Today has run on extremely late, after an evening celebration event with inordinately long speeches in true African style. So forgive me for a shorter message today.
The program followed the same pattern as the previous two days and I started the day preaching from a few verses from Acts 20, which was a joy.
Unbeknownst to me someone was recording my sermon and I was informed afterwards that it would be broadcast this evening on Namirembe FM! You have all heard of that particular radio station, I am sure. So, fame at last.
In the afternoon we had an hour and a half in our groups for more sharing of news and prayer. We are all amazed and humbled by these people’s dedication to serving Christ in often extremely difficult circumstances. Many have lost a child or another close relative. Here, when that happens, someone dies one day, is buried the next, and then life simply has to move on. It’s common but still very very tough.
Many of the clergy also suffer from archdeacons and bishops. They can be very tyrannical and bishops hold immense power. A number of pastors would have loved to have come to this conference, but have been forbidden by their Archdeacon, who is probably worried and jealous of this young upstart making too much progress. Others who have displeased their superior may find themselves relocated and sent to a distant, difficult and poorly paid post.
There are many wonderful things about the church of Uganda, but it is also deeply infected by politics and powerplay. Some of these men and women are so humble and seeing the Lord’s hand upon them wherever they go. I have much to learn from them.
I do hope I have an opportunity to share more news of this wonderful country with you when I am home. But for tonight, it’s time to stop.