Through radio programs of all types, from music, to Bible studies, to counseling, Words of Hope Uganda is claiming all assets of Ugandan society and culture for Christ.
Uganda is a hard place. Though Christianity is popular in this country, extreme poverty and lack of education make it nearly impossible for churches to adequately disciple those who are coming to know Jesus. Words of Hope’s Ugandan Director explains that while many are born into the faith, they often starve spiritually because no support structure is in place for their growth. Nominal Christianity is common. In fact, many Ugandans who self-identify as Christians simply know that they are not Muslim.
Lack of proper education and discipleship allows Ugandans to be swept up into false wealth-gospel belief systems. Many also mix older tribal religions with Christianity in their search for truth. With the support of generous donors, Words of Hope’s is empowering Ugandan pastors and churches to effectively nurture their people in the life of Christian discipleship. In the midst of this hard place, radio is bringing truly life-changing good news.
“Since you began this program, we feel that we learn more about God than before. These other preachers just tell us how to get what we want, but you have given us what we need to know so that we can grow.
In the Acholiland region of Northern Uganda, the native language is Acholi. Although school children learn English, Acholi is still considered their heart language. Many older people only understand Acholi. The programs aim to provide hope and counsel for those suffering the spiritual and emotional aftermath of war, in addition to supplying practical biblical instruction for those who are illiterate.
The Alur language is spoken by the Alur people. The 460,000 Alur people are scattered throughout districts of Northern Uganda, and also live across the border in Congo. The Alur people subsist primarily from agriculture, growing millet, cassava, spinach, pumpkins, maize and sweet potatoes.
Bari-Kuku is a language spoken by the Kuku people mainly the in Kayunga District of Uganda. Others are found in the districts of Luweero, Nakasongola, Bombo, and Kampala, and in South Sudan. They have never heard their language on the radio. The radio has helped many to hear the Gospel for the first time, receive faith in Christ, and even moved Bari-Kuku people to work toward translating the Bible into their own language. The program has also helped Bari-Kuku people find each other, as most are scattered around the country without knowing others of their own people group.
The devastation of the Idi Amin and Milton Obote years with its unrestrained terror, murder, tribal warfare, and corruption destroyed much of the economic and social fabric of the nation and hastened the spread of AIDS,” reports Operation World. Although the threat of internal fighting by terror groups and robber gangs has subsided, full recovery and complete healing will take many years.
Karamajong is a Nilotic language spoken by herdsmen living in northeastern Uganda.
The Kup-Sabiny language is spoken by the Sabiny people. Most of the 230,000 Sabiny people live in Kapchorwa District, a mountainous region in Eastern Uganda. The region has fertile soil, and many of the Sabiny people make a living raising cattle and cultivating beans, wheat, corn, and potatoes. They sell their produce when they are able, but poor roads and mountainous terrain make it difficult for them to bring their produce to the market. More than 60% of the Sabiny people live in poverty.
The Luganda, or Ganda, language is a Bantu language spoken mainly by the Baganda people in the African Great Lakes region. It is one of the major languages in Uganda and is spoken by more than 10 million people.
Mbale Diocese in Eastern Uganda bordering Kenya has provided for the addition of a new broadcast in the Lumasaaba language spoken by about two million people. This typifies the long-range expansion strategy that Words of Hope Uganda is pursuing. Where applicable, these diocesan partnership include field-based program production in a widely spoken local language.
The Luo language is spoken by the Luo people, spanning from southern Sudan to southern Kenya, and into northern Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Rukiga language, also known as Kiga, is spoken by about 1.6 million people in the Rukiga District of Uganda.
The Rukonzo language (also known as Rukonjo, Olukonjo, Olukonzo, Konjo or lhukonzo) is spoken by the Konjo people of Uganda and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Rutooro language is spoken by the Toro people group who live in Western Uganda. Toro people typically exchange lengthy spoken greetings with each other. It is considered culturally rude to merely say “hello” in passing. The type of greeting that is appropriate in a situation varies depending on gender, age, and other variables. Toro people are also assigned nicknames, or empaako, at ceremonies held shortly after birth. The empaako is chosen by elders of the tribe and carries a specific meaning, such as “intelligent” or “caring.”
The Runyoro language is tonal in nature, meaning that the tone of voice used often determines the level of politeness and the actual meaning of an expression. As tone ascends, the words spoken are considered to be less and less polite, which means that the majority of Runyoro speaking people talk in lower, softer voices.
Rufumbira is spoken by the Bafumbira people in the Kisoro District of Southwestern Uganda, under the foot hills of Mount Muhavura.