Sunday, October 18, 2009
Photo 1. Shaun Graham, Chris Jones, Paul Hudson
Photo 2. Section of the 3500 crowd at the foot-washing ceremony
I have recently returned from a remarkable time in Uganda.
As, during the time we were there we were to meet the Deputy Prime Minister and other heads of State on other occasions, the Ugandan Government made it a State Occasion - something only afforded to visiting heads of State or members of the Royal family.
At the airport we were met by members of Government, allocated a Secret Service Bodyguard from the Ugandan president's office, and the entireweek never travelled without a convoy of SUVs, TV van and police cars and army personnel present.
It is important to recognise why this was happening. In 1977 Idd Aminbanned the Balokole (Born Again) people, massacred thousands andburned churches. After Amin was deposed Born Again Christians were discriminated against compared to recognised groups such as Roman
Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims. Only under the current President was the 'Born Again Federation' recognised.
As I stepped off the plane I was taken by motorcade to speak at Dr. Joseph SSerwadda's 6000 strong Victory Church. Dr. SSerwadda (who is Elim) has recently been elected as head of Uganda's Born Again Christian Federation which represent 9% of Uganda's population
On day two I and our team (Chris Jones and Paul Hudson) were entertained at the home of the Deputy Prime Minister - His Excellency Bukenya Gilbert. He allocated twice the time originally allocated and requessted I pray with him at the end of our time together.
The next two days were spent at the Hotel Aficana Conference centre when I spoke on three occasions to the 1700 delegates of the Born Again Federation. At the closing service over a
thousand ministers came forward for individual prayer!
At lunch time I and the team were entertained for a banquet at whichthe Minister for Internal Affairs (3rd deputy Prime Minister) and minister of state for Ethics and Integrity attended. Shaun Graham (Elim Tanzania) was also one of the eight guests.
The speech by the minister of state for Integrity and Ethics was outstanding in the Conference that followed. He is a committed Christian.
The highest point was the final day when I was asked to speak at a feet-washing ceremony. It is a monthly service that commences at 4am and attracts over three thousand pesople. During the meeting Dr Serwadda announced that he wanted to wash my feet I said that I would not allow this unless I also washed his. In the event bowls were brought and the two others on the team (Chris and Paul) washed the feet of the two on his team. It was an amazing moment!
The Ugandan Government now has Born Again Christians at the heart of its administration. Dr. Serwadda is one of the most influential voices in the country at this time. He will be attending our Conference this year.