Friday, January 28, 2011

The Ugandan Pastor and His Son

Hey everyone, it is Luke here again. I wanted to share with you again some things that God showed me while I was in Uganda with Parental Care Ministries

PCM was holding a youth conference the week we were there. Myself and a couple of the other guys had the chance to preach during the conference. I love teaching the scriptures. It is one of the great joys in my life. I truly believe that God’s word can bring dead hearts to life. I have come to know what Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “But He answered, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread but by every word that comes from the mouth of God'.” This is so true. God’s word is life-giving. 

The conference was incredible to be a part of. The students would wake up around 6:30 in the morning and they would spend all day singing songs of worship to God and listening to God’s word as it was preached. Their devotion to the word and their desire to sit in the presence of God was so encouraging and challenging. We were not the only speakers for this conference as they brought in many other Ugandan teachers and pastors. 

On one particular day I was sitting listening to one of the Ugandan pastors preach but my ears were not really listening to his words. During those moments God was wrecking my heart. This pastor had brought his family with him. He brought his wife, one son who appeared to be around 15 years old and two smaller children. I had been watching the smallest child as he was sitting across from me and I was smiling at him. He seemed very scared of me... I think because he thought he was looking at a ghost. A very white ghost.  This young boy had to be around the same age as Madelyn. He was walking all around the bumpy and cracked ground but you could tell he had not been walking long. 
As his father began to preach, the young boy walked right up to his father’s leg and grabbed at it. At this moment God stirred my heart in a very big way. I began to wonder what I would do if I was preaching at our church and Madelyn walked up to the podium. How would I react? Would I give Kathryn a look that said, "Hey get this crazy kid!"? Doesn’t she know that we are trying to hear God's word? Doesn’t Madelyn know Daddy is working? Doesn't Madelyn know she is being a distraction to me right now? I’ve got my well thought out sermon with my nice bullet points ready to go and a child delaying it. Madelyn, can this wait? As I began to think about how I would react, God began to show me how wrong I was. 
God began to show me that my purpose, as much as I love preaching and sharing God’s word with others, my priority is to share God’s word with my daughter. To lead and love her well is to be my focus.

As the pastor continued to preach he raised his hand at one point to the crowd and while doing so placed his hand on top of his child. I think this is exactly how God wants us to lead our children. This is not just for ministers and pastors but for all of us. That we would reach our hand out to do what God has called us do but also to place our hand on our children and lead them. They are not a distraction. They are not our problems or something that keeps us from what we really want to do. They are hearts that God has placed in our lives for us to share the love of God with. To show them what it means to live for God in a world that does not. 

As he continued to preach my eyes filled with tears and I just prayed as God spoke to my heart. May I be like this man who lifts his hands to proclaim God’s words but may I always remember what comes first. Pastoring my family.


  1. This is so powerful. Wow. Wow. We are in ministry too and it seems that the hardest thing is making sure we lead our kids and put them first over all of the other people in our lives who need leading. I am going to have my husband read this, this is really wonderful. Thank you for sharing how God spoke to you.

  2. Luke, I love this picture and the message God spoke to your heart. Such a good reminder for all of us. I am so thankful that you are married to my sister and the father of Madelyn.


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