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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):

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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Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

Stephen Sempala

March 2018 ECLEA training sessions
We managed to train these centers: Amuria, Kabiramaido, Bukedea, Soroti, Bushenyi, Moyo.

In Bushenyi I had 17 leaders who turned up for the training. We went through The Church: It's Nature, Mission and Purpose. In all our near centers we have decided to start with this book as it is more foundational in nature compared to 1 Timothy. What stood out most for the leaders was the importance of Discipleship. Such questions were raised during the training: How can we have a proper discipleship class? How long does it take to disciple a church member? How do you know that someone is ready to be sent out for ministry? These and more related questions were asked.


Teaching outdoors

But as we went through the training they got the answers; more emphasis was put on leadership training. They all agreed that there is a need to make sure that the church is properly led by men and women who are well qualified so that they are in position to develop and equip the saints for the work of ministry. Secondly, these trained leaders will be able to work together with other leaders from other churches/denominations to build the Church of God in their areas. This has been a challenge in this region. More was said to put emphasis on make Disciples rather than Converts.


Training participants

In Moyo, I had 14 leaders, a mixture of the Pentecostals, two Anglicans, and the majority from the Baptist Church, which is Evangelical in nature. But the church there is united to a certain extent. What stood out most was the service bit. Serving within and out of the church among other aspects. Serving others above self was the major factor. It is more blessed to give than to receive. The leaders were encouraged to live their lives well in the communities were they live. As we have been told by the Holy Scriptures that "let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good work, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven." God is a Missionary God, so we are.


Training session

These trainings are so much valued when leaders come across them. Until that happens they will never get a chance to go through the trainings. It is for the above that we continue to pray for the work of ECLEA in Uganda to go to another level.
I have had a chance to do more extra bits in following up some centers, like Luwero where Pastor Waswa Emmanuel has involved himself with the community to do Stewardship on another level by teaching the leaders how to make cakes as a means of taking care of their livelihood. In Namagunga and Mukono, after the Stewardship follow-up we gave leaders certificates for completing their community involvement through taking care of their families and their surroundings.


Participants with their certificates

Yours in His Service,
Stephen

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Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

Comprehensive report of ECLEA training sessions through June 2018

ECLEA-Uganda appreciates the support we received from that has enabled us to train leaders across the country. These areas are in the northern, southern, eastern, central and western part of Uganda:
     South East (Jinja, Kamuli, Iganga, Kaliro, Namayingo, Busia, Bugiri, plus the Islands).
     South West (Lyantonde, Masaka and Kyotera, Bushenyi, Kanungu districts).
     North West (Arua, Koboko, Moyo and Yumbe, Nebbi – districts).
     North East (Kotido, Moroto, Abimu, Soroti, Bukedia, Amuyra and Kaberamaido –districts).

The number of church leaders was ranging from 10-29 in the centers that were trained. Though it was one center that had 10 leaders, but the majority was between 15 and 20 leaders.

One of the books that were taught in the centers was The Church. This book is foundational it gave the leaders a chance to come across Church history. Most of the leaders had not been to Bible colleges, so there was a mixture with the relationship between the Church at Jerusalem and the Gentile Church.

Some preferred the Jerusalem church because in that church members were united, they shared with those in need and met daily for prayers, while other leaders desired to have the Gentile church since everyone “owned” their wealth, lived in their “own” homes, and they seemed not to have pressure from the Apostles. The Gentile church characterizes the setting of most churches in Uganda.

Basing on the differences between the church in Jerusalem and the Gentile church that similar challenges were meant in different centers in Uganda and these were:

1. The Pastor and his wife/family possessing the church.
      i. He/she is the treasurer
      ii. He/she is the founder
      iii. He/she appoints anyone at any time and he/she is free to fire anyone at any moment.

According to the report from the center Coordinators lessons have been drawn from both settings of the Churches in Jerusalem and Gentile world. This is to mean that one can own things but use them to help others and this is for the glory of God.

2. Be holy for I am Holy.
Many found this to be challenging to be holy as God while others were quoting scriptures in the Old Testament that say that ‘our righteousness is filthy rugs’, so the question was how can we be holy as God?

