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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.

Awakening the Spirit of Evangelism

“This has been very refreshing and awakening”, commented Mr. Bameka Emmanuel as we concluded a three day ETS seminar that we conducted at Ikumbya, Luuka district. A total of 20 participants were trained in evangelism and follow-up using LHM ETS package that saw the spirit of evangelism awakened in the young and remote Ikumbya congregation.

According to Mr. Bameka, one of the founders and elders of Ikumbya congregation, ETS was the solution to the de-churched people who feel their priorities lie elsewhere other than in the Church. “With the strategies of evangelism you have given to us,” he said, “we shall visit those who have deserted the church and work on bringing them back.”
In his appreciation to the staff for the ETS training, he said that lack of small group programs such as visitation, home cells and bible studies was the root cause of the dwindling church membership in his congregation and addressing these was of such great importance. He emphasized that once what was taught to them is put into practice, Ikumbya Lutheran church will not remain the same.

One Mathias who was also a participant in the seminar had this to say “From now onwards I am going to embark on serving God by reaching out to people in my community with His word as well as encouraging them to attend church”. “I have learnt the importance of hospitality to a young congregation like this one and with the training I have been given I now have the confidence to reach out to others with God’s word.

In general as LMM staff we are grateful to God for the golden opportunities He continues to present to us to witness for Christ using the various Ministry programs.

The Behavior Change Campaign Continues…

What do teenage boy and girl friends do when they are alone? This intriguing question was asked of the teens at Nakinyuguzi S.S.S during a behavior change campaign session recently. The form one & two students who had gathered to receive guidance regarding their sexual growth fumbled to answer as interesting information came out of them. Mary, a form two student in response to this question addressed the class. “I have a boyfriend in a different school but our friendship is based on advising each other and no sexual activities are attached” Her comment set the whole class on fire as they burst into laughter, buzzing and shouting in disagreement.
Well, why did they disagree? The answer is simple; it is now abnormal for a teenager to have a boy/girlfriend without engaging in any sexual activity. And this was a good opener to the discussion of the day entitled “Factors That Influence Young People into Early Sexual Activities” Having been told to examine their sexual behavior and contrast it with what was being discussed, the wild class fell silent at once as an LHM staff exposed reality issues of sexual influence. These included poor parent-child relationships, dependency on peers for sex education, peer pressure, and lack of reproductive health information, among others.
Students were encouraged to aim at strengthening and improving their child-parent relationships to increase the bond between them. This would avoid taking sexual decisions resulting from feeling unloved at home. They were advised to always find advice from trusted older persons instead of depending on their peers for sex education, as this often leads to uninformed decisions. They were to embrace positive peer pressure especially one that empowers them to abstain from sex until marriage.
The youngsters were impacted on by this behavior change campaign. Fifty one of them signed up to join the Peer education campaign at their school.

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Stay or Go: Heightened emotions as film shows are hindered by the rain season.

At Nawandhala Trading center, the light shone through the thick darkness on this dark country night as many saw the light of God as the gospel was preached through the “Jesus Film”. The story of Salvation brought many to faith in Christ Jesus, the sick believed for their healing as the team prayed over them and many received hope for eternal life.
But it was different with Namalemba Trading center. As God blessed the locals with rain to grow crops for food, the Film could not proceed. The enthusiasm of hundreds of people, who had gathered in just a blink of an eye, was brought to an end when the heavy down pour swept all the hope of watching the Jesus film that evening. It was sad to simply walk away in the midst of pleas of the people who did not know the plight of the damages the rain would cause to our machines, as they pleaded that the film show carries on. Many insisted we wait for the rain to stop which seemed like would not stop soon and when they saw we were determined to leave, they started begging us to return and show it the next day. Like it is for many of these remote areas where projecting a film in open air is not a common event it’s amazing how people in these localities welcome the good news of Salvation for all. So often they have asked us to camp at the venues for the night for as long as we get to show the film to the end regardless of the circumstances. Nevertheless we thank God for the little but powerful words of salvation that were spoken to the crowd. The rest of their salvation story, the Holy Spirit will complete.

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Equipping The Saints With Naigobya Lutheran Church

At a time like this when people are distancing themselves from God, the church needs to reach out to the lost more than ever before. Yet the scripture stands true that the devil roams about like a lion looking for someone to devour. Today the world is in desperate need of the savior, though many of those who need Him may not realize their need of Him. In view of the desperate need for the gospel to be preached, we spent last week with 20 congregants of Naigobya Lutheran church, training and imparting them with strategies and skills to evangelize their communities.
Like many other churches across various denominations, Naigobya was contented with its number of congregants, only praying for continued fellowship and, perhaps, for the lost to be brought to faith in Jesus Christ. But little was being done in regard to laymen participating in the search for the lost. However, with the ETS training, the participants were given a different view on which they considered to tailor their evangelism in the near future. By putting more emphasis on personal evangelism and the great commission, the participants were enlightened about their responsibility to evangelize, and gladly, they pledged to follow the teaching. They were inspired to embrace evangelism and follow-up in order to be able to bring Christ to those who do not know Him yet.
With the trained group of members, we look forward to a changed Naigobya Lutheran church, as the trainees pledged to carry on the ministry of evangelism in their neighborhood and beyond.

Tracking the ETS Marks

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Recently we went looking out for the fruit the ETS workshops have produced in local congregations. LHM staff traveled all the way from Central Uganda to the Uganda-Kenya boarder to meet with the ETS graduates from Nalwiire Lutheran church in Busia district. And the following day, another journey of almost the same distance was taken to Namwendwa Lutheran Church in Kamuli.
Meeting with the ETS volunteers and other church members and discussing the small group ministry on ground was such great opportunity to know the impact LHM has had through training laymen in evangelism and follow-up, and what has actually been done on ground by the commissioned ETS graduates.
We are grateful that some of the congregations have put in practice what was taught to them for instance Namwendwa Lutheran church started a bible study class, a choir, and also formed a team that visits and prays for the sick in the local community. Our meetings with Lutheran congregations enlightened us more about their potential thus providing forum of working together to implement LHM programs on the grass roots, as taught in the ETS training. Their weaknesses and their needs especially in the area of evangelism and follow-up were identified. Thus LHM and the Congregations could together forge a way forward for the continuity of evangelism.