In January of 2016, FOCUS Ministries of Georgetown KY, formerly an affiliate of our District became fully established as FOCUS Wesleyan Church. FOCUS actually stands for Fellowship Of Christians United to Serve. FOCUS has been actively involved in Ugandan missions and a very large part of the Wesleyan presence there. Lay member Linda Griffith has been on many Missions trips to Uganda and heavily involved in ministry there for many years. If after reading Linda's update and report of her recent visit this past Summer, you or your church would like to partner with the Wesleyan Church in ministry to this needy country, please contact her in one of the ways mentioned at the end of the article. She is also available to visit your church and share about the ministry of The Wesleyan Church of Uganda.
Uganda Being Transformed One Life at a Time
The Wesleyan Church of Uganda makes Christ's words "Go and make Disciples" the center of their endeavors. They have grown from a scattered remnant in 2000, to over 60 churches today. They are starting 2-3 new congregations every year, as well as encouraging the church in Kenya and Rwanda.
I first met Rev. Lucas Hamirie in 1999 when I led a volunteer team to build schools, treat the sick, and offer a pastoral training seminar. In the subsequent years we pledged help as Lucas passionately encouraged pastors struggling to serve rural congregations. Training has been a central focus of our partnership, and has primarily been provided by Dr. Barclay Brown, IWU Professor and Ordained Minister of the KY-TN District. The mission arm of FOCUS Wesleyan Church, Adopt Uganda, has also provided funding and support for the Ugandan Church to begin impacting villages across the country.
As the church in Uganda has developed through the years, it has tried to address the many needs that face a third world population. Since Uganda has over 2 million orphans, they began a primary school for about 400 orphans and vulnerable children who come from churches and districts across southeastern Uganda. About half of these students board at the school where supplying enough food is a constant challenge. An orphanage was begun by Lucas's wife Prossy and is supported through Promise Kids A Future, which also provides sponsorships for many students at the school. The challenges are great and we are always seeking new ways to minister, but the struggles for Lucas and Prossy are greater than we can imagine.
Our partnership has grown as I annually take teams to encourage the church, share in laity training, deepen our relationships and seek to understand their challenges. Poverty is a very complicated issue and through much study and observation we are endeavoring to learn ways to have the longest lasting impact. In late August 2016, I took a team of 6 who had spent many weeks preparing our hearts and minds to become one with our Ugandan brethren. We held seminars in 4 districts, training and witnessing to Biblical truths concerning the four primary relationships of life: God, self, others, and creation. It was an exhilarating time as we worked through the Scriptures together, recognizing God's unique love and gifting of every person. What a blessing we experienced.
Another highlight of our time in Uganda was the ordination celebration of the first 8 ordained pastors of the Wesleyan Church of Uganda. For many years the pastors have studied, served congregations, led others to Christ, and started new churches as they prepared for this new level of leadership and ministry. Leading in the ordination service was Global Partners Director Dr. Dennis Jackson, Global Partners Africa Area Coordinator Rev. Bob Bagley, Zambezian District Superintendent Dr. Alfred Kalembo, KY-TN District Minister Dr. Barclay Brown, and Ugandan Missionary Rev. Fred Cromer. Attending the ceremony were over 600 pastors, laity, friends and family of the Ugandan Wesleyan Church. The celebration also included the dedication of the Bible Institute, primary school and worship center at the Wesleyan Headquarters in Busia.
The support which Adopt Uganda gives to the Wesleyan Church in Uganda comes from concerned individuals and churches who want to share love and help with the struggles of those in Uganda. Medical care, food, clean water, education, church structures, sanitation, and employment are all severely lacking in this country. Only God in His divine plan can provide the solutions for these concerns. We seek to walk with our friends and fellow Christians in Uganda, always learning as we go.
If you would like to partner with us in this ministry through gifts or participation on a short-term ministry team, or would like more information please contact me. I love introducing new folks to these amazing Christians.
— Linda Griffith