Our time in Uganda was a God moment as over 400 pastors and wives came together for a 4-day conference the first week of March.
A few pastors also came from Burundi, but most from all over Uganda. Connie and I were accompanied by Pastor Gary Maroney and his wife Darlene, who were greatly used and complimented us well during our time there.
Pastor Peter Kasirivu, Senior Pastor of the host church, Gaba Community Church wrote, “Dear Pastor Steve and Connie, I would like to send my utmost gratitude and appreciation to both of you and to Pastor Gary and Darlene for the wonderful Pastors’ and wives’ conference. Indeed the conference came in at a time when we really needed it, God used you to prophetically challenge the church leaders here to really renew their commitment to God, to their spouses and to the ministry. God has used this conference to bring healing to many struggling marriages which in return will be bring life back to our churches. You were so clear and direct when it came to addressing the call to purity and faithfulness as regards our marriages. Thank you Steve for giving the foundation to the whole conference by tracing the supremacy of Christ throughout scripture which really is the basis for the Gospel and the foundation for our marriages and ministry. You specifically rekindled my passion for scripture memory which inspired the majority of the participants to read, study and memorize scripture. Thursday was a great ending to the conference with Holy Communion, prayers of dedication and then the romantic dinner. I have received countless feedback from pastors all over saying that they have never seen anything like this before and their cry is for us to do this again. They also appreciated the wonderful accommodations where each couple was able to have their own private room in a hotel and to many this was like honeymoon again. I really request you consider returning to Uganda in 2014. Will you please give our thanks to all the partners you have at Shepherds Support who enabled you to finance such an amazing conference. God bless you.”
Gary and Darlene were deeply touched by our time there and expressed these sentiments: “It was amazing to see the change of heart in the pastors and their wives as they were confronted with the teachings of God’s Word in regard to living according to God’s will—not their own personal desires. The last evening was truly a time of celebration, rejoicing over conviction and a desire for forgiveness and reconciliation. Only time will tell the story of all that God did while we ministered in Gaba, but that
romantic dinner on a rocky beach of beautiful Lake Victoria with the glow of a full moon revealed joy and contentment and a renewed commitment of hearts to God and to each other! Our own lives were encouraged and strengthened as we reflected on the power of God’s Word and we were reminded once again that without Christ in us there is no hope of glory! What a blessing to be a part of such a much needed ministry. Thank you for the privilege to serve with you.”
We received many letters of gratitude. I will share with you thoughts expressed from one pastor and his wife: “Our love for each other is very much renewed. Our commitment to Jesus Christ has taken a new shape. Yes, we love Him—He is King and Lord of our lives. Our food was good, accommodations excellent. And what can we say but ‘Thank you, thank you, God bless you.’ May your love that you have demonstrated increase more and more till He comes again.”
From a personal perspective I am always amazed at how God sometimes redirects us from the topics originally planned. We focus on marriage and ministry, in that order. This is just reverse from how many pastors think. They put their ministries before their marriages. It is difficult to focus on ministry issues when the marriages of so many are deeply troubled and dysfunctional. Our Q & A sessions are usually very productive in helping us know and address the deep seated issues. Thank you again for your prayer and financial support. Our next stop is Croatia where pastors and wives from 4 or 5 Balkan countries will be coming together the last week of May. May God bless you as you continue His Kingdom work.
Pastor Steve, Connie and the SSI Board