The Pastor and elders of the first
congregation we visited in the
village of Butiro, asked for an
opportunity to have baptisms also
known as "Immersion".
Knowing that baptisms are done in
flowing (living) water (like John
the Baptist down at the Jordan
river), Pastor Larry Michael sought
a source of 'living water'.
Being near the end of a very dry
season in drought like conditions
made it difficult. One was
found, and members of four
congregations all met 'down at the
riverside'. This picture
should speak a thousand words... but
it can't tell you how joyful and
memorable it was for everyone!
Even the cows waited for us to get
out of their watering hole!
Pastor Frederick (center) about to
undergo "Immersion" (Baptism) while
Pastor John Michael (left) looks on. Sixteen brothers and sisters
made their public declarations to
follow Yeshua and immersed themselves that day.
Most Africans are not taught how to
swim, therefore incidents of
drowning are common, and the fear of
submersion is very real. For
many of the precious brothers and
sisters who walked themselves into
that waterhole, and placed
themselves completely under the
water, it was a spiritual and
physical challenge of laying down
their lives for Messiah.
The following week we took all the
children and young people from
Emily's house to a hotel, where we
enjoyed the cool water of a pool
under the intense African sun, and
offered basic water safety and swim
Yeshua never mentioned getting
people to make a decision to follow
him, although each disciple was
given the traditional rabbinic
invitation to "come, follow me".
In the gospels, Matthew the tax
collector makes an amazing decision
to immediately walk away from a very
lucrative career to follow the
Messiah. Peter, Andrew, James,
and John all leave their families'
fishing businesses behind to follow
the Messiah - and thousands even
followed Him into the desert for
several days, just to hear Him
They followed him. Going one
step at a time. Leaving the
familiar securities of their
villages and old lives behind them,
they followed Master Yeshua (Jesus).
They followed because they heard,
and believed. In the Jewish
culture, to accept what one heard
meant obedience would follow.
The Hebrew word "shema" often
translated "hear" more accurately
means to "hear and obey".
In the first five books of the bible
(in Hebrew referred to the "Torah",
which means loving instructions from
G-d), the Father outlines how
He wants his people to live.
These were the instructions our
Savior followed; perfectly.
These instructions are how we can be
like Yeshua. Teaching our
children we often say, "in our
house, we do things this way...." as
we lay down the standard for
behavior we expect from our
children. The Father does the
same thing by giving us His house
rules. These very same
instructions Yeshua followed.
He followed His Father's
instructions, setting an example for
us. Throughout the Psalms,
"His ways" are mentioned over 15
Psalms 128:1 "How blessed is
everyone who fears the LORD, who
walks in His ways."
Yeshua the Messiah is "the Way the
Truth and the Life." He is our
model, the perfect example of living
out Torah - the second Adam that was
able to resist temptation and
fulfill the Father's plan for our
redemption. Out of gratitude,
we owe Messiah, and the Father who
sent him, a life of obedience...not
to earn salvation... not to earn His
grace... but because of His amazing grace!
Yeshua said, "if you love me, keep
my commands." This is the
essence of the messages Pastor
Michael taught to the congregations
he visited. He encouraged them
to walk in love,
forgiving one another, and looking
out for the interests of others.
A difficult, but worthy assignment
for each of us as we emulate the
Master, Yeshua the Messiah!
David (left), Pastor John-Michael
(center) and Pastor Michael
strategizing how best to reach the
people in Uganda. Many
theological discussions took place
around that table. They are
who have sacrificed much for the Kingdom of G-d.
They would like to see their people grow
in the knowledge of the Kingdom.
"The harvest is plentiful, but the
workers are few" Matt. 9:37
Being a Blessing
During our three week trip, Josiah,
Gracie, and Beki also were a blessing to
those they came in contact with.
Around the ACTS for Messiah home, Josiah
was known for his bible study
discussions and one young man joked that
we could just leave Josiah to teach
until we returned.
Gracie shined as a model worker always
pitching in to help with whatever task
was being done
even butchering and plucking chickens!
Beki enjoyed forming relationships with
the three girls in the home, and
speaking into their lives when able. Shopping
in the market, and learning a few of the
local "Jap" words has stirred up the
desire for language learning, and she is
hoping to begin studying Swahili with
the entire family.
Gracie and Josiah worked with the ACTS
children to act out the book of Esther,
in a Purim play.
Beki got to help bake special cookies
for everyone, and hand them out to the