As I’m thinking ahead to another ministry trip to Uganda I am remembering Pastor Irene in Iganga. She is a beautiful and powerful woman of God. Her heart and ministry have been forged through the toughest of circumstances and testings (as do most great things).
In the early days of her ministry, after the Lord had clearly directed her to Iganga, she tells of inquiring of God what was to be her influence and gifting. And the Lord gave her Jordan.
Jordan as we know it from the scriptures is the river that Nahum washed himself in seven times to be healed of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14). Jordan as Pastor Irene knows it is a small pond of water about five minutes walk from her home and the church that she pastors.
I was told story after story from others that had gathered the same time I was there about how they themselves had come and dipped themselves seven times in this Jordan and had found healing. One woman had breast cancer and came and dipped and the cancer disappeared.
I’ve been to Pastor Irene’s place twice now. The first time was just for a Sunday service and lunch afterwards (along with this visit to Jordan as you see here). The second time I stayed a couple of nights and days.
While Pastor Irene moves powerfully in the Spirit the area in which she lives is darkened by oppressive spirits. It is hard to be there, and yet she by her faith and obedience in the Lord knows it is her work to declare his presence in that place.
The last afternoon of my ministry time alongside her there had been much worship and celebration and prayers in the Lord. Pastor Irene herself was spent as God poured through her and onto others. She then got down on her knees and with arms raised cried out, “If only someone would come and pray over me.”
I know how she felt. I’ve been there. Pouring out to others, giving and giving some more and then wondering how might I be encouraged as a leader.
Within a seconds time I realized that I was the one to pray over her. So I went and put some olive oil on my hands, the same they had been using for everyone else, and I went to her and touched my hands to hers.
There was all sorts of rolicking in the spirit then. I cannot describe the incredible privilege of anointing and praying over this amazing woman of God.
(did I mention that every time I am there she washes my feet and blesses on me too – this receiving from each other is called mutual submission and is the hallmark by which unity in the body happens)
Now, when I pray over someone the Lord gives me the words to say and an image in my mind’s eye of what to declare for him or her. Here on this warm afternoon in Iganga it was the same. There had been something over her since childhood, darts of some kind in the spirit realm, and so in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ is simply spoke these away and soothed her wounds with the oil of the lamb.
In clear terms, I spoke against the bad stuff against her, and I spoke God’s peace and healing and refreshment for her (Matthew 18:19). It was a lovely time. We ended up on our knees together on the dirt floor and simply fellowshipped in the Spirit together and as a witness to all those in attendance.
When I think of returning once more to Uganda, this time to many more places than I’ve yet been, alongside many other leaders, I recall this simple ministry to Pastor Irene. In many ways this sums up the work that I do. Leaders, no matter what country, are giving out in enourmous measures.
They are the communities healers, wisdoms, teachers, preachers, prayer warriors, and encouragers, and who is to encourage them? Who is to lift them up and refresh them in the Spirit of our Lord?
At CCI we are bringing spiritual refreshment first to leaders and then to their congregations. It is a work that touches beyond our minds and into the depths of our hearts. God, in his mercy, delights to refresh us and I am simply honored to stand alongside agreeing in the Lord to this work over his many servants.
In this same vein, many blessings to each of you today. May the power of our Lord, His peace and grace and touch of life and wisdom break in upon your days in increasing measure. We simply agree together saying yes and amen to the touch of God in all of our lives.
Come Lord Jesus Come.