Our Kenya Director, George Thumbi, wrote the following report. He visited with one of our groups in Uganda who are supported by our Great Commission Fund.
In the last quarter these men started 8 new churches, reported 220 salvation decisions and baptized 88!
Reading it, you will be blessed to see how their ministries are thriving, some of the accountability methods that we use around the globe, and some of the needs of these men on Mt. Elgon. Thank you for your support, and if you feel inclined to help with any of the needs mentioned, you can find directions on how to do so at the end of the report. Learn more about our Great Commission Fund at finalfrontiers.world/gcf. You can also view our previous Great Commission Fund article here.
VISITING SOME OF THE CHURCHES OUR PREACHERS LEAD.
I left Eldoret at 7a.m April 26th by public means heading to Malaba border post where I was to meet Rev. Waswa, a preacher that we support from Kitale, Kenya. The journey to Malaba is two and a half hours to three hours, depending on the traffic. I thank God for the smooth journey to Malaba, where I had breakfast while waiting for Rev. Waswa. One and a half hours later, he arrived, and we headed to customs clearance with immigration. Waswa is commonly known in this border post, and hence we didn’t take much time, and we were quickly on the Ugandan side.
We took a public van, commonly known as matatu heading to Mbale, which was 60 km away and took us close to two hours. Once in Mbale, we had lunch and took another public van to Mutufu, Sironko District where most of our preachers are. We arrived around 6 p.m and were well received by preachers, which included the chairman for Uganda fellowship, Patrick Nambobi, Deo Nabudodi, Patrick Mwambu, Godfrey Namagoye, Ken Wodeya, among others.
We were shown the guest room where I would be spending my nights. After freshening up, I was given a brief tour as we proceeded to the residence of the Late Rev Elexander Gagula, who shares the same compound with Mutufu Baptist Church and Mutufu Bible College. On the way down there, I was shown the road that Brother Randy purchased in order to access the Bible school and the church. This road initially was just banana farms, and he talked to the locals, and they agreed to sell the place for a road. We met with the wife of the widow and other women of the church; we sang and prayed together before sharing a very delicious meal. After long talks, we decided it was time to return to our residency and called it a day.
VISITING 3 CHURCHES AT THE MOUNTAIN TOPS
Sironko, Uganda is indeed a blessed district. It is a district down the slopes of Mt. Elgon. It is surrounded by the mountain, and most of our churches are up in the mountains. The vegetation is always green because of the constant rainfall all day long. The shoes there are gumboots.
We started this day very early in the morning, around 7 a.m., with a brief meeting – breaking down the day activities. I was also introduced to more local pastors and a few students who also are pastors and have already started their churches. These preachers were to be our guides during this mission trip. It was an honor indeed meeting them. They are amazing people in the ministry.
We departed around 8 a.m heading to the first church. We hired two motorbikes which were driven by Pst Ken Wodeya and Pst Patrick Nambobi. Rev Waswa and I were the pillions in the motorbikes. We used motorbikes because the churches are located in remote areas, which would be inaccessible by public vans or other vehicles. Unless your vehicle is equipped with 4WD and all-terrain tires.
We had a few challenges on the way but also had them solved and preceded with our journey. We had to fuel a good amount since these churches were honestly further than I expected them to be. After the ups and down, we had to walk the remaining part on foot as the road became too narrow and muddy and could not be accessed by the bikes.
We finally arrived to church number 1- SAMAZI BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH – pastored by PST. PIUS MONYE. This is a very faithful servant who had to sell his land and use the proceeds to purchase church land and build the current church. They want to expand this church building and are in need of iron sheets, timber, nails among other things. Any support towards this project will be appreciated.
At this church, we were warmly received, we sang together, prayed together, and Rev. Waswa shared a word of encouragement from the book of Philippians 1:3-6. After that we shared a light snack and had a meaningful interaction before resuming our journey to church number 2.
The rains had begun as we were leaving for the next church, and despite all these, I couldn’t help but admire the seemingly endless green vegetation and the hilly landscape of the region. It was truly wonderful. We could see heavy clouds on the mountain and knew the rains were indeed heavy there. This second church was also located near the top of the mountain, and we had to climb the mountain and get there. I did not let my fear of heights get the best of me, even as we rode close to the edge of the slope. This time we hired another bike since Pst. Pius Monye accompanied us to the remaining churches.
