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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):

Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

December 19, 2019
I have just returned from Rubanda and Kyotera where I carried out ECLEA training on Biblical Marriage and Parenting. The first time I visited Kyotera, I found that the church had a challenge with family setting. This is one of the places in Uganda where HIV/AIDS started from in 1980's and this region was much affected by the scourge.

So when it came to Marriage and Parenting this course fitted well, in terms of being faithful to one another, dealing with the youth in their communities, parents’ responsibilities towards their children, divorce, and family planning. These were the questions that the leaders raised. But in the nutshell I reminded the leaders that marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church at the end of the day after all has been done.

Below is the just concluded training yesterday.

Kind Regards,

Stephen Sempala

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Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

February 2020. I have just returned from Rubanda, but also did trainings in Lira, Tororo, Nebbi and Kyampisi.
Mainly I did Biblical Interpretation and Biblical Stewardship. This time around we emphasized more on Biblical Interpretation because many leaders didn't know how to do Hermeneutics and also Exegesis. It has been a challenge for them to understand and to use the Biblical passages. This was evident when some commented that the Bible somehow contradicts itself. But after we went through this training their eyes were opened and they have fallen in love with the Bible. Some commented that they are going to start to read the Old Testament in a new way because they have been given the tools to use to dig out the hidden meanings in the Bible. I showed them how important it is to systematically read the Bible and bring the original and intended meaning to their hearers.

And to the two centers were I taught Stewardship, leaders were encouraged to be brothers' keepers by being good Stewards of all that the Lord has entrusted them. Being conscious of what we have, what has been given to us and how we are to use it to be a blessing to others. As the saying goes, "I am because you are, you are because I am."
After all the sessions, Homework was given and leaders were told:
     1. To use the questions that they have been given to show how they understood concept.
     2. How are they going to use it practically while in their areas of jurisdiction? Meaning they should walk the talk.
     3. Write their findings in their local languages, so that they are not limited in their explanations.

When we go back for Follow-up we will be wanting to see these practically being done in their communities.
One of the challenges we are experiencing is that some centers need more days for training as opposed to 2 or 3 days, some need like 4 days depending on the book that is going to be taught. This is more so in  areas where we translate in two or three languages. Having said that the trainings are going on well in this part of the Global.

Apart from my trainings and where I have been so far I have not heard any serious challenge in our programs coming from the coordinators. So all seem to be going on well in the right direction.

Kind Regard,

Stephen

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Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

June 2020: So far we had covered January to March by the time we closed, and also some centers concluded their trainings as early as the first week of April, and others just carried out their trainings at the time I wrote to you last week. These are Amulata, Tororo, Busia, Moyo, Rubanda, Kyampisi and Iganga. These seven were the only centers that had fully completed their trainings with less disturbances raising from local authorities, and other unforeseen expenses.

What we have done is that we have moved the majority of the trainings that were supposed to be done from April up to June, to be taught from July to September. However, we have started some of the trainings. The arrangement is going to be a number of 10-15 leaders observing the S.O.P, this has to do with leaders wearing masks, using soap and water or having sanitizers, sitting two metres from each other.

We have chosen to do so as we wait for the general opening of places of worship. When they open places of worship we will continue, but as for now it is more like having a meeting for members, which is very okay provided they observe the S.O.P

The challenges that we are facing at the moment are to do with high cost of transportation as it has doubled, lodging facilities, which are scarce, and other expensive for no good reason, additional expenditure like, face masks, sanitizers, etc. and other unseen expenditures. Having said that we will continue to make a move.

Attached are some of the photos that were sent to me from Amulata, Moyo, Tororo and Iganga.

     

     

Stephen Sempala

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Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

July 21, 2020: Summary of First Quarter ECLEA Conferences

Greetings in Jesus Name, thanking God for your life, your family and the ministry of ECLEA.

As promised here is what happened in the first quarter of the year that is January to March 2020. Before we closed all the trainings due COVID 19 pandemic, at least 48 of trainings had been carried out in the regions of South Western Uganda, Central Uganda, Eastern Uganda, Teso region (Greater Eastern Uganda), and part of Northern Uganda out of 53 Trainings that were supposed to be taught between the same period. The good news is that the remaining 5 trainings have been taught of those that were not taught that is 2 in Northern Uganda and 3 in the Teso region according to Pastor Okoth and Pastor Alex respectively from these two regions. 

