THE CALL AND MINISTRY
[All efforts were made to accurately record down as Bro. John Mark Louse narrated his testimony. However it is only be an inch of what God by His Grace did in his Life and Ministry. May God bless you and all who read it ̵ Bro.Wonyima O. Isaac]
Pastor John Mark Louse is a Karamojong, hailed from Mogos village, Matheniko County, Moroto District in Karamoja Region situated in the North Eastern part of Uganda.
Culture of the Karamojongs
The Karamojongs are Nomadic Pastoralists, primitive and renowned in moving about naked. Their livelihood depends on cattle and limited cultivation of crops, especially sorghum that is often used for brew for festival such as Marriage and certain rituals.
The Karamojongs are also known for their ritualistic sacrifice of humans which they believe would prevent any disaster, such as wars and diseases, once the diviners tell them of such misfortune befalling the land.
Karamoja is a region that has numerous ethnic tribes such as Matheniko, Bokora, Pian, Tepes, and Jie, Dodoth and Labwor but all these tribes are often fighting each other for cattle.
The Karamojongs are known to be the most unlearned tribe in Uganda, hence due to their backwardness, ignorance and poverty, they often go on rampage in cattle rustling amongst themselves and other surrounding neighboring districts such as Teso, Lango, Acholi and Kapchorwa.
Weapons of Wars
The Karamojongs generally used spears, bows and arrows to fight. However, when Idi Aminís government was overthrown in 1979, the warriors raided the Moroto Army Barracks. They took the guns, tied them up in bundles as one tied up firewood gathered in the bush. Thus, guns and ammunitions are aplenty in the area. This act of lawlessness persisted till the NRM (National Resistance Movement under the leadership of H.E.Y.K. Museveni) came into power in 1986. From that time the Karamojongs began to get their ammunitions and guns from Sudan and Somalia where they exchange/barter cows, sorghum, and in a few cases money. Being armed they pose serious danger and harm to the neighbors and even to the Kenyans, especially the Turkana and Pokot people. They would waylay people and rob them. They also used the guns against the Government forces that are in the area.
The Karamojongs being primitive and uneducated, it is not surprising that I, Pastor John Mark Louse, am also uneducated. I did not attend any formal education in my lifetime.
When I was about 7 years old (back in the 1960s), I had worries about the prevalence of death in the region. I thought to myself, "Is there no way how one can be saved from death?" Then in the night the Angel of the Lord visited me and told me that, ďIn the near future, you will go to a land; you will be directed to a land where people cannot die.Ē
As I grew up, I was put to shepherd the cattle of my father and when the Turkana (from Kenya) attacked the kraals and raided the cattle; I narrowly survived death. Given the fact that all the cattle were taken, I had no work at home since the only thing for my livelihood had been taken away, so I went to stay in Moroto town in search of a way to survive. But faced with the challenge of having to sleep on peopleís verandas and other unbearable challenges, such as facing hunger, I then decided to go to Teso.
THE JOURNEY TO TESO
The hardships in Moroto town drove me to talk to a fellow wanderer, who was a friend, about fleeing to Teso District. The year was 1969. We got to Teso, and on arrival at Soroti town we stayed together with other Karamojongs whom we found there as we searched for jobs for our survival.
One week after our arrival at Soroti, two men came looking for boys to take care of their cattle in their villages whereby one of them took me and the other my friend. This is how we parted.
On arrival at the home of the one who took me, I discovered that he was a Pentecostal believer, and he gave me the job of herding his cattle, and the church people begun ministering to me about salvation which I didnít know since I originally was a catholic. I told them that I had my religion so it is difficult to change to another religion. They persistently continued sharing with me the Word of God slowly, little by little, until 1970.
THE YEAR I MET THE LORD
An extraordinary event happened one evening, in the year of 1971, the month of March. As usual, I took the cows home from the field, had supper and after having chatted with the other friends, went into my hut where I resided. I entered and sat down on my bed. I was a smoker then and I had a lighted cigarette and was puffing away. Beside the bed was a "tad hoper" (a small container with fuel-paraffin and a wick for lighting). Then something happened. I heard on the outside of the hut a mighty rocking, blowing wind, shaking the hut and was even tearing into the hut. This wind first put out the cigarette, then later the "tad hoper" and the hut became dark but the wind persisted; there was a quaking of the earth. With such persistent blowing wind and a darkened room, my strength went off and I became paralyzed.