Despite the rains, fog, and chilly weather we continued with the journey determined to reach our destination. We continued to a place where the roads were now impassable due to the heavy downpour. We left the bikes at a small center and walked the remaining part. The roads were really bad, and we tried to walk carefully as we crossed the streams and climbed the slippery slopes. We occasionally had to stop and ask for directions since the church was in the middle of banana plants and trees, and because of the fog, we couldn’t locate the church. Only the locals could identify the passable roads. We met a few church members and they led us to the location of the church. Walking down the slope was quite challenging, I slipped quite a number of times, but luckily, I didn’t fall.
We finally arrived at church number 2 – BULAMBULI BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH – Pastored by PST. MOSES MAKOBA – the new applicant- application already submitted. We were warmly received at this church as well. We sang together, prayed together, and received word of encouragement from Rev Waswa from the Book of Jude 3. There was much discussion since it had been raining heavily for the past hour, and showed no intention of stopping anytime soon. Stull, we had to brave the rains as we went to the third and final church for the day since we had a little time before sundown.
After a heavy lunch, we walked back to where we had left the motorbikes and proceeded to our third destination. The rains had stopped, but now the roads were very slippery and dangerous. I now rode with Pst Moses Makoba, who joined us for the visit of our final church. One of our motorbikes ran out of fuel midway and was quickly refueled since there are vendors up the mountains that sell fuel. We were on our way once again. We had to move slowly to avoid falling, and our attempts were clearly futile as the bike I was using fell. Luckily no one was injured. At this point, it was safer to walk and push the bikes than ride them as the road was too slippery, making it dangerous.
After a punishing one-hour walk up and down the muddy road on this mountain, I took a moment to admire the beautiful landscape that included a waterfall in the distance. We kept on going despite the discouragements from passersby about the conditions of the road ahead. We were now about minutes away from the church. Our troubles seemed to have no end as the mud from the road quickly caused our bikes immobile as it filled the space between the tire and the mudguard. It was quickly fixed using a stick which was used to push out the mud.
At 6pm, we finally arrived at church number 3 – MAFUBO BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH – Pastored by PST. DAN GINMADU. We were warmly received by the locals of the church. I honestly admired how welcoming these people were despite us being strangers. We had a small fellowship together, we sang, prayed and had a word of encouragement from Rev Waswa from the book of Philippians 1:27-28.
We met very lovely people in this church, some who are also from Kenya, and shared a meal and stories before we ultimately departed from the church. It was truly a blessing to be there. We left around 6:45 pm and used a different tout back to the hotel where I was staying. The road was still slippery but we managed to find a way through. The day had finally come to an end. Despite our difficulties during the day, we thanked God because He gave us the strength to go through it all safely.
Glory be to God
VISITING 2 CHURCHES AT THE MOUNTAIN TOP AND BIBLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
New day, another climb. Woke up feeling energetic, I thank God ready for the day’s mission. The initial plan was to visit three churches and our Bible school students who were breaking for a short period and resume come June. But we ended up visiting only one church at the topmost point of the mountain, a place called Butatinga, and visiting the students at Mutufu Bible college.
We left around 8:30 for Butatinga together with Rev Waswa, Pst Patrick and Pst Pius. We hired three bikes for this day also. The road was still muddy and slippery from yesterday’s downpour. Indeed, this day, as the locals would say, was going to be a very difficult day to climb. Despite that, I was glad that at least the sun was shining, unlike the previous day. As usual, there were places where we had to walk because of the poor road conditions that made our journey twice as hard, but we were determined to reach our destination.
There was a sharp steep incline so we could no longer use the bikes. Here one had to climb where you could only walk 10 steps then take a rest, ten steps, take another rest and so on. I honestly believe I lost some weight climbing this hill. We were finally at the top but not yet at the church. We had to walk for about 5km to Butatinga Church. I knew my legs would be sore the next morning.
Much to my relief, we finally arrived at the church – BUTATINGA BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH – Pastored by PST JULIUS WONYEMA. We were warmly received at this church as well. We sang together and received encouragement from 1 John 2:15 from Rev Waswa. After a hearty meal and shared laughter, Pst Julius took us and showed us a piece of land that he had recently acquired to build his house. He has also set aside a portion of the land for the construction of a church just next to his house. The land that he acquires, he has already started the construction of his house. For the church, he requires some financial aid in building. He is in need of iron sheets, timber, and soil and nails in order to begin the construction. They currently worshipped at a small place near his current home.
