The Mission of the Church
This morning is a special Sunday for us. We have a special guest with us today that I’m going to give an opportunity here in a minute to hear a little bit about a ministry that he leads. And if you haven’t had an opportunity to meet pastor Peter, he’ll be up on stage in just a minute. But before I bring him up, I do want to give us little bit of a basis for why we’re having a slightly different service today. I want to talk about really the mission of the church, the purpose for which Jesus created the church. When you think about why we exist, what we’re here for, what God calls us to accomplish, we don’t gather on Sunday to just put sit around in chairs. It’s like we don’t measure our success as a church by our seating capacity.
But rather we say, we measure our church by our standing capacity. And the reason for that is all founded in the purpose for which God has established his community. What is that purpose? And when you study scripture, what you find is that Jesus established his church to reach the world with the gospel. If I just said it in a very, maybe simplistic way that you can remember a little easier, I would say it like this. Our mission is the great commission, we cooperate together for the mission which God has called us to. And when you start in the new Testament with just even the book of Matthew, you see this from the very beginning of Jesus’s ministry, starting in Matthew 4:19, Jesus says this to his first disciples, “Follow me I will make you fishers of men.” So we find as we pursue Jesus, that we influence the world and others, we invite others to come and join us.
In Matthew 16, Jesus talks about when he builds his church, “I’ll build my church and the gates of hell will not overpower it.” Meaning we fight the spiritual battle. We’re not fighting against people, we’re fighting for people, but it’s a spiritual battle. Like if you go back from the garden of Eden, the very first battle Adam and Eve faced in the garden of Eden was a spiritual battle. And it’s been that way ever since. There’s a spiritual warfare happening here. The church fights the forces of darkness and walks in light, that’s why we’re calling this series light the dark in the gospel of John. That’s a theme that John highlights to recognize that when we have conflict in this world, there’s something deeper that’s happening there. And the church is built to fight against that. And not even the gates of hell will prevail against you.
And then in Matthew 28, one of the last things Jesus says to us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” God is a God that is in pursuit of all tribes, tongues, languages for his glory made known in this world. That’s why he established the church. Our mission is the great commission. It doesn’t stop with you. If we’re not reproducing, we need to ask the question, what in God’s name are we producing? The purpose of what God called us to do in this world is not to simply stay with you, but to work through you. And the reason we do this is because sin is devastating, but God cures our condition, sin is devastating, but God cures our condition. In fact, when you study just God’s heart throughout scripture, what you find is God cares about where we are in life.
It says multiple times in the Bible that you see God’s interest in the devastation that we experience physically, because it’s a greater indication of what’s happening to us spiritually. In fact, in the book of Zechariah 7:10, you get these themes, they call as the quadrant of care for God is how he labels his heart for people here. And it says Zechariah 7:10, “And do not oppress the widow or the orphan or the stranger or the poor,” that word stranger sometimes is translated as immigrant, “Or the poor and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.” But they refused to pay attention and turn a stubborn shoulder and plugged their ears from hearing.
It’s interesting, when you read the Bible, you often see God judging people when they have been destructive towards those that are in dire circumstances. In fact, just recalling in Daniel chapter four, I don’t know if you remember this story, but King Nebuchadnezzar in that chapter loses his mind. He gets to this place of pride saying, “Look at everything I’ve built.” And God has him go really insane for a number of years. He literally loses his mind. But right before that happens, God tells him why, he says it’s because he has oppressed the poor, he’s taken advantage of people that were in vulnerable circumstances. And when you read the Bible, you don’t see God saying, what about these rich people? How desperate of a situation, rich people… God’s heart is not looking for those that seem to have everything they need in life, but you see rather God’s heart is drawn to those that are in difficult circumstances.
And that’s what you find in Zechariah it’s the widow and the orphan and the immigrant and the poor, God’s heart is going to them in that situation. And I think the reason for that is not necessarily because of this specific circumstance, but rather when we face physical challenges in this world, it’s a reminder of the curse all the way back to the garden of Eden, which is a greater indication of our spiritual need in Jesus. And we’re more inclined to recognize that when our lives feel like it’s on a rocky surface, and God’s heart goes there. And a great way to minister to people is to meet in there, and then through that point them to their greater need of Jesus. We saw that a few weeks ago with the woman at the well as Jesus conversed with her in her need. You see that throughout all of Jesus’s ministry, where does Jesus go?
He doesn’t run around spending his time with the rich and famous, that’s not what Christ is interested in. He’s born in a barn, he goes to the shepherds. He talks to the woman at the well, he ministers to those that are lame and sick, and that’s where God’s heart is. And when we think about what the church is about, and we carry God’s mission in this world, it’s in the midst of this brokenness that Jesus is the cure for the devastation of sin. In fact, Micah 6:8, I often quote this to my boys, it says, “He has told you, O mortal one, O man, what is good? And what the Lord requires of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” It gives us this address, that in life you’re to walk humbly, and then it tells you how to do it and the action you’re to carry.
