by Dr. Gregory Bartha
January 25, 2017
One Sunday morning, I visited two churches. My friend Andrew led me to his church – Evangel Church – quite a long walk through cultivated fields and along narrow paths bordered by a dense growth of bushes, vines and small trees. The church was small. There was an unfinished structure on the outside, a few small benches and chairs on the inside, and the floor was dirt. We arrived early, around 8 AM, before most of the worshipers had arrived. About 10 people were praying. Clearly, the people were very poor, but they were most welcoming and kind. They stated there were 70 adult members and 30 children. They expressed their need for assistance in finishing the outside structure and improving the interior. The love and humility of the people touched my heart, and I will try to assist them in their vision.
The second worship center was not in a building but under a mango tree. The name was Grace Ministries and it was led by Pastor John, who has a degree in music and is a self-described artist. He has a degree from a Bible college and has a vision for developing a thriving church. The members met previously in a rented space, but were driven out because of inability to pay rent. Pastor John has a vision of starting a school and developing a program to assist the public with HIV. There are many HIV-positive people in his area as a result of the Lord’s Resistance Army’s abuse of the population during the period from 1980 to 2006. Pastor John is an articulate and committed Christian. Pastor Simon Peter and I are assisting him in building a temporary structure for his church. We urged him to go slow, start small, and then to develop other programs when the church is strong and better established.