Many readers probably remember the post we shared two years ago about the passing of Leland Shores III, the former Director of Charis Bible College in Uganda. Because of Leland’s unexpected death, AWM was forced to close the Kampala-based campus at the end of 2011. AWM never gave up on the extension school; rather, Andrew and his staff waited for God to bring new directors to lead CBC-Uganda. As we shared in a post in September 2012, those directors have been found in Hank and Mary Lenz. The couple welcomed 150 students to class when they reopened the school at the end of January 2013.
In addition to the school, AWM has been advancing the gospel in other ways in Uganda. For the past eight years, Andrew has been broadcasting the Gospel Truth twice a day on Lighthouse Television. This station, also located in Kampala, was originally erected by the Chinese Communists for Uganda's brutal dictator, Idi Amin. Once used to broadcast Amin's propaganda, this station is now used to advance the Kingdom.
AWM also established a bookstore in downtown Kampala, at the busiest intersection in the city. Nearly 10,000 people walk past the location each day. An average of 25 people per week come to the Lord, and many more receive prayer and the baptism of the Holy Spirit through ministry at the bookstore.
More recently, the Lord has opened new doors for AWM to expand into one of the most remote areas of Uganda—the Karamoja region in the northeastern part of the country. This area is home to more than one million people, living in 5,000 primitive villages.
The people in these isolated villages live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago. The tiny grass huts, in which they live, are made of sticks with thatch coverings. Some of the larger huts have two levels; the lower level is only about four feet tall, and the entire hut is only eight feet in diameter. It is not uncommon for families of eight or ten people to live in the lower portion alone! With the exception of cooking pots and mats for sleeping, the families have no possessions. Some of the villagers do not wear any clothing.
Perhaps the saddest part of the Karamoja existence is the overwhelming malnutrition and widespread water contamination. The villagers are ranchers and goat herders, but fighting among the people has wiped out the majority of the cattle. All that remain are very small, thin goats. With the villagers' focus set on trying to find enough food to survive each day; it is a seemingly hopeless situation. They are only a step away from death at any given time.
Here’s the good news: God is moving in Uganda—even in the remote areas of Karamoja—and His Word is beginning to go forth in powerful ways. Recently, Ugandan President, Museveni, publicly repented for all of his sins, as well as those of his nation, and he dedicated Uganda to the Lord. Uganda is in revival, and God has positioned AWM to be a big part of what He’s doing there.
Last October, Andrew visited Karamoja with a Ugandan pastor named, Francis. Pastor Francis is from the southwestern region of Uganda and was among the first Ugandans to be discipled through AWM. Pastor Francis has personally discipled more than 300 ministers and, with AWM's help, he teaches the Discipleship Evangelism course on five radio stations, reaching thousands of people on a daily basis.
After seeing the physical and spiritual poverty of the Karamojan people, Andrew knew he had to do something to help them long-term. As he shared his heart with Pastor Francis, Andrew learned that after pastoring for twenty-five years, Francis had heard from God that beginning in 2013 he was to turn his church over to an associate and begin traveling to teach Andrew's Discipleship Evangelism course full-time. In January 2013, Pastor Francis came to work for AWM, and through their partnership they are reaching the people of Karamoja.
Francis travels to Karamoja regularly and uses the Discipleship Evangelism program to train approximately one hundred believers. He teaches up to five lessons over a couple of days and then sends the disciples out in groups to show the JESUS film in the native language of the people. This in itself is a huge deal, as most of the people in this area have never seen a movie. Just showing the film could draw every person in the entire village to come and watch.
After viewing the movie about Jesus, villagers have a frame of reference as to who Jesus is and what He did for them. Immediately after watching the film, Pastor Francis’ team gives an invitation to receive the Lord. Over the weeks that follow each outreach, the new converts are discipled by those who have already received the Discipleship Evangelism training.
In addition to these efforts, CBC-Uganda will take their future mission trips to the Karamoja region, bringing hundreds more laborers into this harvest field. With these avenues in place, Andrew and Pastor Francis plan to reach all the villagers in the region with the gospel within three years.
For more on the Karamoja project, be sure to check out our Inside Story post In the Backcountry of Uganda. In that post we share an interview with Andrew as well as pictures and video from his trip.
Adapted from the article Uganda–October 2012, originally printed in the Spring/Summer 2013 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries Gospel Truth magazine.