These are the books that were taught during the first quarter of the year: The Church, Biblical Stewardship, Biblical Interpretation, Christianity and Islam, Biblical Theology, James, and Biblical Marriage.

These regions are coordinated by Rev. Moses Mukisa, Pastor Tumwine, Bishop Wako, Pastor Alex and Pastor Okoth among other Coordinators in these regions, and others from Western (Bunyoro), Islands, and West Nile Sub region or Arua.

I have tried to attach some of the updates from the Coordinators please check them out!!

This is from Rev Mukisa who is in charge of South Western Uganda:

My lord Bishop Stephen praise the Jesus, following our last communication this is what I can say about the training. As I had told on phone about the success and challenges we got maybe I can save that because it is history.

My leaders here loved so much going through the genres in Bible, they have been wondering about the difference between prophecy and apocalyptic because they seemed to look the same, but the explanations given have made that clear. Our pastors have been confused with the endtime prophecy. They lacked understanding what the Bible talked about and how to interpret it very clearly. This training has put value on the ministry of pastors they see things differently now.

Our mission is now targeting these pastors to go and train others in the sub counties and villages where we have the most pastors handling God's people. The challenge brought by corona hindered us very much we should have finished many books by now. I let pastor Laban and pastor Kiiza to go to Rwampara to do follow up while I finished the last day with pastor Mukulu.

I don't know whether you will come and teach with us the module of Christian and Islam before the year ends, will plan to be in Lyatonde and Ishaka when the government will allow us to gather big numbers, you will meet our delegates from other parts of Ankole conference.

As of now we are looking to finish up to September trainings, I will make plan to come to you in Kampala and discuss more on helping the pastors with the projects you talked with us. As you know Covid has misplaced us a lot, but the Lord will enable us to get there. Thanks bishop members what to see you again, greet the family and ECLEA team, we appreciate the materials and as you saw the pastors this is their thing. Blessings to you. Shalom, Rev Mukisa.

This is from Pastor Alex, Teso and Karamoja regions:

Praise Him Forever Bishop Stephen,

As we have just started the last half of the year 2020, may I highlight some few issues on what has been going on in Teso and Karamoja Regions: It should also be noted here that this COVID 19 PANDEMIC has messed up many things in the entire globe and here in the whole of Teso and Karamoja regions. We are praying for an effective way to  continuously training our people and mobilizing them for ECLEA TRAININGS.

WHAT HAS BEEN COVERED SO FAR:

As you may be aware depending on our schedules that January to March 2020 Christianity and Islam is what the pastors and leaders preferred to go through. Jonathan came and taught in Soroti early this year. This sparked and ignited the fire in the hearts of other coordinators whom Jonathan met as they went on and organised the classes for other leaders in their communities.

TOTS AND TRAININGS for Soroti, Kotido, Abim, Bukedea, Moroto, Kaberamaido and Amuria Went on well with good attendance and participation. There were 15 participants in Amuria,17 in  Kaberamaido 16 in Kotido and 19 in Bukedea. What stands out in these trainings is on how ECLEA MATERIALS ALWAYS GIVE A GOOD ROAD MAP TO THE PASTORS TO GO BACK TO THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION FOR EVERYTHING THAT THEY DO IN MINISTRY.

Basically, the Christianity and Islam as a course that we have been going through highlights some of the things that the pastors have problems on their day today running of their ministry. For example, the issues concerning what Islam is, the power and significance of prophet Muhammad in relation to the Bible. How to effectively minister to the Islamic faithful, etc. In fact, there is still a call for another training to be conducted so that the pastors get well acquaintance with is material on Islam and Christianity. 

Blessings from Teso and Karamoja sub region 

This is from Bishop Wako Eastern Uganda:

Hello Bishop Steven, Blessings to you. We have just concluded the TOTS WITH ALL THE CENTERS. What is remaining is doing the follow ups with the centers, leaders have been deployed to encourage their flocks, in doing so we are managing to train our ECLEA leaders now that we have less people are doing, so this has worked for us well.

As one of the core convictions with the ECLEA TRAINING TEAM, we pledge to continue doing the following:

1. To continue mobilizing leaders to attend ECLEA Trainings.

2. Some Churches have started teaching on the courses their leaders learn from the trainings.

3. Pastors have agreed to support the conferences by contributing money for feeding, training materials. Although this is still a challenge with many of them, the support that come in time help us to this to happen.

