Over the “summer” months, my primary teammates were traveling and visiting the USA. But now the gang is all together and the three of us – myself, Dennis, and JP – are traveling together. This past weekend we made the long journey to the far western parts of Uganda, in a region called Rakai. The people there are drummers and cow herders. Our plan was to have a training day with the leaders of the 8 churches in the region and then spend the second day visiting each church. As happens many times, when we show up with our plan, the local leaders have come up with their own plans for our time.
I may have told you before that we are in the process of turning a very large ship here in Uganda. For 15 years the ministry operated one way and we are trying to make steps in a new direction. We are building on what came before us. Many of the leaders are still accustomed to the previous style of ministry, which included weekend seminars taught by missionaries for the whole church. For us, this makes it difficult to empower and train the local leaders/pastors to feed the sheep in their congregation. Our hope is to equip the pastors to lead seminars, teach, and fully lead the local churches.
After some conversation and convincing, we were finally able to carve out 2 hours of training for the leaders that focused on Discovery Bible Studies. JP and I walked them through the need for regular Bible studies in their churches that are lead by many different people, and equipped them with a tool to accomplish this. If you’re not familiar with DBS, it is an obedience focused discipleship Bible study. Dennis also shared some encouraging words with the believers there (in fact, he taught them for 5 hours on Friday) and they spent time in worship.
And then on Saturday we were able to go and visit each church in the area. Some are older and some are very new. Some have been made of bricks and some are constructed with timber, mud, and grass. As always, some churches are more spiritually mature and some are still very young in faith. But it was very good to visit all of our churches and the local pastors where they worship. We will be meeting the leaders from that area in Mbale later in September for more extensive training.