Missions Report- November 2013
This mission begins in Atlanta Georgia, U.S.A. on November 19, 2013. The experience at Atlanta International Airport was uneventful with easy baggage and boarding for a short flight to Newark aboard a commuter type aircraft------2.5 hours duration. Unfortunately, my camera bag was lost/stolen aboard that flight. What a disappointment since I had planned to leave that Sony Camcorder with Pastor Bita [Jimmy] in Uganda to film monthly reports of missions to be entered into our developing website and blogspot [www.biblesforuganda.com and WWW.biblesforuganda.blogspot.com]. A brief wait for my next flight, an eight hour flight to Brussels via United. A four hour wait followed in Brussels, then a very uncomfortable eight hour flight aboard a Brussels Airline twin engine Airbus. "Airbus" is notorious for robbing passenger space to accommodate more passengers. A rather small fellow sat directly in front of me and whined to the Cabin Host that I would not allow him to fully recline due to my own stature of six feet four inches, even though he had an empty seat right next to him. For me, it was like being strapped to an
infant safety seat
for over ten hours including a stop in Burundi for one hour to offload passengers.
Brussels Airlines Air Bus Coach seating----aka "infant safety seat"
Finally arrived in Entebbe with expectations of a joyous reception--------nobody showed. I was sure that they must have misunderstood the flight time or date. I waited on the receiving deck for about forty five minutes and decided this must be the case so I flagged a transport car and went searching for accommodations. I was finally settled for the night by 2:30 AM Uganda Time. I fired up my laptop and sent e-mails to everyone telling them how to find me. I then took the only hot shower that I had during my entire time in Uganda. In the morning I opened my e-mail and wow, what expressions of remorse and embarrassment. My friends had been in the Airport lounge the whole time I had been waiting for them in the receiving area. After a good laugh at the situation, they arrived to pick me up at the motel. They were embarrassed and stumbling all over themselves with conflicting accounts to why they had missed the arrival. Each convinced in his own mind that the other was responsible.
On to the home of my host, Andrew Otage. He wondered what had happened to me and again, a recital of conflicting accounts from Robert and Jimmy [my reception group] in good humor. I had to lean on Jimmy's wife for the accurate account. After a good visit and rest, at the home of my host, I made my way to Jimmy's home via boda boda [125cc motorbike and driver]. Jimmy proudly displayed his workshop in the market near his home. Jimmy builds surge protected power cords and sells them to desperate customers who have difficulty finding good power cords which will protect their equipment from unstable City power. Computers are especially vulnerable.
Bita Electronics surge protected power cords
Jimmy also engraves specially ordered wooden signs, including the ones I requested for some of our donors.
The ability of this young Pastor to support his wife and two children is directly due to the tools that he has received from donors. A profoundly changed life because of a few tools that we in the West take for granted.
Burcham and Dorothy Bita-----support crew for Bita Electronics and Engraving
Brother Danny----voted Uganda's # 1 boda boda driver.
Joshua demonstrating the famous "MZUNGU LEG LIFT"----says "no one seems to know the purpose for it but it is an amazing feat nevertheless".
We had a relaxing couple of days before picking up our rented car. I avoided contact during price negotiations for the car because of the difference that would have to be paid if the owner knew there was an American involved. The presence of an American drives the price by 100 %.
The car arrived but not in the best of shape-----some issues with the battery, air conditioner malfunction, electric window malfunction which proved to be unfortunate during our travels down long, hot, dusty dirt roads------windows down for 35 miles back into the countryside away from the nearest town. The car would prove to be a predictable problem in our travels. We were left stranded with a dead battery at night on three occasions, but managed to get on our way with the help of Jimmy's little gasoline powered generator [which we dubbed "Jimmyrator"].
We eventually purchased a new battery which solved our problem.
Our first venue was awaiting our arrival. On to Nakawa.
November 2013------PART 2
Nakawa Village, Buyende District
0ne hundred miles into the countryside from Jinja
on the shores of Lake Kyoga
We found a motel in that small town and settled in for five days. Unfortunately, I had some unwelcomed company there----an active partnership of mosquitoes and bed bugs. It was several restless nights, slapping at the side of my head every time a mosquito buzzed my ear canal, and trying to find ways to scratch the bites in the center of my back from the bed bugs. I kept reminding myself of how trivial my situation was compared to the tribulations of St. Paul. It reminded me of the old Coasters record lyric-------"you'll be scratch'n like a hound---the minute you start to mess around with----poison i-vey-ee-ee-ee-ey" [you probably don't know that one---1959]. I'm showing my age.