How do you do it? You do it with justice and the attitude you carry is to love mercy. That’s what God calls us to in this world. As we walk humbly with him, we’re to be people of justice that love mercy, we walk in justice and loving mercy. That’s how we see the goodness of God. And sometimes in our culture, in our suburban neighborhoods where everything’s protected, we look at a God who talks about judgment. And we think to ourselves sometimes, how can God be like that? We want a lovey God, not judgment God, but if you live in a country where because you are a follower of Jesus, you’ve seen your family devastated because of that, or even lives taken martyred because of that, the justice of God is a very comforting thing to you.
In fact, without it, you would never see the goodness of God. It’s because God is just that God is good. If God couldn’t be just then how would we ever see his goodness demonstrated? God cares about those who are oppressed, God cares about those in need. In fact, I would say this, that it’s the broken hearted that are closest to him. And when we think about what God calls us to do, the mission that we live is through the great commission that he calls us on and why? It’s because sin is devastating. God’s the cure and how? Well, God does it through those who have given their lives to Christ, you’re the conduit of God’s goodness in this world. Hebrews 12:14 says it like this, “Pursue peace with all people and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God.”
And you look what he’s saying in verse 14, pursue peace with all people. But really if you don’t set yourself apart in this holiness, that’s what holiness is. Is this idea it’s not just being sinless, it’s this idea of saying my life was full all of these things, but I’m no longer living for that. Now my life is for King Jesus, and I’ve set my life apart from him to glorify him out of all the idols I could’ve used to glorify in this world, my life will be about glorifying Jesus. And when your life becomes about glorifying Jesus, then other people see the goodness of Jesus made known through you. Charles Spurgeon said it like this, he said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.”
There’s really only two ways God calls you in this world, either you’re a fake Christian or you make the goodness of God known through your life. And when you think about the beauty of what that is and what that represents as a human being, we’re made in the image of God and what better creature to reflect the glory of God than the one made in his image. He’s given you the mouth to express the magnificence of who he is in this world. And that’s how people come to know him. God has desired to use you as his instrument, as his tool to make his goodness. You literally become the hands and feet of God in this world, the means by which he desires to let his goodness known. And so we carry God’s message as we care for people in this world, just like Jesus.
So we say as a church like this, we are a church called to live the great commandment and the great commission. The great commandment is to love God, love others, the great commission is to go into this world and make disciples. And that’s it, that is our focus as a church, love God, love people, make disciples. In fact, in Acts 1:8, Jesus says it like this, “You’ll receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses, both in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria. And as far as the remotest part of the earth.” And so as Jesus is expressing to the disciples after his resurrection, the Holy Spirit had not descended on his people yet, but he’s saying when the Holy Spirit comes, this is your call to think beyond you, to think the way that God desires to move through you, to be a blessing in this world, to be that conduit of his grace in the lives of people around you. To carry the heart of God, to think about how God cares for people and to demonstrate that in this world.
And so he’s telling these people in Jerusalem, and he’s saying, start where you’re at and let God expand you beyond just your area, beyond just your town, but start to think, let God expand that globally throughout this world, to the uttermost parts of the earth, that’s why God calls his people. And when I think about us as a church over the years, I think we’ve been a church that has pursued this, but we don’t want to let it go. We say this week, we can’t make an impact everywhere, but we can make an impact somewhere. And so it starts with you to ask the question, where’s my Jerusalem, where has God led me to minister? In your own home it begins, in your church community, in your greater community, the neighborhood where you live.
And our success as people it’s demonstrated when we’re loving, we’re reaching and we’re multiplying. And so when I think about what we’ve done as a church over the years, just to see the hand of God worked through the people of God in this place, it has been a blessing to enjoy. Even this week on Thursday and Friday, I know some of you are aware of this, but on Thursday and Friday, we’re going to have a group of pastors and ministry leaders here at our church that represent about 16 different ministries in Utah. And we’re going to have an opportunity to love on them and encourage them and just see them lifted up that they know that there’s a group of people that care about their success. Doing ministry in Utah isn’t always easy. And we cherish and something this church has cherished is the heart of ministry leaders in Utah.
In fact, we created a budget, even in our church to give freedom for our leadership to go visit with pastors and encourage them and families to encourage them that are leading ministries in Utah, just because we cherish them so much and wanting to see ministry successful. So we’re going to have a group here on Thursday and Friday, and there’s some of you volunteered to help out with some different things there. And I’m thankful for them, I’m thankful for that heart to see that. And even beyond that, we’ve always been a church that’s continuously done outreach in our community. Before COVID hit we’re faithfully going up to two Pointe Meadow here in Lehi and ministering to the people here. We’ve supported a local Christian radio station here in our valley, in fact, our church was the church that helped them.
I served as their guinea pig. If you ever listened to KEYY radio, they wanted to do live broadcasts here in our valley. And they wanted to try to get pastors online, to do live broadcasts. And they asked me to come be their guinea pig. They said, “If we can get someone on their first, it might encourage pastors to see it’s easy to do. Nathaniel, will you be that guinea pig?” So I was the one who went down, and we’ve supported them as well, just to financially help out the city mission. We’ve done things for them. The Pregnancy Resource Center, we’re doing things for that. Even today, we helped build Grace Haven Bible Campus. As a church we’ve donated some money to see a camp built for our kids in Fillmore, Utah. We’ve taken several trips down to Colorado city to do ministry there.
