Return to me with all your heart! (Joel 2:11)
Kenya UBF had a weekend conference between April 5-8. It was attended by 60 people including 23 new members. The Conference title was “Return to me with all your heart!” based on Joel 2:12. We experienced the most powerful work of the word of God in this conference. Especially, all from the top leaders to the new sheep repented their sins with tears and newly accepted the grace of Jesus' forgiveness through his blood on the cross.
A new thing for this conference was the way we invited new sheep. Previously, most of the new sheep had never been to the fellowship before the conference. But this time, almost all new members had been participating in 1:1 Bible studies and testimony sharing since they joined us from October, 2011.
(Abraham Fellowship led by shp. Kevin, the biggest in attendants)
Shp. Nickson served opening message based on Joel 2:12-14. He opened our hearts wide by sharing his deep touched testimony. Even though he was a fellowship leader, out of his deep hidden relationship with a girl, he causedher to abortand concealed the fact. But God helped him open his heart to repent with tears.
Joshua served first main message based on Luke 5:17-32. Before he established a house church last year, he had a hidden relationship with a girl in the fellowship, and eventually he caused her to fall away from the fellowship. He sincerely repented his rebelliousness and spiritual blindness that caused one soul to fall away from faith.
Kevin served second main message, "Father, I am home" based on Luke 15:11-32. He poured out his full heart and strength to preach heavenly Father's heart toward a lost son. All were touched deeply by God's love and moved to come to God through genuine repentance.
Owning to sincere and genuine repentance among the senior messengers, students and new sheep were greatly encouraged to open their hearts to repent their hidden sins. Gradually, the conference changed into the sinners' heavenly party.
There was much of repenting events among members. The most heart-moving event was the repentance of a house church member. In fact, she established a house church far ago, and had a baby in full month. But with much tears, she openly shared a 10-year old shameful sin that she had determined to carry to the tomb undisclosed.
One freshman shared her sinful life while full of a repentant heart. While waiting one year before coming to university, she was abducted by bad friends and had relationships with boys. Due to such life, she was medicated and most of all, suffered deeply from guilty feelings and even had attempted to commit suicide. Even just 10 minutes before departure to conference venue, she was hesitant because she was fearful to imagine that her hidden life was to be exposed. But she confessed that she was so happy to be forgiven by Jesus through repentance.
Another new sheep also shared her testimony. She lost her father at her tender age, then her mom also left her and got married to another man. Since then, she struggled to survive. When she was in high school, she was sold to an old man for her school fees. She lived under self-torture, guilty-feelings, and agony of life for financial challenges. But through this conference, she accepted Jesus’ forgiving grace through his precious blood. She confessed that she found a true peace in her heart in her life.
As like an answer to our conference title “Return to me!", God also brought one of our lost graduate members back to us. Just a week before the conference, he visited us and registered for the conference. He was deeply touched by the home-coming of the prodigal son. He had left the fellowship as soon as he secured a job, because he wanted to enjoy the comfortable worldly life. However, he could not do away with emptiness and loneliness of life even if he worked hard making a considerable amount of money. Eventually, he made up his mind to come back to God remembering the spiritual happiness that he used to enjoy through Bible studies.
In summary, we realized that through this conference, God has answered our prayer topic based on our 2012 Key verse, “In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”(Acts 19:20).It was possible because we devoted our hearts in prayer for the messengers. We prepared a prayer chart for messengers and prayed for them for two months. And all messengers spent every weekend to prepare message sleeping at the Bible house. Most of all, we prayed for messengers to preach “heart of repentance" more than aneloquent words or superior wisdom. Our women missionaries sacrificially served messenger’s meals. Group Bible study leaders also prepared their hearts by writing their applications accepting one word deeply to repentance.
(Joyful students members)
Based on this wonderful work of God, we are planning a disciples devotional program during campus break. We pray to raise 12 new students shepherds. We also pray for 30 members to join Africa Regional conference that is to be held in Uganda.
One word: God’s wordis growing in power!