Returning to Uganda for the fourth time was a little different: As I arrived the world and Uganda were beginning to come to terms with the threat of Covid19. In Entebbe airport I was fully expecting a thorough sanitization process and was pleasantly surprised, that was reserved for Americans and other Europeans!
With Coronavirus in the background Emmanuel Magambo and I began training in Moroto, Karamoja. It was good to see that by the close of the first day, we had 30 pastors in attendance, 28 of whom were returning from previous years. Karamoja was green (something I had never experienced before) having had abnormal weather patterns this year! The weather was much more conducive to study, being cooler. The pastors in Karamoja are always very excited about what they will learn and it is always a delight to see who has been applying that learning through the year. The biggest improvement in the 4 years PTI has been going to Moroto is the understanding of what the gospel is, and isn’t. There are struggles still in getting the gospel from a text, particularly in the Old Testament, but at least now they see the errors much quicker and can discern what good preaching is. Next year will be the last year in Moroto with this group of pastors. Pray that we might have wisdom concerning the future.
With the issues concerning Covid19 ramping up. Uganda began putting anyone from America and Europe, including the UK into 14 days quarantine. Praise the Lord that was not happening when I arrived, it would rather have ruined the trip!! I was only due to be there for 15 days.
We moved on to Iganga, Busoga. This conference being in the heartland of the prosperity gospel movement in Uganda has struggled to get going. This year however was different. Last time we had a pastor with big connections around the Jinja area and this time he brought lots of his pastor friends (many of whom are in the prosperity movement) to the conference. The teaching was loved, particularly that of seeing Christ in the Old Testament, and the questions that were asked showed that the impact of the teaching was being felt. With 32 pastors in attendance this was by far the best turnout for the Iganga conference. Enthusiasm and exuberance about Christ added to the truth of the gospel are a powerful mix, pray that by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment the truth about Christ will be preached in the Busoga region through this coming year.
Discussions were had with various leading pastors at both conferences to encourage them to set up pastors preaching and accountability groups so that the time between the conferences is used to the best by going over the material learnt and by encouraging one another to preach effectively. This could be aided by going through the PPP books given on Preaching Mark & and Stuart Olyott’s book Preaching pure and simple. Pray that this happens.
With books given away and both conferences finished all that was left to do was to go home, for Emmanuel an 8hr 30minute bus journey to Kabale at the southwestern tip of Uganda, for me a 12hr 30minute flight with a change in Brussels back to the UK. Emmanuel headed home and I received an email to say my flights were cancelled! I give thanks to the Lord that all was soon sorted and new flights were found just before Brussels airline grounded their planes! The Lord is good, thank you for all your prayers.