In his latest update, Pastor Bill Issa of Kampala, Uganda rejoices over finally establishing a Bible study with university students, and over their 6th Pastors’ Seminar with attendance expanding far beyond Uganda’s borders:
Breakthrough into Makerere University with the Gospel of Jesus
“Makerere University is Uganda’s largest institution of higher learning that started in 1922 as a technical school. In 1963 it became the University of East Africa, before it was split in 1970 into three independent universities: University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), and Makerere University (Uganda). Today, Makerere University is composed of nine colleges and one school offering programmes for about 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates.
Since the birth of Reconciliation Baptist Church, we’ve been trying to penetrate this renowned university with the gospel of Christ crucified, but all in vain. Our brother and deacon, Marvin, came back from his pastoral internship at Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia with some more skills and strategies on how to evangelize students at the universities. In Zambia, the Lord had put him on fire for university outreach!
Before Marvin came back from Zambia, the Lord had brought to us another Ugandan young man from Europe (Estonia) named Isaac. This man left his country for studies as a charismatic believer, but in Estonia, the Lord threw him down like Saul of Tarsus with reformed theology. He, like Marvin, came back to his country very eager to reach university students!
We encouraged the two zealous brothers to join forces and make another try with our biggest university. We were just trying without high hopes because we had failed with Marvin before he went to Zambia. Truly speaking, God’s time is always the best time; and, it is always amazing how the Lord does things! When our two brothers started going to Makerere University, it was not easy. First, they had to start by making friends, and later, looking for a place for their meetings within campus. By the Lord’s grace, and through a lot of prayers and persistence, finally Makerere University had no option but to surrender! They started their meetings at “Lumumba Hall” with very few students, but the numbers kept increasing slowly with time to leave all of us tongue-tied! Truly, we can’t help God in anyway! He uses weak, ignorant, and sinful people like us only to give glory to His holy name!
After a number of meetings, one student observed, “Many religious groups always come to this university, and many, if not all of them, only talk about success and prosperity. On top of that, they immediately want us to join their churches. But what type of born-again Christians are you guys? Since you started coming here, you only talk of Scripture, Jesus, the Cross, sin, repentance, forgiveness, etc. We don’t even know the name of your church and where it is located up to now! I would like to visit your church one day and see how you do things.” Two students have had worship service with us so far, and one young lady has visited us twice! Praise the Lord!
6th Pastors & Church-Leaders Seminar
We also thank our Lord Jesus Christ for His servants, our brethren who stand with us to make sure these seminars continue. They are a great blessing to this country beyond measure! By His grace and help, and through your prayers and support, our 6th Pastors’ Seminar was another success. We had 28 pastors and church leaders from Eritrea, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, and five different districts of Uganda!
One special guest was a brother in the Lord from Eritrea who was sent to us by his American friend who follows brother Paul Washer. ‘Peter’ has been living and studying theology here in Kampala and has just graduated. He loves the truth and hates the fake prosperity gospel. He’s planning to go back to his home country of Eritrea any time in the future to plant a biblical church. His friend sent him to us for teaching and training toward that goal. He came to the conference and we had a good time together.
The theme of the seminar was “Take Care of My Sheep.” My fellow elder, Dave, and I expounded the following topics:
- Knowing the Living God (our keynote address)
- The calling of a pastor
- The pastor as a shepherd
- The spiritual life of a pastor
- The daily life of a pastor
- The tasks of a pastor
- The pitfalls of a pastor
- Persevering as a pastor.
Before his current role at HeartCry, Robert served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary. He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. Robert and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.More By Robert Shepherd