You brought the first Christmas to ever exist in that town, down the Colorado city a few years ago. We’ve taken multiple trips to India, we’ve given tens of thousands dollars to ministry there. Recently, we started a food pantry, in October we kicked off a food pantry here where we’ve cared for families who provide a week’s worth of groceries. And as of now, we’re somewhere around a thousand people, maybe just a little bit over a thousand people that we’ve served since we’ve started that. In fact, in the next week or two, you’re going to see some changes on the outside of our building just to better accommodate that ministry. And so this has been a church and will continue to be a church, as long as I’m here, to think beyond ourselves, to know that God calls us to more in this world than to just simply know Jesus and that’s it.
I think of there’s a, I don’t want to get too far off track, but I’m going to share this. We’re going to do baptism Sunday on Easter, and one of the things I just… In church history, I went back and read on baptism and there’s this document written called The Dedicate. And it’s a second century document of how the church worshiped. And we’re talking about holding a service outside on the Easter and praying God gives us warm weather so we can all be together because Easter is going to be difficult for us to worship if we can’t find a right location. We’re working on that right now, I don’t know how that’s going to look yet, so don’t worry if you’re worried about outside. I don’t know that we’re going to be there yet, but The Dedicate says that when they baptize people, they were to baptize in running water in the cold.
And I thought, well, cold, we might be doing that, it might be a little colder. But here’s the reason they said it is they knew that running water and colder water tended to be healthier water, that there was life when water was flowing. If water was warm, tends to be not healthy to drink, if water wasn’t flowing tends to be not healthy to drink. But it’s a beautiful picture of God’s people that when Jesus comes into your life, if he just stays with you, you become stagnant and no good for anybody, but God wants to flow through you, his goodness. And when you allow the Lord to do that, it’s a blessing to this world. But I will say this when we live for God in this world, we make that decision to pursue him, there’s always a wrestling with that.
There’s a challenge to stay faithful and to continue to move forward. Because in following the Lord, it’s not always easy because Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me,” that’s a calling to die to self every day to live for his glory. And sometimes that path is a sacrificial path. In fact, if we’re not laying down our lives, we need to really ask if we’re following Jesus because when you see the model of those who follow Jesus, it’s all about laying down your life. How else do you know if you really love Jesus until you’ve made it count by what you’ve given to follow Jesus. Anybody can say they follow Jesus when it’s easy to follow Jesus. It’s kind of a, sometimes it needs to be a cultural thing, people around you follow Jesus, so you just say you follow Jesus.
But it’s not until your life has really made a sacrifice for following Jesus that you’ve communicated. Yeah, my pursuit in following after God has really been demonstrated in my love for him. In fact 1 John 3:18, this verse says, “Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action, this is how we will know we belong to the truth and we’ll convince our conscience in his presence.” So here’s what he’s saying, there’s those that say they love Jesus, but then there’s those that show they love Jesus. And both of those are important, but you can be a walking contradiction if all you ever say is you love Jesus and you never show it. But if you want to even convince yourself of your real love for Jesus, let it be seen in the way that you give to Jesus, especially when it becomes a sacrifice for you.
And so we as people are called to walk in this world with truth and love, truth and love, and that’s not always easy. Sometimes we lean one way or the other, sometimes we walk in this world with truth and no love and that my friends is legalism, and that’s not healthy, truth without love legalism. And then sometimes in life, we want to walk with love with no truth, and love with no truth is liberalism. How can people be set free unless they know the message that sets them free. And so what God calls us to in this world it’s to not walk in legalism or liberalism, but to walk as a disciple, to hold the truth and to hold to love, to demonstrate the goodness of God in this world. And sometimes that makes you not popular, but we say as a church, we literally want to just love the hell out of people.
We want to make it hard for them to hate us. Yes, they may not like us because we follow Jesus, but we want to make it hard for them to hate us because of our love for them. Jesus taught us while other people were enemies to God, I mean we were enemies to God before he gave his life for us, but yet he loved us unconditionally. And that brings us to a place of really transformation in him because he was willing to do that for us. We even had in our food pantry recently, this challenge of walking in love and truth, where we had a group that said, “If you guys would work with us, we’ll supply free food to you. But here’s the stipulation, you can’t pray with people that come to your food pantry, you can’t hand out literature about your church and you can’t invite people to come.”
And we said, “No, thank you.” I know it would make it easier for us, but we really don’t care. We’re going to just go the extra mile and it’s going to be harder because to us, what ultimately changes lives is Jesus. And when people come through the door broken, how else are they going to find value apart from the God who gives them value in him, by giving his life for them, it makes no sense. Without God, how do you have worth, value and meaning in this world? The greatest thing that we can offer to people that come through our door is to know Jesus. We’re happy that we can feed them for a week, but we want to feed them for an eternity in Christ. And so there’s always this challenge of trying to suppress you in the message that you share, don’t relent in that.
Jesus changes lives. There is no hope outside of Christ. And at the same time, when the world pressures you, refuse to be nothing other than Jesus to them. When the world cuts you, bleed Jesus. That’s what this mission is about in this world. And to let it happen, not just here, but through us into this world. And this morning, I have the privilege of introducing, I hope I make it through this, someone that’s become a friend to me and to our family and getting to know the ministry and the heart he carries for his country, and the opportunity God has laid upon him and we have a place in that to be a part of what God is doing really all the way around the world. And so this morning, I want to ask you to give me a hand as we just welcome pastor Peter to the stage special, Peter, would you come up and join us please? You got it.
