All photos and text are property of Dave Forney and may not be used without express permission.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Feast

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sorry for being so delinquent with the blog...the past few months have been really busy and despite my intentions, I've struggled to post every single weekend.  I do have a lot of stuff to catch you up on, but I'll start with the Christmas Feast that our church served in a slum neighborhood of Kampala.  Below is one of the young boys enjoying the feast. They really cleaned the bones of every single morsel of meat!

On the 22nd, Joy and the kids helped with the preparation of the food. I was still working at MAF, so wasn't there for that. On Christmas Eve, we joined a group from our church, Sojourn, to serve a free Christmas dinner to the Wabigalo neighborhood.

Many hundreds came and ate their fill. In fact, it was probably at least a thousand or more!  This shot was taken near the beginning, before it really got packed.  For several hours there was a continual line of people moving through--never slowing down--each one getting a heaping plate of food, eating it hungrily, then moving out to make room for others.

The line outside was several people deep, and it stretched a long way out the door and down the alley.  Probably about 80% of them were kids, but there were also adults of every age mixed in.  You may notice that most of my photos are of children. That's because the crowd was mostly made up of kids, and because they love having their picture taken. Adults are a bit more wary, and I do like to be discrete with the camera, so I have to be selective and careful how I take shots.

Inside, it was even more crowded. People waited anxiously for their turn to get a heaping pile of steaming food. Most of these folks are very poor.  You and I may consider this meal to be meager, or lacking in choices. Not so. With several meat and vegetable choices to cover the mounds of rice and matoke (cooked starchy bananas), they were truly enjoying a rare and amazing feast!

The smiles from these kids who had just finished eating say it all.

We were really proud of our kids. They worked their tales off on Christmas Eve, and they did it with great attitudes, and had fun in the process, and learned a lot about blessing others. Here, Britt and Hannah, with a few of their friends, are working on dishes. Britt had some major dish-pan hands after washing many hundreds of plates and cups for several straight hours! There was no silverware--most people in places like this eat with there hands, so there was no need for silverware. The wash cloth the boys used was a piece of burlap. The wheel barrow in the background served as the drying rack till the girls got to them with the drying rags. It was a fast-moving assembly line of dishwashing wander!

The younger boys served water relentlessly. But occasionally they took a quick break from that to run around and collect dirty, emptied plates to be washed and re-used by others who continually flooded in.

Here's a few more pictures from the Christmas Eve feast, in honor of the birth of our Savior and King!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Worship Night 2015

In October I had the privilege of flying a ministry team from Uganda, up to Juba, South Sudan, for an all-night Worship event. These folks have been doing a massive Worship Night each Year, in Uganda, for a number of years now, and the opportunity came for them to start spreading out to nearby countries. Despite the security threats, and the ongoing instability in that fledgling country, thousands showed up to glorify God. Somehow, as a result of the connections I made with the awesome folks who I flew up there to South Sudan, my wife, Joy, got invited to speak at the all-night Worship Night here in Uganda in December. It happened last Friday night, December 4th.  All the pictures in this post are ones I took during that amazing evening.

So, last week was full of activities related to Worship Night 2015. It's a HUGE deal, inspired and hosted by Light the World Church, here in Kampala. Although this was something like the seventh year in a row that they've held the Worship Night here in Kampala, it was our first time attending, so we had no idea what to expect.

The event, which is held in an outdoor football (soccer) stadium starts at 6:00pm on a Friday Night and goes ALL night till 6:00am Saturday morning. What was it? It was tens of thousands of people coming together to worship God through music and teaching from the Word. What was it not? It was not an all-too-typical U.S.-style church service, where people sit (or sometimes stand) quietly with there hands folded or in there pockets. No, this was Ugandan-style worship--people on there feet, singing loudly, dancing, with hands held high in praise to their Creator! It's fantastic!

Here, below, our new friend, Pastor Wilson Bugembe, a very gifted and well-known Ugandan Gospel singer and the main preacher at Light the World Church, along with our friend Scott Lambie, who works with the renowned and inspiring African Children's Choir,  are getting ready to introduce my very good friend (and girlfriend haha) Joy, to the crowd. You can see Joy way over on the right side of the photo. This was sometime around 11:15pm, not quite half-way through the 12 hour, all-night event.

Joy was asked to share about Christ our Rock.

Although she's spoken at quite a number of events over the years, they've mostly been women's gatherings, and usually without a translator. Having an opportunity to speak at an event like this, with tens of thousands of people, and the addition of a translator (the translators, by the way, were extremely good at what they did!) is a totally different thing. She did a really great job--sharing the Gospel clearly, and glorifying Jesus!
Two days ago I was on my motorcycle stuck in a traffic jam where nothing (not even the motorcycles) were moving. A guy got off the back of a motorcycle taxi a few meters ahead of me, and walked over to me and asked, "Are you the one?"  Ummm... I wasn't sure how to answer.  Which one? Who are we talking about? It depends who or what 'the one' did or didn't do...  He asked again, "Are you the very one--the one who's wife spoke and blessed us at the Worship Night last week? I was there, and I was so blessed and encouraged by what she shared--she brought honor and glory to God. You tell her!"  Wow! Ok!

Our new friend Jesse Reeves (who came all the way from Texas for this event) preached the word. And man can this guy bring it! We're trying to get him to move over here with his family. He's the real deal--transparent, humble and living for and loving Jesus.

Another new friend, Icha Kavons, came all the way from Toronto, Canada to bless the Lord and the crowd through his gift of music. Man can this guy sing! Originally from Congo, this was Icha's first time back to Africa since moving to Canada many years ago. But you wouldn't have known that from the way he connected with the crowd in singing praises to Jesus. Incredible!

The African Children's Choir was equally amazing! I love hearing those kids sing!

And there were So many, many more! One after another, musicians and preachers took turns glorifying God during Worship Night 2015.

If you happen to be here in Uganda, next December, don't miss the all-night Worship Night. It's an incredible experience, where God is present and working in a powerful way!