Please pray with us as we go through this devastating period of pandemic that has caused a lot of damage in the country.

THE WAY FORWARD

We look forward to starting trainings next week. As we follow the standing operational procedures of Government. Transport has been allowed country wide although with social distancing in the vehicle; hence costly in-terms of the fares

That is the communication I received from the 3 Coordinators as mentioned before. I have been in talks with Bishop Julius and Rev Francis. They are waiting for the Government officially to open up the country so that we can have the trainings in their Dioceses. They are all willing to have you when the international flights start again.

God bless you and all those who are praying for and supporting the ministry of ECLEA!

Bishop Stephen Sempala

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Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

August 2020:

As promised here is the mini Report that covers the centers in Eastern and Greater Eastern including Karamoja region. By now since we started at the end of June, the Coordinators have been able to teach Biblical Theology in all centers and have just started with TOTS in this August.

The book of James has been an inspiring and challenging to all the attendants especially in the area of application of our Faith, Character, Patience, and Endurance in hardships, etc. This was a refreshing course and challenge to all the participants to stay focused on what we have believed.

THE ATTENDANCE

The attendance and participation of the pastors has been good in some centers and fair in other areas. A total of 68 Pastors have been reached in the Greater Eastern and Karamoja region, and 94 church leaders in Eastern Uganda in these few trainings.

One the other hand there has been some challenges as some of the participants had the fear about the COVID related issues as transport fare has doubled. Hopefully in the second round of the trainings the attendance will be great.

Some comments from some the Coordinators:

"These trainings of ECLEA MATERIALS ALWAYS GIVE A GOOD ROAD MAP TO THE PASTORS TO GO BACK TO THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION FOR EVERYTHING THAT THEY DO IN MINISTRY."

"AT THIS TIME WHEREBY THERE ARE SO MANY THEORIES GOING ON ABOUT COVID AND OTHER ISSUES, DURING THE BIBLICAL THEOLOGY CLASS, PASTORS FOUND OUT THAT THE SAFEST PLACE IS TO STAY WITHIN THE WORD AS OTHERS ARE SINKING GROUNDS."

As one of the Core Convictions with the ECLEA training Team, We pledge to continue doing the following:

1.To continue mobilizing Pastors to attend ECLEA Trainings.

2. Some Churches have started teaching on the courses their pastors learn from the trainings

3. Pastors have agreed to support the conferences by contributing funds for feeding, training materials. Although this is still a challenge with many, but at least we have started moving in that direction.

Please pray with us as we go through this devastating period of COVID 19 THAT HAS HAMPERED A LOT OF MINISTRY ACTIVITIES IN OUR COUNTRY AND ALSO THE WHOLE WORLD.

New developments are coming up from Western Uganda as new Centers have been started. These new Centers are going to be facilitated by these leaders for the rest of this year, as they see things moving!

So far there are six in number, and one of the Centers is Katuna near the Boarder of Uganda and Rwanda. "The training was warmly welcomed by the leaders" said the Coordinator of this Region.

Another Center being Rubaya Sub County, Kabale District. Another Center that was created is located in Bubare Sub County in Rubanda District. These other newly created Centers were started by leaders who have been attending our trainings from Kabale and Rubanda respectively. Due to the Need and the Value they have for our materials, they chose to start these Centers near them. By the way, these are the leaders who have been travelling long distances to attend our trainings.

The fourth and fifth Centers have been created in Rwampara District, one is in the middle of the Town Council, and another one is located in Ndeija Sub County, Rwampara District.

Finally, the sixth Center has been started 6km from Kyazanga Trading Center. Since the Government issued a command that Churches, Schools and halls should not accommodate people during this COVID 19 season, these leaders who have been accommodated in these premises during their training fall victims. So to avoid the Government directive, they chose to have the trainings near them, thus creating this Center.

According to one of the Coordinators from this Region, Pr. Jackson, Rwampara had the most number of participates ranging from 40-50, compared to the lest Center that had participates between 9-14. Rwampara like Iganga in the Eastern has more Muslim than Christians.

I have been given Statistics that the leaders with initial training are about 60%. The Bible Colleges or Institutions could only be found in Mbarara City.

Interestingly, there is a Rev in Kanungu who belongs to Free Methodist Church who says that he should be included also in our training programs, this is because training is lacking in the entire District. Kanungu is a place where Kibwetere Inferno took place in Uganda.