There you go. You’re good. So I’m going to just, we got a video we’re going to show in just a minute, but I want to take a minute to share and introduce pastor Peter, and pastor Peter is from Uganda. And anyone that can pronounce this last name gets an award, pastor Peter, tell us your last name, say it for us one more time I know you’ve shared with us a couple of times this morning.
Did you get that? Say one more time?
There you go.
It means I can eat anything.
So pastor Peter is a pastor of Rock Hill Church, which I’ll tell you the name of that church. I think I shared a little bit with you a few months ago as a church family. But the name of that church is really a very impressive story we’ll get to, but also, while he pastors a church in Uganda, also has a ministry where he cares for really more than just children, but they have a ministry they called Kyampisi Childcare Ministries. And so I know that’s spelled one way, it’s pronounced different, but it’s Kyampisi, Kyampisi Childcare Ministries in Uganda.
And pastor Peter, what’s interesting about his story is they started their ministry the same time we started ABC and circumstances were fairly similar because when we started Alpine Bible Church, we had a desire to see a church in the city, but didn’t plan to start this church when it took off, the Lord kind of had his own timing with that. And pastor Peter sort of a similar thing with your ministry in Uganda, but you came to know the Lord at 17 and the Lord eventually led you to start a church in Kyampisi. Would you tell us a little bit about how coming to know the Lord at 17, what led you to start a church in Kyampisi, Uganda?
Yeah. 23rd, September, 2009 is my spiritual birthday, I would say. And for me, the best thing on what my childhood life was. And getting to know the Lord and giving my life to the Lord was a complete renewal of my life. I was freed completely and life became meaningful and purposeful. And I became on the fire for the Lord that I wanted to probably win the whole world to the Lord and the Lord took me to different places in the country to share the gospel. And I used… Because when I gave my life to the Lord, that is probably the first time I got to read the Bible and it had life in me. And I was like, how did I miss to have a Bible before that? And I used that as a tool when the Lord sent me to different places to share the gospel, a couple of places in Uganda.
The islands in the North of Uganda, where there was war, some of you have heard of the LRA or Joseph Kony who killed a lot of people in Northern Uganda. I would go there and share the gospel. So going to those many places, to cut the story short, I ended up in Kyampisi, Kyampisi is a village in a district where witchcraft is prevalent. And so I went there, introduced myself to the local council and I shared the gospel with them and they give their life to the Lord. And a few weeks, months later, the fellowship grew in the house of that man who was a witchdoctor who gave his life to the Lord. And on the 25th of December, 2008 was a Thursday, we used to meet on Thursday in his house.
It was Christmas. And so the fellowship, they asked me, “Are you going to come so, we can have a Bible study on Thursday? And I said, “Well, I wasn’t planning to.” And they said, “Well, it is Christmas.” And I said, “Well, I should know better.” And then we came and we had our first service then, but I was struggling with myself because I wasn’t a pastor, I did not feel the desire really to start a church. I just wanted to share the gospel with people. But the reason I went back and forth in that place in Kyampisi is because there wasn’t a church that I would send the people that gave their lives to the Lord to. So I made it my point to go back every Thursday, because I had a day off work and then the fellowship group and I asked the Lord, “Is this my potion in this time?” And God confirmed it through many ways, and the church was started from that.
That’s good. Pastor Peter, we don’t have a whole lot of time to dive into everything that he’s been a part of for the Lord. But what I love about his story is when he came to know the Lord, he just loaded up Bibles in a backpack and traveled around and told people about Jesus. And he could tell you story after story of several of the places he’s been. Because if you know anything about the region of Uganda, Sudan’s right there, Rwanda’s right there, in the last couple of decades very war torn area. And someone brave enough with some Bibles in his backpack was able to travel to some of those regions and to share the Lord with people in the midst of the circumstances. And so if you’ve… Uganda is just North of Victoria, which I think is the largest Lake in Africa, right?
Which he knows about Uganda, but I will tell you as a church, just because you know someone in Africa or know a ministry, it doesn’t mean you may know… There are parts of the United States that are closer to portions of Africa than other places in Africa, that’s how big Africa is as a continent. But his ministry is right on the Eastern side there in Africa, around those countries that have struggled and had some experiences in war and some devastation there.
But for those that have been to Africa, you haven’t been to Africa, if you haven’t been to Uganda that’s it.
Yeah. They call it the Pearl, the Pearl of… If you look at Uganda and just look at the weather in Uganda, I thought they were making this up when they told me, so I looked it up for myself. The Almanac will tell you every month, it’s just 85 degrees. That’s the average in Uganda and it never changes. It’s a great place to visit, so we hope our church will be able to take a trip there. Right now COVID doesn’t make that real easy, but hopefully take a trip there and just put some boots on the ground and see the ministry for ourselves as well. So you started the church in Kyampisi and this village is about an hour East of Kampala, which is the capital of Uganda-
Depending on what time you’re traveling.
