May 30, 2009

Weekly Round-Up

Here's the latest for this week's round-up:

1) Barbara Among, "Finish Kony threat, Obama told" in the Sunday Vision newspaper (Uganda). There is a growing desire in America to help Uganda end the reign of terror from Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). This is a report on a US bill helping to launch a second military offensive against the LRA.

2) "Oyedepo lit the candle of truth" in the Sunday Vision newspaper (Uganda). Now that the Nigerian health-and-wealth gospel peddler David Oyedepo has visited Uganda, here is a piece suggesting "he brought the truth that crushed the deception in many Uganda churches." A sad commentary demonstrating the need to advance biblical discernment in East Africa and beyond!

3) HE Baber, "The pull of conviction: New religious movements hold more attraction for young people than churches that have jettisoned their fundamental theology for fear of offending" in the Guardian newspaper (UK). This is a fascinating commentary on the success of cults, including the writer's own experiences with the Unification Church.

May 27, 2009

Book Review: African Reformation

Since African Apologetics has picked up a large number of new visitors and subscribers, we are re-running another one of John's important book reviews.

African ReformationAllan H. Anderson, African Reformation: African Initiated Christianity in the 20th Century (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, Inc., 2001), 282 pp.

The twentieth century witnessed the rapid expansion of Christianity throughout Africa. One of the main avenues of growth was in African Initiated Churches (AICs). These churches began in Africa and were started by Africans (not missionaries). What can we learn about their origins and development? How should we understand their place in global Christianity? Allan Anderson answers these questions in African Reformation. A white South African who is involved with AICs, Anderson combines his experience and knowledge with thorough research in this work.

The result is a book that is broken into three parts: context, history, and lessons. The author begins by seeking to characterize AICs and then moves to examining their causes. Next, he devotes a chapter to each region of Africa, summarizing the formation and progression of AICs through the twentieth century. Finally, Anderson concludes by providing an analysis of AICs in light of contemporary questions and issues.

I am amazed at how much information is packed into African Reformation. It is a veritable treasure trove of data on AICs. I will regularly consult this book as I conduct research on African Christianity. It will be an invaluable resource in understanding numerous churches and denominations in Africa.

At the same time, I found Anderson's third section lacking. As an "insider," he dismisses theological challenges far too easily and goes out of his way to minimize charges of syncretism. He essentially submerges Christianity into cultures, leaving us with numerous contextual theologies rather than with an overarching revealed Theology. As a result, he denigrates theology and philosophy while emphasizing experience and the dynamic, ever-changing nature of "spiritual" Christianity.

Anderson's treatment of salvation and the gospel is especially troubling. He writes:
"Salvation" in Africa needs to be related to more than an esoteric idea of the "salvation of the soul" and the life hereafter. It must be oriented to the whole of life's problems as experienced by people in their cities and villages. . . . Many AICs see "salvation" not exclusively in terms of salvation of sinful acts and from eternal condemnation in the life hereafter (the salvation of the soul), but also in terms of salvation from sickness (healing), from evil spirits (exorcism), and from other forms of misfortune" (233).
While Paul Hiebert and other missionaries today are correct in pointing out Western Christianity's unbiblical segregation of the natural and supernatural worlds leaving an excluded middle, expanding salvation itself into deliverance in this world easily corrupts the gospel. The fundamental problem in this world is our rebellion against God, not poverty, sickness, or evil spirits. Far from being esoteric, salvation from God's just wrath gives us true joy and hope. This does not mean that the gospel has nothing to do with the many challenges in our world, but they must be seen in light of our relationship to our Creator. We must distinguish between salvation in Christ and the many other ways that God works in this world.

In any case, there is a lot to like about Anderson's book. He has done all of us who are involved in African ministry a great service by providing so much material in one place. At the same time, his analysis must be read critically. For the discerning reader, African Reformation will prove tremendously useful.

May 26, 2009

The Seriousness of Deception

Last week we began looking at Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7:15–23. In these verses He gives us two reasons why we must guard against spiritual deception. His first reason (vv. 15–20) is that deceivers are dangerous. Today we look at His second reason in verses 21–23:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Final JudgmentThis text shows us the seriousness of spiritual deception. Deceivers aren’t just dangerous, they’re damned—and I don’t use the word lightly. Jesus takes us to the final judgment to expose these false prophets for who they really are.

