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Uganda

Uganda lies on the northern and northwestern shores of Lake Victoria and includes a large portion of the lake within its national territory. It is otherwise surrounded by South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Called by Winston Chruchill the "pearl of Africa," Uganda is now enjoying a period of relative peace and stability.

 

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Photos of Uganda

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ECLEA in Uganda

Uganda is the first East African nation in which Jonathan Menn taught (in 2005). That trip was a key point in changing the focus of Jonathan's life and ultimately led to the formation of ECLEA. The formal commencement of ECLEA in early 2013 necessitated the formation of a new ECLEA-Uganda committee of pastor-teachers. We now have a solid and lasting, Uganda-based, structure that will result in much fruit in the years to come.

Here are updates from ECLEA's Uganda team concerning ECLEA's work in Uganda (older news accounts of ECLEA's work in Uganda and the rest of East Africa are located in the News Archive):

March 1, 2017
Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

Stephen Sempala

We had a good time in Soroti training leaders in Biblical Marriage & Parenting.

There were 12 couples, and 4 pastors who did not come with their wives. These were some of the questions the leaders raised:

1. Why a man is allowed to divorce his wife because of marital faithfulness and yet this is not so with a woman?

2. At what level should women endure being submissive to their husbands, even if the men are not doing what is right or taking advantage of the women?

3. It looks impossible to help the situation of a man who gets saved and he has been polygamous in the sense that he has to choose among his wives to whom to stay with?. How can a church practically help this process of bringing harmony to that family?

4. Can a pastor or Christian brother divorce his wife because of impotence?

These questions created a great platform for a collective participation of the leaders. These questions were answered because the book itself had the answers, though we were not able to finish the whole book but as we will be doing TOT we will finish it.

Best Regards, Bishop Stephen Sempala

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Alex Obaale, ECLEA-Uganda regional coordinator

Alex Obaale

July 29, 2017—Reports from Eastern Uganda

At this time am one day done with TOT with Rev. Francis on Forgiveness and Reconciliation here in Soroti. It is well attended and the vibrancy of that team always leaves a thankful mood to God. Please keep praying for Soroti ECLEA team. God is doing amazing things in the lives of pastors in Soroti.

NOTE ON KABERAMAIDO 1 TIMOTHY CONFERENCE: 21-22/07/2017

Kaberamaido District is 78km north west of Soroti and dominantly occupied by the kumam speakers. Over 45% are Catholics; about 30% are Anglicans; and 20% Evangelicals; the rest are others. The Church that hosted the conference was Berean Fellowship church with Rev. Agatu Stephen who has many local assemblies throughout the district and beyond.

I travelled on muddy road and in most cases our omnibus would get stuck-on the way. God kept me in and out of Kaberamaido. The guest house I lodged in is called DIVINE MERCY. People were welcoming, but I had bad night experience when it rained the roof was leaking directly to my bed....so most part of the night I kept awake.

The pastors who were invited were 25. On the first day were 14 showed up and also late. We began the conference coming to 11am. We ended the conference with 16 pastors.

They were challenged with issues of Church discipline: Most of them said and admitted that they no longer administered the church discipline. In fact they said they feared to do church discipline.

On issues of strange doctrines: One of the examples given which is happening there in Kabaremaido is that of formally married couples before getting saved are free to separate and marry any person of their choice. Second to that there is a teaching that any woman who is barren could becoming pregnant especially if "a pastor" could wash her private parts with anointed water....at the end has sex with her...there are a lot of people believing this teaching. Great awakening and challenge to pastors was on learning about their prayer life. Most of them have been only talking to God but had no time to listen to God. They talk a lot and listen less or not

We were not able to complete the book as most of time the teachings brought constructive arguments; but in the TOT next month I believe this would really have a more reaching and deep impact in the lives of these pastors.

They embraced the ECLEA conference as one noted that I wish they had got this teaching early in their lives. They showed their willingness to continue with the conferences. They contributed money for the manuals.

Greater thanks to ECLEA for providing funds for food and facilitators transport and lodging.

Bishop Stephen thank you for your great heart and opportunity you have given me to serve God through ECLEA to this my people in the greater Eastern Uganda, Soroti Centre.

Blessings, Pastor Alex Obaale

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Alex Obaale, ECLEA-Uganda regional coordinator

Alex Obaale

July 29, 2017 (Part 2): Report from Bukedea District 1 Timothy conference

Warmest Christian greetings. As you may know, I have just returned from Bukedea district where I have been with the pastors handling 1 Timothy. It all turned to be one of the amazing group of leaders I met. Praise God.

Bukedea is in the South eastern part of Soroti with distance of 80km from each other and only 27km away from Mbale where we shall be from 2nd to 3rd August 2017 still teaching on 1 Timothy.

Out of the 30 leaders invited, 23 of them were in attendance for those days. They were very participatory in the meetings and discussions. They kept time of arrival of which to me was so encouraging.