We saw that when we keep on living for Him (God), He makes us. We will be holy as He is finally when we get to Glory. Our identification with God makes us to be his children and Him being our God and Father. Our relationship with Him makes us holy. It is through the blood of Jesus of the New Covenant that makes us holy.

3. Other areas of concern were issues to do with unity, where it was mentioned that unity comes from appreciating one another through the gifts God has given to each one of us. Serving one another, and belonging to one another, which lead us to have unity. We are called to be missionary people as God is a Missionary God; He went out to save that which lost…”Missio Dei”. Leaders were encouraged to reach as this is our mandate. Serving, giving part of our resources, giving our time and using our strength for others is our priority.

Pastor Josiah:

He and Pastor Francis as they were doing the training in the areas of Kyazanga, Masaka district they found this place to have 95% to be Muslim. They managed to get 10 senior Pastors from different denominations. Biblical Stewardship was the course that they taught and it fit in well with the demand of the time. We believe that Dr. Jonathan takes through the Coordinators through the course of Christianity and Islam when he comes in August this year, we will be well equipped to train such areas with the growing numbers of Islam.

One of the challenges we faced this time around more so in the distant districts was the early morning rains that affected members’ turn up and others came late. The most affected districts were Masaka, Kyotera, Kyazanga this is towards south western Uganda. Greater eastern was affected too and in some areas people died because of the floods, though the centers there members well acquitted with ECLEA trainings that keeping time is not their challenge.

Bishop Godfrey:

The same experience of Islam numbers was found in Iganga, Bugiri and Busia, says Bishop Godfrey. The reason why these areas have much Islam population comes way back in the late 18th century and early 19th, when the Arab traders settled along the Long Distance Trade route from Mombasa, Kenya to the interior of East Africa. They created trade centers, which later became towns and now these towns are turning into cities. It is on the same back ground that these areas need Bible teaching churches. This led Bishop Godfrey and the team to teach Biblical Interpretation. 24 leaders were registered in Iganga, and Busia 17 leaders. He says “it was a real challenge to them…they testified that they have been teaching and preaching using their own interpretations. But with these teachings, we know now how we are going to teach properly and reach out to the Muslims here.”

In brief, I may say that with your coming to train us in Christianity and Islam you will do us good, and we are looking forward to seeing you Sir. Thanks for your support and all who stand with you in this noble cause to equip us in order to reach out to others using this formula of 2 Timothy 2:2.

Pastor Alex:

Dr. Alex is recovering from a difficult momenthe went through with his family where by they lost their twins at the time of delivery. I have attached his report because it contains someinformation, which has been put together carefully. This is his report below:

I had just returned from Moroto 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. As you may know, Moroto is in the North eastern part of Soroti with distance of 180km from each other and only 35km away from Kenya border. In Kaberamaido, Kotido, Bukedea and Abim, the pastors and leaders in attendance were very participatory in the meetings and discussions. They kept time of arrival of which to me, this was so encouraging. Some pastors in Moroto, Bukedea have incorporated ECLEA materials and resources into their discipleship classes.

A total of 117 pastors and leaders have in this half of the year have gone through training on various courses like 1 Timothy, Biblical Marriage & Parenting and Biblical Counseling.

Amidst the challenge of floods in these areas still pastors could leave their gardens and come to study God’s Word. Bukedea, Moroto, and Kotido are badly hit by floods and this is affecting Teso region districts that always is a catchment area for the water flowing down from the Karamoja regions. 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-claim 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 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 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’s authority over men....Pastors said they were following their denominations’ 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 new to them and this charged them to know that aspiring to leadership is not just a simple issue but should be taken seriously.

5. The majority of the participants were challenged in their area of marriage and parenting. Issues of adultery stood up and recognized that this is one of the problems eating up their marriages.

6. Members pledged to take care of their wives, husbands, families, and children.

On the other issues: we learnrf that 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. The participants were willing to lay down what they have been indoctrinated by their various denominations and follow the teachings of the Bible.

As a matter and means of follow-up, the participants asked me to help form accountability and preaching clubs so that they will check another s lifestyles and doctrines. To me this is a great milestone to combat heresy, falsehood, etc. At the end of the follow-up conferences, everybody thanked God for this opportunity to have come for this timely teachings and materials.

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