asts only so long, and then it’s all bumps for the remaining
drive. Our host, Pastor Peter, leads us to the church. There are already members lining up to greet us. They wrap their arms around our necks and guide us toward the hut. The walls are made from mud, the floor is dirt, and the roof is thatched grass. This is the church of Adilang. It looks like the homes
of most villagers except that it’s about four times as long and
two times as wide. Ducking beneath the doorway, the inside of the church is barely visible. The only natural light slips in from a few win-
dow holes. It takes a couple of minutes for everyone’s eyes to
adjust. There are long benches made from wooden planks in two sections and a variety of stringed instruments near the front. When the musicians pluck the strings in succession, the notes sound like moving wind chimes. We take our seats around the church. There is a quiet humming throughout. We are thankful to have reached the destination, and the church members are smiling with clear sincerity. Pastor Peter gives his greetings, and the worship commences.
I will never, never go back to the old way any-more. My Master, when You come back, You will remember me. O Lord, my God, how wonderful is Your name.
The voices are gentle and contemplative. We join in the singing, listening to the words and seeing for the first time the people whose hometown has been ravaged by decades of
conflict. Up until a few years ago, Joseph Kony’s rebel army
occupied the surrounding bush, oftentimes abducting villag-ers, especially school children, for rebel purposes. At the same time, Adilang was a U.N. camp, serving as an inlet for tens of thousands of displaced Ugandan citizens and Suda-nese refugees. As the singing concludes, Pastor Peter stands to address the group. His presence is quiet yet assured. The people watch his movements and lean in when he begins to speak. He motions past the right side of the building, talking of the recent storehouse that has been constructed. Designed for the local churches, the storehouse will soon be a reposi-tory for surplus crops and supplies. The goal is for the church of Adilang to sell crops for a higher price during strategic market times and to thus create resources of wealth.
“We built this storehouse in three weeks,” Pastor Peter recalls. “It has been a great advertisement for the church,
showing the village and local officials that Christians can build and participate together. Born again Christians are not
just frustrated people who struggle in life.”
Members of the congregation nod their heads. Some are holding onto babies, others clutch Bibles that have been taped and re-taped at the seams. It is the month of July, the most difficult time of the year for the agricultural community. There is little rain, and the crops remain stunted beneath the
harsh sunlight. Pastor Peter explains that everyone’s pantry is
empty and has been for a while.
“I know that this storehouse is supernatural,” he continues. “I spent more money and time on my own family’s house, and it’s still not finished. But here we are with a budget, and
the building is almost done. The Lord must be breathing on
this place.” The nods continue around the room. There is a
sense of anticipation as listeners imagine the opening of the storehouse and the possibilities for the church. Pastor Peter puts his hands to his sides and turns to face his cousin, Jimmy Bodo. The two have recently been reac-quainted after a long separation. Peter extends his hand to Jimmy, wel-
coming him to the front. Jimmy rises, embracing Peter’s
shoulder and facing the people. Jimmy was born in Adilang and spoke the Acholi dialect as a child. He was in the village in 1985 to bury his father and a few times afterwards. Due to military and familial conflict, though, he relocated with his mother and siblings to Entebbe and has remained there through his adulthood. Jimmy acknowledges this homecom-
ing and his family members in the church. “East, west, home is best. I have always been longing to return home,” he says.
Looking out at his church and extended family members,
he poses a question. “The map of the world and of Africa is
very big. How does a person locate the village of Adilang
out of all places?” The space is quiet except for the wind filtering in through the window slots. “No one can say for sure,” says Jimmy, “but to see this storehouse, it’s clear that
the church is growing. This should show us that God is very
interested in this place.”
The shared conversation continues. Side by side, Jimmy
and Peter acknowledge the storehouse’s nearing completion
and how the church members sacrificed their own farming time to share in the building responsibilities. Missionary
Loveworth Wabudi offers his agreement. “Adilang has suf-
fered through a lot of wars and turmoil. These things are to
give hope. We as a community can still survive.”
A chorus of amen’s echo throughout the hut. Several
church members clap in agreement. It has been a long time since the region experienced peace or had something good to
look forward to. “When everyone will be crying for food,” Loveworth notes, “You will have food. When others are fal-
ling sick, you will have clean water. Adilang will be a re-source center that will provide help to people and send the
Gospel out to the nations.”
With a nearly complete storehouse, water filters, and drought resistant seeds, the season ahead is bright for the Adilang church. Pastor Peter and the local ministers affirm
the people’s devotion to the Lord and to each other. The
congregation offers up its worship once more before leaving the church. The members join voices, walking to the fields
singing, “O Lord, my God, how wonderful is Your name.”
Pastor Peter and Jimmy Bodo (Left) Children of Adilang
(Right) Having fun with the children..
News From the House ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………