Have you ever seen a vision that has been discussed and planned out for months finally come to fruition? Isn't it just the most amazing feeling to witness something that has been a goal for so long finally be achieved? I don't know that there are too many feelings that rise above that. (Well, maybe the feeling of beautiful fall weather because of how stinkin hot it has been.) Regardless, this is Rukas, and he is a very gifted individual. I don't know if he's gifted athletically. I didn't think to ask him if he's gifted academically. Furthermore, I have no clue if he's gifted in preparing food. What I do know is that Rukas is incredibly gifted relationally, in knowledge and in wisdom, and I could not have been more thrilled that God allowed him to collide with our path, and ultimately His path.
We met Rukas at our mission point, which was in fact under a mango tree. It was Friday afternoon, our second to last day of ministry in Lugata village, and my mission point partner, Maura, and I were gathered with our translators, nationals and Pastor to plan our timeline for the day. As we finalized a plan, we noticed a young man walking toward the mango tree. He approached us right as we were about to pray, and we introduced ourselves. He told us that his name is Rukas (I thought he said Lucas), that he is 21 years old, and that he lives nearby. We asked him how he got there, and he simply replied, "I came by myself because I saw that you were here, and I was curious as to why you were here." Maura and I looked at each other probably thinking the same exact thing; "Have you heard of a man named Jesus?" I believe Maura asked him that, and he replied, "I have heard His name, but I don't know anything about Him." So, Maura and I told one of our nationals, Yusuph, to share the Gospel with him by using the evangecube.
We watched as Yusuph beautifully presented the Gospel to Rukas. It was so amazing to see this take place because this is what would be occurring once we left Kome Island. The nationals are the ones that will be left to spread the Gospel since we travel home to America. To hear Yusuph sharing the Gospel exactly how it is was so encouraging because I knew that God would use him to continue to spread the Gospel to the entire island! Once Yusuph shared the Gospel, Rukas was eager to accept Jesus as his savior. Bwana Asifiwe! (Praise the Lord!)
After Rukas prayed to accept Christ, we trained him how to share the Gospel by using an evangecard. We also gave him his own Bible, as well as a book titled "Who is God?" After we trained him for a while, he went with us into the village to meet with, and talk to, people. After our afternoon of being in the village, and a delicious rice and beans lunch, we had discipleship group. After Maura led them in a time of studying through a Bible story, Rukas got in front of the group and shared the Gospel with them perfectly! Here is a 21-year-old guy that decided to come to the mango tree where the muzungus (white people) were hanging out, just to see why they were there. Now, he's sharing the Gospel in front of 10-15 people! This just goes to show how much God wants to use him, and these people, to reach this island.
We went back to our campsite after discipleship group was over, and Maura and I were so stoked, and very sad, for our last day of ministry in the village because we knew that God had huge things in store.
We went back to our mission point the next morning with the same idea in mind: formulate a plan for the day and go for it! That clearly didn't happen because as soon as we sat down, three women came to us from the road, and Maura talked with them for about an hour or so about their beliefs and who Jesus is. It was so amazing to listen to, but that's a whole other story. Then, we met another new believer in Christ (another long story but so awesome!). Then Rukas showed up! By this point, we had spent our first two-an-a-half hours of the day at the mission point. When Rukas sat down we caught up with him a little bit and asked him how his night was. He said good, and then we asked him if he was able to share the Gospel with anyone. He replied, "I did." We said, "Great! How many people did you share with?" I know that I was expecting him to saw one or two, and that would have been amazing! Instead he replied with, "Six." SIX PEOPLE?! That my friends is multiplication vision. That feeling I mentioned in the opening paragraph? Yeah, that 's what I was experiencing at that exact moment.
We discussed multiplication vision during our training for the trip, and essentially, multiplication vision is when you have one individual that spreads an idea to other individuals and then they do the same. Yusuph shared the Gospel with Rukas. One person came to faith because of that. Then, Rukas shared with six people, three of whom prayed to accept Christ. As a result of Yusuph sharing with one person, there are now four new believers in Christ. If the three of those new believers that Rukas shared with go tell the Gospel to at least one person, and they accept Christ, that makes seven new believers. See where I'm going? How beautiful is that?! Not only was he so compelled by the redeeming power of Christ, but he was so much so that he shared it with SIX PEOPLE! That's so cool! I wanna jump out of my bed right now and run around my neighborhood because I'm still so excited about that!
We celebrated with him for a bit, and then continued to disciple him so that he may disciple them. This was the whole reason we were on Kome Island. God called us there to aid in planting new churches in a place where people had ever heard of Jesus. That is exactly what God did. God planted a new church in Lugata village because of people like Rukas that are so eager to spread the Gospel to those who have never heard of Jesus. The very next day, Rukas was baptized in Lake Victoria. Over the course of three days, Rukas heard the Gospel, accepted Christ, shared the Gospel with six people, and was baptized. How great is our God?! So amazing. I pray that one day, I will be able to see Rukas in heaven with the multitudes of other people that he shared the Gospel with so that we may celebrate all that God used his life for together. Please pray for Rukas, and please pray for Lugata and Kome Island. God is doing a huge thing there...