First, notice how strong their confession is: “Lord, Lord.” This isn’t merely a casual profession; the false workers are adamant in calling Jesus their Lord, and they appeal repeatedly to His lordship for emphasis. Yet they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Why? Because they haven’t done the Father’s will. True believers must live in submission to the Father.

What do you mean, they haven’t done the Father’s will? Haven’t they prophesied, cast out demons, and done “many mighty works?” And don’t forget, Jesus doesn’t even suggest that these supernatural acts didn’t occur as claimed; evidently the false workers really did accomplish these things. Shouldn’t prophecy, exorcism, and miracles prove beyond a doubt that the one doing them truly speaks for God?

No. Jesus says that in the last days, “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). The signs many so often seek today are not what our Savior teaches us is important; in fact, false prophets and deceivers can accomplish many amazing things in Jesus’ name.

But Jesus declares: “I never knew you.” It’s not as though He once knew them and later they fell away through disobedience; they were never Christ’s disciples. As He says elsewhere, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). In Jesus we become the healthy tree that bears good fruit by doing the Father’s will (see John 15:1–11).

So Jesus quotes Psalm 6:8 and pronounces judgment: “Depart from me.” What awful words! Matthew Henry expresses the horror of these words well:
When he came in the flesh, he called sinners to him, but when he shall come again in glory, he will drive sinners from him. They that would not come to him to be saved, must depart from him to be damned. To depart from Christ is the very hell of hell; it is the foundation of all the misery of the damned, to be cut off from all hope of benefit from Christ and his mediation. See from what a height of hope men may fall into the depth of misery! How they may go to hell, by the gates of heaven!
Spiritual deception has eternal consequences. Can we take it lightly? Is it safe to disregard Christ’s command to beware of this ever-present deception? Of course not. You and I must always be on guard—and we must help equip our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world to follow our Savior’s warning.

May 23, 2009

Weekly Round-Up

Here's the latest for this week's round-up:

1) Dan Harris and Almin Karamehmedovic, "Child Witches: Accused in the Name of Jesus" on the Nightline television program. While witchcraft in Africa is very real, there is a growing danger throughout the continent of Christians accusing children of witchcraft and submitting them to extremely violent exorcisms. You'll want to make thew time to watch and/or read this report.

2) Patrick Jaramogi, "Hindu spiritual leader Swami visits" in the New Vision newspaper (Uganda). When people think about religions in Africa, most will not point to Hinduism. But here we see the status of Hinduism in Uganda, with the Hindu spiritual leader His Holiness Swami Sri Satyamitranand Giriji Maharaj coming for a five-day visit.

3) Jason Swensen, "Full joy found in principles of the gospel" in the Church News. I have previously mentioned Mormonism's first black African general authority. Here is a follow-up piece, covering his background in Africa and history with the LDS church.

May 20, 2009

Book Review: Foundations of African Traditional Religion and Worldview

Since African Apologetics has picked up a large number of new visitors and subscribers, for the next couple of Wednesdays we will be re-running some of John's important book reviews.

Foundations of African Traditional Religion and Worldview
Yusufu Turaki, Foundations of African Traditional Religion and Worldview (Nairobi, Kenya: WordAlive Publishers, 2006), 128 pp.

There are many different ways that individuals can study African Traditional Religion (ATR): historical, psychological, sociological, etc. But one approach is often overlooked, the theological. When examined in this manner, many important questions are raised. What is the ATR worldview--its framework for understanding the world in which we live? What are ATR's basic beliefs? How does ATR compare to the Christian faith?

Yusufu Turaki seeks to answer these questions in his book Foundations of African Traditional Religion and Worldview. A Nigerian theologian and scholar, Turaki is certainly qualified to address these essential religious issues. He begins by defining religion and placing ATR within its religious context. Next he turns to explaining its fundamental theological, philosophical, and ethical beliefs. After laying this groundwork, the author continues to examine ATR's beliefs regarding the Supreme Being as well as the gods and spirits. Then he looks at how humans interact with the spirit world, from communication to the acquisition and use of power. Finally, he analyzes what it means to be human and the meaning of life according to ATR.

