The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, ” 1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
It also says in James 1:26-27, “26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
Pastor O. J. Felix, He Knows My Name Africa Peace Envoy and a full-time minister in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, Africa, is one leader who needs our fervent prayers. Pastor Felix does not work a regular job, but travels from village to village, city to city, spreading the good news of the gospel of Christ for God. He is dependent solely upon the Lord and on donations to provide his living. Here is pastor Felix in one of the more dangerous areas in Africa, the Congo.
Pastor Felix is now mobilizing local churches to donate Christmas gifts to orphanages in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. When he preaches, people give gifts such as monies, clothes, toys (such as dolls), Bibles, and other items. He is also planning a youth medical camp in December. Medical clinics are one of the great needs there.
In Africa, poverty is rampant, and basic needs such as food, clean water, and shelter are high. Among Uganda’s 31 million population, poverty remains extremely high in the rural areas.
Hundreds of millions of people in Africa lack basic amenities, from rural roads to basic health, education, banking, and commercial services. Unlike the majority of Americans, many poor people in Africa just can’t drive down the street to the local ATM and withdraw $50 for “a little cash.” In fact, some people do not own cars and must walk, take buses or taxis, or ride bikes.
The majority of the continent has about 920 million people living in the rural areas of Africa. Rural women spend long hours collecting wood for cooking and heating in the absence of electricity and gas. They walk an average of 3.74 miles to rivers and springs because they don’t have piped water and wells.
Think if you had to walk miles to a river every day just to get water to wash dishes, bathe, and drink! Here is a picture of a woman washing dishes outside her humble home in a Ugandan village.
Studies by the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa have found that:
*Barely near a third of rural Africans live near a road;
*Fewer than 1 in 5 people in poor African countries have electricity;
*Only 56% drink clean water;
*Over 60% of the population lacks basic sanitation facilities.
There are incredible needs in Africa to rebuild, but the economy is so small. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” (Matthew 9:37)
The AIDS/HIV epidemic has left millions of orphans. In Uganda, the AIDS/HIV prevalence has been reduced to about 6.4 percent, but new infections are on the rise with 130,000 new infections reported in 2006.
War also has taken its toll on the entire continent. The Second Congo War in August 1998 began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly called Zaire) and officially ended in July 2003 when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power (hostilities continue today).
By 2008 the war and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people, mostly from disease and starvation, making the Second Congo War the deadliest conflict worldwide since World War II. Millions more were displaced from their homes or sought asylum in neighboring countries.
Dangers in Central Africa with rebels setting up fake road stops as “checkpoints”, bribing travelers, and even robbing and murdering them does occur (much less often than people fear, but it happens). Dakar, Lagos, Nairobi and Johannesburg are probably most well-known for violent crime, car-jacking and murder. However, greater dangers than the rebels in Africa are the mosquito (malaria) and diseases such as yellow fever.
Many of the people in Africa have lost hope because of the ravages of war, AIDS and HIV, and poverty. Yet we know in Christ, there is always hope. God is using pastor Felix to give this hope to those in Africa. Here is a picture of one of the poor people whom pastor Felix ministers to in the rural villages.
Africa is not dangerous everywhere, pastor Felix says. But it is definitely a culture shock to Americans, and it is very backwards from the western world.
So many in Africa suffer. Finances are tight, especially for someone like pastor Felix without a regular income. He and his wife, Alpha Murora, have five precious children to take care of and support. They are Linda Mahora (age 13), Linah (age 11), Bradley James (age 8), Ron (age 5), and Tabitha Mahoro (age 2).
Here are pictures of Linda and Linah. It is not a tradition for young girls to shave their hair, but pastor Felix said that many primary school age schools require them to shave their hair as part of their rules.
“Teachers believe with short hair, it will give less time for a girl to look at herself in the mirror and forget to study, to opt to get married and be attracted to men.” Some girls, however, have naturally short hair.
In Africa, names are significant and have very interesting meanings. Linda’s and Tabitha’s middle name “Mahoro” means peace. Alpha’s middle name “Murora” in the Rwanda language means “Look at her beauty and just pay the bride price.” In pastor Felix’s mother tongue that originated from his tribe in Congo, “Murora” means “the seer or prophet.”
Here is a picture of pastor Felix’s beautiful wife Alpha with their precious baby Tabitha. Pastor Felix says that people from the US/UK visit Africa, and sweep away women in Africa with promises of “the good life” of nice material things and money. He says that many women in Africa believe that getting a rich man is the only means to a good survival. Various grassroots and national organizations are implementing programs in Africa to further women’s education, to give job training skills and leadership training, to improve women’s and children’s health, and to combat discrimination in the workplace – but the work is not easy.
Many babies in Africa are abandoned, especially in recession-hit south Africa. Girls who become pregnant don’t have an education, a job, and live on the streets. They become desperate and abandon their babies at a hospital, at charities, or in the streets. Prostitutes and those infected with HIV also abandon their children. Sex trafficking is prevalent in African countries, with many children on the streets targeted.
God’s light is more powerful than this darkness. Pastor Felix, as well as a separate organization called Abba House Children’s Home, are working tirelessly to combat such cultural problems with the good news of Jesus Christ. It is only Jesus who can set men, women, and children free. Abba House offers practical help to assist orphans in Uganda.
It is our unselfish prayers that will help the most with the people of Africa. “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV)
In Uganda there is a large hill called the Prayer Mountain, where you can see most of Kampala City. This is definitely one of the places I intend to visit when Ray, I, and our daughters go on our short-term mission trip there, hopefully next year. .
Pastor Felix says that many people come from all over the world to set up tents here to stay for days or weeks. It is said that whatever you ask for on the prayer mountain, you will receive. Here is a picture of Prayer Mountain.
The land of Africa is one of deep contrasts, with hills, mountains, deserts, plains, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls -as well as a culture blended with both ancient tribal ways and rapid modernization.
And of course, many people want to visit Africa to see the wildlife. No other continent is home to such diverse wildlife, which roams free and is in very close proximity. A safari is definitely on my to-do list when we get there!
Pastor Felix says the best teacher of Africa is when you come in person, as every writer has different versions of how Africa looks. I can’t wait to go, and know it is going to be just amazing!
I thought what Pastor Felix said about his homeland is the best way to describe it:
“I long for the day you touch African soil…it’s the land of black people who are very receptive and welcoming…that is the culture that cuts across African soil…handshakes, songs, and dances are what keeps most societies alive.”
Please keep pastor Felix, his wife Alpha, and their precious children in your prayers. He needs provision for all of their basic needs each month such as housing, electricity, school and college fees for their children. He also needs to raise funds for his personal ministry spreading the gospel, for the Christmas outreach to orphans and the youth medical camp in December, as well as raising funds for SEMSAR Africa.
Pr. Omondi Felix,
P.O Box 27830, Code: 00100,