December, 2017 Uganda Report from the Prettyman Family

NEW CHURCH IN EDOBO
“Be not afraid . . . for I am with thee (Acts 18:9-10).”  These were the words of the Lord to Paul when he began to understand, “Every time I open my mouth to preach truth, chaos breaks out!”  We challenged the young believers in Edobo with these words.  They have faced much opposition with every step of obedience.  We are seeking to brace them for the storm they will face as they prepare for baptism next week.  Please pray for them to stand as did Paul.

I’ve included a few pictures of the building project.  We are hoping to have the house up in a very short time — maybe even before Christmas!  Maybe you will pray for that.   The fellowship during the work has been the biggest plus.  I can see that Dennis, Ishmael and their wives are falling in love with the family of God.  It’s like nothing they have every experienced.  As I worked with the men on Wednesday, the sound of their laughter was like medicine.  Take a look at how things are coming along:

After the work day ended on Wednesday, we gathered the people for a Bible lesson.  We’ve been teaching through the life of Moses, and were just coming to the “faith-failure” at Kadesh-Barnea.  We encouraged the people not to make the same mistake.  At the close of the service, the wife of Dennis raised her hand, indicating her desire to be saved.  Sunday and Dickson took her and another youngster aside. Both of them received Christ!  I cannot even pronounce her  name, so I won’t try to spell it.

She was at church this morning, and declared her intent to follow the Lord in baptism.  Ishmael’s wife, Viola, came under conviction of her sin during the morning service along with another young lady.  I have been concerned that she had been so slow to receive Christ.  She gave a very definite response to the invitation; Patrick and Sunday took her and the other young lady aside, and both of them trusted Christ!  Just think, only a few months ago, the wife of each of these brothers was lost and going to hell, and now all three of them have trusted Christ!  We have three young couples, saved and on fire for the Lord.

I believe that these three men are the leaders God has chosen to minister in the church.  We held our first “business meeting” and I expressed the importance of them taking leadership.  I asked them questions about how the church building could be built in such a way that the people will be required to sacrifice for it, but also in a way that we can help financially so that it doesn’t take 6 years to put a roof on it!  I wanted them to be thinking about how sensitive this is and how it affects the way the people think about the church, depending on God, etc. We also encouraged them to take the lead in encouraging those that may be afraid to follow the Lord in baptism.

It was very encouraging to see them stepping right up and taking responsibility with a sober excitement.  All three of them offered to give bricks that they are making for the walls.  I’m beginning to understand the economic position of Ugandan families, and this offering is a significant one.  Will you pray for these three men and their newly saved wives?  I believe the Lord is using the present persecution to dig a good foundation for their faith.  I asked “how big do you think the building should be?”  Ishmael said, “It must be large because many people will be saved and join the church.”  How’s that?!

OTHER GREAT BLESSINGS

This really has been a great week to see the Lord moving!  Dickson has been very burdened for his father, Wilson.  We visited him with the purpose of sharing the Gospel.  One of our guards, Nelson, who is a believer, was also there with his unsaved brother Charles.  At the end of presenting the Gospel, I asked them both, “If you died today, where would you go?”  They both said, “Hell.”  I extended the opportunity to repent and receive Christ, and both of them did just that.  Praise the Lord!  Dickson had to excuse himself because he was overcome with joy and began to weep.  What a joy!!!

Let me just share one more great blessing.  When the team went into Omoo for the Friday service, they were interrupted by the funeral of an infant.  Someone came from the funeral and said, “Will you please come and share some word of comfort?”  The team sensed this was God’s open door.  Pastor Ben directed Henry to preach the Gospel and give hope in this situation.  At the end, Henry said, “If you want to be saved, come and talk to us.”  Costo, who is a brother of another one of our guards, Albert, followed the team the long walk back to the vehicle.  He said, “I’ve followed you because I want to be saved.”  Henry led him to Christ, and this morning he followed the Lord on that first step of obedience!  I snapped this shot right after his baptism.

Now let me close with another great blessing.  Jojo and Lindsey Risinger have just landed in Entebbe last night, and are waiting in Kampala for us to pick them up.  Me, Hannah, and Isaiah will leave very early tomorrow morning to get them.  This wonderful couple has been called of God to join our team here in the West Nile Region.  They are at about 60% of their support and hope to come later in 2018 permanently.  I cannot say enough about how much I have grown to love and appreciate this couple.  They are very special.  If your church is looking for more missionaries to partner with, I would highly recommend them!  Please pray for safety in all the transport.

In the Name of the King!

