Remember this past January when Mark & Megan Mantay visited us to give a first hand account of their work in Uganda? Our mission contributions have been designated for their work in Uganda for a couple of years, and it was great to get a chance to hear first hand what’s being done there.
Imagine trying to manage a national church in a country that speaks 42 different languages! How in the world do you communicate, or simply lead worship services, or teach pastors? And yet that’s what’s going on in Uganda. Imagine the problems if the LCMS had to provide materials in 42 languages? We struggle just to manage English and Spanish. (Our District does some work in Haitian too)
In 2010 in the entire country there was just 1 pastor with 18 congregations. Now Uganda averages 25 baptisms per week. Now there are 150 congregations and 31 pastors. Talk about explosive growth. And 12 new pastors will graduate this year thanks to the efforts of Mark, Megan and others.
And thanks to the LWML there is now a theological library to support the education of pastors. That’s where some of those Mite offerings we’ve been contributing at the end of each month have gone.
In the midst of the COVID pandemic, the Lutheran Church of Uganda found ways to distribute food and health supplies to isolated villages in order to show mercy and to make connections to people who don’t know Christ. Now the recipients of those supplies may be ready to hear the Gospel.
A few days ago I read the recent annual report of the status of the LCMS in the United States; to put it simply it was depressing. This mainline church body that once numbered over 3-1/2 million has shrunk to 1.8 million confirmed members during a time when the population of this country increased about 30%. That’s why it’s important to hear about what the Holy Spirit is doing in other places, like Uganda. And why it’s important to hear that Trinity has contributed over $1000 to support Mark and Megan so far this year. We are helping to make a difference with our offerings. Incidentally, we post their newsletters on our bulletin board at the front door if you’d like to read more about what’s happening there.
Does the LCMS have it’s challenges today? You bet it does! But is the Holy Spirit being silenced? Not by a long shot! And Trinity is working through our mission offerings and our Mite offerings to help it happen. Keep working hard Trinity, there’s lots to be done in New Port Richey and elsewhere, but be encouraged as well at what’s happening in the world.