Yeah. That’s right. Yeah, I took a, I don’t want to get into that. It’s an adventure, anytime you step out the door and travel to Uganda. But as you started to do ministry there the Lord just opened your eyes to different needs in that community. And what are some things that you saw and experienced as you started to?
Yeah. The church beginning, of course we needed the Lord to launch us, without his power we couldn’t stand the things that came after that. One being the center for witchcraft, we witnessed the horrible to me, I think one of the worst injustices that can befall children, and this was child sacrifice. Witchdoctors were kidnapping children, cutting their body parts off, cutting their heads off, draining blood, killing them. And I was confronted by one nine year old child that I knew personally, who was kidnapped and disappeared. And we searched for him and two days later we found him decapitated and his head was taken. And as I tried to help the family grieve, there was no help from government or police or they were grieving, there was no social services, no trauma awareness.
We buried the child, we managed to arrest the witchdoctor and he was taken to prison. In the same time, almost three months between there was two children with the same village, no, three children from the same family were kidnapped and killed the same time, drained blood from them, and then the guys run away and disappeared. And so I was in between the first family and this family, helping them deal with it and help the police [inaudible 00:29:45], again, to arrest the witchdoctor. And then almost the same time, two children that came to my attention that survived, one boy who was three and a half, was kidnapped by a witchdoctor and they mutilated his genitals completely. And another one was castrated and they cut his head and he survived, was in a coma for a month and he survived. And those children were in my house trying to help them recover.
Miraculously the Lord was with us. And long story short, I was able to find surgery for him. The first boy who needed genital construction in Australia, he’s now a 14 year old boy in our school growing and alive, he would have died. Another boy the one who was castrated and cut the head, they cut a machete through his head and took a piece of his skull. He should be dead, but miraculously God saved him and I was able to find those stories of the doctors and how good they are along. And then he also survived and God literally called us full-time into rescuing children up to now from child sacrifice that is happening in Uganda and arresting witchdoctors and taking them to court and ministering to witchdoctors and their family so that they can know a Lord.
At first, it was why do you do this? Let’s arrest you and take you to prison. And then as I balanced, what is justice and what is God’s justice and is the solution getting them and putting them to prison enough? Is God desiring them to know the Lord and how can we do that? And God softened my heart a little bit in that area personally, to balance the aspect of love and justice and say as we arrest you, we won’t take you to prison to serve as the law says, but we want to share the Lord with you. And some of those witchdoctors have given their lives to the Lord, but the issue of child sacrifice is still continuing that we are battling every day in our ministry, as well as serving the church.
But again, a lot of the witchdoctors within the village have given their life to the Lord and have come to church and our church is growing into the area and being able to push a couple of those vices out. We also started a school because there were so many children that were vulnerable that didn’t have a chance to go to school. We have 500 children now in our school that are vulnerable and some of the children of the witchdoctors, because when we take a witchdoctor to life in prison we don’t want their children to be victimized and not go to school because we have been seeking justice and the children won’t have the person who should be paying for their school fees. So we bring them in, give them counseling and give them an education to go, and a health clinic and a lot of other things that we do within the community.
That’s good. Yeah. So when I think of, sometimes my context in an American setting, when I think of other cultures, it’s not until I get there that I see what makes it unique or different and some of the struggles that you guys have. I know like you pastor Peter’s working with legislation in Uganda to fight against child sacrifice and to outlaw it. And they’re working with government officials in that, but they have the challenge even when, if they make it law to make it illegal and try to protect children, to even get there to make sure justice is served. Here in our country, you have an injustice, you call the police and you go, and Uganda has police, but it operates a little bit different. You may tell them why.
So our police, of course they are very underfunded I may say, but also they are very poorly paid and no resources available. So if you have a child that has been kidnapped and you go to them and say, “There’s a child that has been kidnapped,” they will tell you, “Well, we don’t have a car. How do we move? Do you have money?” So all the investigations are probably victim funded. And so for us, we want to seek justice for the child and for the family and for the suspect, but then there’re no resources to be able to have a tiger reaction to an investigation. Because if you don’t respond immediately, you won’t get the evidence to sustain a prosecution. And so they’ll say, “Oh, we don’t have a car,” and they won’t move. And genuinely they don’t have a car.
And so what we do is each case that we follow, we literally have agreed with the police that we provide a car, provide fuel. Once they come and work with us on one or two days, we will give them lunch, airtime or a daily allowance as we work on that case. In fact, when you do that, they always look forward. They will even call you, is there any case that you want us to work with, but we are so limited in resources that we have not been able to do all the cases that we want. It is quite frustrating, but that’s how we are able to achieve justice. In some of these cases, if we don’t, there’s nothing that’s going to be done.
And some of these cases have taken so long, like 10 years, eight years that we are working on and we still want to work with them. We have a case coming up on the 17th of March that has taken 10 years. We have to facilitate the police who investigated that case then to come and be witnesses in court. So one of them called me, he had to say, “I’m coming on 17th, but I don’t have transport.” So I had to email the office and say, “Please arrange so that this police officer is in court so we don’t lose this case.” That is what we work with really.