Phil and Christine

Please Pray

  • Ma’di Translation
  • Beginning of Bible College
  • Walaba/Jiya, Edobo, Omoo
  • Philip’s leadership
  • Nicolas
  • Wilson
  • Witch doctor (Lino)
  • New converts

December, 2017 Prettyman Update

NEW CHURCH IN EDOBO
Kennedy, Sharon, their two children, and three others of us crammed into the truck and headed out for the service this morning in Edobo.  Before we left, we claimed the verse in Psalm 81:10 “Open thy mouth W – I – D – E and I will fill it.” With all our heart, we sought to open the mouth of our faith and expectation wide, and trusted God to do the filling part.
I commented to Dickson on the way, “This truck is just filled with the joy of the Lord!”  It was true.  When we arrived, I was able to snap a few shots of Kennedy’s new property!  Thank you for giving so that this could be possible.  It’s a great little piece of property, and we are eager to help begin construction on his new house tomorrow.
We had a very good group for the service, and several who popped in and out to see what was going on.  At the conclusion of the message, Sunday (the tall one) took some of the new visitors to a separate place and began to explain the Gospel with them.  Meanwhile, I met with the nine who are desiring to follow the Lord in baptism.  It was a wonderful meeting with explanation of the meaning of baptism as well as a demonstration so that they will be prepared to “go under the water.”  Most Ugandans do not like to get wet at all!

Sunday returned with great news: a dear lady, Grace, had come to Christ as her Savior.  He relayed the story to us and it was clear that the work had been done!  The Lord was filling our open mouths!!!  She also made it clear that she wanted to follow the Lord and be baptized, bringing our number to 10.  Praise God!!!

My favorite part of the whole day came next.  I looked at a group of young men who had gathered around Kennedy, and noticed that he appeared to be instructing them.  He was very tender but passionate.  I asked Dickson, “What’s he telling them?”  Dickson said, “He’s encouraging them like a father not to give in to pressure; to stand firm; to follow the Lord in baptism.”  My heart just leaped!  The Lord was filling my mouth with honey from the Rock!!!  Here is the first leader among this fledgling group.  On the way home, I told him, “I will baptize this first group, but after that, it will be you.”  What a blessing!
NEW CHURCH IN JIYA

I met in the morning with the team heading to Jiya and we prayed together.  There is a real battle going on there right now.  Our key figure, Philip, is out of town for work.  We are seeing that the women are purposefully not attending the service.  There were 7 men at the service this morning.  I’m planning to visit there this Tuesday as well as attend this coming Sunday there.  Please pray for this battle as we go forward.  The Anglican church has a great stronghold there.
TWO SPECIAL BAPTISMS

Last, but not least at all, was the two special baptisms today at Victory in Christ Baptist.  You will remember Patrick’s wife, Foska.  Although she was baptized before, she confessed that she had not really trusted Christ then.  Now that she was a true believer, she also wanted to follow the Lord.  The other one that got baptized was our daughter Selah!  Wow, the Lord has been filling our mouths today!!!

My daughter Hannah was baptized in the river at Pine Bluffs, Wyoming (first church plant), and now my youngest daughter is the first to be baptized in Uganda!  The Lord is so good to us.

We are rejoicing with you over all that our Great Savior, Jesus Christ is doing in these days to glorify His name!  Thank you for all of your fervent prayers.  I hope you can see the direct, vital connection between your prayers and everything good that is happening here.  It’s true!  We love you and appreciate you more than we can say!

In the Name of the King!

Phil and Christine

Please Pray

  • Ma’di Translation
  • Beginning of Bible College
  • Walaba/Jiya, Edobo, Omoo
  • Philip’s leadership
  • Nicolas
  • Wilson
  • Witch doctor (Lino)
  • New converts

November, 2017 Prettyman Update on Kennedy and Edobo

I’m rejoicing to send you a message of God’s faithful answers to prayer.  Thank you so much for carrying this burden with us!  I can’t tell you what a blessing it is that God uses crisis to knit us together more tightly.

Here’s what’s happening.  Kennedy and Sharon were kicked off the property and are staying with us for a very temporary time.  We have already met with the local counsel (LC1) and have even been given permission to buy land.  We’ve got our eye on a piece of land that will be perfect.  On Sunday, a team of three went to the village to preach.  God moved in a great way and two young men accepted Christ as their Savior.  It was such an encouragement to all involved.

Kennedy’s father Nicholas was still in a tirade, ranting and raving, but then something changed.  He told Kennedy that the church could meet for two more weeks on the property; then it would have to find a different location.  He told his family, “If I say anything else bad about the new church being started, God will kill me.”  Wow!  Not sure what to make of that.  Sounds like God is moving though!!!

