In Renewal Ministries’ January 2018 newsletter, Country Coordinator Lloyd Greenhaw outlines “A Survival Plan for 2018 and Beyond,” that you can read here. In it, he mentions the unique ways in which he invokes Mary’s intercession while praying the rosary. We are sharing those details below:
By Lloyd Greenhaw
I invoke the intercession of Mary at each decade of the Rosary. I begin with Our Lady of Fatima, asking her if I can join her in praying for the conversion of Russia and the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
At the second decade, I ask Our Lady of Kibeho, who is the Mother of the Word, to plant the Word of God deep within me. I ask that it would transform me into the image of her Beloved Son and flow from me like a mighty river of living water, flooding the parched land and bringing forth abundant new life in Christ Jesus.
At the third decade, I ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to allow me to join her in praying for an end to abortion. I ask her to key another mighty revival as she once did in Mexico, that it would begin in the USA and spread worldwide, and that billions of souls would come to a saving knowledge of her Son.
At the fourth decade, I ask Our Lady of Lourdes, who is the Immaculate Conception, that her Immaculate Heart would triumph in Nancy and I, in our marriage, in our family, and in the ministry we serve.
At the fifth decade, I invite our Lady of Genesis 3:15 to come crush the head of the ancient serpent, who is the accuser of mankind and the father of all lies. I ask that our nation would truly become one nation under God and for a reversal of the culture of death.
At the Holy Queen, I invite Momma Maria to reign and rule in my life. I ask that God’s perfect will would be accomplished in this year of 2018 in and through her and the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
This article originally appeared in the August 2017 Renewal Ministries’ newsletter, which you can view here.
By Nancy Greenhaw, Country Coordinator
This trip was very powerful. We facilitated a discipleship school with 145 leaders from most of Uganda. Some of our most interesting conversations occurred during meals, as our Ugandan brothers and sisters shared their experiences. One example is this story from Robert Tumuhimbise, the National Coordinator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in Uganda. It demonstrates the unique obstacles encountered in Uganda.
Robert’s team was doing a Life in the Spirit (LIS) seminar for young men who had been captured by and then rescued from the Kony Rebels. As they began the talk on God’s love, a young man jumped up and shouted, “SHUT UP!” In the shocked silence that followed, the young man screamed out, “I was taught by my mother to pray, and we daily prayed the rosary. My family and I were captured by the Kony Rebels, and my father, who was injured, couldn’t keep up, so they clubbed him to death. When my mother cried out, they gang raped her, and after all the soldiers had finished, they cut her throat, and she bled to death. Where was your God of love then?”
The young man and two of his friends left, and the team stopped for the day. They invited people to come by their quarters for tea and cookies. They were surprised when the three young men who had stormed out came by just to chat. They actually came back for cookies twice! One team member finally told them that she didn’t understand the ways of God and why He permitted such horrible things, but that the same God had also rescued them, and they shouldn’t forget that. That word was the bridge that helped them begin to dialogue. They eventually went through the LIS, forgave, and asked God into their hearts to heal the hurt and give them a new life. Only God can heal a wound that deep.
This mirrored an experience we had a couple of years ago. One young woman told us that the Kony rebels had come into her village and brutally murdered many people, including her mother and father. They also committed other unspeakable atrocities.
She asked if she must forgive. I still do not know of an adequate answer, but I told her that when she forgave, she did not give up her right to justice. She only gave up her right to judgment and gave that to Jesus, to whom it rightly belonged. I told her she would see justice with her own eyes at the Final Judgment, and that justice would be more terrible than anything she could ever imagine. We pray God’s truth will set her free.
This is our sixteenth year at the Emmaus Center. They always say, “Welcome home!”—and it is like coming home. The people are loving and welcoming—it’s a little piece of heaven. This major force for good has influenced not only Uganda, but countries all around Africa. Most of the CCR leaders we have encountered in Uganda were formed by Emmaus’ programs.
While we were there, we spoke with Frances Auno, who lost her young adult daughter last July. It is still a gaping wound. The healing is quiet and hidden, but God is lighting the path one long day and one excruciating step at a time. I am awed by the faith of Frances and her husband. It was a blessing to sit with her and to hear her story. It is always difficult for a community leader to share deeply with those around her, and she felt safe. Thank You, Jesus!
Praise and Thanksgiving
At the beginning of one of our presentations, it began to rain, and it got louder and louder, until it was almost deafening. The rain was a tremendous blessing, as there had been a severe drought for months. In some areas, the people were so hungry, they were boiling leaves from trees to stay alive.
Therefore, we decided to praise the Lord in thanksgiving until the rain stopped. The praises of God rose over the leaders. The dancing quickly exploded, with the line of people dancing all through the church. And the rain didn’t stop until the hour was over! Everyone was happy, and many said the praise of God and the much-needed rain was the testimony and the answer from God. We then went to Adoration and Mass.
One excellent talk came from Rose Keifer, a CCR interpreter, international speaker, and bestselling author who lives on faith. She is single, but adopted her late sister’s children and other orphans. She is a remarkable woman—an example of the fruit Renewal Ministries has borne in Uganda and throughout the world. She spoke on the universal call to holiness, reminding us that being in the CCR is not about conferences, missions, or saving souls; it is about holiness. She quoted often from Ralph Martin’s book The Fulfillment of all Desire: “Holiness is not an option!” “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be added to you as well” (Mat 6:33).
