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  • The comments and opinions expressed herein on this web site do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and point of view of Lutheran Hour Ministries. Statements are made exclusively by the author and appear as written and have not be subject to the Lutheran Hour Ministries doctrinal review process.

Muslim Convert and Radio Respondent Building Churches

When LHM – Uganda office conducted our recent ETS workshop for in Bugir, attended by 7 churches, we cought up with Buddallah Mugoya and Wilberforce Batabaire both LHM referrals to the Lutharan Church in the past.

We found out that Mugoya Abudallah born in 1973 at Nakavule – Bigiri District into a Muslim family of 43, came to faith after attending the Equipping the Saints Workshop organized by LHM – Uganda in February 2009. Mugoya Abudalla (now Samuel) is married to Namukose Gorreti with 3 children. and is a teacher d at Nakavule Primary school where the workshop was conducted.

After the ETS workshop in February this year, Abdallah enrolled for the Bible Correspondence Course (BCC) and was referred to Evangelist Moses Kyaterekera for follow-up and connection. He was connected to Nakavule Lutheran Church and stated attending worship at the congregation. He was enrolled into the Catechism Class that very month. Abudallah continued with his BCC studies offered by LHM – Uganda as well as the Luther’s Small Catechism for the next six months. He was baptized in August 2009 as Mugoya Samuel by Rev. Jacob Gillard an LCMS missionary in Uganda.

Bugiri – Nakavule Lutheran Church was started as a result of LHM – Uganda office programming through the “Lutheran Hour” – a family Based Radio program on NBS 89.4 FM Radio, based in Jinja, 50 km west of Bugiri. The congregation was started in 2006 by Mr. Wilberforce Batabaire, a resident of Nakavule village. When the LHM _ Uganda office Director Charles I. Bameka talked to Mr. Wilberforce Batabaire during the ETS workshop in December 2009, he told him that, “….after listening to the ‘Lutehran Hour’ talk-show for a number of months, and examining the Bible based teachings on the program, I concluded that this was the right Christian message and I requested that your LMMU activities be extended to my village and a church be opened in Nakavule. I am happy that you responded and referred me to Nakabango Lutheran Church, where I met Pastor AaronBamuwamye, who visited our community and worked with me under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to start the Lutheran Church here. Over the past three years, our church has been able to reach out to five other villages, and as we speak today, we have established two more Churches – Izira Lutheran Church and Itakaibolu Lutheran Church and three more mission stations of Naigoma, Namuganza and Buwembula Lutheran Stations, I thank God for all that.happened”

In December, Mr. Wilberforce Batabaire and Mr. ‘Samuel’ (former Abudallah) Mugoya were offering their time and skills in building Nakavule Lutheran Church Building. The two were happy and looked fulfilled men, serving God and serving their community. They were also involved in building temporary worship structures for Izira and Itakaibolu Lutheran Churches As the LHM – Director, I see these two men a living testimony of how the Gospel message transforms life and gives meaning to the ministry we are involved in. Thank you Jesus for making me part of this ministry. Amen

When Jesus sets you free

November normally sets in the Christmas season and many families are together at home with their children returning from school for holidays. The Mukono District visitation team led by Vicar Nkoyoyo Daniel, were on their visitation calls to homes, sharing with very many people about the love of Christ, when they came in contact with Gloria Namigadde.
Gloria, who stays in Kyewanise- Mukono district, was born 40 years ago in a Christian home but had fallen out of the Christian faith 8 years ago after she was leered by pals into traditional witchcraft practice. She was told that witchcraft could make her “VERYRICH” within the shortest time possible. At the age of 32, Gloria was had set up a small shop in her village which had greatly improved her life earning her a small income to support her and her family members. She was happy and a practicing Christian.

In 2001 Gloria became sickly, lost her husband suddenly and every one concluded that he had died of HIV/AIDs and that she was a “sick woman”, though the doctors postmortem diagnosed hypertension. This situation left her devastated, with the responsibility of taking care of the orphans on her own. Gloria started having nightmares, claiming to be seeing visions of ghost at night chasing her in her dreams.

Her friends used this problem to tell her that she was being be-witched by her creditors who did not want to pay her back. The introduce her to a witch doctor who demanded a lot of money claiming he would slove all her problems in a very short time, making all her creditors pay, blessing her business and she would become super rich. She sold everything she owned including the house her husband left her with in a bid to satisfy the demands of the witch doctor and by the time he was done with her, she was living in the kitchen with no money or land to till to feed her family.
Most people thought that she had a psychological problem so her in-laws took the children away from her this worsened her because she was not responsible for any one.
She moved from place to place looking for friends, peace, love, care, hope and comfort. All she could get was some food and a sending away.

By the time the LMMU visitation team reached her, she was in a sorrowful state crying bitterly, she felt “god” did not love and had resolved that living was useless resorting to drunkenness. Many sympathize with her while others judged her speaking ill of her.
The visitation team shared with her about the love of Christ, his forgiveness, acceptance and care. She listened carefully but felt that she was not worth forgiveness because she had abandoned the faith and trusted witchcraft which did not work.

however later on they found her in the bar and led her to Christ. From then onwards she has come to appreciate the Church and reading the Bible.
It took the team three follow-up visit to convince her to join Kateete Lutheran Church where she worshipping and receiving care and counseling.
There are many people like Gloria whom our ministry is set to touch. We thank you for your prayers and support. To alone Christ be the Glory Amen.

