Africa

Changing Lives in 160 Characters or Less

“Do not quake at de magnitude of da challenge b4 u. God will c u thru en He will give u rest. By His strength u can crush an army. With God u can scale any wall.”

For some recipients, Lutheran Hour Ministries—Uganda’s anonymous Gospel text messages bring the Word of God to them when they need it most. Photo courtesy Lutheran Hour Ministries—Uganda.

Imagine a text message like this showing up on your cell phone—seemingly out of nowhere. How would you respond?

A number of Lutheran Hour Ministries international ministry centers have adopted Short Message Service (SMS)—text messaging—as a means of connecting with people and sharing the Gospel. Lutheran Hour Ministries—Uganda promotes the ministry center’s SMS number through its radio broadcasts. In July, the center experimented with distributing the message above anonymously to more than 4,000 people. Some of the responses surprised the mintry center staff.

A week earlier, Patrick in the town of Hoima had lost his son and was still grieving. He received a message on his cell phone: “Do not quake at de magnitude of da challenge b4 u….” Patrick wondered who could have learned about his situation and sent him these words of comfort. He called and expressed his appreciation, marveling how God could use people he didn’t know to comfort him in his bereavement.

Godfrey, who lives in a Kampala suburb, was wrestling with financial concerns. His son would start school soon and he did not know how his family would pay the school fees; Godfrey, himself an evangelist, was planning a mission trip but did not know how he would be able to afford it. As he was sitting down with a Bible to look for comfort and strength in God’s Word, a message arrived on his cell phone: “…With God u can scale any wall.” Godfrey called. “You do not know what you have just done,” he told the staff member over the phone. “It looked as if God was specifically speaking to me about my situation.”

“Our response line would not stop buzzing,” says ministry center Director Rebecca Kyomuhendo. “People were calling all day and night, while others resorted to responding to the message itself.

“Our SMS ministry is one of the daring ways through which we reach out to people across the country,” Kyomuhendo adds. “What a joy it is to know how God is touching people with just one SMS. Even in the smallest of ways such as an SMS, God has touched many and caused them to believe in Him.”

For more information about Lutheran Hour Ministries—Uganda, visit www.lhmint.org. To read the entire story from our Uganda ministry center, visit LHM—Uganda’s blog.

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