Basically, this is what has transpired this time around in our trainings in Uganda. I will keep you up to date as more reports are coming in.

Kind Regards,

Stephen

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Stephen Sempala, ECLEA-Uganda national coordinator

September 2020

Greetings and praise the Lord. Thanks for the support you continuously give towards the training of Church leaders in Uganda. We have managed to create 18 new centers due to the high demand for training in the these areas.

Apart from the first six centers from the South West of Uganda, that's Katuna, Rubaya, Bubare, Rwampara, Ndeija and Kyazanga center B, another center was added to these and it is called Kanungu in Kanungu district.

The remaining 12 centers have come mainly from Buvuma Island, which is made up of 53 smaller Islands. So far we have managed to create 8 training Centers in eight Sub Counties out of the 53 Islands.

At first we had stopped trainings on this main Island due to high cost of transport and long hours to reach the Island. But due to the high demand for training on these Islands when we got the advance we had to make arrangements with Bishop Godfrey and carried out sensitization and at the same time trained the leaders there. These are the Centers that were created; Bagaya, Lwajje, Bwema, Luubya, Kitamilo, Lyabanna, Buwoya and Kirongo, which is the main landing site of Buvuma main Island.

So far in all these new Centers we have used the book of 1 Timothy. It has been received with gratitude, the richness in the materials themselves left many wanting to have a school opened in their areas. The need to open up a school came strongly in Buvuma. The leaders here needed more time to go through the book.
 
When it came to leadership in line with the Great Commission "Making disciples of all nations", the leaders saw that they were not emphasizing that in their Churches, they were not reaching the politicians, the educators, the business people, the entertainers, the communicators, their families, and thus they were failing to answer the Great Commission due to lack of reading the Holy Scriptures in context.

We had still other Centers created in Eastern Uganda that is; Busembatya district, Luuka district, Kalagi in Mukono district. 

Apart from the new Centers created, the rest of the training are still ongoing. Personally I have been engaged so much in the creation of these new Centers at the moment with some Coordinators one at a time.

Attached are some of the photos of the trainings from some new Centers and the old Centers.
          

                               

I have taken a break from the trainings, I am planning to go back at the end of this month. At the moment I am re - organizing myself. I will be updating you as I receive the feedback or the reports from the Coordinators.

I talked with Bishop Julius Nina, and he is working on ECLEA's partnership with the Church of Uganda Training Center in the North.

Also I am going to use this time to look for the Luganda translator for our ECLEA books.

Kind Regards,

Stephen 

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Alex Obaale, ECLEA-Uganda regional coordinator

October 2020

This mini Report covers both the centers of Teso and Karamoja regions for the last two months of August and September which have ended successfully. In a positive regard we have been having lots of rain here and most of our pastors and leaders have been doing a agriculture and therefore will get food on the table soon and been able to contribute for the food during the trainings.

By now since we started early August, we have been able to teach Biblical Theology in all centers and done with TOTs and now ending with follow-ups.

The book of James has been inspiring and challenging to all the attendants, especially on areas of application of our faith, character and patience, endurance in hardships etc. This was a refreshing course and challenge to all the participants to stay focused on what we have believed.

THE ATTENDANCE

For the last one week, especially after the president relaxed and allowed churches to open, there has been a significant increase in the attendance. The attendance and participation of the pastors has been good in some centers and fair in other areas. A total of 85 pastors have been reached in these few trainings.

Some of the participants had the fear about the COVID RELATED ISSUES. Hopefully in the last round of the trainings the attendance will be great.

Please pray with us as we go through this devastating period of COVID 19 THAT HAS HAMPERED A LOT OF MINISTRY ACTIVITIES IN OUR COUNTRY AND ALSO THE WHOLE WORLD. THE RATE AT WHICH COVID COMMUNITY INFECTIONS are uprising in Soroti is alarming....Please have us in your prayers.

WAY FORWARD

We look forward to complete this last part of the year next week. As we follow the standing operational procedures of Government.

Thank you Bishop Sempala for leading ECLEA SACRIFICIALLY IN UGANDA. BLESSINGS TO ALL THOSE WHO SPONSOR AND DONATE FOR THIS CAUSE OF ACTION.

Blessings from Teso and Karamoja Regions.

Pastor Alex Obaale

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