Greetings from Uganda!


Richard Ondicho’s Newsletter 1/2024


Newsletter for January-February 2024

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… (Ephesians 4:11-13 ESV).

We enter 2024 with anticipation for what God has in store for us. He has placed us into a community full of people to love in Jesus’ name as we live by faith in His promises and reflect His goodness. The mission department asked me to go northern Uganda to facilitate the training of pastors of ELCSS/S and I prepared with great anticipation to meet our Missionaries who are currently working in Uganda. I was in Kampala Uganda 15 years ago on my way to teach at the theological Seminary of ELCSS/S at Yambio 2008.

I left Helsinki on 24.1.2024 at 5:00 am after the delay of one hour due to the weather at Amsterdam airport. After an hour the airline was given a greenlight to fly but still the weather was not any better and we were delay to land but when we were allowed after 40 minutes in the air the landing was too traumatic as people creamed fearing for their lives, but I prayed that God would spare us so that I am able to reach in Uganda. Due to the first from Helsinki my connection flight also was rescheduled so that I was able to get a new connection via Nairobi where I also stayed three hours waiting for the Entebbe connection. At the end I arrived at Entebbe airport at 4:50 am and then was picked to guest house where Anna &Taisto were sleeping. The following morning, I met Taisto and Anna at breakfast and shortly drove to Northern Uganda. The weather was heavenly since I left Finland when it was -19 and in Uganda it was +40. We wonderful discussions during the five hours drive to the North. We drove through Paula and Lauri’s house where they had prepared a wonderful dinner.

Then the actual Pastor’s training came, and we drove to Bweyale where the venue was. I was surprised to see my former students who are now pastors and one of them was bishop Ezra who was in that class of 2008. I had four topics to teach. I had Christian Stewardship, Homiletics, Liturgy and Christian Counselling. Each topic had three parts and each part had two hours lecture and then Q&A. Due to the weather change my feet were swollen but thanks to God I had open shoes which served me well. The teachings were like heavenly to the extent that I started thinking like one of the disciples who said to Jesus at the mountain top, “Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Mathew 17:4. It was indeed a God’s doing.

The following Sunday our Missionaries drove to far refugee camp where they have our Lutheran Congregation. I preached in that muddy Church and felt most privileged to talk to those people there who have come from different areas in Sudan due to civil war. Some of them do live in a small hurt more than five people you could see people stressed and malnourished but the hope that God will change station was high and yet far. There is a lot to be done to serve those traumatised people who are praying that there is peace in Sudan so that they back to rebuild their nation, but the desire sounds like mileage. I could feel the desire of many young people to get proper education for their future while others are unable to get their school fees.

The situation of refugees in Guru is wanting that there many areas that four missionaries cannot fulfil especially training Sunday school teachers, youth workers and bearing in mind the Sunday and youth is the majority in those Church and hence besides training Pastors there is need to have good teaching to those who teach Sunday school. It will totally address the future of this Church if Sunday school is given a priority. I know it is costly but also it even more profitable once these areas are also included in the education program. Our Missionaries there are working hard to the extent I felt that they are workaholics. ELCSS/S Uganda Mission seems to be a need for a missionary who is on education and also a person who has education on health areas.

I must thank you that you prayed for my trip to Uganda mission and wish that together we could also remember the work in Uganda in our prayers.

I am now back to Helsinki and busy attending the my Bible studies, Catechism class and other timetables. I feel honoured to tend the flock that God has entrusted to my care through LEAF.

I wish you a blessed Lent season.

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