Written by: Pastor Charles Ikonde
I was one of the early pioneers of intercession praying for strategic ministry locations in YWAM Uganda. This brought me to the Buvuma Islands on Lake Victoria in the early 1990’s. It was an exciting time for all of us to be on the cutting edge of missions. In 1994, after the YWAM base had been established on Lingira Island, Shem Mabongor called me back to the islands as a carpenter. While I was there, Paul Mutasa asked me to help him pastor the church.
By 2009, however, I had become so ill that I was forced to leave the islands and seek medical attention on the mainland. From that time on, life was very difficult. I was in my sixth decade of life and very weak from the illness. It was difficult to make a living and I was suffering from poverty.
Pastor Shem and Catherine had moved from the Islands to Mbale where they started Open Chapel International. Shem got in touch with me in 2016 and found I was in a bad situation. He asked me to come and live with them in their home. They made me feel welcome and I fit right in with their family and all the other people they have living there. As I saw where I could fit into the ministry, I began helping with door-to-door evangelism.
A team from Open Chapel goes on evangelistic outreaches to the surrounding villages of Biraa, Bunambutye, Namunyo, Busiu Town and the local hospital. We share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with many people and pray for the sick. Even those with problems ask for prayer. For example, people who lacked school fees for their children, but today the pupils have gone back to school. Some were having disputes with their neighbors which have since been put right. Even today, God is doing mighty things through our prayers.
In April 2017 we hosted a ministry team from Sironko District. This year alone, 57 people in our area have given their lives to Christ and have joined surrounding churches. Five of those are praying from Open Chapel International.
We thank God for his goodness. It is not easy to knock on a stranger’s door or approach someone in the hospital, but the Lord has shown us favor. We continue to rely on Him as He gives us strength to comfort others and share His Word. Please pray the people to be open to the Holy Spirit’s call to salvation. Thank you.