A great resolve is forming in this fledgling group that they will follow Jesus no matter what it costs.  The two brothers of Kennedy, Dennis and Ishmael, have also come to a strong decision to follow Christ.  This is a great way to begin this church.  Our next goal is to get Kennedy back in Edobo on his own land with his own house.  Also, we are planning on baptizing the new believers in the next week or two.  Please continue in prayer for this battle.  It’s clear that God is preparing to do something wonderful!

  • Kennedy
  • Sharon
  • Ishmael (brother)
  • Dennis (brother)
  • Kennedy’s mother (doesn’t want to lose her grandchildren!!!)
  • Luke
  • Other young believers
The Lord’s timing during these events has been so amazing.  I had already agreed to officiate in a wedding in Adjumani, some 6 hours north of here, over the weekend.  I was not here during much of what transpired, so God used it to raise up some wonderful leaders.  They are looking to Jesus, not me!

I had the opportunity to drive through 5 of the other districts in the West Nile Region.  While there, I met with about 10 pastors and shared with them the vision for the Bible College that will start in 2019.  There was some silence, and then tears.  They began to give testimony of how they had been praying for such a ministry to begin, and were thrilled that they could send their young men to train for church planting.  There was a discernable fire burning in their hearts that spoke of an unfulfilled passion to reach the unreached with the Gospel.

I left there with renewed vision concerning God’s ability to empower us to fulfill His command in this generation: “Preach the Gospel . . . to every creature.”  The two men that I took with me received the same clarity and purpose.  Our times of prayer and discussion were so anointed and full of such spiritual freedom that we knew the Lord was granting us a sense of His guidance.

We arrived home safely yesterday, and a team of six made our way to Jiya and Wallaba.  We preached the Gospel to nearly 200 children and several adults.  God moved in great ways.  After nearly 10 weeks of preaching to these children, some of them were ready to place their faith in Christ as helpless sinners.

A team of leaders are meeting each Tuesday night to pray about the church planting going on.  Our meeting tonight went very well.  Please pray the Lord will continue to give us agreement.  Thank you for being a vital part of all these concerns.

In the Name of the King!

Phil and Christine

Please Pray

  • Ma’di Translation
  • Beginning of Bible College
  • Walaba/Jiya, Edobo, Omoo
  • Philip’s leadership
  • Nicolas
  • Wilson
  • Witch doctor (Lino)
  • New converts

November, 2017 Prettyman Update-First Sunday In Edobo

Our First Sunday in Edobo!

Noah and Andrew headed out to meet Benard in Jiya this morning at 8, and Dickson and I headed the opposite direction on motorcycle to meet Kennedy in Edobo.  I received a great report from Andrew that their service in Jiya went very well.  He told me that the youngest brother of Benard confessed that he had gotten saved on our first Sunday there last week, and that he was ready to offer himself for baptism!  I can’t wait to get more details from Noah.  There was about the same number of people there as last week.  Will you keep praying earnestly for this great work?  The Anglican church has called us false prophets and warned (threatened!) the people not to listen to us.  More than all else, pray for them to have courage to trust the Lord and keep following.
As Dickson and I sped down the road, we were anticipating great things from God.  Just last Wednesday, we had met with these people, and they were giving testimonies of deliverance from sin, the next step of baptism, and the future location of the church building.  We also sensed that the enemy would actively attack our work.  When we arrived, we could tell that something was very wrong.  Kennedy’s eyes were swollen from weeping, and his hands were trembling.  He grasped his hands together tightly in an attempt to hide the shaking.
We sat down, and he began to pour out the story.  That morning, many (around 20) began gathering for our service.  Kennedy’s father (Nicholas) came out in a rage and began driving the people off of the property, telling them that there would be no service on his land.  Kennedy stood up against his father, and it became very intense.  Kennedy told me later, “I said some bitter words to my father, and now I must go and make things right.”  He is growing so much!

His father then told him that if he went through with these services and the beginning of a Baptist church, that he would be forced off the land which belongs to Nicholas.  Because Kennedy and Sharon built their home on that land, they would also lose their home.  Imagine what it must feel like to be rejected by your own father.  If you look close enough at the picture, you can see the deep hurt.

