LORD, Where Are the Thousands? -- A Firsthand Account

July 3 2007 / ShareHim in Uganda A, May. 25 - Jun. 9 '07 #155
by Kamil Kreutziger

Personal Testimony of Kamil Kreutziger.

Uganda. After months of preparation, prayers, and God’s leading, I am finally here for the second time! Two years ago I preached the gospel in Kampala, now it will be in southwestern Mbarara. I am looking forward to it. My previous experience with God gives me peace. I am eager to preach. I am eager to see His power at work. I am eager to win people for Christ.

Friday, 25th May 2007— We are starting. Eighteen public sermons are to be preached in 16 days in an open field – I like it. In the afternoon, I set off for Kakoba, to my site near Mbarara. My good friend and translator Gordon has already been there. Local believers have prepared a big screen, P.A. system, and some benches. Good job! I am walking around, greeting local people, making new friends, inviting them to our sermons. It is heartfelt, joyful, and very nice. The expectations are grand. It is getting dark. We are supposed to start in a while, but Gordon looks worried. Before long, he says: “I am sorry. You cannot preach tonight. We have not got the government’s permit yet. If we do not get it tomorrow, we will have to look for another site.” Quite shocking! The officer might be waiting for a bribe! Nevertheless, we are packing, going back to our hotel.

After changing my clothes (my tie is not throttling me anymore), my heart is gripped with disappointment. “Lord, I have traveled 8,000 kilometers to get here. I was looking forward to this. I wanted to share you with people. Our brothers and sisters at home are constantly praying for us and now....now nothing? Lord, I do not understand this, but I do believe that you have not sent me here by accident.”

Later that evening, my evangelism-team friends are arriving at the hotel. Their faces, so worried before, are shining now, and they’re praising the Lord. In spite of the problems with the equipment, our breakdowns and other “TIA” (This Is Africa) surprises, they are happy, having their first sermons behind them. I rejoice with them. Their joy is reducing my disappointment… God will solve this problem.

Sabbath, 26th May 2007— I visit the church in the morning, and I’m preaching about suffering. The chapel is made of boards. Fifty people create a unique atmosphere. I receive GREAT NEWS – we got the permit! Praise the Lord, we can preach in the evening!

Evening: we are starting to preach. It is very nice, the Holy Spirit is working. But the attendance is “only” 200 people. “Lord, I prayed for 1,000. It will change, won’t it?” But it did not change. The largest attendance of the subsequent meetings is around 300.

At first I was bothered by it: “Lord, I wanted to share you with more people.” But God had another plan for me. After three sermons, I realized how much He cares for single individuals. This knowledge redeemed me. I stopped watching for crowds and focused on individuals.
Before each sermon, Mairam (a Bible teacher) and I visited the local people, studying the Bible with them. Many of them were poor and uneducated. Some could not even read. In spite of this, we strongly sensed that “the message” is to be proclaimed to every nation, tribe, language and people. “Lord, this is such amazing work. It is so thrilling to see people opening their hearts to you. Thank you for showing it to me.”

I am getting to know more about people in Kakoba. They are more closed and less responsive than people in Kampala. Reasons? This is richer area and there is strong influence of other denominations. To accept Jesus publicly can be dangerous. There is a threat of expatriation and persecution. Some leaders even forbade people to visit our meetings. “Lord, the response of the audience here is like in the Czech Republic, not in Africa. What do you want to teach me? ”

Step by step, slowly, I gain insight. God is teaching me to be humble, to love and care about individuals; and endurance in sharing His Word, no matter what the “results” are. If I had preached to thousands I might have lost my courage back in the Czech Republic. Words of the Bible encourage me to persevere: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6- NIV.

“Lord, thank you that I did not preach to thousands!”
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