I love rain.
More specifically, I love the smell of the rain.
On our second-to-last day here at ARCC there was a brief respite
from the warm African sun when the heavens opened and the rain came trickling
As I relished the way the rain settled upon and mixed with
the red Ugandan dust, my mind drifted to the majesty of God’s sovereignty over
In the 8th verse of
the 147th psalm the psalmist writes:
covers the heavens with clouds;
prepares rain for the earth;
makes grass grow on the hills.
God sent that rain. He is the one who covers the heavens
with clouds. He is the one who
makes the grass grow. He
gives beasts their food, sends snow to the earth, and scatters the frost.
We can take great comfort in
the sovereign reign of our God.
I’ve been blown away by what God is doing here in the lives
of the students. I have been
teaching Evangelism and Discipleship
and have been so encouraged by the many stories of evangelistic zeal in the
hearts of the students; in the midst of so many false gospels the true gospel,
the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ, is growing and bearing fruit here.
One thing that I had (foolishly)
not expected from the students was a passion for reaching the nations with the
gospel; Uganda, sure, but the rest of the world?
Jeff told us about a student
who told his classmates when he first arrived that he wanted to be a missionary
to Asia. Many of the other
students laughed. That student is
now serving faithfully as a missionary in the Philippines. Another student is a missionary in
northern Sudan, and still others have grasped a vision of God’s glory that is
universal in scope, and have taken up the call to make disciples of all
One of my students, Derrick,
has made a lasting impression upon me.
His burden is for the lost in China. He knows that it is a place of oppression and persecution,
but God has placed it upon his heart, and so he is pursuing moving to China
when his schooling is completed.
It is a good sign for the
Ugandan church when Christ-centered, gospel loving, God worshipping,
theologically deep men and women of character are being sent as missionaries to
the ends of the earth.
It especially struck me this
week that Jesus prefaces His commissioning of the disciples (to make disciples
who will make disciples who will make disciples…) with this:
authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
God longs for His name to be
glorified among the nations. God
longs for the gospel to go forth from His people. God longs for His Church to make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us.
God calls upon us as His emissaries,
His ambassadors, as His vessels, and allows us the privilege of participating
in His plan; but it is His plan, His authority and His power that is making it happen.
As the rain came down, I
considered that we would be leaving soon.
I wondered what would happen to the students and their churches. I wondered what impact we would have
had upon the students though our classes.
I wondered about where each of the students would end up in life.
And then my mind drifted to
God’s majestic sovereignty, and the fact that just as He reigns over the rains,
He reigns over the missionary enterprise we are called to.
We leave in confident hope
that God will use our efforts here to bless the students. We leave in confident hope that this
time will continue to encourage us years down the road. We leave in confident hope that God’s
plan for the display of His glory among the nations will become reality. We leave in confident hope that the
true gospel will win out here in Uganda over the prosperity gospel. We leave in confident hope that Christ
is building His Church, and the gates of hell will never prevail against it.
We leave in confident hope
that the God who sends the rain will accomplish His great purpose, as a plan
for the fullness of time, lavishing the riches of His grace upon us, to the
praise of His glorious grace.