I learned a great deal from Turaki's book. To begin with, I appreciate his approach--laying out the fundamentals of ATR as a whole while showing how these foundational beliefs relate to each other. Understanding ATR as a worldview has been tremendously informative. I am amazed that he was able to include so much in such a few pages! This work will definitely be a convenient reference.

At the same time, I also find this book's brevity to be a limitation. When reading it, I regularly found myself wanting to dig deeper and learn more. At times, I almost felt as if I was reading through a beefed-up outline. While this may have been the author's intent, his book would be more useful with additional expansion and analysis.

Turaki also seems somewhat overly dependent on the work of Philip M. Steyne. He admits his dependence in the first chapter, but his citations and quotations from Steyne were so frequent that I occasionally wondered if I should simply read Steyne instead.

In any case, I'd still suggest that those interested in an introduction to ATR should read Turaki's book. It is a helpful starting point to further study. I hope that more theologians, philosophers, missionaries, and others will build off of the foundations of a work like this to further equip the body of Christ.

May 19, 2009

The Warning of Jesus

UgandaSeveral months ago, I had the opportunity to speak at a church about our ministry and vision for East Africa. After the service ended, I stayed in the foyer to greet and talk with members.

I’ll never forget what happened next.

A man came up to me and said, “Let me give you some advice. I’ve been going to church for many years and heard a lot of missionary presentations. You were far too negative in what you talked about. Who cares about cults? I want to hear something more positive, about the gospel being shared and Africans coming to know the Lord.”

Now, in all fairness, maybe I wasn’t as balanced as I could have been. And I certainly want to see the conversion of many Africans through the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ! Nevertheless, I think that his critique ultimately lacked biblical support. Jesus Himself warns us against those who seek to overthrow our faith in the Sermon on the Mount. So for the next couple of weeks, I want to briefly look at Christ’s words in Matthew 7:15–23.

In these verses, Jesus warns us that we must guard against spiritual deception. Why? As Jesus explains in verses 15–20, deceivers are dangerous:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Here we recognize a hidden danger. Jesus begins with the word “beware,” a command. This is not optional, not a suggestion, not a merely good idea. Our Savior requires us to beware of false prophets. And notice that He portrays these false prophets as an active concern, not a rare or occasional challenge. We’re to constantly be on guard against them because they’re always among us.

Wolf in Sheeps ClothingSo who are these false prophets? They claim to speak for God but entrap others through their lies. In the New Testament, we see that they are greedy, arrogant, immoral, and ungodly. But they also impersonate true Christians—they do their work in “sheep’s clothing.” False prophets seldom tell you that they reject the faith; instead, they’re ravenous wolves who actively seek to destroy Christians.

If this is true, how can we recognize them? Jesus provides us with an exposing test: Recognize them by their fruits. Most directly, these fruits are what Jesus has laid out throughout His sermon. Here we find two foundational kinds of fruit—(1) belief in Jesus, and (2) following Jesus’ teaching—in other words, belief and behavior. Both kinds of fruit need to be tested.

To underscore His point, Jesus states the obvious. Grapes can’t come from thornbushes, and figs can’t come from thistles. Plants only produce what is in their nature to produce. Only a healthy tree that bears good fruit; a diseased tree will produce bad fruit. And in this comparison we see that there’s no neutrality. All trees are bearing fruit; the question is, what kind? If you know the fruit, then you can tell the tree. Again, we see Jesus’ seriousness: All of the trees that do not bear good fruit are condemned (“thrown into the fire”). This is the same warning that John the Baptist gives earlier to the Pharisees in 3:7–10.

Finally, in verse 20 Christ repeats Himself: “you will recognize them by their fruits.” All Christians are commanded to be “fruit testers” by the very Lord of Glory.

Which leads me to ask: How seriously do we take spiritual deception? Do we recognize the danger? Are we prepared to test the fruit of those who claim to speak for God, either in what they teach or in how they live?

Let’s not forget that Christ’s command applies to His followers everywhere. How can you and I help our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world to recognize and resist deceivers? False prophets aren’t just a danger only here in America or the West; such people are seeking to overturn the revealed truth of Christ globally.

Next week, we’ll examine Jesus’ second reason for warning us against spiritual deception.