Our visit to the church ended, and we were once again on our way to Mutufu Baptist, where we would have a small fellowship with the bible school students before releasing them. Going downhill was not as difficult as going up, but still I had to descend slowly to avoid falling. The sun did quite a remarkable job drying up the roads as the roads were no longer muddy or slippery. This made our journey back much easier.
This day being a Friday, it was a market day in Uganda and Bananas are plenty in Uganda. I saw many women coming with bunches of bananas on their heads, others at their backs. This is their staple food in this country, and has so many ways of preparing it. Too bad I wasn’t able to pick a recipe or two.
We reached MUTUFU BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH, Pastored by PST. ALEX GIZAMBA the son of the late Rev. Elexander Gagula. This church also hosts the Mutufu Bible School, which was also started by Brother Randy and Rev. Gagula. The institute has seen many graduates starting churches, winning souls and following after the great commission.
After a heartwarming welcome, we were briefly introduced to the school’s students, teachers and pastors present. We sang together and received a word of encouragement from the book of Isaiah 40:29- on waiting on the Lord from Rev. Waswa. It was such an honor, and I was delighted to meet all these men and women who have fully devoted their time, life and resources to God.
The Bible school is in need of a presentable kitchen, better classrooms, and the teachers’ dormitories building which has stalled due to a lack of finances. The dormitory will enable the teachers to stay in the school and not have to commute long distances to go teach the bible school students. It was indeed such a blessing to meet all these men and women. Having completed the activities for the day, we had a small meeting at the hotel where I was staying as we continued to interact and as they continued to plan on the upcoming graduation.
I really appreciate these men and women because despite them having to face the difficulties that they do, they still serve God wholeheartedly. Other than the few hills we had to climb that day, we faced no real challenges. I thank God for His protection and grace over our lives.
Glory to God.
VISITING 1 CHURCH AT BUWALASI AND PASTOR PATRICK MWAMBU AT HIS HOME
We were on the road as early as 8 am, ready for the journey to Buwalasi in one of our churches that is also on the topmost part of the mountain. After one hour of waiting, we finally got a taxi that would get us to Buwalasi Church. Rev Waswa, Pst Patrick Nambobi and sister Samalie wife of Pst Alex Gizamba accompanied me. We later picked up Pst Godfrey Namagoye together with his wife in Sironko town.
After a few kilometers, we alighted from the taxi and boarded motorbikes for the remaining part of the journey up the mountain. The roads here, although not tarmacked, are in pretty good condition. They were neither slippery nor muddy despite the rains in the area. Unlike the past two days, we didn’t have to walk for any part of the journey. I really thank God for that.
We arrived to warm greetings from the children as well as a warm welcome from Pst Patrick’s friends and family. Pastor Mwambu is also a Bible school teacher and is doing great at his teachings. After a wonderful breakfast, Pst Mwambu gave us a tour of the area. He explained to us that he rents one of the classrooms from Nambulu School, where they hold their services. The biggest challenge is that the classroom that they use is relatively small and cannot accommodate a lot of congregants. It is also quite costly to rent the room every Sunday. Another challenge is doing follow up to new members and church members. Since people live at the top of the mountains, they have their farms on the slopes and hence spend most of their days on the farms. When you do visitations, no one is at home. Everyone is down at the farm.
He is planning on acquiring a piece of land for his family and donating the one he currently occupies to the church so they can build a church there. The only challenge is getting a place to dig for a toilet since that place has big rocks underneath. He will require some support to achieve this. There are also trees overhead his house that have fallen on his house three times now, severely damaging the iron sheets. The current iron sheets leak water into the house whenever it rains, and it always rains. He needs some financial aid to be able to acquire new ones.
We later shared lunch together before having a fellowship where we prayed and encouraged him and left for Sironko having completed our visit to Pastor Patrick Mwambu.
We later visited one of the preachers, Christopher Wabomba, who had a ceremony for his daughter. After enjoying the traditional ceremony of giving the girl to the groom’s side, we left and had a meeting in the evening with Pst Gizamba, Pst Nambobi and Rev. Waswa at the guest house where we were able to discuss a lot about the ministry in Uganda and their support in general.
I thank God for the productive day as well as for strengthening the pastors in Uganda who sacrifice the little that they have to build churches and do so without complaining.
Glory be to God.
