Category Archives: Uganda

Christianity Explored in Arabic

Would you like to help make history? South Sudanese Christians have asked for our help to fund the translation of the Christianity Explored course into Arabic.

One of our partners I have worked with in Juba writes,

“there is urgent need to translate the CE material to Arabic to benefit mainly those South Sudanese Christians who came from Arabic background. They are taking their discipleship seriously and they have great impact on other believers in South Sudan.”

We need to raise $1,000 US Dollars to facilitate the translation of the course material by this Summer. In August we hope to return to South Sudan and continue to train church leaders to use the course. If you would like to help make this possible, we would be pleased to hear from you. We are working with the charity Fields of Life to make this happen.

Here are photos of some of our adventures introducing Christianity Explored in Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan.

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Christianity Explored Launch in Burundi

This week, Craig Dyer (training director of Christianity Explored), Jim McAnlis (of Fields of Life and East Africa coordinator of Christianity Explored) and I are in Burundi to launch the new Kirundi translation of Christianity Explored.

CE is a popular ten week evangelistic course, based entirely on Mark’s gospel which includes talks, group Bible discussion and personal reflection. Now available in more than 20 languages and being used in more than 70 countries, CE is designed to help participants answer three simple questions around which Mark’s gospel is structured: Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus come? What is his claim on my life? It is literally a walk through Mark’s gospel to explain, through the teaching, the miracles, the death and resurrection of Jesus, the incredible claim made in the very first verse, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1).

The course is also designed to help give church members confidence in the Word of God and learn how to share their faith as well as train new church leaders. The strategy is to train hundreds to equip thousands to reach millions. CE is distinctive among other similar courses because it simply allows the gospel to teach the gospel.

This is the fourth year we have visited East Africa to train pastors and clergy to use Christianity Explored. In previous years we have held conferences at Carlisle College in Nairobi, Kenya, at Kiwoko Bible Week, and for clergy in Luwero and Masindi Dioceses in Uganda. Working closely with the Anglican Bishops, Pentecostal leaders, the Uganda Bible Society, Kiwoko Hospital and Fields of Life, we have launched translations in Luganda and Swahili and trained several thousand clergy to use the course. It is estimated that tens of thousands have completed the course in Uganda and we know of new churches that have been planted as a result.

At the invitation of the Anglican Archbishop of Burundi, the Right Revd Bernard Ntahoturi, this week we visited Matana Cathedral and trained about 70 of his clergy to use the course. In Makamba Diocese, with the blessing of Bishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho, the Diocesan centre hosted a similar conference for over 200 pastors and clergy from 35 different denominations. This was the first time many of them had experienced a small group bible discussion. They discovered the value of group study to personalise, compliment, reinforce and apply Biblical teaching.

Returning to Bujumbura, through the beautiful mountain scenery of Burundi, we stopped by the shores of Lake Tanganyika at the large stone making the place where in 1874, Livingstone, coming from the coast of Tanzania, met Stanley coming from the Congo.

The world has changed dramatically in the last 140 years, but the heart of the human problem remains the problem of the human heart. Transcending the barriers of language and culture, people are discovering through CE and the teaching of Jesus, that we are more sinful that we ever realised but more loved that we ever dreamed.

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The Art of Brick Laying

I know I shouldn’t but I am writing this on holiday – in Uganda. I haven’t come to stay in a safari park or lie on a sandy beach but to extend a school. With the help of people in Virginia Water, in July we raised enough to build four new classrooms at Goshen school in a village called Nkondo. You won’t find it on a map but its half an hour’s drive down a rough, bumpy track to the east of Luwero, about an hour and a half s drive north from Kampala.  Several hundred thousand people were massacred in the infamous Luwero Triangle during the civil wars back in the 1970’s and 80’s and almost every family still bears the scars in some way. Malaria is endemic, orphans sadly too common and famine stalks much of East Africa. Kiwoko Hospital was built at the epicentre of the killings to help bring life and hope back to this war torn region It is also our base for the week.

That is why we also raised enough money to dig a well and provide a pump for the community. The 500 or so villagers, including the children, presently have to walk or cycle several kilometres every day to find safe clean water to drink.  The villagers had tried to dig a well and got down 40 feet before they hit rock, so the new well is going to be dug by a specialist drilling team from the charity Fields of Life. This week, with the help of some local builders and even the school children, between their lessons, we managed to construct two classrooms up to the door lintels, got a third classroom up to waist height and laid the foundations for the fourth.

See more photos of Uganda here. Read more about the project here.

More used to writing, counselling and speaking, this week I have been discovering the therapy of manual labour, mixing concrete, erecting wooden scaffolding and brick laying. Instead of thinking about words-per-minute, this week I’ve been improving my bricks-per-hour rate. Today was the last day and the whole village turned out for the end of school term celebration, to dedicate the new buildings and mark the spot where, God willing, the new well will be dug.

The three of us from Virginia Water have received so much more than we have contributed. Yes, I miss not having electricity much of the week, or running water to flush, or hot water for a shower, but I would not trade these for the sense of fulfilment in having helped accomplish something, practical, constructive, meaningful and purposeful.

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