During our last (4 Him in Africa Ministries) mission trip to Uganda we conducted two three-day conference where we taught pastors “Essentials for Church Planting”. This is a continuation of our latest strategy for helping the Ugandan pastors share the gospel and plant healthy churches. We have used a few different curriculums, including the well-known T4T -Discipleship Re-Revolution by Steve Smith, which is similar, but a little more detailed than the “Essential for Church Planting”. Both curriculums include techniques for facilitating Bible study by using a series of questions to analyze small passages of scripture. We have also added some teaching on leadership development, which is much needed.
Often, we hear stories from Uganda about small group Bible studies springing up in remote areas of the country. We also can verify several church plants birthed out of models developed through our teaching during the three-day conferences that we have been doing.
From the conception of this teaching strategy our vision has included the spreading of this Bible Study technique across the country of Uganda, but we were not really expecting what we learned during the latest trip.
Obviously, a Ugandan pastor is better equipped to travel through his own country, but even a native Ugandan pastor most likely couldn’t enter some of the areas in Uganda or at least not to share the information needed for conducting an in-depth Bible study with a plan that would also lead to planting a church. But when a Ugandan enters one of these areas carrying a device, which can be used to purify drinking water for almost no cost, and not only that but that Ugandan pastor is planning to teach you how to use his device and he is going to leave the device with you when he leaves, you will listen to him. If you are as excited as I am by just thinking about having a tool, which can be used to open the door, not only to teaching the gospel, but also teaching unreached people groups how to do a Bible Study after you leave, then you are going to love this. Through what I believe was a Divine appointment, a couple of young and energetic Ugandan pastors who were equipped with the material we have been teaching during our three-day conferences met Safe Water International Ministries (SWIM). SWIM has developed a very simple Chlorine Producing Unit (CPU) which can turn table salt into 2% Chlorine and can be used to purify water, making it safe for drinking which eliminates a host of health issue for the people of Uganda. The folk at SWIM are sending the Chlorine producing units and Bibles to Uganda, and these two young pastors who had been carry copies of our teaching materials to whoever they could get to listen. SWIM who supplied them with the CPU’s and the training needed to use the CPUs began to reach some of the hardest to reach people of Uganda. They enter the villages explaining that they have the answer to the water problems and they plan to give that answer to them after they teach them to use it. After the water problems are solved these pastors spend the next few days teaching this group of people how to do small group Bible study using the Bibles that they have just gave them. Not only is this strategy working, but those pastors have a plan to equip pastors from every district of Uganda to do the same ministry in their area.
As the young pastors explained how they were reaching people with the training for Bible Study it was obvious that I wanted to meet the folks from SWIM when I return home. Even better than what I imagined happening, the folks at SWIM had already emailed me while I was on my way home from Uganda. I did not hesitate to return the email and was soon talking to the founder of SWIM on the phone. Since then we have had our first video conference so that board members of SWIM could meet the board members of 4 Him in Africa. Amazingly both organizations were birthed with a ministry vision which would eventually prove to need each other to successfully achieve their vision. It only makes sense that some form of partnership would begin between us to assure that we can continue to provide all the tools our Ugandan brothers need to continue with their ministry.