Suddenly, a light appeared in the hut and immediately the wind and the quaking stopped. The nature of this light was unique, it had a bluish brightness. All these happenings were too much for me, and I wanted to run away but I was paralyzed. My joints were weakened; they refused to respond to my command to take off. My strength was gone.
In the light, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared. He looked directly at me with a lovely smiling face. He pointed at me and said, "My servant, you have been highly favored, your purpose of being here in Teso are for two reasons. You have been brought here because of salvation and secondly, you have a ministry; you are my Apostle and my appearing to you is to give you this ministry."
During this time, as the Lord was talking, I had a question deep inside my heart and the question was, "How will I preach the Word of God as an Apostle since I am not educated?" I did not utter it out. But the Lord again pointed at me and said, "I know why you doubt, I am going to give you the ability to understand English to minister my Word. You will be able to speak, read and write - for I have chosen you to be a light to your people. You are going to begin this ministry here in Teso, and you will continue with it even up to Karamoja and other lands. You will also fly in planes to other countries to minister my Word."
As Jesus was talking my strength came back slowly but surely and I became strong. Then He told me, "Go to Gideonís home (that is, the owner of the cows), to pray for you." (This man Gideon was the head of all the Pentecostals in Uganda.) After talking to me for long, I was very happy and I felt a change inside me and my inner man was liberated. The Lord then disappeared together with the light.
I came out of the hut, locked the door and began the journey to Gideonís home which was about 300 metres from my hut. As I began walking, I looked up into the sky and I saw a great light in the form of a ball leading me to Gideonís home in the dark night. Arriving at Gideonís home, I knocked on the door and he opened, and without hesitation he question me, "It is now midnight, why are you here?" I answered him, "I have come here to be prayed for because Jesus appeared to me and told me to come and be prayed for." And believing that something had happened to me, the preacher prayed for me. I returned to my hut with happiness in my heart. Reaching my hut I slept and I had a dream that night. I saw in the dream Heaven opened up and a man, looking like an angel, came down with what looked like a bucket containing what looked like oil. When he reached me he poured it out on me, upon my head down to the rest of my body.
When I woke up from the dream, I found myself kneeling and praying in other tongues by the bed. I kept praying for a long time before I stopped praying and wondering, "What is this that is happening to me?" because I could not understand.
The next morning I took the cows out for grazing in the bush and at about 1:00pm when the cows were satisfied and gathered under a tree, I sat down under another tree. I pondered upon the events that took place that night and then a song came into my mind which says, "Oh the blood of Jesus" and I began singing that song. Right then another miraculous wonder took place. Fire fell on me and I saw flames all around me as though it was consuming the grass. There and then I entered into speaking in tongues again for a long time and a voice spoke to me and said, "You have been baptized with the Holy Ghost." When all was over I took the cows home.
At Pastor Gideonís home, after having supper as a family, they requested me to give a testimony of what things happened to me the previous night. I gave them the testimony including the one in the morning in the bush. They were very happy and said that I was blessed because God had also baptized me with the Holy Ghost. As we were about to enter into prayer I encouraged those who were not baptized with the Holy Spirit to believe that the Lord was able to baptize them also. As we prayed, the Lord baptized the family with the Holy Spirit, and amongst them was a demon possessed woman who got her deliverance.
When Sunday came, I requested the Pastor (though I didnít know how to read) to buy for me an Ateso Bible. (Ateso is one of Ugandan local languages.) I gave him seven shillings and the following day he brought the Bible to me. Every time I go herding, I would carry the Bible with me to learn how to read letters such as "a, e, i, o, u", and within three months the Lord gave me the grace to know how to read that Bible fluently. But there were two places in that Bible that I didnít understand. The first one is Genesis chapter 3 where it talks about the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the second one is Genesis chapter 6. These were very disturbing scriptures to me then and it compelled me to approach the pastor, the owner of the cows, to explain to me the meaning of these two passages of Scriptures.
