The local church in Uganda begins, typically, because of someone in the community. That is the case for Bubago Lutheran Church in the Eastern Deanery of Uganda.
Emmanuel Ngonde is known locally as a jolly man, who is persistent and a gifted speaker. Bishop Charles Bameka met with Emmanuel in November of 2017 to talk about starting a Lutheran church in the area. Bishop Bameka recognized that many people trusted Emmanuel and that there were many people who needed to know more about the church.
In January 2018, the Bishop visited Bubago, spoke to a group of 45 adults and planted the seed for Lutheranism in their community. They worshipped together and sang hymns and the Bishop explained the Lutheran Church’s teachings, practices, and liturgy.
On March 29, 2018, the Lutheran church was officially opened in Bubago with a worship service attended by 120 people. They were given 15 Luganda Catechisms, 10 Lusoga Bibles, and 20 Lusoga worship booklets.
The church continued to grow and in April 2019, the Bishop baptized 210 people. The worship service was attended by over 650 people. At that time, the LCU leaders also visited the communities of Magogo and Nawanyago to establish the Lutheran church there as well. Soon after, 120 people were baptized in Magogo.
Three men were identified as potential local leaders but they were unable to complete the required courses in Kamuli due to lack of funds for transport. The number of congregants has decreased dramatically.
In June 2019 land was purchased for the church in Bubago that included a small permanent structure.
The community has started a Lutheran Nursery and Primary School in the small house, as of February 2020, that consists of three Nursery classes (Baby, Middle, and Top) and Primary 1 through Primary 3. Currently, there are 250 students with 6 teachers, a cook, security guard, and 3 cleaners. They are working on constructing a temporary structure to provide shelter for the students meeting outside the small building.
In October 2019, Julie Stroder, Executive Director of Connect to Uganda, travelled to Bubago with Bishop Bameka where they held a community meeting to discuss a partnership between C2U and the local church in Bubago. The news was well-received and we look forward to the future of Bubago Lutheran Church!
Current challenges for the church include:
· Worship materials, Lusoga Bibles, Catechisms, and worship booklets.
· Local men who can lead worship preach and conduct catechism classes and spiritually care for the young Christian community.
· Many children who cannot afford school fees.
· Lack of worship and school structures.
· Latrine for use by the school and church.
· Borehole well to provide accessible clean water.