God has opened the door for his Word to change the landscape of Uganda.
Three months ago marked Uganda’s 56th independence anniversary, but recently a retired diplomat told Uganda’s Daily Monitor that the country is as troubled as ever by government corruption, tribalism and poverty.
While some are crying for new civil servants to improve Uganda’s conditions, others are taking action to spread God’s healing message and train up locals at a grassroots level.
Churches in Uganda are being planted with amazing speed.
“...people are spiritually hungry and thirsty in Uganda today,” says evangelist Samuel Ballagadde. “This has made it easy for anyone to start up churches, ready to accommodate the overflow.”
However, he points out that some are concerned about this growth and rightfully so. “Why do some teach salvation by faith only and others teach salvation by works?”
Unfortunately, many pastors have not received any kind of theological training or Biblical instruction. While they are passionate about seeing God move in their communities, they often aren’t sure how to interpret certain parts of scripture or how exactly the Word should inform everyday life.
World Challenge’s partners have also noticed this growing need and stepped in to provide resources for new Ugandan pastors.
In the Gulu district, they’ve set up a center with 30 local employees and 7 full-time missionaries. Currently, they have two cohorts with a total of 49 pastors who are taking part in the Bible training and discipleship school.
These pastors are transported to the center one week out of each month, where they are fed three meals a day and given lodging. Team members teach them to interpret scripture with scripture and disciple them on the practical application of Biblical concepts.
By the end of a 3 year course, each pastor will have gone through intensive, verse-by-verse instruction with every book of the Bible.
Changing Daily Life
The Bible school instructors believe that Scriptural knowledge shouldn’t stop at the pulpit. A firmer theological foundation should mean that pastors handle their marriage, children, and community relationships differently.
A team member visits each pastor-student’s village and home to ensure that their learning is carried over into their family and churches, as well.
The team’s director describes their motto in a simple phrase: “Spiritual health, physical health.” And this heart and lifestyle renovation, in reflection of Jesus’ life and compassion for others, makes a huge impression on neighbors and outsiders.
On average, each pastor has about 50 adults and 75 children attending his church.
This means that the Bible school will ultimately affect a total of 2,450 adults and 3,675 children through the pastors-in-training on any given weekend.
The impact these 49 pastors have in their communities through evangelism, conferences, weddings, funerals and life-on-life discipleship will literally reach thousands.
Please pray for these new pastors! They are learning so much, and we don’t want political or economic upheaval to prevent them from being able to finish their course. Also, please pray for the school which is working on becoming a self-sustaining ministry with their own farm and mill.