Eric Gates, area counselor for Africa, and I were ready bright and early this morning (5:30 a.m.) to head for the airport and the short flight to Kampala, Uganda. Lutheran Hour Ministries has been carrying out an important ministry in Uganda for over fifteen years, having a great deal to do with the establishment of the Lutheran Church of Uganda, now with over one hundred congregations. It was a great opportunity to visit with our staff of seven, plus several volunteers, about the joys and challenges of outreach ministry today in Uganda.
While many might think of Uganda as a relatively “low-tech” country, in fact our ministry center here has found that technology has been an important tool for outreach. Text messaging has been a way in which our ministry center personnel are able to reach out to people with the gospel, inviting them to contact our ministry center for more information. The response has been nothing short of amazing. People respond with a willingness to ask for help for their spiritual issues and daily concerns. Some may respond to argue, but are often willing to enter into a dialogue with our staff once they get a taste of their patient and caring manner.
The property that Lutheran Hour Ministries owns in Kampala is rather extensive, and plans are under way to make better use of it for outreach purposes. It is situated on a busy corner, with literally tens of thousands of people passing by every day. I won’t say more about the plans for the future use of the land right now–that will have to be a surprise for a future post–but believe me, it’s going to provide great opportunities to develop relationships with people and care for them in their spiritual needs.
Tomorrow we head back to Kenya by bus. Below you can see a map of our travels, departing by bus from Kampala, heading for Kisii, in western Kenya.