The pastor explained to me that the fruit of the forbidden tree in Genesis 3 is a natural fruit but it was forbidden to be eaten. He told me that Genesis 6 was about the heavenly angels who married the earthly daughters of men and begat children who were known as "giants". But I told him that in Matthew, Jesus said that in the resurrection there will be no marriage because people will be like angels who donít marry. Then the man told me that, with the Bible you donít have to read it and put all your heart into it, otherwise you will become mad. So, because of this, it led me into seeking God about what he said and the Lord answered me in my prayer that, "those Pentecostal elders donít have the answer to those scriptures you are asking. Wait, in the near future you will get the answer to those scriptures because there was a man I have used and the answer is within his books and that man, I have already taken him."
Since I had known how to read, I began preaching in the bush and many shepherds were converted to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, when the pastor saw that I was zealous in doing the work of God, he told me to leave the grazing of the cows and to come and preach in the church.
The Lord used me in that place such that the sick and even mad people were healed. I do remember that there was an impotent man who could not marry but he was a believer. When I was on a 3-day prayer-fast, the Lord led him to come to me and for me to pray over him, and the Lord delivered him. Later he married and now he has seven children.
As I kept on ministering in the Pentecostal church, my preaching was colliding with their teachings so much so that they got angry with me. So I had to leave Gideon and his church for Soroti town. On my way I prayed in my heart saying, "Lord now I am going to Soroti, where am I going to stay?" The Lord showed me in a vision a house where I was going to stay. On arrival in Soroti, I went straight to the house that I saw in the vision. The owner was a young believer who was not married. I told him my testimony and he told me, "You also pray for me, I need the baptism of the Holy Spirit." This I did and the Lord by His Grace baptized him with the Holy Spirit.
In Soroti town, I began preaching and a church of about 50 people was established in 1973-74 and the Lord was teaching us, telling me, "Stay as you are. Donít join any denomination for I have something for you and it is coming."
In 1975, the Pentecostals in Soroti town organized a Prayer Convention and I was elected to be one of the preachers amongst the three. All of them knew that I preach only in Ateso but I had faith in my heart that God was going to fulfill His promise that He told me in 1971. So, I went to the convention with two Bibles, the Ateso Bible and an English Bible.
On the day that I was to preach, an Interpreter was assigned to interpret for me, from the Ateso language to English. I was the only preacher who was uneducated, but the rest of the preachers knew English well. At the pulpit, I felt the anointing of the Lord coming into my heart, and as I opened my mouth to pray, it was in English. After praying I told the people to stand up and open their Bibles to John 1:29. All the people were speechless, even the interpreter, all looking at me. When I began reading, the Interpreter went and sat on his chair. Then I began preaching in English for about 1 hour 30 minutes and after the sermon the Lord baptized many people with the Holy Spirit. From that moment to date, I can speak, read and write English.
HOW I GOT THE MESSAGE OF THE HOUR
One evening, as I was seated at the public garden with the friend whom I stayed with at his home, conversing and reading our Bibles, a student of the Soroti Flying School came to join us. He came from Kenya and was also a Pentecostal Christian. He related to us several testimonies of the mighty men of God, like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, T. L. Osborn. Then he talked about William Marrion Branham. He told us that Branham was a prophet and that God used him mightily. I asked him, "Do you have some of his books?" He replied, "Yes, I have some of them in my room." And I requested him to go and bring them to us since the place was near. He gladly agreed and went and brought us some few copies.
After we had read those books, both of us were totally convinced that this man was a prophet of God and the two questions that I had about Genesis 3 and 6 were answered in one of the books. From that I was fully convinced that this was the Elijah who was promised to come.
The whole church in Soroti believed the Message and believers were baptized by immersion in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures.