Kennedy told us that we should continue with the service, even though there were only around 12 of us there.  We agreed!  God blessed our service in such an unusual way!  How we sensed His sweet presence, as the Word of God was opened to Matthew 10 and we discovered:

  • We are not to fear mortal men but God
  • God will take better care for us than He does the sparrows that fly
  • If we are faithful to declare His truth from the housetops, we can expect persecution
  • Christ didn’t come to send peace, but to bring such division by truth that it would set a father at variance with his own son
  • Our greatest enemies can be those of our own household
  • God is calling us to follow His Son which includes picking up our cross
  • If we lay down our life for the Gospel sake, we will be saving it
God gave the passage so clearly, and the people were deeply encouraged.  Kennedy told us that he will most likely be forced off of the land.  We will do some praying about this, but it seems like the best thing we can do is take some Christmas money, a few workers, and build a Christmas home for this family that have surrendered their lives.  Not once did Kennedy suggest his need of help, but with their great poverty, the thought of building a new house in a month is nearly impossible for them.
Please pray for continued wisdom and power in Edobo.  Pray that God will destroy the dark control of Catholicism on these people.  Think of the bondage, that this man would be willing to sell his three sons for whatever little payoff he’s getting from the priest!  We are scheduling a baptism service for two weeks from today.  There are at least 7 who are willing and eager to follow their Lord in baptism. This service will be a great testimony, but will also bring more persecution.  We are in deep need of your fervent, pointed prayers.

I close with some wonderful news from our church right on the property, Victory Independent Baptist.  There were seven individuals who followed the Lord in baptism.  What a thrill to watch Pastor Ben baptize these new Christians who are longing to be followers of Jesus!

We want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!  We miss you all and are so grateful for you.  You have sacrificed so much for the cause of Christ in Uganda.  Thank you a thousand times!  Because of your prayers, not one of the Prettyman 8 has had Malaria once during the ent

Please Pray

  • Ma’di Translation
  • Beginning of Bible College
  • Walaba/Jiya, Edobo, Omoo
  • Philip’s leadership
  • Nicolas
  • Wilson
  • Witch doctor (Lino)
  • New converts

November, 2017 Update from the Prettyman Family

Serving Christ in the West Nile Region, Uganda

Prettyman Prayer Report

Our First Sunday in Jiya!

We left for Jiya this morning at 8:00, first driving the van as far as the road would permit, and then finishing our journey on foot.  We were excited, but had no idea what would happen.  Would the people chicken out?  Would anyone show up?  Would the pressure of the Anglican church be too much for these new believers?

What a blessing to see over 10 come for this first service!!!  Our meeting was a simple place; our order of service was simple; our singing was simple; but the sweet presence of Christ was made known in such a special way today.  Benard, his father Philip, Noah, and I began by praying together, dedicating this work to God’s grace and pleading with Him for mercy.

After a little while, people began to show up.  We even had an expectant dog and a few chickens moving about, wondering what this new event could be.  The chairs were all set up and ready to go.  Then the people began to come.  We took time to explain that what makes church so wonderful, even when it is so simple, is the presence of Jesus in our midst.  Even if there are only two or three, He has promised to meet with us.  We encouraged them to quiet their heart and expect the Lord to make His sweet presence known as we sing, worship, and study God’s Word.
God blessed the preaching in such a special way.  All of us had such a wonderful sense of God’s presence during the preaching.  The truth was coming out clearly, the translator was able to communicate well, and it was clear that the truth was being received.  It was a great first service!

We ended with a time of receiving prayer requests and praying for the things burdening some of the individuals.  One of the main requests brought out during this time was that God would deliver us from a spirit of fear.  That request seemed to resonate with reality among the people.  Next week will be a similar set up, but we are planning to move to small study groups for a SundaySchool setting very soon.  We want to get them obeying what they learn right away, and the small groups tend to help with accountability.  If they are to know the manifest presence of Christ, they will have to obey!  So declares John 14.  Will you pray that many of them will take the step of obedience in baptism?  It’s a very difficult step for them in this culture.

We ended our sermon with the story behind the song “I have decided to follow Jesus,” and reminded them that there would be a price to pay if they wanted to continue to follow Christ.  However, according to Luke 10, the rewards are great!

  • Joy
  • Power over the enemy
  • Assurance of Salvation
  • Making Christ glad
  • Deeper understanding of truth
Thank you so much for praying for this little beginning.  Next Sunday, Noah and Benard will take the service completely.  It is good for them right away not to expect “the white guy” (Muzungu) to be in charge of things.  I will be heading out next week with Dickson to begin the first Sunday in Kennedy’s village, Edobo!  Great things are happening because we serve a great God!

In the Name of the King!

Phil and Christine

Please Pray

  • Ma’di Translation
  • Beginning of Bible College
  • Walaba/Jiya, Edobo, Omoo
  • Philip’s leadership
  • Nicolas
  • Wilson
  • Witch doctor (Lino)
  • New converts