Updated: Oct 14, 2021
My wife and I had the wonderful privilege of leading a team of students for a gospel mission to Eastern Uganda. A mission dubbed “Gospel Mission Bulambuli” was arranged for three purposes: sharing the gospel, strengthening the local churches in Bulambuli and acquainting students with mission work.
A team of seventeen missioners left Gulu on 11th of June to Bulambuli. Of the seventeen, twelve were Gulu University students who are members of University Community Church (UCC) and five were other members of the church. These students were part of our discipleship groups in the just concluded semester. We had seen them grow in the word of God and in prayer. We had spent several hours each week in studying and memorizing of scripture, prayer, discussions, and fellowship over cups of tea. These interactions all took place within student hostels in what we called Power-points, our version of small groups.
If Power-point was theory, then Gospel Mission Bulambuli became the practicals where student could apply what they had learnt through the discipleship classes.
Every morning, we started the day with a devotion time where we gathered to read scripture, prayer and later share breakfast. The leadership of the devotion time was divided among the team so everyone had a time to lead devotion either through reading scripture, leading prayer or singing songs to worship the the Lord. The devotion was, not only a time to fellowship with the Lord, but also a great time of bonding as a team.
We preached the gospel one-on-one and door-to-door in the morning hours from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. We divided the team into six groups and went out two by two and three by three or sometimes even more because we needed interpreters to communicate to the people who spoke Lugisu. Our team was diverse in tribe and languages since our students literally are from across Uganda. Gulu University being a public university gathers students from across Uganda.
One of the students by the name Davis Deo testified how God used him to share the gospel and saw a person come to salvation for the first time. He was blown away by the joy and excitement of winning a soul to the kingdom of God.
After the one-on-one gospel sharing, we converged at a church for lunch and then after lunch we had time to worship together with the members of that church, shared encouragement from the word of God and ministered to their spiritual needs through prayer and encouragement. For the week that we spent in Bulambuli, we were able to visit five churches. What a joy it was to encourage the brethren! We saw the diligence with which the churches worked in supporting us and with what unity they had in working together across denominations and we saw that there’s hope for the church in Bulambuli to stand despite challenges both from the inside and outside of the church.
Every evening we had time to debrief about the day. We learnt a lot as a team and as individuals. Evening times was for relaxation, testimonies and reports about how the gospel sharing went. The stories were amazing. Stories of how people came to salvation, the hospitality, beauty of the land of Bulambuli and the stronghold of religion as taught by some mainstream “Christian” denominations. As the pastor and leader of the team, my prayer wasn’t really so much for the people of Bulambuli. I was instead praying for my team. I prayed that “Christ might be formed in them” (Gal. 4:19). I prayed that through this mission they might taste and see that the Lord is good. That they might come to see the very grace of God through whom they have come to know God displayed, not only in their testimony, but also witnessed in transforming the lives of those they ministered to the gospel. So you could tell that the evenings and mornings were my greatest moments.
The challenges of this mission were great. The hills were steep, the weather was harsh, the roads were bad. But because of our endurance, the church in Bulambuli felt that we demonstrated great love towards them through our dedication and perseverance. They said that missionaries to their place usually cut short they days there because of the harshness of the place.
But it was not all pain and toil. Bulambuli is a jewel yet to be discovered. The beauty of the land is stunning. The waterfalls are beautiful, the waters refreshingly cold, the food served to us was 100 percent organic. No wonder the people are strong and seem to live longer. No wonder the people endure all hardships to live in that place. So, we were refreshed by the natural beauty of Bulambuli.
It’s said, “The first cut is the deepest”. Gospel Mission Bulambuli has cut us all, those who went and those who stayed praying, in deeper ways than we can imagine. What blesses my heart is that my prayer for Christ to be formed in the students and the team was answered. The missioners returned with an infectious joy and excitement. Like the apostles in Luke 10:17 when they returned from their first mission. They exclaimed, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” They were asking where else the another mission is going to be. They all want to sign up.
My prayer as a college pastor is to see a passion for the gospel ignited in the hearts of university students so that they can go out into the world, after their degrees to transform the world. My wife and I are strong believers in students changing the world because our very lives were changed for the gospel while at the university when we were students.
Praise be to God and father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has purchased for us salvation in his son. Amen.