Since 1975 I began ministering the Message while pastoring the church and other sister churches that were established in Teso. I also changed the place of residence from Soroti town to Teso College Aloet, about 5 miles away. I left the church in the town to Samuel Elonyu who is the pastor up to this day.
In 1976, at Teso College Aloet another church was established and I gave the pastorship to Sylvano Otuya, who got married in the same year. During that time, I established several churches in Teso though my place of residence was in Teso College Aloet. I was fulfilling my calling as an Apostle sent to my people.
This was unique and miraculous. I had told God that I donít want to marry because of the nature of my calling, but the Lord told me one night, "I have a wife for you somewhere and you cannot stay single." In the dream, I told God, "You will be the one to bring that wife for me and I canít pray about that marriage because You are the one who knows where she is."
In His own way God began to deal with the sister (now my wife) from a very far village called Amusus in Amuria County (now a District) and the Lord showed me to her in dreams.
In 1977, the wife of Pastor Otuya delivered a baby girl and there was a need for a helper since both husband and wife were teachers in Teso College Aloet. So he decided to go and pick his cousin sister to come and help take care of the baby. I was staying at Otuyaís place at that time. When Otuyaís cousin sister came I was away in Kapelebiyong to preach for two weeks.
One evening, as I returned, I met Bro. Otuya as he was going for his evening classes, and he told me that his cousin sister had come to help with the child. As I entered the house I met the sister. Upon seeing me, before I could even greet her, she collapsed. I was amazed as to the cause. But I left her there and went to my room and began praying, thanking God for my journey mercies. Later, I went to take a shower and then went to the sitting room and found the sister had recovered. She came and greeted me.
However the revelations she had, kept torturing her for she understood that I was the man who was to be her husband whom the Lord had been revealing to her. As pressure increased within her heart, she decided to call me and her cousin brother Otuya together to hear her whole story. Then we checked her revelations. There were two brethren who got similar testimonies from the Lord about me marrying that sister. But since they knew that I was against marriage they kept it to themselves. So, in that course I told them that I had told the Lord that if He had a wife for me it would be Him to deal with her and to bring her to me. With these testimonies we cross checked and found out it was true.
Together with Otuya, the Lord led us to go to and meet her parents. Here God did another miracle. Having nothing to give as dowry, the father of the sister told us, "You take your wife and wed her but bring the dowry only when my son is grown up to marry. He would need that dowry for his wife."
We came back and the wedding was conducted on the 22.07.1977. Nine years later in 1986 the father of my wife came for the dowry owed to him and he found that the Lord had blessed us, given us cows through hard work farming the land. I gave him 5 cows and 7 goats as my dowry for her daughter.
After establishing many churches in Teso region, the Lord told me and my family to go back to Karamoja. I shared with the brethren this testimony. As we were preparing to leave, the brethren in Teso argued with me to leave my family behind and that I was to first go and prepare a place for the family, then come back and take them. But I refused and told them that the Lord has told me to go back there with the family.
THE BEGINNING OF THE MINISTRY IN KARAMOJA
In December 1987, we left Teso for Karamoja and during that time there were wars, the rebels in Teso would kill people they met on the road. We had to travel in convoy and the vehicles of the army men were there to escort the convoy.
It seemed that the devil intended to destroy us. On the way the rebels attacked our convoy and they fought with the army men but they were defeated. The tyre of our vehicle even had a puncture but all in all, God kept us safe.
Before we left Teso, God had instructed us to go and stay in Moroto District Police Barracks, saying that there was a house for us. This was in a dream to my wife. By faith we arrived in Moroto at night at around 10:00pm and when we came out of the bus, we didnít know where to go even though I had stayed in Teso for very many years. Then my family and I gathered along the road side and I told them, "Let us pray and let God lead us to where we can sleep."
After the prayers, I saw a man coming from Moroto Hospital and the voice told me to call him and ask for the whereabout of the house of someone called Grace, who was our friend in Teso and who was posted to work in Moroto. We called the man and he pointed to us the direction to the house. He even assisted us in carrying our luggage to the house. Grace was very happy to see us. She took us into her house and we were there with her for one month.