VISITING 2 CHURCHES: KOSOBINA BAPTIST AND GRAND OPENING AND DEDICATION OF A MASAVA BAPTIST NEW CHURCH BUILDING
The last day of our amazing mission in Uganda couldn’t have ended any way better. We began the trip at 7:30 a.m and hired six bikes since we were a very big team. I was accompanied by Rev. Waswa, Pst Nambobi, Pst Gizamba and wife, Pst Godfrey, Pst Mwambu, and met others in different centers on the way like Pst Makoba and Pst Ivan. Although the weather was a bit chilly, the roads here were much better and were less challenging; hence we were able to reach our destination without much struggle.
After coming to the end of our journey, we walked for about five minutes to the first church – KOSOBINA BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH, pastored by PST. PETER WETAKA. We arrived just as the service was starting. The preacher of this church is still a student at the Mutufu Bible School and will be graduating this year. The work that he has done is exceptional. He is a faithful servant who constructed this church independently since his profession is masonry. His assistant pastor is also a student, and will be graduating together.
The colorful decorations in the church and the smiles on the faces of the congregants did a poor job at hiding the joy and excitement which everyone in the church shared. We sang songs of praise together before Rev Waswa shared a heartfelt sermon from the book of Phil 1:27-29 and encouraged the members, and thanked them for the good work that they have done. We had a sweet breakfast there before we proceeded to launch the new church building. The service ended, and we proceeded to the place where the new church is located.
The light rain and chilly weather did not hinder the men and women from expressing their joy as we marched to the church. It was such a heartwarming experience. After a few minutes of walking, we got to the second church – MASAVA BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH Pastored by PST DEO GRACIOUS NABUDODI. We were warmly welcomed by the smiles on everyone’s faces, from the young to the old. A short thanksgiving was done outside the church before cutting the purple ribbon on the door of the new church. We sang and danced to the wonderful music. Both the young and the old came in large numbers to witness the church’s grand opening. Before they purchased this area, the pastor of this church used to travel for 12 straight hours up in the mountain to pastor Bulambuli Baptist Church. He would travel on Saturday, in all types of weather, with a paper bag carrying clothes to wear on Sunday. Then he would again start his journey back the next day, a whole day just walking back home. He trained Pst Makoba who is now the pastor of the church.
The moment we were eagerly waiting for finally arrived. A verse from the book of Numbers was read to go with the words of dedication that had been spoken over the church, a prayer was mentioned, and the ribbon was cut. Songs of praise and celebration filled the room as we made our way into the church. We continued to sing and worship the Lord for around 30 minutes where later, various people took to the stage, narrating how the journey of building the church has been and how God came through as they have been able to build this beautiful church despite facing difficulties raising the capital, the rains that made it impossible to dry the church well. Ultimately the work of God was completed, all by the grace of God.
People had different ways in expressing their gratitude to God. Some saw fit to dance and sing and there are others who jumped and were emotionally overwhelmed. The children were not left behind; they blessed the church with their angelic voices and wonderfully coordinated dance.
The service was really amazing. I felt blessed, and my faith in God was definitely strengthened by seeing how God has worked among these people in Uganda. Being here reminded me of the verse from the book of Hebrews 6:10 – For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. … He has indeed blessed these men and women who sacrifice so much for the work of the Lord.
We had brief talks with a few preachers before starting our journey back. We passed by Sironko to pick up my belongings as we headed back home. Leaving around 4 pm and were accompanied by a bunch of bananas to take to our loved ones back home. The journey back was smooth and I got home at around 10pm. I was really tired but very grateful for the experience that I had on the mission for the past few days.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 – And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
I would like to recommend the following in support of our preachers in Uganda
1. Motorbikes for their ministry – we already purchased one during the May Motorbike month. Praise the Lord. We are still in need of more. The work is hard and the bikes will help them a lot. Currently 4 more are need of the more rugadized motorbike – $8,500 total
2. Increase their support if we have the budget for that to cater for most of their needs.
3. To support them in any way possible in erecting churches since they sacrificially give their lands for the work of the Lord.
- Pastor Pius Monye church expansion $1,500
- Pastor Kennedy Wodeya church building – $1,500
- Pastor Alex Gizamba church septic tank – $1,400
- Pastor Godfrey Namagoye church building – $1,500
- Pastor Waswa David vehicle engine – $1,300
4. A dormitory for the teachers to be constructed – The cost to build and then equip with bedding etc is $2,850.
5. Pst Mwambu house that need new iron sheets – $1,080
6. To build the classrooms for the nursery school run by one of our preachers – Pst Rodgers Wocofu – $2,150
7. To continue to pray for them and their ministry.
And many other needs that they may share in the report.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
You can help these men with these needs by donating below, or mailing in a check and designating it to “Mt. Elgon Church Planters”