Transformed by the Power of God’s Presence
In December 2019, I was given an amazing opportunity to travel to Uganda to capture stories for Global Disciples. I’m usually dreaming for clients at a computer, filming around the Lancaster County, or editing stories I have filmed. While my two young sons make sure I don’t stay too clean for too long, typically my life doesn’t involve as much red dust as Africa provides!
In Uganda I met Alex. He had a simple, ordinary way about him. Years ago, he had siblings who were killed in political unrest, and for years he carried this burden. A group of men through a Global Disciples outreach invited him to receive Christ, and he genuinely encountered the Lord who transformed his heart. Alex has since planted 44 churches, and he desires to plant even more, with a continual focus on least-reached areas.
As I said, Alex was an ordinary man who God reached through a Global Disciples outreach. But when he prays, the last word I would ever use would be “ordinary.”
Alex prays in a way that makes me a little nervous because it’s like Elijah calling fire down from heaven. From his time with God, Alex transforms into this other-worldly warrior each time he prays. He has prioritized prayer not as something else to do, but as the first thing to do. Each morning before we left for our daily travels, he thanked God that each of us made it through the night alive, and he prayed for protection over us for the day.
This is a man transformed by the power of being in the presence of Jesus, day-in, day-out, and over years he has cultivated the rewards that come with intimacy.
I met other believers who on the surface, like Alex, appeared very ordinary. But when they preached, or prayed, or worshipped—when they stepped into their God-anointed selves—power visibly flowed into them from the Holy Spirit. I saw people walk for a mile under the hot African sun, on rocky terrain, to baptize a group of new believers. And they sang, worshipped and danced the whole way! I met people who prayed overnight, through the night, for God’s vision and heart in their region.
The Lord used my time in Uganda to begin speaking very personally to me. I can’t explain it, but in Africa, there was space to reflect, to dream, to let the Lord probe my otherwise busy heart. I was hearing from God daily. He would show me times over my life where He was working; He would remind me of my calling; He used the space that Africa provided to unapologetically reset my heart trajectory. I am amazed, but I know it to be true after my time in Uganda: God is still speaking, still moving, still working.
When I struggle to see that my prayers make real, tangible differences for the Kingdom, all I need to remember is the joy I experienced in Alex’s heart during our trip. When I am tempted to believe that I’m disqualified or too ordinary for God, I can remember my brothers and sisters I met in Uganda.
When it feels like the mission is too big, I can reflect on the hearts of the global disciples who at this very hour are prayerfully pushing back the gates of here and bringing the Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.
– Kent Mast
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