During that time I told her that the Lord had told us to stay in the Police Barracks. I requested her to see the police officer-in-charge for a house for us. She went to enquire and was asked if the man was a Christian? With the answer given that I was one, the officer-in-charge told her that they had only one "Unipot" (a single roomed, metallic made house usually used by the police) near the "armoire" (where they keep the guns and ammunitions) and that I could stay in it.
We were taken there and stayed for two weeks but next to this house was a big house which was "bushy" and vacant. I asked the people around for the reason why the house was unoccupied. The answer given was, "It is full of demons because the officer who lived there during Aminís regime had magical charms, but when Amin was overthrown, the officer took off but those demons/spirits of his remain in the house, and seven people have lost their lives in that house."
I went to the police officer-in-charge of the barracks and told him that that vacant haunted house was the one I was supposed to live in. We had an argument for he was reluctant to let me have the house. In the end the Police Officer relented and said, "Here are the keys, if you and your family should die then your own blood is upon you."
After receiving the keys, I went and reported to my wife. We went and opened the door of the house. The house was dirty and had a foul smell. We sensed evil presence. Standing there we began praying and casting away those spirits. We heard the sound of footsteps running as the evil spirits left the house. Then we washed the house and brought in our belongings.
The following morning at about 5:00am, the O.C. came to check if we were still alive or that we were dead. On knocking the door he called out, "John Mark, are you alive?" I replied, "Yes, we are alive." We opened the door and he came in. He asked, "Under what power that you can stay in this house when seven other people had lost their lives in this house?" I replied, "Yesterday I told you that He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world and that we are occupying the house by the power of Jesus and according to the revelation which He gave us."
Then the officer said, "I am going to tell my superiors about all these happenings." Later he came back with the District Police Commander and Regional Police Commander. With them were other people who were excited to know the things that had happened. We testified to them of our stand in the faith. It satisfied the officers and they gave us a license to preach the Gospel throughout the whole Region of Karamoja, and they said, "Should anyone dare stop you, report to us and we shall arrest them."
Since 1988, I began ministering the Gospel in that house for two years to the people of Karamoja and God honored the preaching and the Message of the Hour went forth in its power to many villages and many local churches have been established in all parts of Karamoja.
Amongst the converts were the ring leaders of the raiders (cattle rustlers). Illiterate as they were, God gave them the ability to read and write in the local languages and are now very committed (staunch) believers and ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Most interestingly, these ring leaders surrendered all their guns (self disarmament) to the Government, took up the Bible and are now preaching the Gospel of Christ and disseminating the Message of the Hour with liberty in just about any part of Karamoja, Teso, Lango and Acholi regions with 12 established churches in Moroto District, 5 in Kotido District, 6 in Abim District, 4 in Nakapiripirit District, and many others are coming up.
To the whole population of Karamoja, amidst ethnic differences, the Gospel has brought, served and broaden unity both between the believers and non-believers, whereby if one from Bokora moves to Matheniko or Jie and he/she is a believer, one is often welcomed with joy and the unbelievers would confess to them that they are not their enemies. Hence, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been and is the only power to transform the people in Karamoja.
Intermarriage among the different clans is not common. However, by God-given revelations, there is an increased unity through such intermarriage amongst the believers who live far apart from each other. The power of the Gospel has worked in many villages, and the believers are experiencing a transforming power with many people receiving salvation. Many non-believers, confess that it is this Gospel that can liberate them and those in the villages in the far interior region where no foreign missionary ever enters, are desiring to be ministered to.
The ministering of this Gospel to the villages far and wide is done by ministers who have to walk from village to village, even to the kraals far into the interior places of Acholi, Lango, Teso and beyond the borders to Turkana land in Kenya.
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a Remember us in prayer for the continuity of the ministry in these lands.
a If any minister is led to come and edify the Body of the Lord in this land, he is welcome.
Read this related article: http://www.propheticrevelation.net/AfricaReport/af2005_nice.htm
View this video:
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Note: Bro. John Mark passed over into the hands of the Lord on the 26 February 2015. He was 60 years old. He was survived by his wife and 12 children.