Uganda is one of the more, if you look it up online, it’s one of the more impoverished countries, it usually ranks, depending on who’s doing the study in the top 10 of just financial hardships that people face there. And you can imagine if you’re in an impoverished area, like Kyampisi in a village. And when I say village, I think some of us our minds think of just a couple of people, but their villages have a lot of people and so probably not the best word to express in our mind, but you think if you’re in an impoverished situation and police don’t have transportation there, they typically walk around with a stick, most of them carry a baton around.
And it’s not that they don’t want to serve justice, it’s just they don’t have the means to necessarily provide and help. And you’re an impoverished situation, you’ve been victimized, making sure you get justice served it’s a difficult road to walk because of the circumstances. And so Kyampisi, the ministry there helps provide that for kids that have lives have been very negatively and family’s been negatively impacted. And I love the fact that they don’t allow their heart for people to stop at just the victim. They think about even the witchdoctor, the witchdoctor’s family, and all that once someone’s prosecuted for what they’ve done, it impacts an entire family and their children as well.
And they want to make sure that those kids are also not grown up destitute and impoverished, but they find their needs met and cared for and loved as a ministry there. Pastor Peter, not only you just shared the rehabilitation that you do and you have the Weema clinic for women, if you study online the death rate around the world, why people die still in the top 20 today is infant mortality and women dying in childbirth. And they’ve even had people within their own church pass away. They started a clinic to help stop that, to cut that curve. Uganda life expectancy tell everybody life.
Life expectancy in Uganda is 45, I am 39 now. So you count the years I have.
He’s an old man.
Am an old man. I’m feeling my knees. Yeah, 45. But talking about the health clinic, I personally experienced some of our very first members of our church die, a young lady who gave birth in her home and lost two twins. Then another one that I knew also gave birth from her home, this local birth attendant, and she died and left her a baby. I’ve seen over six, seven families that have died from our church. And so we dared to dream and asked the Lord to do something which was totally out of our mind and God graciously built a clinic to help that. And as we have had women come and give bath into our health center and be able also to give medical care to the children, both in our care, because we have a rehabilitation center and a school. All those kids from the community over 800 now within the community come and receive medical care. And then mothers that don’t have the capacity to go to big hospitals, to come and have their children birthed and nurtured as they grow from their womb and we welcome them.
That’s good. And some of you got to meet Harriet who spent some time with us. She was here for quite a number of months, even sang with our band a few times. And I’ll let you know that having now gone to Uganda, Harriet was a wonderful lady that we had here. But having met everyone that helps to run the ministry there, they’re all like that all incredible people to be around. But we’re going to take a minute, I’m going to play a video for you guys that the person in charge of their media put together for us as a church, just to see some of the ministry that takes place there through the church in Kyampisi.
Kyampisi is a village and a community in Uganda, it means a place of Highness. It is a village that has been tormented with a lot of issues, health, witchcraft, which has led to a lot of child sacrifice cases, sanitation issues, and education. God has called us into that community, and God has called many people beyond Uganda to come and bring a divine change into the community.
KCM was registered in 2009 and it had a special focus on different areas. For example, it had a focus on education because years back there was no access to education in Uganda, as a whole. KCM came up with an idea of providing education to the vulnerable community because it’s a community that has orphans, that has single mothers that couldn’t support that child went to school. KCM started a charity school in 2009, that accommodated only 11 children, and right now it has grown to enroll over 515 children. KCM also had another focus on spiritual upbringing in the community, KCM aimed at emphasizing spiritual growth among parents, among children. In Uganda, most of us believe that without God, we cannot live. We live by hope, we live by faith. Another focus was on health care, so KCM came up with an idea and a vision of setting up a hospital that could reach to the community rendering health services. And currently we run a Weema clinic.
Scripture in Psalms 103:2-4 inspires the work and the vision of the Weema clinic. And it says, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” Weema clinic is a dream come true. It’s one of the projects that came out of a very heart breaking situation that we were facing here in Kyampisi. I personally saw a number of women die, three of those were very good friends of mine that I knew personally and loved and cared for.
Despite all those aspects pastor Peter had focused on or KCM had focused on, there were different evil acts that were happening in the community and most especially affected children. And this was child sacrifice.
Child sacrifice, this is when they get body parts, body tissue, blood, and take it into a shrine or used by witchcraft to actually make concoction because they believe that when they do that, when they use human blood or a child’s body parts a concoction is actually stronger.
Child sacrifice happens in Uganda on a huge scale. And we are in a district now, we are placed in a district where most children are sacrificed. You could call Mukono and this region as the capital of witchcraft and the center of child sacrifice. And what we do as we respond to this problem is we rescue, we are engaged in rescuing of children that have been kidnapped or taken into shrines, and they are going to be abused or sacrificed or killed or mutilated for their body parts because child sacrifice is done secretly. No one will tell you that they’re going to do it. We engage in undercover investigations and these undercover investigations help us to uncover the hidden agendas of these witchdoctors. Without the undercover investigations, it’s very hard to catch the witchdoctors. We do the prosecutions, we follow up with, we have a partnership with the directorate of public prosecution.