At Kamuli Town on the way to our first venue
Uganda traffic jam on the way from Kamuli Town to Nakawa Village, Buyende District-----many miles into the countryside.
Uganda super highway
Opening day teaching on the Christian identity----
"you are God's House and God's Temple, and the Holy Spirit lives in you. Let no man defile your Temple with false teaching or doctrine". A stern warning to those who would corrupt God's Temple.
1 Cor 3:16-18
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
teaching on "the Temple of God" which Temple you are
no western electronics at our conferences except for a small generator for night service lighting
Village music is lovelier than anything the West can produce!
Pastor Jimmy leading praise and worship with the accompaniment of African instruments. Village Churches sing in harmony. It is a gift from God. We do not allow western sound systems or instruments in our meetings. We encourage God's people to preserve their unique form of worship.
We strive to maintain the dignity of village life. We portray the village Church as uniquely special to God. We constantly point out their strengths. We persistently stress the power of God in the local Church, and discourage receiving scoundrels claiming to have a special "anointing" to heal the sick and pronounce "prosperity" and-----always for a fee.
"Foot washing" has become just another money making scheme in some of the large "churches" in Kampala [the capital of Uganda]. Pastors will advertise "foot washing" and encourage attendees to bring a "significant gift" to the well advertized event. Nothing is sacred to these well known preachers. A yearly event called "passover" is a "money making machine". Christians from all over Uganda gather at Namboli Sports Arena on New Year's evening [called "passover"]. Attendees bring the greatest "gift" they can to purchase God's favor into the New Year. The stadium is filled with gullible Christians every year. Emissaries from the largest Churches in Uganda are dispatched into the villages to coerce even the most modest village Churches to participate. Promises of "increase" are lauded across the country. Large Churches in the other cities have entered into competition with the Churches of Kampala and established their own "passover". Competition, between the Churches of Kampala and the new comers of the other notable cities, is fierce with each claiming THE unique "anointing". We teach the village Church that "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" and that Namboli [and the new comers] are just a place you go to "pass-over" your wallet. Nothing is too despicable for the Church money grubbers of Uganda. There is no shame and it is all an exaggeration of the "health, wealth and prosperity" doctrine imported by American evangelical preachers of great reputation. No need to mention their names.
12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
a worship moment early in the day
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
After a glorious three days of village music, preaching, teaching, praise, prayer and testimonies------on to the distribution of Bibles.
is this fellow happy or what?
all dressed up to receive her new Bible
Bibles-----old and new
closing prayer for "Bibles for Uganda"
On to Busia to visit Pastor David Cheni
November 2013---PART 3
Busia, on the eastern border with Kenya
home of Pastor David Cheni
Busia is reminiscent of a town right out of the American old west. Roads lined with buckboards [eighteen wheelers] and prostitutes to accommodate them all. Music and loud talk fill the streets till morning. Pastor Cheni escorted us to safe and quiet quarters away from the festivities. That following day he guided me to a local pharmacy where I purchased the medication that caused my afore mentioned "company" to feel unwanted.
Busia Market near the border with Kenya
A miracle hair transplant at a local salon [called "saloon" in Uganda]
We spent the first day teaching at the fellowship of Pastor Cheni. Our message----"the Temple of God, which temple you are", dispelling the notion that the building where we worship is "God's House".
The second day we spent at the fellowship of a friend of Pastor Cheni. We were served a great dinner at that venue. Pastor Cheni spent time with us explaining his efforts at evangelizing Muslims in his area. A formidable task indeed given that 80% of that community are Muslim. He approaches them with grace and sensitivity. Then a view of Pastor Cheni's current effort at building a home for self and family------a few bricks at a time, and steady progress.
Future home of the Cheni family
School house on the Church property
A WELL-----200 feet deep with a crank to surface the water. A gasoline powered pump would bring the water to the surface and store it in a reservoir. I will look for a donor when I return to the U.S
An added note in closing this part of our report. Pastor Cheni's dear wife provided all our meals while we worked in Busia, even to the point of delivering meals to the guesthouse where we stayed. She, with the help of another woman, carried our food on foot for about a quarter mile. What a gracious gesture.
On to our next venue----Bukimbi Village.