May 15, 2009

Weekly Round-Up

Here's the latest for this week's round-up:

1) Francis Kagolo, "Bishop Oyedepo to preach at Africana" in the New Vision newspaper and Malita Wamala, "Let us make good use of Oyadepo's visit" in the Observer newspaper (Uganda). One of Africa's most well-known and successful prosperity gospel preachers, David Oyedepo, is coming to Uganda for a three-day gospel conference. If you'd like to know more about Oyedepo, his Winners Chapels, or the corrupted health-and-wealth preaching that is spreading throughout Africa, then also be sure to check out

2) Dismus Buregyeya, "Masaka cult approved" in the New Vision newspaper (Uganda). It looks like yet another Catholic cult is growing in Uganda, led by Barnabas Kazibwe. As you can see, the need to research and respond to cults in East Africa is never-ending.

May 13, 2009

Book Review: Theological Pitfalls in Africa

Since African Apologetics has picked up a large number of new visitors and subscribers, for the next few Wednesdays we will be re-running some of John's important book reviews.

Theological Pitfalls in Africa
Byang H. Kato, Theological Pitfalls in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya: Evangel Publishing House, 1975), 200 pp.
At a small Anglican bookshop in Uganda, my eyes stopped when I came across a book on a crowded shelf. Immediately the title struck me--Theological Pitfalls in Africa. Intrigued, I picked up a copy and purchased it. I had never heard of Byang H. Kato (you can read an informative bio here), but I am always interested in learning more about theological controversies where I will be serving my Lord.
Needless to say, I made a wise investment. Kato responds to two dangerous trends he saw emerging in Africa: the growth of universalism and the danger of syncretism within contemporary African theology. Through the continuing influence of ecumenicism and liberal Christian scholarship, Kato writes about the increasing compromise and even abandonment of biblical Christianity throughout the continent.
In this book the author singles out for critique African theologians John Mbiti and Bolaji Idowu, as well as the ecumenical All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC). Through several chapters, he analyzes and replies to numerous problems that have been produced by these Christian leaders. His primary objective is to demonstrate the uniqueness and exclusivity of biblical Christianity against attempts to find parallels and continuity with African Traditional Religions. Additionally, as he records the progress of the ecumenical movement in Africa, he points to the need for an uncompromising evangelical alternative.
I greatly appreciate Kato's wisdom and doctrinal insightfulness throughout this work. He gave me much to think about. However, I do want to mention two cautionary notes. First, I am not sure that Kato is always properly summarizing the views of those whom he disagrees with. Having read some Mbiti, while a lot of Kato's critique is entirely appropriate, I also wonder if Mbiti is always properly understood. Occasionally, I wonder if Kato has set up a straw man only to quickly tear it back down.
Second, this book is rather dated. Of course, its age is not the author's fault! He actually prematurely died not long after this book was published (1975). Nevertheless, I can't help but wonder about the last 30-plus years. How prevalent is the ecumenical movement in Africa today? Where does African liberalism stand compared to the growth of evangelical scholarship? Are there more pressing theological challenges faced by Christians today? Answers to these questions must be found elsewhere.
In spite of these minor concerns, I still heartily recommend Kato's book for anyone looking to learn more about some theological dangers present in Africa today. While I am not sure how easy this book will be to buy outside of Africa, I assure you that it is worth the effort. May we be ever vigilant in our commitment to the Word of God, refuting all attempts to overthrow God's revealed truth!

May 11, 2009

Cross-Cultural Apologetics and Missiology

David HesselgraveIf there’s one area that I believe is almost completely neglected in missiology (the study of missions) today, it’s the role of apologetics. Thankfully, veteran missions scholar David Hesselgrave has clarified its importance in “Revelation and Reason in Cross-Cultural Apologetics and Missiology” in the latest issue of the Journal of the International Society of Christian Apologetics.

Having served as a missionary in Japan for twelve years, Hesselgrave certainly has the experience and insight to address the question: What role do reason and apologetics have in missions? Many answer by saying that reason and apologetics are simply a byproduct of our Western approach to knowledge and are therefore irrelevant to those who have an Eastern or other non-Western way of thinking. But Hesselgrave knows better, and he points us to the trinary approach of conceptual/postulational, concrete-relational/pictorial, and psychical/intuitional ways of thinking rather than the Eastern vs. Western binary approach.

