Thank you for taking time to check out our website! Let me share with you what’s on my heart.
How would you feel if you were in this man’s place?
He served as a spiritual counselor (called a “bishop”) in one of the darkest moments of his country’s history: Uganda under the dictatorship of Idi Amin. On February 10, 1973, he spoke with three men in a stadium about to die by firing squad. He approached them from behind. You can imagine his heavy heart. He struggled with what he could possibly say to those doomed prisoners.
Then the three turned toward the bishop. What a sight! Their faces glowed with a radiant joy. “Bishop,” one immediately blurted out, “Thank you for coming! I wanted to tell you. The day I was arrested, in my prison cell, I asked the Lord Jesus to come into my heart. He came in and forgave me all my sins! Heaven is now open, and there is nothing between me and my God! Please tell my wife and children that I am going to be with Jesus. Ask them to accept him into their lives as I did.” The other two shared much the same experience. They were so excited they couldn’t help waving about their handcuffed arms.
The bishop realized these “doomed” men needed no words from him. He turned and translated their testimony to the firing squad. The soldiers were so shaken they forgot to place hoods on the prisoners when they shot them. They died waving their shackled hands at the shocked crowd.
The bishop returned to the homes of the executed men. With all who would listen, he shared about the joy the three experienced. Many started following Jesus because the “doomed” had found joy.
We have a sign at the edge of our parking lot: “You are now entering the mission field.” The folks of Westside are called by God to a mission-sharing this same joy amidst suffering. Our field is really the whole world, starting right here in Great Falls. Like those three men, we may lose all in following Jesus. Nevertheless, the joy we find in him is greater riches than our very lives!
I invite you to join us in discovering-and sharing-that same joy!
Joseph has served full-time with Westside since 2000. He is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. Pastoral ministry runs in his family, being from a line of pastors stretching back to the 1800’s. Joseph also ministered four years with Jews for Jesus in their Department of Mobile Evangelism and a year as a missionary in North Wales. He has a Master of Christian Studies from New College Berkeley and a Master of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Cindy, have homeschooled their five children since about 1994. Their first grandchild was born in 2011.