NOVEMBER 2013-----PART 4
On to Bukimbi Village, Namayingo District, near the border with Kenya
Three days of teaching in sound doctrine. The village Church has been corrupted with many traditions not supported in the New Testament. A strong mixture of Old Testament "law" with "grace" has left the village Church in confusion and vulnerable to local Pastors and "Bishops" who coerce God's people into practices gainful only to those leaders, ie----promises of bumper crops and prosperity if you give to the "anointed man of God", and threats of crop and livestock failure if you fail to meet the demands of those "anointed men of God". Many Christians are pressed to give land, livestock and things vital to survival. We teach a powerful message on the provision and love of a deeply caring God who gave his own son that we might experience that love and daily provision and most importantly----eternal life. The message is received with great relief and joy.
opening the conference
Getting ready for Bible distribution
Receiving the offering of Jackfruit, money [about 50 cents], corn and bananas given "as a man purposes in his heart".
This dear saint was responsible for preparing meals for all these people for three days. She never stopped smiling.
This woman had attended a previous conference held in September. She walked many miles to receive a new Bible but was bitterly disappointed that she did not receive a Bible at that conference. This time she would not be dissuaded. She shook her finger into Pastor Jimmy's face and said she was not leaving without her new Bible. What'a ya gonna do?
Fifty Bibles were distributed to Pastors and Elders whose own Bibles had become dilapidated to the point that they have become useless for teaching God's Word. This is the central purpose of "Bibles for Uganda". Now we begin our closing ceremony at this village and much prayer for "Bibles for Uganda".
On to Osia in the district of Tororo, The village home of
Bita James Oloo – Pastor Jimmy
Bita James Oloo – East Africa Coordinator – Bible’s for Uganda
I am the son of the late Balam Owino and Yakoba Anyango. Badama/Japadhola from Osia Village in the Rubongi sub-county of the District of Tororo in Eastern Uganda
My late Father was a victim of chronic asthma. He was sustained by medication all his life, but my mother was a very strong village woman. Life was very difficult for them because of the harshness of life in extreme poverty. I was born a healthy boy and named Bita James Oloo but because of the difficult and perilous life in our village, I was nick-named Lifuli, which means “misfortune” due to the extreme conditions under which I was born. My mother birthed seven children. Birth control was not available to our village women in those days. All they could afford was local herbal remedies. The Birthing area for the women of our village was in a banana patch behind our house, in an area where banana leaves were spread upon the ground. This is where they took birthing women to deliver their children. The Elder midwives delivered the babies. That is where Bita James Oloo came into this world.
Both of my parents were peasant farmers. They had a small piece of land which was passed down to my Father from my Grandfather. They used the land to cultivate the food that we ate for survival. We had meat and rice during the Christmas and Easter seasons. When I became five years old I contracted Polio which caused paralysis to my left leg. There was no medical assistance available to me. Over time, my left leg became atrophied and about four inches shorter than the other. This added much sadness to my parents.
After the initial distress of surviving Polio, I was able to begin Primary School at a school about two kilometers from my home. This was a school that my parents could afford. I was always at the very top of my class. When I became ten years old, I learned how to mold and fire earth-made bricks. I made bricks during weekends and holidays. I was then able to sell bricks for enough money to pay for my school fees and personal needs.
During this time in the late 80s, my Father gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. My Mom soon followed, so we began to attend and fellowship with other Christians. I vividly remember my Mother singing and praising the Lord in song and in the traditional African trill. This was the early formative years of my life.
My dad and mom both became committed, born again Christians. I, and all my sisters and brothers, gave our lives to Christ as well. Our entire family became followers of Christ. My dad, who used to be a traditional witch healer, abandoned all witchcraft practices and our family became one of the few Pentecostal Christian families in our community with our father serving as a church elder. I always considered this a great blessing, my family having Christ as lord and master.
Although we lived in total poverty, our encouragement, hope, and trust was in the lord always, and our family was very different from that time forward. Dad always taught us about God.
I lived in my small village hut which i built by myself. I also learned how to repair watches, small radios, leaking vessels, storage containers for cooking oil, and making traditional drums. This enabled me to support my family even when dad lost his sight in 1991. He also fell and sustained a thigh fracture when he was making his way from the house.
I managed to study up to Secondary 3, but when I reached Secondary 4, I needed more concentration in books, yet I also had to work hard to earn money, so I dropped out of school and concentrated on my mechanical work and ministering in church. I began by leading praise and worship, then I was ordained as a youth pastor in our village church. I then developed a great desire to teach and preach the truth with sound doctrine, boldness, and power like the Apostles Paul, Peter, and others, and to help and encourage the poor. This desire influenced me to travel to the city to join, and minister under, a popular and well known ministry. I thought that by being mentored by mighty men of God, I would be ushered into my vision for ministry. I served zealously, sacrificially, and with much obedience under different pastors, apostles, and bishops around the Busoga, central and western region of Uganda.