What does this mean? Hesselgrave explains that, instead of there being just two opposite and irreconcilable approaches to knowledge, people in all cultures approach their pursuit of truth in varying combinations of these three ways of thinking. As he summarizes:
“[This] proposal is especially helpful to Western Christian apologists and missionaries because we can anticipate that, as a result of the Imago Dei [i.e., image of God in man], the employment of cogent, coherent and consistent reasoning will be both appropriate and effective in Eastern cultures. At the same time we can anticipate that due to our fallen nature, God-given rationality will be rather easily transmuted into rationalism and irrationalism in both Eastern and Western cultures. Divine revelation will serve both to complement and complete, and to compensate and correct, ways of thinking and knowing in all cultures.”
In other words, reason and apologetics are both needed as we proclaim the gospel to all cultures. But if this is true, what does it mean for cross-cultural missions? Hesselgrave concludes by summarizing four avenues for reappropriating apologetics in our missionary task, namely:
1) Ronald Nash’s tests for truth as rooted in the nature of God,
2) Harold Netland’s defense of our objective propositional faith over fideistic subjectivism,
3) Norman Geisler’s three kinds of essentials of the Christian faith, and
4) Paul Hiebert’s view of the local church as a hermeneutical community.
One need not agree with (or even understand!) all of these applications to approve of Hesselgrave’s conclusion:
“After my experiences in Japan and a half century of subsequent involvement in evangelical missions worldwide I suggest that evangelical apologists and missionaries ‘renew their vows.’ . . . Currently missionary efforts to evangelize the world stand in need of the contributions of evangelical theologians and philosophers. Of course, the converse is also true. Apologists and theologians stand to benefit from the contributions of evangelical anthropologists and cross-culturalists.”
To which I reply with a hearty “Amen!” Hesselgrave’s principles can be used to powerful effect in Africa, and I commend his incisive article to everyone who is committed to our Savior’s missionary task.

May 9, 2009

Weekly Round-Up

Here's the latest for this week's round-up:

1) Paul Fauvet, "Saboteurs Or New Age Fanatics?" on and "Mozambique dam was New-Age cleansing ritual - not sabotage" in the Sowetan newspaper (South Africa). In Mozambique, four people belonging to "Orgonise Africa" were arrested as they sought to add "orgon" to the lake. They are a New Age sect which follow the teachings of Austrian psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich.

2) "Expansion for Scientology in South Africa" in Scientology Today. The Church of Scientology recently made a massive purchase in South Africa, the Johannesburg landmark Kyalami Castle. They are continuing to aggressively expand their presence throughout Africa.

3) Latayne C. Scott, "Can't We All Just Get Along?," "Understanding Representational Research," "Agreeing with Spurgeon," "'It's All About the Story'," and "'Can You Un-Cult a Cult?'" on the Koinonia blog. Latayne Scott has been busy, releasing her novel Latter-day Cipher (which I reviewed on this blog) as well as an extensively revised third edition of The Mormon Mirage (which I hope to review soon!). These five posts are on the Zondervan Academic blog, with the series titled "A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today." Be sure to check it out!

May 6, 2009

Responding to a Baha'i

Today, instead of our usual Ask Anything Wednesday, I wanted to briefly interact with someone who commented on my recent blog post Visiting the Bahá’í House of Worship. He wrote the following:

Dear John,
I enjoyed your article and appreciate that you presented the Bahá’í beliefs accurately from your viewpoint. I just want to testify to you that good Christians can and do become Bahá’ís without losing Christ. The early, and modern, Jews were also accused of abandoning the Jewish faith when they embraced Christ. They in fact were embracing the purpose of the Jewish Faith as you know. This example shows how “traditional” views and doctrines may become a barrier to accepting God’s Messiah or Manifestation. One has to return to the Bible itself and understand God’s methods in the past.

Why did the Jews reject Christ? They knew their scriptures, prophecies and promises very well. Their Messiah was expected to “sit on the throne of David,” vanquish the enemies of the Jews, be a descendent of David and bring world peace. The prophet Elijah was also expected to return and prepare the way. By taking these prophecies “literally,” they missed their Messiah. Was John the Baptist the return of Elijah? Jesus said that he was.