Amidst the challenge of famine in this area still pastors could leave their gardens and come to study Gods word. Bukedea like other Teso region districts are still struggling with the lack of rain to help in the production of food crops. Prayers are needed here brothers.

The areas I believe that pastors were challenged were as follows:

1. Issues of self-appointed apostles. In this region, there is a problem of people self-claiming to be the apostles who are having fresh revelations from God to help build His Church. As we delved into what the scripture teaches on this and the commentary given in the manual, We were able to realize the clear distinction between the foundational apostles and the church commissioned apostles. This helped a great deal and leaders present confessed that this material is timely to this problem eating up the body of Christ in this area.

2. The second challenging issues to the leaders was the “hand over to Satan” form of church discipline. I challenged the pastors by asking them how many of them still carry out church discipline? Out of 23 in attendance less than a half said to do. Most of them said they have shied away because of church committees that always make clicks and turn out the church disciplining process political. This was one of the reasons most leaders gave. Also their superiors in ministry dictate on the entire process of church discipline. More to the above, pastors thought that it was difficult for them to really hand over the brother to Satan. But after going through Matt 18:17-19.they were encouraged and willing to execute this vital command.

3. On the issues of women teaching and women authority over men, pastors said they were following their denominational beliefs and would critically study Scriptures and see which position would be appropriate.

4. On qualifications on leadership, when Paul begins with “One must be...” Leaders in attendance were surprised to know that there are 15requirements to have in order to become a leader in church. This was like new to them and this charged them to know that aspiring to leadership is not just a simple issue but should be taken seriously.

On the other issues we learnt, participants were encouraged and confessed to have opened their eyes; like our prayer life styles in talking and not waiting for God to talk back to us, the core scripture of 1Tim 1:5 turned to be a blessing to our study. Participants realized how that  scripture centers our life's in ministry and our personal life styles in everything we do.

At the end of the conferences, everybody thanked God for this opportunity to have come for this timely teachings and materials. We send great appreciation to ECLEAfor this enlightening document and ECLEA’s relentless work here in Eastern African. More to that was appreciation for the funds given to facilitate the conference.

They look forward to TOT in early September.

Pastor Alex, Greater Eastern Uganda coordinator

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Alex Obaale, ECLEA-Uganda regional coordinator

Report on ECLEA conferences held in August 2017
I have just returned from Mbale district where I have been with the pastors handling 1 Timothy. Also last week I was in Amuria district meeting the church leaders. Amuria is 30km north of Soroti and west of Karamoja region. All these conferences had a good attendance and great participation.

Out of the 30 leaders invited Amuria, 22 of them were in attendance for those days. They were very participatory in the meetings and discussions. They kept time of arrival of which to me this was so encouraging.

Mbale had challenges of rain. First day of the meeting because of rain, we began the training at 11am. Out of 30 pastors invited, 21 turned out on first day and 17 came back on the second day also with rain disruptions during afternoons. Amidst the challenge of rain in Mbale, most of the pastors confessed having hard and tough resistance the Muslim clerics in Mbale are posing to them. Also the problem of pastors disunity and hatred are some of the things we tackled especially when we had to consider what 1 Tim 1:5. The goal of our instruction is Love from a pure heart and good conscience and sincere faith.

What has been the common factors on all these five training's that I have so far done with the pastors  has been on the following areas I believe that pastors were challenged:

1. Issues of self-appointed apostles. In this region, there is a problem of people self-claiming to be the apostles who are having fresh revelations from God to help build His Church. As we delved into what the scripture teaches on this and the commentary given in the manual, we were able to realize the clear distinction between the foundational apostles and the church commissioned apostles. This helped a great deal and leaders present confessed that this material is timely to this problem eating up the body of Christ in this area.

2. The second challenging issues to the leaders was the handing to Satan form of church discipline. I challenged the pastors by asking them how many of them still carry out church discipline? Out of 23 in attendance less than a half said to do. Most of them said they have shied away because of church committees that always make clicks and turn out the church disciplining process political. This was one of the reasons most leaders gave. Also their superiors in ministry dictate on the entire process of church discipline. More to the above, pastors thought that it was difficult for them to really hand over the brother to Satan. But after going through Matt 18:17-19 they were encouraged and willing to execute this vital command.

3. On the issues of women teaching and women authority over men, Pastors said they were following their denomination beliefs and would critically study scriptures and see which position would be appropriate.

4. On qualifications on leadership, when Paul begins with “One must be...” leaders in attendance were surprised to know that there are 15 requirements to have in order to become a leader in church. This was like new to them and this charged them to know that aspiring to leadership is not just a simple issue but should be taken seriously.

On the other issues we learnt, participants were encouraged and confessed to have opened their eyes; like our prayer life styles in talking and not waiting for God to talk back to us, the core scripture of 1 Tim 1:5 turned to be a blessing to our study. Participants realized how that  scripture centers our lives in ministry and our personal lifestyles in everything we do.

At the end of the conferences, everybody thanked God for this opportunity to have come for this timely teachings and material.

