The Christmas Gospel is ever new, and always thrilling. It is our unspeakable privilege at Words of Hope to publish and proclaim this message throughout the world to those who need it most.
Last month I traveled to Africa with a small team from our ministry for the dedication of the new offices and studios of Words of Hope Uganda. It was a wonderful event. This beautiful building – christened the “Words of Hope Communication House” – was made possible by the generous gifts of friends of our ministry. It is already being used effectively by our Ugandan partners to make a variety of radio programs in five different languages that are being broadcast on a network of stations throughout Uganda and beyond. The building stands on the campus of Uganda Christian University in Mukono. The university shared in the construction costs, and will use the second story for its department of mass communications.
Uganda is a land of contrasts. It is known as “The Pearl of Africa” – a land of lush, green beauty and fertile fields. It’s also a place of poverty and want, with displaced person camps and shantytown slums filled with refugees from Congo and Sudan. Ugandan Christians practice their faith with wonderful joy and exuberance. The church is alive and growing in Uganda; but so is Islam. And there is great spiritual darkness in the land. While I was there I read a story in the newspaper about two men who had been arrested for trying to sell their own children to witch doctors for use as human sacrifices. Somehow, the power of the demonic seems closer to the surface in Uganda.
But the power of the gospel is greater still. I think of the wonderful people who are serving the Lord and building the church through Words of Hope Uganda. There’s Susan Olwa, a volunteer from the city of Lira in the north, who makes radio programs in the Luo language that help improve the preand post-natal health of mothers. Or Immanuel, a member of the staff, who helps make popular gospel programs in the Bari language (Words of Hope dominates the Bari market!) Or Bishop Stephen Kaziimba, Chairman of the Words of Hope Uganda Management Committee. His very poor diocese extends across a wide area, but Words of Hope enables him to speak to his people every Sunday morning by radio, bringing them encouragement from the Word of God. Or Titus Baraka, Words of Hope Uganda’s director, and one of Christ’s choice servants.
We have accomplished a lot in just three short years in Uganda. But much more needs to be done. We have been asked for more help:
- For a new radio outreach in the city of Mbale in the east, a stronghold of both witchcraft and Islam.
- For training pastors and other workers. Stephen Kaziimba is responsible for 500 churches, and asks our assistance in providing training for his clergy.
- For more programs in a variety of languages and formats for the growing work throughout Uganda.
- For ministry in southern Sudan, where new opportunities are ripe for the taking, but where the window may soon close because of political threats.
- For follow-up with listeners and the discipling of believers: training for Christian counselors, and the production of devotional literature in Uganda.
Here’s where you come in. We want to do more for the cause of Christ in Uganda, but we are at the limit of our resources. Would you consider a special year-end offering to help us help them? What better way to celebrate the Savior’s birth than to enable still more people hear, in their own heart language, the Good News that Jesus has come to be Immanuel: “God with us.” May the peace and joy of Christmas be yours,
Click here to download David Bast’s Christmas Letter as a printable PDF