Holiness does not come from saying rosaries or participating in Jericho marches. Holiness is aligning our will with God’s will and accepting the circumstances He chooses for us. When we focus on anything other than Christ, we become like Martha and start to complain. We try to become God by telling God what to do. We see this in Luke 10:40: “But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” She was ordering God around! Too often, we do our will in God’s name, not God’s will for us.
I also spoke on practical steps to holiness: repentance, faith, and forgiveness. Repentance is a change in our minds that leads to a change in our actions, not just feeling sorry for something. Sin has two components, rebellion and deception. We can repent of the rebellion, but if we still believe the lie, we will repeat the sin. When we sin again and again and cannot control it, we tend to justify it.
Also, forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. It is a gift we give ourselves; holding on to unforgiveness is like drinking poison while hoping the other person gets sick!
Touching Jesus’ Cloak
Before one of our healing services, Lloyd described when Bishop Sam Jacobs set the monstrance on a small table at the foot of the altar; put candles on the table; knelt behind the table, holding the monstrance; and invited the people to kneel before the Lord and tell Him their needs.
Just like the woman in Scripture who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed, he had people touch the cloth around base of the monstrance and then go to the side of the room for prayer. It was extremely powerful.
Fr. David Byaruhanga, the national CCR spiritual director and an exorcist, wanted to lead his people in prayer that way as well. Fr. David held the monstrance, and they were permitted to touch the cloth around it as they told Jesus their needs. He stood for over an hour, holding Jesus in front of the altar, and people came to speak to Jesus about their problems, touch the hem of His garment, and go to the sides of the church for prayer. Sometime during the service, Fr. David began to tremble, as power went out of him!
We are seeing an increase in healing and freedom in Uganda! Thanks for allowing us to serve.
By Lloyd Greenhaw, Renewal Ministries’ Country Coordinator
During a recent mission to Ethiopia, we proclaimed the Gospel to unbaptized people just starting their journey to Christ. We felt like true missionaries!
At the request of Bishop Lesanu-Christos Matheos, we traveled several hours to a remote town called Banush, in the heart of Gumuz territory. The story of this Gumuz tribe is truly amazing! The Gumuz people are a very primitive and fierce tribe, with a reputation of violence and murder. In fact, other denominations have not attempted to evangelize them out of fear. About twelve years ago, a group of Comboni nuns went to the Gumuz in another area of Ethiopia and began a medical outreach to them. The love and care these wonderful nuns gave the people led them to Jesus and His Church, and now that region has a good number of Gumuz who are Catholics, but none of the Gumuz near Banush had yet been baptized.
However, two young Gumuz men, who had gone to school in Bahir Dar, encountered Jesus and were baptized. They then went to the bishop and asked him to send a priest to their village in the mountains. He told them that when they had at least forty people interested in the Catholic faith, he would send them a priest. These young men, filled with zeal for the Gospel, did just that—and the bishop, true to his word, sent his only diocesan priest, Fr. Teklemarian Amanuel, to them. After only a few months of preaching the Gospel there, 280 men, women, and children received the Sacrament of Baptism, only a short time after our visit!
To reach the Gumuz tribe, we first made a several-hour trip to Banush. Then, Fr. Teklemarian left his vehicle at a small village, and we began hiking. We had no idea how far we had to go and expected to arrive there quickly. Boy, were we ever wrong! We walked for several miles up small mountains, down deep valleys, and across several streams—two of which we had to pass over by jumping rock to rock!
When the priest finally said we were close, he pointed at a neighboring mountain with a blue tarp stretched between poles, which was barely visible, and told us that was our destination. We all groaned inwardly. I kept reminding myself that St. Paul had it much worse. When we finally arrived, the whole village greeted us. It was quite a sight and made us so glad that we had come. The Gumuz are some of the last of the hunters and gatherers, and by their clothing we could see they were poor. Some of the children had the red hair of malnutrition.
I shared with them the basic salvation message and told them they had been chosen by God and that He has a plan for their lives, to bless and prosper them and give them a future filled with hope. I then led them into a prayer of commitment to Jesus. Father asked me to speak on baptism, and I told them that while they were already followers of Christ, baptism was their full incorporation into the family of God. I told them it is more than a symbol; it is a true transformation, as they become a brand-new creation. I told them they would then receive the Holy Spirit, and He would empower them with gifts of healing, preaching, and teaching so they could then go and evangelize others in their tribe.
Nancy then taught on the necessity of forgiveness, and we did the skit where she carries me on her back and God asks her to forgive me. When she does forgive, she starts dancing and asks them: Did I do that for him or for me? They all say, “For you!” The message got across! During quiet times, you could hear the coughing and wheezing of the children. They have no access to healthcare.
As it was getting late, we decided to leave, so we could get back before dark. We were dreading the walk back, but somehow it seemed easier. I am sure it was God saying, “Good job.” That night, we had the pleasure of ministering to thirty young Gumuz men who were attending school in Banush. The Catholic Church provides them with room and board at no charge. At the request of Fr. Amanual, I gave the basic salvation message, and Nancy taught on the call to holiness and the moral life. They had many questions, and it was such a pleasure to see their interest in what we taught and respect for the priest and one another. Before we left, we prayed with them for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and they were very happy.