The return of Christ in the Person of Bahá’u’lláh can be understood using the same analogy. This alone doesn’t prove that He was Christ returned, but it opens the door to a new way of investigating the Bible concerning this most important subject. I am from a Christian background and am a first generation American Bahá’í. I would be happy to dialogue with you concerning the Biblical evidence that Bahá’u’lláh is genuine.


Harlan, I want to thank you for your kind words as well as your interest in discussing the question “Who is Christ?” A more important question cannot be asked!

However, you’ve already shown your guiding authority in interpreting Scripture: Bahá’u’lláh. How do you know that we should see as symbolic the biblical teaching of Christ as God incarnate? How do you know that Christ’s return was fulfilled in Bahá’u’lláh? It’s by first accepting Bahá’u’lláh’s claim to be a true prophet of God. You must read Scripture with him as an already existing authority to understand the Bible in a way that fits with your beliefs. You’ve “stacked the deck,” finding Bahá’u’lláh where you expect and want him to be.

Christians interpret the Bible differently. We seek to understand the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context to determine the original meaning of the text. This isn’t a question of Jew (OT literal) vs. Christian (OT symbolic/NT literal) vs. Bahá’í (OT and NT symbolic) way of understanding Scripture as you suggest. Rather, it’s a question of how we properly interpret the Bible. In theological terms, it’s the study of hermeneutics. Until you and I can come to an agreement on how we’re supposed to interpret the Bible, a discussion of specific texts would yield little fruit.

It’s exactly at this point that you’re merely making an assertion about interpreting Scripture symbolically because of your commitment to Bahá’u’lláh. I ask you to come to the Bible asking what God has revealed through what the writers of Scripture themselves intended to say. If you do so, then you will open yourself to God’s truth that directs us to the God-man, Jesus Christ, and His redeeming work.

Good Christians cannot and will not become Bahá’ís without losing Christ. Christ cannot be demoted to the level of human prophets. He is the prophet, as well as priest and king. All other true prophets direct us to Him. Bahá’u’lláh was a false prophet. I pray that you will recognize this fact and believe in the One who reconciles us with our Creator.

May 4, 2009

Advancing African Apologetics in Charlotte

TEAMBy God’s grace, for the last several months our ministry has been developing an important relationship with the Tactical Evangelism and Apologetics Mission (TEAM) at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES), an evangelical school founded by world-renowned apologist Norman Geisler. Last weekend, Paul Carden (the Executive Director of our parent ministry) and I finally had the opportunity to travel to Charlotte, North Carolina and personally meet with TEAM’s leadership. Many of you were praying for these strategic meetings, and I can hardly believe how much the Lord allowed us to accomplish in such a brief time together.

First, we met with a number of African seminary students at SES. I was so encouraged to talk with those who came all the way from Kenya, Congo, Liberia, and South Africa to study apologetics! Their passion for defending our common faith was both edifying and challenging. All of them wanted to bring biblical discernment and the defense of the faith to Africa. May the Lord bless their cause and increase their number!

Second, we met with several missionaries who are actively engaged in various ministries within Uganda. They also have a heart for protecting Christians in East Africa and reaching out to those trapped in error with the true hope of Jesus Christ. We discussed how we could work together, building on each other’s strengths to serve the church in Uganda and beyond.

Paul Simon and NelThird, we spent extensive time with Simon Brace, the director of TEAM, and his wife Nel. Simon is a gracious and humble man who’s aflame for the defense of the Gospel worldwide. I instantly knew that we were kindred spirits (including our great appreciation for Ravi Zacharias and Indiana Jones). I’m confident that we’ll accomplish great things for Christ as we continue building our relationship and working with Simon and TEAM.

Fourth, I was given the opportunity to preach and present our ministry’s vision at Community Fellowship Church. The church’s interest and enthusiasm for our future was remarkable—the congregation nearly cleaned us out of ministry brochures, DVDs, and bookmarks! They’re clearly committed to upholding the truth of God’s Word and exposing error both locally and globally. Worshiping with them was truly a time of joy.

Nevertheless, all good things must come to an end (as they say), and I headed home late Sunday evening. How the Lord blessed our time in Charlotte! Strategic partnerships were developed, new friendships were made, and Christ was glorified. May we continue to faithfully serve Him as we defend His truth in East Africa!