James Rowh is an evangelist, author, and founder of Gather the Outcast Ministry – a mission that evolved from prison outreach into a gospel crusade to the nations. James has a special burden for Africa. Read more in his book, Gather The Outcasts: Reaching the Lost in Africa.
I have been on an amazing adventure the last few days.
I am writing from Kampala, Uganda, where I am resting up after coming out of Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo.
We flew into Butembo last Friday morning onto a dirt runway with high expectations. We were not disappointed. Butembo is in Northeast Congo and has been the epicenter of the Congo rebel wars of the last 30 years. Butembo is not on the way to anywhere, terrible roads in and all dirt streets in the city of 600,000 people, many of whom are refugees who had fled the countryside to escape the rebel warfare. Butembo is called the 'rape capital of the world', as many of the women have been victims of the conflict. To say that we were welcome there was a great understatement, as few foreign preachers or Americans have been here because of the conflict. We were humbled by the response. It was overwhelming and showed us how truly important it was for us to come and give encouragement to the body of Christ there.
We had three days of crusades in a big church in Butembo, as well as pastor training and encouragement for about fifty pastors in the Butembo area. Each day the church was packed for the crusade, and the praise and worship went up like a fragrant offering to the Lord Jesus! The Lord healed many broken lives this weekend at the crusade. The Lord gave me a word that became the theme of the whole event from Ezekiel 12:22, "A proverb has been spoken over you, The days are prolonged, and every vision fails. But the Lord says, a new proverb will now be spoken, that every word spoken over you I will hasten to perform, and it shall come to pass." I believe the Lord is bringing peace and prosperity to Butembo and Goma, and He opened the door for us to come to bring the message of encouragement and hope to the body of Christ there. It was a powerful word and received with great joy!
We also went into the prison in Butembo, and gave encouragement to 450 prisoners living in very wretched conditions. Pray for those in prison in Congo as their plight is very grim. We took in boxes of soap, some beans and cassava root, and some gospel tracts. They were very grateful for all the gifts, made possible by all the prayer warriors who support our ministry. I can't begin to tell all that I am feeling after the weekend in Butembo, just suffice it to say I don't think I have ever been anywhere to minister where I felt more appreciated, and that I knew for certain God had opened a mighty door for us to come.
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