- Discipleship Evangelism is Changing Uganda (2007) -
When the communists built Idi Amin, the former dictator of Uganda, a 60,000 watt television station for national propaganda purposes, they certainly did not envision its current use. In July 1997, this powerful station, now known as Lighthouse Television, went on the air broadcasting Christian programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Calvary Cathedral International in Fort Worth, Texas, through the leadership of their pastor, Bob Nichols, purchased the majority interest of this station in 1997. It is located in Kampala, Uganda, and is estimated to reach 19,000,000 people, most of which are English speaking. This is where the story of Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWM) in Uganda begins.
Bob Nichols, a member of the Board of Directors at AWM, opened the door for Andrew to broadcast the Gospel Truth to the people of Uganda in April of 2004. It has been a seed-planting effort from the very first broadcast day, made possible by the faithful gifts of friends and partners. Today, the seeds are bearing fruit in powerful and unexpected ways.
The program shines in the nation like a goodwill beacon of God’s unconditional love and grace. In the words of Kampala businessman John Katto, “That’s the kind of teaching I need to hear. It’s serious. It’s all Bible based. It’s changed my life!” John has since started a Bible study group in Kampala to share the lessons he downloads from our website. He is currently teaching from the Discipleship Evangelism course, conceived and developed by Don Krow and Andrew at Charis Bible College (CBC).
In the meantime, a number of CBC students felt called to Uganda. Tim and Cindy Meyers, graduates of CBC and missionaries in Entebbe, were first to help. Students, led by Don Krow, journeyed to Uganda in 2005 to minister where Tim and Cindy had opened the doors. The results were great, and the relationships that were developed with local leaders and pastors would soon prove to be invaluable.
It did not take long to learn that the Christian leaders in Uganda had little education and had never received any formal training in ministry. What a great opportunity this presented to influence the leadership of an entire nation through a simple educational program called Discipleship Evangelism. Don Krow (CBC instructor and founder of Discipleship Evangelism/Collection for the Saints), with the help of recent CBC graduates, would soon capitalize on this opportunity.
Tim and Cindy Meyers soon moved to Kenya to begin work there, but God had been preparing the hearts of others to expand the outreach in Uganda. Leland Shores, a very successful businessman, heard God speak to him early one morning in June of 2004. He followed the leading of God to sell all he had, resign from his position with the Dallas Museum of Art, and move to Colorado where he attended CBC. There he met Don Krow and received God’s call on his life to minister to the people of Uganda.
The teaching and ministry experience Leland received at CBC was foundational in his preparation for Africa. Before actually moving there, he accompanied Don Krow on a fact-finding mission to Uganda. This helped him understand the reality of ministry in a third-world country.
In Uganda (or any third-world nation), inexperienced or unprepared missionaries are overwhelmed by two things: 1) the spiritual hunger and 2) the critical needs of the people. Trying to minister to the hunger and meet the needs in Africa is like trying to contain the ocean in a tea cup. It will soon swallow every effort and leave the well-meaning missionary burnt-out and ultimately useless. In the words of Oswald Chambers, every missionary must learn that “THE NEED IS NOT THE CALL.”
Don Krow, through Collection for the Saints, is not ignoring the practical needs of these people. He has sown thousands of dollars to help schools, care for orphans, purchase animals to help people become self-supporting, and more. However, Don and his team understand there’s a greater call.
This is what is most exciting about the Discipleship Evangelism effort now led by Leland Shores in Uganda. It isn’t the need that dictates his course of action; it’s the call to teach pastors. These pastors will, in turn, teach their people the truths that AWM has been teaching from the beginning. In their first year, Leland and another CBC graduate, Peggy Hof, are systematically teaching 800 pastors the first level of Discipleship lessons.
Every week, Leland and Peggy travel throughout the country teaching one of the lessons to small groups of pastors. Those pastors return to their church and teach the same lesson to the members of their congregation. Together, these 800 churches have an attendance of over 64,000 eager and hungry believers, and this number is only growing.
One pastor from an island in Lake Victoria said, “When we started the lessons, there were just thirty people in my church. Now there are fifty.” Another testified, “We pastors would feel angry at people who would sin. We didn’t want to forgive. But after these teachings about what happens when a Christian sins, this was very powerful, and it changed my life. I’ve matured before the congregation and now I know how to handle people.”
The results are astounding. These lessons are transforming the lives of these ministers. Instead of preaching and browbeating their congregations, they are teaching and leading them into relationship with their heavenly Father. Churches are growing again. The joy of the Lord is being restored to their everyday lives.
This is a strategic call that is hitting the target and guaranteeing these efforts sown today will not end in burn-out and discouragement. They will continue to bear fruit even after the CBC students move on. These pastors are becoming teachers.
Watch the Gospel Truth program later in May (2007) for more on this story.
Read about Andrew’s 2008 visit to Uganda in the article “Outreach Journal – Uganda Update” in our Fall/Winter 2009 Gospel Truth magazine.