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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Pastor Kiwewesi pulls Ugandan crowd in London.

‘Not my Size but my Source,’ was a two week empowerment conference held in London, mostly attended by hundreds of Ugandans in the Diaspora. It was hosted by Bishop Mary Lwanga of Tower of Prayer Church in West ham London, one of the towns chosen to be a village for the 2012 London Olympics. The conference was held from 4th to 18th October, 6pm- 10pm daily. Services usually began with praise and worship led by Ugandan Gospel artists including Fiona Mukasa, William Kyobe, Martha, Myco Chris, Florence Rukundo, Esther Nalule, Barbra Musoke, Tower of Prayer Choir and Agape Mass Choir among many others.
Although he was not the host, Pastor Isaac Kyobe Kiwewesi of Kansanga Miracle Centre from Uganda was the main celebrant. He attracts a big fellowship in London each time he visits. As in his Church in Kansanga, Pastor Kiwewesi preached in Lugganda, interpreted by his spiritual son Pastor Gladson Kayanja, a senior pastor of Muyenga Miracle Centre.
It is amazing that God would empower a regular man like Kiwewesi with the ability to impact people around him in meaningful ways, and use him to speak a relevant word so his people might be changed .The Pastor asked people to repent and encouraged them not to give up fighting as long as they are still alive. This man of God had a way of putting courage in souls that had given up. Full of testimonies from both his church and his own life, he told people that God had not forgotten about them, and as a church they had a job to do in order to fight the enemy who oppresses every area of their lives. He challenged people to not only attend church, but to be involved in the body of Christ in one way or the other.
It’s clear the experiences he had come through, though wearisome, had made him stronger and enabled him to then translate that knowledge into a pathway for others to find their way. The servant of God was fired up and didn’t seem to have been shaken by the negative publicity which he received in the Ugandan media exactly a year ago. When I asked him why he didn’t respond to the reports that almost tarnished his image, with a smile on his face he looked me in the eyes and said “Ivan, I never answer to criticism because it’s not my calling.” Kiwewesi added “People will always talk about you bad or good, but that doesn’t stop you from doing the work our Lord Jesus has asked us to do”

Kiwewesi also led people in agreement when he received disturbing news that one of his spiritual sons, a Ugandan Gospel Musician, was facing deportation and had already been put on the plane. The man of God contended with the news and if I had ever thought prayers could not be answered instantly, I can honestly say now that I saw the hand of God as He answered the prayer of the faithful. With only minutes until the plane was supposed to take off, the musician miraculously was asked to step off the plane with his family. In a few days, we heard them testifying in the conference how they had already given up hope but thanks to the Pastors and the conference that called on the heavens and prayed, a miracle had been seen in the eyes of the British Immigration laws. There were other testimonies of people who received deliverance and miracles one Patricia who seeded and saw her harvest in 3 days through a cheque in a mail. Another Lady who was due for a liver transplant claimed she had felt the power of God during the conference and got healed.

In the second week of the conference, Rev. Jerome A. Barber of the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Temple arrived on the invitation of Pastor Kiwewesi. Barber, a humble African American who has a T.D. Jakes style of preaching, pastors a 5,000 member church in Hampton, Virginia. He taught and preached on various subjects, but notable was “The Pit is not forever” and “Your Condition is not your Conclusion.” In these texts he was able to relate to the conditions most attendees were going through, and found a word of encouragement for the people. He often spoke a few words in Swahili and Luganda that he had learnt on his numerous trips to Africa, and used demonstrations to deliver the word of God, showing us that our source was bigger that the size of our troubles. The Reverend’s powerful preaching uplifted and encouraged us through the word of God and he asked people to have faith in God as did David in his battle with Goliath. He highlighted David’s faith in face of great adversity. Despite the disparity in size, David was able to overcome Goliath due to his faith in God.

Rev Barber compared the timing of gifts from Heaven to “African time.” He said that they take time and are not instant like most people wish they would be. He beseeched brethren to have patience when seeking from God and stop waiting on “microwave miracles.” After every service he updated his fellowship back in Hampton with status updates on facebook. This also encouraged Pastors Kiwewesi and G. Kayanja to join facebook.

God’s work indeed operated in these men. The few nights I spent at their rented flat in South East London over looking River Thames interviewing them for a future article, I was able to understand why these men of God are different from the usual church saints. They woke everyday at 4am for prayers and never left me to sleep. Although I could not hold a prayer for 10 minutes without falling asleep and kept repeating the same words, I greatly admired and was comforted by these three generals of God. Pastor Gladson made sure he shook me whenever he didn’t hear a word out of my mouth.
The last day of the conference was particularly one to remember, with all the performances by various gospel artists such as Grace Morgan, Myco Chris and his wife Gwendolyn who shared an emotional testimony coupled with a song “mercy said no”, to mention a few. Reverend Jerome once again delivered a powerful message titled “Keep on fighting”. Pastor Kiwewesi led the congregation into yet another powerful time of prayer and topped it off with 2 upbeat songs of praise which got the crowd sweating from all the dancing. Overall it was an emotional moment for me, knowing that next October seems so far away, it will very much be anticipated all throughout the year.
At the end of the conference I caught up with Fiona Mukasa, a gospel artist and wife to Pastor Godfrey Mukasa, who I had the privilege of driving home. She said she had felt the presence of God in the conference and that she had begun to pray more often.
Other people who were able to comment included Ronnie & Noel Gibbs, who praised the pastor for inviting Rev Barber to London. Bishop Mary thanked the Londoners for attending in such large numbers.
Olga Katumba of Tower of Prayer had praises for the youth who attended the ‘Not my Size but my Source’ youth day that was held on the seventh day of the conference.

1 comment:

  1. This Article featured in Inspired Magazine(Uganda)December 2009.