New Ministry in a New country – An Opportunity for LHM

The Chairman of the Executive Council and General Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudan (ELCS), Rev. Edward Nzeme, twice visited LHM Uganda offices in the month of October 2009. He heard about the LHM work in Uganda on 8th October 2009, when he had travelled to attend the ordination of three Pastors for the Lutheran Church of Uganda. He heard about the impact of LHM in Uganda and how it has led the growth of Lutheranism and the local Lutheran Church in the country.

Rev. Nzema returned to Uganda on 20th October and talking to Mr. Charles I. Bameka the LHM- Uganda office Director, said, “I have returned so early to acquaint myself with LHM’s outreach Programs in Uganda and personally hand deliver a request letter for the extension of Lutheran Hour Ministries in the Sudan.” In his letter he requested for the LHM Ministry to be extended to ELCS and help the growth of the young Lutheran Church in the proclamation of the Gospel.

He expressed specific interest in extending the Radio program and Bible Correspondence Courses to his people, promising to work with his Church Executive Committee to ensure that the church supports air Time for a one-hour Radio Program – The Lutheran Hour on a weekly basis.

Rev. Edward Nzema (Right) with
Charles I. Bameka (Directors LMMU)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudan (ELCS) Started November in 1993 in Juba Southern Sudan under the leadership of the Late Bishop Andrew E. Mbungo. By 1994 young church had moved to Katuorm due to insecurity in southern Sudan. The church currently has 75 congregation including mission centers, 5 deaneries including; Northern deanery, Upper Nile deanery, Central & Eastern Equatorial deanery, Central Equatorial deanery and Bahr-el-garzel

There are 11 ordained Lutheran Ministers, 44 Deaconess and 19 commissioned Evangelists serving under ELCS. The church has 3 Mission Training Centers used for training evangelists, located at Nuba Mountains, North Deanery and Yambyo in Western Equatorial. The church also has a young seminary at Yambyo – Concordia Lutheran Institute for the Holy Ministry. There are an estimated 10,000 Lutherans in Sudan.

ELCS churches are mainly concentrated in southern Sudan, a region adversely affected by the North South conflict for 21 years, which left many people of Southern Sudan with large numbers of widows, 2.5 Million orphans, 4 millions internally displaced people and 2 million refugees all over the world with big number distributed in Uganda, Kenya, D. Congo and Central Africa Republic.

The war affected the development of infrastructure, left many uneducated with a very high illiteracy level – 90% especially among women and girls and an almost non-existence of Health service, no road networks and many other social amenities.

In relation to Sudan demographics, June 2009; Population: there are estimated 41,087,825 people; 0-14years 40.7%, 15-64 years 56.8% and over 64 years 2.5%. Ethnic groups: black Africans 52%, Arab 39%, Beja 6%, foreigners 2%, other 1%. Religions: Sunni Muslim 70% (in north), Christian 5% (mostly in south and Khartoum), indigenous beliefs 25%. Languages: Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages with 61.1% age 15 and over can read – 71.8% of male and 50.5% of female: note program of “Arabization” in process (Source: CIA World Factbook).

The unemployment levels in S. Sudan stands at 90% with many individuals working as pastoralist and some involved in subsistence agriculture. The Lutheran Church in S. Sudan is governed by the Executive Council and will be electing a Bishop by mid next year following the death of Bishop Andrew in December 2008 who was the presiding Bishop.

The Lord has opened an opportunity for the Lutheran Hour Ministries programming to be extended to the people of Sudan especially in the Southern part of that country.
My recommendation is that we all join in prayers and support for this opportunity of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Sudan with a big number of Muslims and only 5% Christians.

The Sudan government and rebels from the south were at war for over 21 years, in what is termed as Africa’s longest-running civil war, pitted the Muslim north against animists and Christians in the south, leaving some 1.5m people dead.
Apart from an 11-year period from 1972-1983, Sudan has been at war continuously since independence in 1956. In 1983, the government dominated by northern Arabs tried to impose Islamic Sharia law across Sudan, even in areas where the majority is not Muslim. This exacerbated a rebellion that begun in the south, which is inhabited by African animist – who practice traditional religions and Christian groups.
The south opposed the moves to introduce Islamic law and formed a rebel group – Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). They accused the government of favouring the ruling Arab elites. The SPLA never stated whether they were fighting for autonomy for the south within Sudan, or outright dependence. .

The Sudan peace deal, signed by the north and south in January 2005, heralded a period of relative calm and stability. The agreement making up a peace deal to end the fighting includes a permanent ceasefire, and protocols on sharing power and wealth.
About two million displaced people have returned to southern Sudan, hoping to rebuild their lives and play a part in creating a new country.
Map Showing Sudan – Africa’s largest Nation
Neighboring Uganda – South of Juba
A referendum on independence set for 2011, in the now semi-autonomous oil-rich south was part of the 2005 deal that ended decades of civil war. Over 90% of the people of southern Sudan favor independence and self determination when a referendum.

At the end of October 2009, southern Sudanese leader, also Vice President of Sudan, Dr. Salva Kiir urged the south to split; saying a vote for unity with northern Sudan would make southerners “second class citizens” in their own land.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan once said that peace in the south may pave the way for an end to the conflict in the western region of Darfur. Rebels in Darfur who are Muslim, say that as non-Arabs, they too suffer discrimination.