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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.

M&E visit connects 28 to the church.

In a remote place of about 10 kilometers from Masindi town is located one young Lutheran congregation- Kilyampunu. It is at this congregation that LHM-Uganda staged a film show amidst the rains of April 2011. Standing in the rain, every response fought to find just the smallest space at which their eye could catch a glimpse of what was showing.  And Just last week a team of two LHM staff visited Kikyampunu companied by two church members from Masindi town. A visit that was intended to monitor and evaluate the work of the ETS graduates and other volunteers in regard to LHM-Uganda programs ended up reaping way beyond our expectation.

Having staged the meeting in an open and busy place which also happens to be the venue for the village meetings; many passersby stopped over to check what was being discussed at this meeting. Having started the meeting with a small number of 5 by the end of the meeting the number of attendees had grown to over 50 many of whom were not members of the congregation. Nevertheless as we ended our meeting we asked if there were people who were interested in joining the Lutheran Church and over 35 people registered as referrals and on Sunday 28 new members worshiped at Kiryampunu.

However even with such success this visit roused mixed feelings of joy and sadness as the young congregation shared some of the challenges they are facing; some of which are such things that many established congregations take for granted. Together with the church members we were able to forge solutions to some of the challenges as Elder Jane Byakutaaga also Women leader at LCMU BOD, and volunteer Tusiime Adam, of Masindi town Lutheran church, encouraged the congregants to once again stand and uphold their church amidst the challenges as they also offered to support them in whichever way they could.

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Risking To Serve

Every urban film show has something unique about it.  Recently two film shows were staged at Katuuso and Konge trading centers located 3km from the Ministry Center.  Even with what one can regard as small crowds, there is something special we shall live to remember about them.

When we headed out for ministry it was hard for us to find venues for these shows as Muslim land lords could not allow a ‘Jesus film’ show to be conducted on their premises. Much worse they said “we cannot do such a thing, especially in our holy month of Ramadan”. But just as it is that the gates of hell shall never prevail, by the end of the day we were not only offered a free venue but also an army of young Muslim volunteers whose service left us in shock.

Contrary to the negative Islamic attitude, Sharif 18yrs was such an encouragement. In addition to fasting the whole day, he also served God in a way that contradicts his family and religious rules. Together with a colleague, he moved all around the neighboring communities announcing the upcoming Jesus film on a small mega phone we gave him. For more than two times before the film show began, Sharif mobilized the community as he invited them to the film show, something he passionately and joyfully did. Keeping up with the Ramadan rules, at a later time Sharif requested to leave to grab a bite as he ended his fast for the day.

This young man set a challenge for us, risking being hated or even rejected for his act of advocating for the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a prime season in the Islamic calendar. But when he was asked if he was not afraid of this, his reply came in handy. “I am simply serving God” he said ‘and though I don’t know him yet, I believe I will soon know him”. To him probably this was another good act, according to the Islamic beliefs, but on the other side, he was a voice calling out to people to come to this great salvation.

If one can risk proclaiming the God they do not know, how much more should we risk our lives for the one we know and have seen do great and mighty things in our lives but most of all the one who has given us life eternal?