Our Ugandan Visitors have returned home.
The Uganda Fire Choir will be bringing their time in England to a close this week, having spent over twelve days in the Bristol diocese, singing in two different venues—and occasionally three— on many of those days. Before that they were in the USA. So it has been a gruelling month for them. Yet they inspired us right up to the end.
The Ugandan Bishops have gone back to a country where vast numbers of people come to faith each year. The challenge of discipling these new believers and seeing them grow into mature Christians is a huge one. Clergy and lay leaders are under resourced, particularly in terms of books. One of the clergy was dreaming of a library in Kampala for preachers who currently have little access to commentaries and teaching material. In spite of this, new parishes are continually formed and new dioceses are “birthed” as the church grows. And its educational work continues across the whole country.
At a political level, Uganda is a democracy. It is a country which has had a relatively stable government, though President Museveni, who is now at an advanced age, is showing worrying signs of wanting to found a dynasty. He is now in his 33rd year of power, which is one of the longest in the world and seems, according to articles in the African press, to be grooming his son to take over from him.
This is not how democracies should work. We need to pray for Uganda. Political battles easily turn into real battles on the streets. Uganda has suffered terribly from violence in the past. We need to pray for a peaceful and just hand-over of power to a democratically elected government.