Two weeks ago Peterson Sozi from Uganda was at the Community of the Cross.
Together, we have been praying and seeking God’s guidance about how to continue our 20-year partnership in advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Uganda.
We are moving into a partnership between the Africa Missionary Institute (AMI) at the Back to God 400-acre farm in Uganda and PRMI’s newly established Dunamis Institute.
The vision of the AMI is to equip Ugandan missionaries to reach not just Africa, but the rest of the world for Jesus Christ.
Already they have programs for developing the skills for farming and building a better nation, as well as equipping for listening to the Holy Spirit and growing in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in their “Alone With God” program.
In addition, for the last several years Dunamis Fellowship Faculty members Allen and Debbie Kemp, both members of the Dunamis Fellowship, have been taking regular trips to Uganda to teach pieces of the Dunamis equipping materials.
We are deepening this partnership by continuing, through the Dunamis Institute, to provide systematic teaching for equipping pastors and leaders. Peterson says,
“I want this partnership because while there are many Bible colleges, seminaries and training centers in Uganda, none of them put together the systematic biblical teaching that is practical and leads to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit like PRMI’s Dunamis Project does. We need church leaders who know the Bible and theology, but who are also filled with the Holy Spirit and have the power and authority to advance the Gospel.”
For PRMI the goals of the Dunamis Institute are to create the venues where Jesus Christ can fulfill Acts 1:8 so that Christians may have the power of the Holy Spirit to grow the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.
Peterson and I spent a lot of time in prayer and conversation discerning how God wants this partnership between the Africa Missionary Institute and the Dunamis Institute to function.
We also took some practical first steps in implementing the partnership by videotaping together the first few lessons of the Dunamis teaching on Gateways to Empowered Ministry. Peterson translated this teaching with me into Lugandan.
This will be one of the basic courses offered in Uganda that can be accessed over the internet and DVDs.
We are so excited about this partnership. It was in the midst of all this careful prayer and work that we had the surprise blessing of meeting with Dr. Billy Graham.
The Rev. Peterson Sozi and The Rev Dr. Brad Long recall ther chance to meet and pray with Dr. Billy Graham
After working on these plans Peterson and I spent some time in prayer asking for guidance and confirmation. We feel strongly that this will be for the equipping of future generations to proclaim the Gospel. In the Kingdom of God, Peterson’s role has been as an evangelist leading many thousands of people to Jesus Christ in Uganda. He translated for the Billy Graham Crusade conducted in Uganda and has even been called the “Billy Graham of Uganda.” My role has been much more in the form of teaching on the Holy Spirit so that Christians may be empowered to be witnesses to Jesus Christ. In Uganda, however I have done a number of crusades with Peterson.
As we were walking into the eleven o’clock worship service at Montreat Presbyterian Church we ran into one of Dr. Graham’s daughters. When I introduced her to Peterson as having translated for Billy Graham at the Uganda Crusade, she immediately said, ”Well why don’t you just come up and meet him? I am sure Dad would be much encouraged.” We were both rather amazed at this invitation. It felt like a real God thing. And it was.
I have always known that Dr. Graham lived in a log cabin on the side of the mountain. (My wife, Laura had been up to the Graham house for a Circle meeting at the invitation of Ruth Graham). But Peterson was completely unprepared for finding such a famous man living in such a humble dwelling.
Anyway it was an amazing experience to have a personal visit with this world famous evangelist. Dr. Graham wanted to know about both of us and our ministries. Peterson told him all about the miracles that had taken place in Uganda during the reign of terror by Idi Amin who had launched a Muslim Jihad against the Ugandan Christians, murdering over 1.5 million people.
We then asked how we could pray for him. He said that at 92 he was having a hard time, losing his eye sight, his hearing and his voice. And just feeling old! His sense of humor came out even while telling us of all the afflictions of old age. He also asked us to pray for his family. He said that he wanted his eyes to recover and for his voice to be restored just so he could preach one more time. His daughter said, “He has even prepared the sermon.” Peterson and I laid hands on him and prayed as led by the Holy Spirit. Peterson was amazing as he prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for all the people who had come to salvation through Dr. Graham’s ministry. He then offered an anointed prayer for healing and for blessing. Dr. Graham then laid hands on Peterson and prayed for the Holy Spirit to anoint him for the work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was a great honor to be able to pray with Dr. Graham and his daughter. I was aware of the presence of Jesus Christ with us. After this time of prayer Dr. Graham took off his dark sunglasses and we just visited awhile. Then it was obvious that he was getting tired and so we went back down the mountain.
We took this amazing visit to be God’s blessing and affirmation of our commitment to move forward with our partnership of advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ not just in Uganda and America but to the whole world. This had real impact on Peterson and on me as well.