helped her overcome many of her own religious misunderstandings. One class that really caught Hank's attention was Andrew's series on Righteousness. "When Andrew taught on Righteousness, I knew there was something there that I needed to understand at a heart level," Hank shared.

The Lenzes gained more than head knowledge of God's goodness while at CBC; they experienced it first-hand. When Mary was 11, she rode her bicycle to the local store, something her parents had not given her permission to do. On her ride, she had an accident with a car. Because of the guilt she felt, she tried to hide her injuries from her parents. Several days passed before she told them, and they took After graduating from CBC in 2003, the Lenzes owned and operated a sandwich shop, and at one time they employed Leland Shores III (left).
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her to see a doctor. Mary had broken her hip.

At the recommendation of an orthopedic specialist Mary had surgery to address the damage. Mary's problem turned to tragedy when the surgeon damaged blood vessels as he placed a pin in her hip. As a result, growth in her hip and leg stopped, and disease also set in causing her hip to deteriorate further. As doctors sought ways to address her issues, Mary's other leg continued to grow. Doctors came up with a way to halt the growth of Mary's good leg, but not before it had grown an inch and a half longer than her injured leg. The length discrepancy caused curvature of the spine and a host of other problems.

Mary's physical problems lingered as she aged. Hank and Mary were married when they were 21, and the couple had their daughter, Amanda, when Mary was 26. By age 31, Mary could barely walk, and by 34 she was visiting the top hip replacement surgeons in the country seeking much needed help. After more complications, further problems ensued. Eventually, Mary was left deformed and dependent upon a pair of Canadian crutches, a scooter, a wheelchair and medication. Long-held, childhood dreams of becoming a missionary seemed lost, and the simple act of getting on the floor to play with Hank and Mary were married at the age of 21. At the time, Mary was Catholic and Hank was Presbyterian.
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her daughter became nearly impossible.

Two and a half years after the failed surgery, Mary had one more procedure. This time the hip replacement was deemed a success; her leg was attached, and her hip was aligned correctly. Although one leg was still shorter than the other, she still had scoliosis, and her muscles were so weak that Mary couldn't pick her leg up if she was lying on her back, she was optimistic.

Hank and Mary moved to Colorado Springs a year and a half after Mary's last surgery in 1996. When they started classes at CBC in 2001, Mary could still only walk short distances and she was unable to sit comfortably through the four hour class schedule. "One day when she left school early and went out to the car, and Andrew asked me to go out and bring her back in. He prayed for her, and she was able to sit for longer durations," said Hank.

Since that time, Mary has been able to take two mile walks, her stomach has been healed from damage caused by Mary and daughter Amanda on a family outing prior to being healed.
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medication, she can lift her leg off the ground while lying on her back, and she can get on and off the floor by herself. She no longer relies on walking aides—Mary seldom even uses a cane. Mary is healed and gets stronger every day.

It is through CBC that Hank and Mary came to understand and receive all the blessings that are provided through Jesus' finished work. They enjoy seeking God and his grace, and having the Holy Spirit continually remind them of their righteousness. "God is good, all the time," said Hank. "Mary is going to be a missionary by God's grace," he declared.

At the writing of this post, Hank and Mary are on the ground in Kampala, Uganda getting things organized and promoting the re-opening of the school. Andrew will be holding meetings in Kampala in late October, and classes are set to begin the last week of January 2013. With plenty of time to get the ball rolling, and plans to include a new third year leadership training program, the Lenzes anticipate a full house. They have contacted more than 100 students that were sidelined without a school in 2011, and they have received an eager and excited response.

For more information about the Hank and Mary, and their ministry, visit their website . To keep up with their progress in Kampala, follow them on twitter: @LenzMinistries.