My son Philip and I had an amazing time in Uganda last month. Man, Jesus is at work in that nation, and it’s so great to be able to join in and participate in small ways. We spent the first week in Kampala, working with our friend Wilson. Wilson leads a movement that has planted more than 1,200 ‘simple churches’ in Uganda and surrounding nations. These are small, family-style congregations of 10-25 people. They don’t have buildings, but meet in homes, under trees, in bars or other public places, by the side of the road, etc. Wherever people gather, they are sharing about Jesus and making disciples. Many have come to Christ from the most neglected and marginalized parts of Ugandan society - gang members, prostitutes, refugees, Rastafarians, drug dealers, and others. We spent a few days with a group of young leaders in this movement, each of whom have amazing God-stories of how their lives have been transformed and how they are now sacrificially engaged in extending this beautiful Kingdom. This is truly a movement of disciples making disciples who make disciples. Our team was able to help them with some simple evangelism and discipleship tools, to pray with and encourage them, and to participate with them in the harvest - but we mostly learned from them and were inspired by them.
The next week, our team spent time in Masaka, offering the same training to a couple of church networks that are lead by old friends and co-workers in the Gospel - Benjamin Kintu and Gerald Kasozi. We were able to challenge and encourage this group of faithful pastors with many of the same concepts and lessons that have proven so effective for Wilson and his motley group. It’s always such joy for me to labor alongside these men and women who have been such a huge part of my life over the past 20 years.
Of course, a tremendous highlight for me was doing all of this with Philip. I cannot tell you how significant that was, and how wonderfully he did. He lead segments of the training in both places, went out with us sharing the gospel, and was an easy and fun travel companion. One very special moment came during the training in Masaka: For the past couple of years, Nathan (Philip’s older brother) has spent intentional time with Philip every now and then, studying the scriptures together. He taught Philip a simple method of Bible study called the sword method. It’s a great and reproducible way to disciple people in the Scriptures. Philip was able to pass this teaching along to pastors and young leaders in Uganda, and they loved it! He did so well.
Although I come into contact with many needs as I travel, I don’t typically seek to raise fund for the projects I am able to see at work. However, our team encountered one in Kampala that I truly feel I need to pass on. Wilson and his team receive little to no financial help from the many believers in the network. One reason is because many of the people, when they come to Jesus, have to stop making money the way they were before, and they end up very poor indeed. In fact, it is often Wilson seeking to find ways to support them rather than the other way around. The leaders have a vision of beginning a maize mill business to help alleviate some of the pressure this situation is causing, and I am really excited about it. They are seeking to be very wise, and desire to use this business as a way of making disciples, training leaders, and providing for the movement to continue. They are partnering with a ministry in the States that is helping to coach them in business skills, creating plans, etc. They need to raise $10,000 in start-up funds for this business, and they so far have been able to raise a little more than half of that amount - so now the remaining need is $4,200. If you’d be interested in helping out or learning more, go here: