Pennies Built on Faith

Dec 16, 2002 01:31 PM EST

Richard Browning, a dedicated missionary in 2000 with his wife Sherry, sold his possessions and home to pay the family debts and proceed to mission work. Yet even with all the wealth they had piled, it was not enough for them to continue their mission in Africa.

Browning was later inspired by the mention of vacation Bible school by one of his granddaughters, "the Lord planted a seed in my mind," he said. Browning then visited many vacation Bible schools during the summer of 2001 and shared their plan to start Sunday school in Uganda to tell children about Jesus, and to train adults into preachers and teachers. Miraculously, the kids from vacation Bible school responded to Browning’s dream with $10,400 in pennies.

With the pennies gathered, The Browning couples were able to go on their mission trip to Uganda and planted four churches there within a year. Browning says they base their church-planting ministry on Luke 14:23: "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full'" (NIV). In Trace Creek Baptist Mission in Ntafungirwa, the first church established by Browning, the attendants have been overflowing in average of 350.

Now Browning is passing on the pastor’s mantle to Uganda preachers. "I do very little preaching at this point," he explains. "We're not here to build an empire. We're here to build the Kingdom of God. I love to preach, but I feel that God wants us to mentor these African called men, and it's not my place to preach. It's their place to step into the pulpit."

Now he goes to the village about 4 to 5 days a week and goes on door-to-door evangelism. And each Saturday morning he mentors 14 pastors. At Star College, a private secondary school near Trace Creek Mission, he has already begun sex education classes. In February, he will begin teaching Old Testament, New Testament and the Life of Christ there. "This is a private secondary school," emphasizes Browning, "and the headmaster and four teachers have been saved after the Gospel was shared with them at school."

When asked about his mission work in Uganda, Browning responded, "We have done the work of the ministry with the things God has given us, we need more vehicles; we need ways to carry materials to start our buildings. But we know God is moving in His own time, in His own divine plan.”

By Tony C.