A Movement Begins
Jerry’s 1st trip blog from Africa (Uganda)
This trip to Africa was unlike any of my previous ones, because my wife and son came along for the adventure. I am glad they did.
Our five-day summit meeting in Uganda brought together our top trainers from six different countries. We had the privilege of staying at the new training center and model farm you helped us fund (more about that in my second blog post). Our main objective was to train our Farming God’s Way trainers in disciple multiplication tools so that we can see a Disciple Making Movement (DMM) spread out from the God’s Love Groups that exist in all six countries.
On the first morning, I had the opportunity to describe our vision and share some foundational teaching on DMMs. We spent most of our time in the Scriptures, focusing on four main principles: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples, and Stay Humble.
After lunch, I explained how I had spent so much time teaching and pouring out my heart to those whom God had entrusted to me, but I hadn’t seen the fruit I desired. I was left asking the question, “Lord, where’s the fruit? Where are the obedient disciples on fire for You who are now out making more disciples? What am I doing wrong?”
I realized that Jesus didn’t just teach His disciples, He trained them. He would teach them truth, show them how to do something, and then give them the power and tell them to go do it themselves. Once they obeyed and reported back to Him, He would repeat the process.
Many of us today are doing a great job teaching, but are we training people to go and make disciples, or simply to come to our churches and remain dependent on us?
Because the summit participants could relate to what I was saying, their appetite was now whetted for training, so I began to teach some tools. They learned how to do a S.O.A.P.S. Bible study, run an accountability group, and spend an hour with God using the prayer cycle. Then they had to practice sharing their testimony in one, two and three-minute timed sessions. If you don’t recognize these concepts, you can learn them and other tools online for free from Curtis Sergeant’s Zúme training.
As I gauged people’s reactions, there seemed to be some decent buy-in to the material I was teaching, but I wasn’t convinced that it would be as impactful as I had hoped.
Later that evening, I had my first African house party experience. Joshua, our lead Ugandan trainer and developer of this new model farm and training center, informed us that we would be celebrating his wife Eiza’s birthday and that my wife would be the guest of honor. Joshua knows how to throw a party. We ate, laughed, danced, and had a great time before collapsing in bed after an exhausting day.
On our second morning together, we practiced running a 3/3rds group. We looked at Mark 5:1–20 where Jesus heals the demoniac. Everyone participated and there was much greater buy-in than on the previous day, as the brothers saw how all the tools build on each other. We received great insights from God’s Word. One of those insights came from an unlikely place, my 15-year-old son.
As we were discussing why the pigs had to die and how the pigs’ owners would view the situation, my son expressed his amazement over the complexity of God’s design and strategic move to use the death of 2,000 pigs to spread His message to the lost. The demoniac would now go and testify to Jesus’ delivering power, and those who had just seen the pigs plunge to their death would tell about the man who made it happen. In other words, my son pointed out, God used both the believer and unbeliever to spread His message! That was a proud Dad moment.
After lunch, Joseph, a lead trainer in Zimbabwe, shared with us about his struggles in his new marriage and how he and his wife are overcoming them. You may recall that we visited them briefly in October 2021. We connected him and his wife with a Christian marriage counselor in the United States and they have met with her every other week while working through the Genesis Process workbook. Joseph said God has done a transforming work in their marriage. He encouraged and challenged each of us to consider our ways (FGW Biblical Key #2) and see how we may be the cause of the problems in our marriage. Joseph taught us to take into consideration our wife’s past so we can deal with her in a more understanding way (1 Peter 3:7).
Our final lesson for the day arose from a culture clash. The brothers saw me take both my own plate and my wife’s to the kitchen after we ate. Joshua said, “African husbands don’t do that.” So we looked at Luke 22:24–27 where Jesus asks His disciples, “Who is greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as one who serves.”
This isn’t just for our African brothers but for all men. If, as ministers, we are to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ, why wouldn’t that apply to the people in our home? Indeed, the home is the first place where our brothers can begin practicing the tools they were taught during this summit.
I haven’t even begun to talk about the training center and what is happening among the farmers in Uganda. Check out my next blog to learn about a 15-year-old girl named Barbara who is absolutely killing it! Thanks for your time and attention.
Grace and peace,
Director, Farming God’s Way Ministry
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