Once a case has been investigated, then we work with the prosecutors to make sure that the prosecution does. We also have medical responses, most children that have survived have huge and long term injuries. Some of them, their injuries are very complex and we don’t have expertise to be able to treat them. So we have taken some kids in Australia and the U.S. to be able to have that expert treatment. Most of those medical surgeries take a long time to heal. And so we have children that we’ve worked with for longer than 10 years. And through that process of medical response, they are rehabilitated psycho-socially, their families are supported and they’re given an education.
So that response we do with that rehabilitation center, where we have social workers, qualified social workers, physiotherapists, and a team of care givers that give them support so that they are reintegrated back into their communities. The rehabilitation center has been a huge lesson because some kids have to be taken out of the community into the rehab so that they are prepared to even go to court, but also are protected from any secondary attack because they’re key witnesses in court. And so the rehabilitation kind of acts as a safe place for them to be kept, but also acts as a healing place. We are building our own rehabilitation center now that will support in a better way with facilities that can be able to give better healing and support to these children.
If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
One of the things I love about just what the Lord has done on pastor Peter’s life and Kyampisi is that his testimony is not a guy that went out to plant a church. It’s a guy that just followed Jesus and started to share the message of Christ. And from that, a church started and through that the ministry has expanded in the church. It’s a church that as they serve the Lord, started looking their community and realized that there was a place to be a bright light for Christ. And we’re just faithful to follow that. And that’s what God calls us all to. God gives you, as you follow him, if you want your life to count, let me just say it like this. If you want your life to count, and you’re not giving your life to Jesus, or you haven’t trusted Christ jump on the train and make your life count for something.
And not just simply to do good, but to know Christ and then let the love of Christ be known through you, because God gives you certain talents, resources, abilities, and to meet him face to face and say, “I just kept it for me.” What is that mean? How could you even proclaim that God is so good and yet keep that with you. God calls all of his people to be missionaries. We’re either missionaries or imposters to share his goodness in the world. And to be a part of opportunities God provides to let us do that for the Lord around the world. Pastor Peter, one of the things that, and I hope I get this right, we didn’t practice this before we got on stage. So I just told him we just wanted to be candid and him just to share his heart. But if I remember right, you named your church Rock Hill Church for a particular reason, could you tell us, tell the church why you chose that as your name for the church?
As we started the church, there was, one, Jesus is our rock. That’s the foundation for us-
That’s some good theology to rely on.
But interestingly, as we were starting, just a few meters away from where our campus was, was a hill that witchdoctors used for many years, even the community knew that this is a place for witchdoctors they would come, they would sacrifice, they would do initiate people into witchcraft, the whole community feared that place. And for those that believed in witchcraft, worshiped and reverenced that place. And so I walked there and I saw that place, it was a beautiful place, pretty much the most beautiful place closer to us. And the Lord literally laid on my heart that this is my place and I could not settle down, I was like, how can witch doctors be right there in front of us? We have to do something.
I did a little bit of background information, I found the family that owned the land. I went to them and said, “Are you guys selling the land?” The witchdoctors had chased them away and told them, “If you don’t surrender this land for evil worship, you will die?” So I went to them and they told me, “We can sell the land to you if you will deal with the witchdoctors.” I said fine. So I sold my car, bought the land, it was pretty cheap to be honest, because they were not using it, they had given up on it. And so I bought the land and the witchdoctors heard that we had bought the land. And I remember about 100 witchdoctors came with machetes at our church service, tried to attack us. I remember I told the church people, everybody go get a stick. We won’t to attack them, but if they attack us, we’ll beat them and pray for them in that order.
But the police intervened. So they did not manage to come but for a period of one year, they would come and through [inaudible 00:52:08] and witchcraft articles. But we did not give in until we possessed that particular high point in our area. We’ve put a big cross on it and every week our church members just go and sit on one stone and pray and study the Bible, and we have claimed that place. And it’s a place with rocks and it’s the hill, we call it a prayer mountain. But when I came here I saw want mountains are, it’s the pimple. And so I changed my statement, but we call it a rock hill. And that’s where we would like to put our church so that the whole community and the whole district will know that the place that was known as a place of witchcraft and evil worship is now reclaimed for the praise and worship of the lion of Judah.
That’s good. Yeah. So that’s like claiming something in the Lord’s name before you had it, but you guys were able to buy the hill. And I just love that the beauty of it, every time I think of the name of the church, you just think about this place. And one of the things I love, I think sometimes in life when we get to eternity, you won’t really know the impact you fully have until you see God face to face, and you just kind of see how the Lord used you to continue his great name in this world. But one of the things I love, what pastor Peter going there seeing the ministry is you get to interact with young people that had someone not been faithful to follow Jesus, they would not be alive. And you get to see the blessing of that.
Even Harriet being a part of our church grew up in the ministry and now she serves in the ministry and the people there are very committed to what God’s doing in that valley, it’s a beautiful thing to see. But here’s what I want to encourage you as a church to think about. We’ve been circling around what to do in Uganda for a while because there’s a lot of needs there. But what would be the best thing for us as a church just to start and get our feet wet and what the Lord could maybe use us to do to be a blessing there. And we are looking forward to taking a group to see the ministry there. And I don’t think what I’m going to say now will be the end of opportunities to be involved in Uganda.
