Pastoral Follow-up meeting in Gulu 13-15 Aug 2015
(Romans Project International).
On 12th Alex and Allan Koki (The Romans Project Coordinator for Uganda) left for Gulu town, a town in the northern region of Uganda. This area of the country is highly growing on daily basis both economically and spiritually. A lot of people have to travel from Kampala to this place because of work and business; some travel by private cars others buses both during day and night.
There is a lot of humanitarian organizations here (This place had been under the siege for a long time in the past by rebels), so people are just recovering from insecurity, people getting back to their home villages and their former businesses. As all this is going on the church is not left behind and the spiritual atmosphere is changing for the better.
We arrived at 3:00 pm and a friend who has been welcoming us in this region Pr. Janani Loam, drove us to Bishop Johnstone house. We had great time with him sharing our plan and vision for the churches in this region that he is heading. He has beautiful grape vines in his courtyard. It was my first time to see them and they reminded me Jesus’ illustrations on the vine (John 15). It’s a good one as you see in the photos. Indeed as they are cared for (as Bishop told us), they are completely allegorical like that which Jesus used in that passage of John 15:1-7.
Actually one of the scandals of immorality committed by a pastor was in the MONITOR PAPERS (national news paper Aug. 14-2014). So, these and more challenges happen to the church in this region.
On 13th we expected to meet 25 pastors: 20 turned up. It was kind of panic moment since we did not have a well organized venue. We met one-by-one in the restaurant (kakanyero). Two of the 20 people had finished all the requirements and they went with their MP3. Some of these pastors come within the town and others in outstretched villages where there is no electricity to be able to read at night. They have interesting testimonies. And one of these who had finished come from a village, where he had to complete his reading around the candle each night (Kerosene powered candle). And he has been able to finish on time.
We praise the Lord for this project. Most pastors have loved it and hundreds of them in different areas are still in the process of finishing. We also encouraged and prayed together with those whom we checked and are still struggling to finish.
This time we did not go with Simon because of financial constraints and we had to go by public means to get there because Dr. Seruyange’s car could not be serviced.
As I have seen since this meeting, the best way we can have people vigorously like reading the bible especially in the Romans Project, we need to put more emphasis on doing more follow-ups. So that People own more the project . When they are followed-up; they get to realize the purpose and vision. Even when they get challenges they are able to push on, they can easily share them and pray together with each other. Some people don’t clearly follow the instructions, but when you have one-to-one contact, details of the requirements are explained and understood better other than assuming that everyone understands by just reading the guidelines on the printed notes on paper that we usually give out at the conferences.
We thank God for these two pastors who finished and also others who are pressing on. There are some with incredible testimonies though they have not finished with some of the requirements as the project requires. When people are engaged in the Word of God faithfully, you expect change in the way of life and how issues are solved communally. We praise God for the people He uses across the whole World to support Romans Project. And we strongly believe that if there is more follow ups to church leaders in this region, this could be the answer for so many challenges and issues of immorality that are in this region.
· Pray for the spiritual nourishment of these people. People to learn how to balance time and the reading strategy as they are reading.
· Romans Project has very minimal funds, this affects our follow-up strategy and ministry capacity. Pray for more funds.
· Pray for us that God will continue to show us His grace both in good times and bad; that we shall bear the efficacy of the Word without shame. So as we can be the first example to all these pastors as we administer to this great call.