Last October I flew in Mission Aviation Fellowship’s bush plane to remote areas of Uganda. These places were so remote that hundreds of our disciples spent two days clearing a landing strip with machetes. I couldn’t help but reflect on what the Lord had done to bring my team and me to this distant place.
The Lord led Don Krow and me to develop a discipleship program over two decades ago named Discipleship Evangelism (DE). Around that same time, my good friend and board member Pastor Bob Nichols of Calvary Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas, took on a television station. This particular station was run by a Chinese Communist who had previously helped Idi Amin build a propaganda machine. But now it has been turned into a 50,000 watt powerhouse that broadcasts Christian programming 24/7. In 2005, I began broadcasting the Gospel Truth twice daily on Lighthouse TV in Kampala, Uganda.
A Charis Bible College mission trip to Uganda caused student Leland Shores to dedicate his life to bringing the DE program to Uganda. He wound up spending the rest of his life in that nation and died in 2011.
At first, there was a lot of pushback to the message of God’s grace, but Leland strategically chose to start discipling 800 pastors, who, in turn, discipled 64,000 of their church members each week. After many generations of discipleship, we estimate that around 500,000 Ugandans have now gone through that program.
One of those pastors was Francis Tumusiime who pastored a church in Kasese, in the far western part of Uganda. When I first met Pastor Francis, he was suffering from a life threatening cancer on his neck, but the revelation of You’ve Already Got It! set him free without surgery or medical aid. Francis has personally discipled over 300 pastors. Andrew Wommack Ministries has supported him and his disciples broadcasting the DE program over three radio stations daily for the last eight years.
On my trip to Uganda in 2012, Pastor Francis took me to a secluded part of Uganda, where few people had heard of Jesus. I spoke to the whole village of about 200 and prayed with about half of them to receive salvation, but it was frustrating. I couldn’t mention the cross, the Romans, or Israel. They knew nothing outside of their village. I didn’t know where to start. I wondered how they could really know what they were doing after just a thirty minute message.
I turned to Pastor Francis and said, “You’ve got to help me. What I’ve done today isn’t discipleship. These people need to be discipled.” He told me that the Lord had prepared him for this. Pastor Francis had given notice to his church a few months before that he would be leaving and taking the DE course on the road to reach as many people as possible. He then offered to take over discipling the Karamojong people.
We put Pastor Francis on staff and since January of 2013 he and his team have been travelling to Karamoja. They are also making disciples in four major towns in cooperation with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in that region.
First, they show the JESUS film in the native language. Our South African partners bought a pickup and outfitted a special trailer with a generator, speakers, screen and everything necessary to show the JESUS film. Then the director of our South African office drove the pickup and trailer, delivering it all to Pastor Francis.
The film has been a big hit! It is a first for most of these people. The novelty of the film draws out the whole village. As it is shown, people yell at the Pharisees and cry when Jesus is crucified. Then when He is raised from the dead, the people erupt in praise. It’s easy to give an invitation and ask them to make a commitment after showing the movie.
However, it doesn’t stop there. We immediately move them into discipleship. I heard a number of people testify that they came forward during the film, but it was during the discipleship training when they truly were born again.
Pastor Francis and his team have been going into six major centres for over a year now and discipling hundreds of leaders who, in turn, have discipled thousands of others. The Gospel is spreading like wildfire in that dry and barren land of Karamoja. The praise reports I heard were awesome!
Our Karamojong disciples have a plan to reach all 1.2 million people in their region in the next two years. During this latest trip, we delivered six motorcycles to the main discipleship centres, enabling those disciples greater access to the people. We also set in place eighty water filter systems that can provide clean water for 200 people per system for two years. This is a big need.
Currently Ricky Burge, a third-year graduate from our Charis Colorado school, is living in Uganda and will be heading up a number of programs in the Karamoja area including drilling water wells, planting crops and hydroponics. We are also going to start making “micro-loans” to help the people break out of poverty. The opportunities are limitless.
We have other graduates with ministries in the Congo, Kenya and other places who are asking for the same kind of help. We are using the Karamoja area of Uganda to establish these programs. With the lessons we learn, we are ready to export the same model to these other nations.
It is exciting! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to change a nation and possibly other nations too. I feel so blessed to be a part of this. We are different to other Christian humanitarian efforts. We don’t go in with the aid first, instead we make disciples. Only after the Word has transformed the people do we follow up with humanitarian benefits. I think this is the way to go.
The people are so excited about the Lord that their relationship with Him has top priority. They are focussed on the Lord and making disciples, not just on what they can get from us. This keeps things in the Matthew 6:33 order. I have seen firsthand the impact this is having.
There was Esther, who walked twenty miles one way to the discipleship classes. Consequently, she started three churches in her area. Esther is a true evangelist. Then there was Pastor Peter, who travelled to the discipleship classes in Kotido with a friend. They went back to their town of Kaabong and discipled 11 other people. Then they sent out those 11 people with instructions for each of them to disciple 5 other people. In just ten months, there are now over 400 disciples in the Kaabong area and they are fired up for the Lord.
The wells we will be drilling are not simple boreholes with a hand pump, as is often the case. We will be drilling wells that provide both drinking water and irrigation for the dry land. Small business loans will be given to help start businesses and break the cycle of poverty that has gripped these people for generations. What was a totally lawless area less than a decade ago, we now has the potential to become a God blessed, prosperous region. It’s all within our reach.
I ask you to pray about being a part of this. We have been ministering in Uganda for over a decade and running deficits of over $5,000 per month the entire time. I’ve been glad to do this as a missions outreach, but with the opportunities now before us, we need to increase our efforts. This means expenses and we could use your help. Donations can be made via our South African office. Kindly use your customer code and specify “UGANDA” in your payment reference and the funds will be allocated accordingly. Please contact our office on 021 914 1110 for any queries.
I guarantee you will meet many people in heaven who are there because of your giving. This is a fruitful field that will produce a great harvest. Thank you in advance for your partnership in this.
You are blessed to be a blessing,
Andrew & Jamie