But one of the things I would love to do is they have a hope to be able to put their church there, right now their church meets in the school. But they want to move their church to this hill as a proclamation really, to that valley of God’s grace and goodness in the midst of darkness. And they can’t build their church on the top of that hill, there’s not really a place to do that, but they do have an opportunity to buy the land at the bottom of this hill or mountain, as you guys call it there, at the bottom of this hill that will just be a testimonial light to the community. And in order to buy that land, it’s going to cost them about $10,000 to get started. There’ll be able to acquire the land and be able to put a restroom facility there.
And they’re going to start just in a tent meeting as a church because every day is 85 degrees in Uganda. So it’s a great place and a great way to start the ministry. So they’re trying to raise $10,000 to get that initiated. And then the other thing is, and I don’t know how this is going to work, this one I want to share with you is messy. But there is a young lady, who’s a teenager now that was a big part of, and I’m not going to share her name, her whole story, but she was a big part of why they started the rehabilitation facility in the first place. And the things that this young lady endured were horrific. And it went on for multiple years and her body is pretty broken to the point where she needs medical attention, but it may not even be possible for her to travel in the state that she’s in.
And we got to try to figure out a solution to accommodate her, to even get her to have the opportunity to be transported to have some procedures. And there might be an opportunity for her to get those procedures here in our valley. And so we’ve got to figure out how to get some people to Uganda that can look at her and be able to treat her enough to provide the comfort she needs to fly, because it’s not an easy, it took you what, 39 hours from Uganda to here to fly. And I think I’m not sure it was the same thing, it was within probably 30 minutes of your trip. So it’s a long haul to get here. But I think looking at her body broken and knowing even in the most feeble of state that the Lord used her to motivate a heart to do something about the circumstance.
God can use anybody in any situation. And I just want to honor her and the struggles she has right now, the way that God has used her to see other children blessed and taken care of and the way that God worked there. So I don’t even know how to announce this or say this, but it’s possible that Botox might be able to be used to do some injections, to help her be able to be mobile enough. Maybe some physical therapy that can be done to help her body be a little more acclimated for travel. I’m not even sure what kind of people we need to get there now. But if you think that you might know somebody or have a connection that if you think of… Well, if you think you might know some, I’ll just say, we just need to start a dialogue and try to find a person that would be willing to go to Uganda, to look at her circumstance and maybe be able to provide a way for her travel to get some surgery.
And if it’s not here, it’s okay. But I just want our church to be a part of making sure we honor that life that God has used to honor other people. Today, if you want to, if you feel led to give towards the ministry, I’m going to tell you the best way to do that. We actually have a matching donation for today, so knowing that they are trying to raise $10,000, we have a generous gift of $5,000 that will be matched up to $5,000 for every dollar that’s given today. So basically what I’m saying is if you give a dollar, it’ll become $2 up to that $10,000 mark. If you would like to give towards the ministry in Uganda, if you go to either Alpine Bible Churches website, alpinebible.com and scroll to the bottom, you’ll see a donate button.
And you have an option of where you want to designate, when you give to the church, there’s four options, and if you designated it as missions online we’ll make sure that it gets matched up to that $5,000 mark. And then if you have the app, you just click on the green heart on our app, and then you can select missions in that as well and give there. And so digitally, you can do that online, if you’re not watching online, but you still want to give to the ministry you can get one of the offering boxes when you leave, if you’re here and you can just write missions on the envelope and we’ll make sure it gets designated to the right place. But I just think what a beautiful story it would be for ABC to be a part of that, to say to a valley that struggles and wants to be a light for Christ that we’re behind you, we care about you, we love you.
And I want to see that [inaudible 00:59:28] mountain purchased for the glory of God and as a testimony to people that Jesus’ light overcomes darkness, and there is hope in Christ, and there’s no reason to fear witchdoctors and just the joy of what that message and what Christ brings to his people. Pastor Peter, I want to thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord and the example that is personally to us as followers of Jesus and thinking about what God can do through us. But I want to end our service, and then we’re going to sing a song in a minute. We’re going to partake of communion in the end. But I’m going to pray for pastor Peter, pray for the ministry here. I recognize whenever he travels it’s not an easy journey to make because he’s got a wife and kids at home, if you want to tell everybody anything about your wife and kids. I should ask you that first, sorry.
Yeah. I’m married with four children, three girls, and one boy, of course, my wife didn’t want to marry me because of my calling, but eventually God helped me. But yeah, they are beautiful and I love them. And please, if you can continue to pray for us as a family that’ll be great because it’s an ongoing battle for me to balance what God has called us to do and being faithful, but thankful for her and the children that they allow me to do what I need to do.
He talked a little bit about, what he does in ministry and the things that he sees and then coming home and having to put on the dad hat or the father hat, the husband hat and trying to keep your mind engaged in your family when you just went through a horrific day and certain circumstances that you were exposed to. And that’s not an easy thing to bear in life, but we want to pray for God’s faithfulness in him. It’s like, as Peter said, where else would we go? Because Lord, where else is the words of life but in you? And when you know how Jesus makes a difference, even though sometimes the road is hard there’s no better place to give your life towards. And so we just want to pray for God’s faithfulness for you, your family, and the ministry there. So let me pray for you, brother while the music team come up and sing.