Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Dear Friends and Family,
This year, so far it seems that there has been a continuing theme of prayer. According to 1 Thessalonians 5 we are to “pray without ceasing”, so this theme should not be surprising. Last month, I shared how we had started the year, after our bout of covid, with an afterglow and prayer service at church. That service inspired the wife of our media director, Esther, to take time to pray a step further. While prayer is a part of every service and ministry we have at Arise Christian Fellowship, Esther thought we needed a day set apart specifically for prayer and fasting. We have now started, on the first Saturday of the month, to have a day of prayer and fasting at the church. Whoever is able gathers at the church at 2pm, following the worship teams’ practice. The worship team members who are able to stay, open the prayer time with some worship while individuals have a time of personal prayer, reflection and repentance. After that there are organized times of prayer where the people pray for specific things such as the church, the country, world events, etc. There is also time for the people to break into smaller groups and pray for one another for whatever prayer requests they might have.
1 Thessalonians also says to “rejoice always” and to “give thanks in all circumstances”. Throughout the time of prayer there is also times of rejoicing and of people giving thanks. The times of thankfulness I believe are so encouraging for everyone who is there. First of all it points to the One who is able to answer our prayers as well as secondly, building faith in those who are petitioning the Lord for something specific. This time of prayer is helping people to learn to draw near to God and rely on Him. It has also been a good opportunity for the church to better get to know one another and to help each other through prayer. After the time of prayer is over, around 6pm, we break the fast together. This ends the day with food and fellowship. I believe those who come leave both spiritually and physically satisfied.As we launched the monthly day of prayer and fasting, it became evident that many people in the church have amazing testimonies to share. Testimonies are our own personal experiences with God. They can often reach and encourage people in a way that they couldn’t be reached before. This month we opened up time during the Sunday service for those who had a testimony they wanted to share so they could share it with the church. The first Sunday, our missionary to South Sudan, Ivan, and his wife were there. Last year, Ivan got married during the time of the strict Covid operating procedures. Only 20 people were allowed at the wedding. Now that the COVID restrictions are relaxed, Ivan wanted to come and share his testimony with the whole church of how he and his wife met and married. His testimony was very encouraging as many people in the church want to be married but feel like it will never happen or that they are getting old. Ivan is in his 40’s and shared how while there were ups and downs in is life as a single man it was as he focused on the Lord and served Him whole heartedly that he met his wife, who was also serving the Lord. This was exactly what many of the single people needed to hear.
Another testimony that was shared this month was that of Bright. Over the last 2 years he has gone through much. First he was in a terrible accident where he was hit by a car while riding a small motorbike. He almost died. After he recovered from the accident he was attacked and beaten almost to death. This was during a time when people were desperate for food and money after so many lockdowns. This beating landed him in the hospital for quite a long time. There was even a point where we were not sure if he’d be able to walk. Bright shared that during these near death incidents the Lord truly made His presence known and it also convicted him of his lifestyle. He loved the Lord and was coming to church but his “wife” was not really his wife. After he was well they shared the truth of their relationship and have taken the steps to make their marriage legal. This was also a needed testimony as many people in Uganda are “married”, meaning that it is in word only not legally. This has a lot to do with not being able to afford dowry or thinking that they need an extravagant wedding. We have taught and encouraged against these false marriages but Bright’s testimony was from personal experience and I pray will be received by those who need to hear it.
Thank you for praying for our family and for the people in Uganda.
Brian, Jill, Luke, Laylee, and Liana
- We thank the Lord for how He is working amongst Arise Christian Fellowship .
- Please pray that many people would come to our day of prayer and fasting. Pray that they would experience God answering and moving in their lives
- Pray for all the people who have had Covid that they would be completely healed from the lingering symptoms.
- Pray for Ivan and his wife as they continue to serve the Lord together and grow in their marriage.
- Pray for Bright and his wife as they truly walk together in marriage now.
- Pray for everyone who has heard the testimonies of Ivan and Bright that their faith will be strengthened.
- Pray for Brian as he pastors and leads the ministry team at Arise Christian Fellowship.
- Please prayerfully consider becoming part of the Kanyike Family support team.