Pastors and churches are in the spotlight this week! This aspect of work is really important to us – not least because it was central to Mark’s original dream. The training of pastors to enable good Biblical teaching for Christians in the churches and evangelism for those outside it, has always been important to the work of An African Dream.
During Mark’s life (long before St Mark’s School came to be!) the teams that went out, went to give Bible teaching to pastors, their wives, widows and whole church congregations, together with doing evangelistic crusades. Over the last 10 years the focus has shifted a bit – we continue to support Bible training of pastors – there have been 3 graduations and 68 pastors have been trained including at least one lady! Pastors are given a Bible when they graduate so 68 have been given out by AAD which Lumika says “has made the ministry easy”. In Nov 2015 another 28 pastors commenced the bible training course, they have two semesters left and will graduate in 2018.
We have also made an effort to support the completion of church buildings as Christians are widespread and have to travel on foot to worship. Usually congregations make the bricks themselves and build the walls of the church and AAD has assisted by providing funds to complete 10 church roofs with timber and corrugated iron sheets.
Life for pastors is tough – they receive virtually no pay so often struggle financially to provide for their families in terms of both education and health. They can earn money through subsistence agriculture and little church contributions, they can have a job and be a pastor but most of them lack qualifications for jobs in Uganda.
Lumika writes “Pastors are doing tremendous work in seminars and crusades, their general life is fair only that there is a challenge of Hepatitis B infection in our region and the country of Uganda at large. We pray that if the Lord can provide finance, pastors should be vaccinated so that they should not be at a risk of getting the disease while praying for the sick people.”
They are often asked to pastor churches some distance from where they live, they travel to visit and pray for the sick and bereaved usually on foot or occasionally by bike but many areas are inaccessible. AAD bought motorbikes for pastors in March 2013 and again in Feb 2016 to aid travel over large distances and we also bought bicycles for two pastors in Oct 2016 for more local travel.
If you would like to pray for or write to one or more of our 40 pastors please do get in touch – sending a greeting is a great encouragement to them. Please do message Sophie for more info before the team leaves on July 31st. Thank you for your prayers and support.