A few weeks ago Christ Church had a team in Uganda serving the missionary base “Youth Ablaze”. They spent time ministering to the teams there and sharing the Gospel with the local peoples. We were able to send out updates while they were away and we also posted the teams testimonies that they shared on the Sunday they came back. What a joy it was to hear all that the Lord has done!
Over the next few weeks we want to highlight some more in depth stories from the team. We will be posting testimonies from different team members featuring their personal experiences from Uganda. These posts will be here on the Christ Church website for Mark, Chandler and Nick and on the Fully Alive Website for Abby and Lauren, as they focused on the women’s ministry.
For the first post in the series Mark Baker shares how he saw Jesus Christ building His church across the nations:
“I Will Build My Church”
“I will build my church.” These five words changed the course of history. Not because they are a magic formula, but because of the person who said them. Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, the one who spoke the universe into existence—he said these five words.
I marvel when I think about the universe being spoken into existence by the living Word. Think about it—galaxies and waterfalls and redwoods and giraffes were all created out of nothing. We weren’t around to see that creation. But we do have the privilege of seeing another kind of creation out of nothing—God’s salvation of sinners and formation of the church.
Christ is building his church with living stones of every tribe, race, people and nation. Jew and Gentile, slave and free, man and woman—all are part of God’s second—and greater creation. There is coming a day when the present world will pass away. It will be gone. But Christ’s church will never pass away. It will remain forever in the presence of the eternal God.
Recently I was able to see an amazing part of Christ’s church-building plan as I travelled to Uganda with a team from Christ Church Knoxville. We went to partner with Jesse and Rachelle Digges, who have pioneered a ministry called For All Nations, which is a prayer and missions base that sends missionaries to unreached people groups in the horn of Africa. We met missionaries like Isaac, Mark, and Moses, who are sharing the gospel with tribes who have never heard the name of Jesus.
We also met a thirty-six year-old pastor named Benjamin. The Lord saved him when he was eight, and he immediately had to count the cost of following Jesus. His father, the village witch doctor, immediately disowned him upon hearing of his conversion. Benjamin went to live with his sister and was called to pastor his first church at age twelve. But through faithful prayer and perseverance, the Lord then saved not only Benjamin’s father, but also his entire family. Benjamin’s father is now an assistant pastor in his church. Jesus is still in the business of building his church. And indeed, the gates of hell will not prevail!
We also were able to minister to about seventy local pastors who are faithfully leading churches in Uganda. These pastors repeatedly said that God had given us a message that they needed to hear. As we trained the pastors in theology, they received the gospel deposit with joy. I love how the Lord allows the overflow of the training we have received to bless others. Yes, the African pastors were blessed by our message. But Christ is also building his church by letting us receive from them. I learned so much from the joy, the zeal, and the contentment of the African church. And now we know that every Sunday, as we gather together to worship Jesus, Son of the living God, there are faithful churches across the world who are worshipping the same God, part of the same church.