A woman apostle took me to work in her friend’s poultry and pig farm. I was promised 100,000 Schillings [50 dollars U.S.] per month as my salary. I worked for 8months without receiving any wages. When i told them that I could not continue with the job, they took me to some village and rented a house, and a small hall, to be used as a church house. Then I began a village church fellowship with their support. Within three years, the church had grown to more than 150 members. The apostle told me that “being a loved pastor in this church”, I was taking her glory from her. She also wanted me to engage in manipulation. I refused to comply so they decided to send me away. I left with nothing except my clothes and my bible. I eventually ended up in Entebbe. That is where my path crossed with an American missionary called Brother Danny.
The lord blessed me with Regina as my wife after being joined in holy matrimony before a multitude of witnesses. Danny was among them. He was seated as my Father. Our wedding was on 21st August, 2010. Now the lord has blessed us with twin babies, Dorothy and Burcham. I am called “Ssalongo” in our native tongue, which means—”father of twins”, a very honored title in Uganda. My wife is called “Nalongo”. The lord has helped us through many challenges and victories. Against many odds, the Lord has caused us to prevail mightily.
In ways that I cannot express, Danny has trained, taught, and helped me establish myself into ministry according to my vision. I am now the East Africa coordinator for a ministry known as “Bibles for Uganda” under the New Testament Fellowship International, a small union of dedicated Christians whose purpose is to provide new, quality native language Bibles in the Ateso, Luganda, and Swahili languages, to pastors and Church leaders who desperately need new Bibles. As our missions expand to include Northern Uganda and Western Uganda, our Bible inventory will grow to include the languages of Luo and Acholi in the North, and Lunyankole in the West. Other translations will follow as the need develops. Along with those Bibles, I teach sound doctrine accompanied by my spiritual son called Mukisa Joshua. This is the most unique ministry I know of coming out of the U.S. There is none other like it. No missionary organization I know of will go where we go on the budget that we have. Our donors can be confident that their donation is going directly to the village. Every schilling is carefully guarded.
I now see my dream coming to pass, and my desire coming to fruition day by day. I travel to different villages with Pastor Mukisa Joshua. We are teaching pastors and church leaders with boldness and power. We teach the truth of God’s Word, and warn the Church against all sorts of false teachings and heresy, encouraging them in the lord, and helping poor pastors and leaders whose own Bibles are old and dilapidated. They cannot afford to buy new ones. We travel to a new village every month.
Brother Danny travels to Uganda yearly to join us in this effort. He is the one who raises funds for all the Bibles and transportation expenses for our missions . His own travel expenses are funded by he and his wife. It costs about 1.6 million USh [700 U.S. dollars] per month to fund “Bibles for Uganda”. He has helped the poor through the heart felt contributions of our donors from the U.S. and U.K. Many other projects have sprung up spontaneously, like building a house for a poor widow with five orphan children in Bukedea District, purchasing a cow and goats for village people. One of our faithful donors [Janet Burcham of North Carolina] gave funds to purchase more than 2000 tree seedlings to deforested villages in Tororo District. Danny and wife Lynette, along with Ronald and Catherine Shelton of North Carolina U.S.A., have helped me established a bread business and electronic work shop in Entebbe. I sell electronic parts and appliances and do the repairs.
My life has dramatically changed over these past few years. I hope you have enjoyed my story. It is a story repeated daily throughout the earth. A story of God’s love for his people.
To God be the glory amen. Pr Bita James Oloo(Jimmy)
Osia, Tororo District, Eastern Uganda
Osia is the birthplace and village home of Pastor Bita James Oloo, East Africa coordinator for Bibles for Uganda. He is well known, loved, and respected as "Pastor Jimmy". He organizes one village mission quarterly-----a new location each quarter. He speaks four languages fluently----English, Jap, Luganda, and Swahili.
Lunch is waiting for us in Jimmy's village. Always prepared by Jaja [grandmother], Jimmy's mom. Left of Jimmy is his young brother, to his right is Jimmy's uncle, retired police Constable. Jackfruit hanging over my head.
Village latrine-----"I DON'T THINK SO"----to the bush!
This uncle gives testimony of how the entire clan was converted to Christ from witchcraft after the conversion of Jimmy's father many years ago.
Jimmy's mom, four feet eight inches of STRONG VILLAGE STOCK, proving that----"dynamite comes in small packages!!!"