In His Name, Alex Obaale

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Alex Obaale, ECLEA-Uganda regional coordinator

Alex Obaale

Report of meetings in Kaberamaido District, September 2017
I have just returned from Kaberamaido district where I have been with the pastors handling TOT on 1 Timothy. It has been raining in this region and most of the participants had challenge getting to the training center. Otherwise it all turned to be successful. Remember after we were in Namagunga with Jonathan, we had to be in Soroti with this vibrant team that you have always had a great hand of fellowship and love with.

One of the blessings ECLEA has done especially in the area of putting resources and training materials together is the compilation of Biblical Theology material. Said one of the pastors in Soroti, “It was amazing to find and learn how the Bible is ‘a one Message book.’” The most blessing part of the training was to be able to see Jesus Christ right from the creation account. And also him being spelt out in all the OT.

Remember when we were in Namagunga, I had come with two brothers, Pastor Abihail and Pastor Shadrach. The precious brothers got it right in the way Jonathan taught and help me a great deal when we were in Soroti. They say it is one of the best inspiring training’s ever handled by ECLEA SOROTI CENTER.

Back to Kaberamaido: You may remember that where I lodged the other time, they gave me a leaking room and when it rained I had trouble in my room. This time the room was not leaking but there was a problem with the bathroom....blockage of the sewage...Notwithstanding, I had a very engaging discussion with these pastors and leaders of course from different denominations.

Areas of interest from them was on ministry to the widows, the servant and master-related issues in line with the house-helps and their masters. Also in our discussion, pastors aired out the practical issues that affect their ministry and leadership as cited below:

- Lack of serious commitment from the parishioners to the church or ministry programs

- Invasion and influx of prosperity false teachers in their region

- Infidelity problem among the clergy

-Lack of authentic biblical training and studies...But great thanks to ECLEA!

- The poverty question here is difficult to answer in the lives of these committed pastors serving the almighty in dire need of even basic supplies of life.

We are left now with the follow up with this group early next month.

I covet prayers a lot for the pastors in Greater Teso region that God with birth and continue using these humble and dedicated pastor in our generation.

Blessings, Pastor Alex Obaale

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Alex Obaale, ECLEA-Uganda regional coordinator

Alex Obaale

I salute you in the mighty name of Jesus. Below is the overall report of the TOTS for BUKEDEA, AMURIA and MBALE. You may remember that Bukedea training took place on 20th to 21st of September, Mbale on 27th to 28th September. I have just returned from Amuria where I had a wonderful time with the participants on 4th to 5th Oct. By tomorrow, Kaberamaido would be having their follow up discussions. I anticipate a great discussion.

By this time, Soroti study center is 3/4 done with its 12 training’s planned for this last quarter of the year 2017. At the moment, we have done 10 training’s remaining with 2 and 4 follow up discussions. I believe we are on course and schedule. Looking forward to accomplish the balance as the year ends. At this time, am at home resting but involved in the church ministry and planning to have a travel with Bishop Sempala to Karamoja region by 10th October.

Back to BUKEDEA
I had the number of participants increase by 5. All the two days were a hundred percent attended. This is one of the areas where ECLEA TRAININGS AND MATERIALS ARE REGARDED AS BIBLICALLY BASED AND THEY HAVE AGREED TO USE IT IN THEIR DENOMINATIONS FOR INSTRUCTING THEIR LOCAL CHURCHES.

I had a very engaging discussion with these pastors and leaders of course from different denominations. Areas of interest from them was on ministry to the widows, the servant and master-related issues in line with the house-helps and their masters. Also in our discussion, pastors aired out the practical issues that affect their ministry and leadership as cited below:

     1. Lack of serious commitment from the parishioners to the church or ministry programs

     2. Invasion and influx of prosperity false teachers in their region

     3. Infidelity problem among the clergy

     4. Lack of authentic biblical training and studies...But great thanks to ECLEA

     5. The poverty question here is difficult to answer in the lives of these committed pastors serving the almighty in dire need of even basic supplies of life.

We are left now with the follow up with this group early next month.

TO MBALE
I had a team of 15 pastors and Christian leaders attended as compared to the initial number of 18 we began with. The discussions were encouraging as a cross section of the pastors said with lament in their hearts that they wished they had first done or trained by ECLEA BEFORE THEY GOT INTO MINISTRY ESPECIALLY GOING THROUGH 1 TIMOTHY. This is because 1 Timothy is foundational in the life of a Christian leader.

IN AMURIA
I had 15 participants in attendance. This was because one of the leaders in the district had died and most of the pastors went for the burial. One of the outstanding issues in Amuria training was the deliberate neglect of the pastoral work by the pastors and instead have resorted to looking for riches. It is apparent that most of the leaders in this town straying away to love of money temptations. Also high rates of pastors abandon their families, divorce and children-related problems. They have asked me to do Marriage & Parenting course in next time schedule.

I covet prayers a lot for the pastors in Greater Teso region that God with birth and continue using these humble and dedicated pastor in our generation.

Blessings, Pastor Alex

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