earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Western Church Planting

Mbugani
My last trip to the west side of the Gulf became my first opportunity to see the progress of church planting in Bukokwa and Mbugani.

Open Air Meeting in Mbugani

Mbugani is a Swahili word roughly translated “in the remote place.” But that name was given to this place before it became a large village. The members of the church in Lusolelo chose Mbugani for its size and need for a gospel-preaching church.

The most notable point about the location is perhaps the ambitious faith of the evangelists, for Mbugani is at least ten times the size of the little village they are coming from. Beyond that is the great distance they must travel to reach their target. Mbugani is more than an hour’s drive from the church in Lusolelo. The pastor bikes the distance several times a week while others are traveling by foot—a hike that must take at least 3 hours. And even so, there is no shortage of people willing to cover the distance, camp away from home and make evangelistic visits.

Evangelistic Meeting in Mbugani
outdoor meeting in Mbugani

The Saturday of my visit (May 20), we held the first open air evangelistic service there. Turnout was actually poor due to multiple funerals in the family of our host, but I hear that response to the gospel is enthusiastically positive.

Worship Service in Bukokwa

Although I have participated in evangelism in Bukokwa on multiple occasions, that weekend was my first opportunity to meet with those who have responded to the gospel there. I preached from Luke 18 and excellent village hospitality before making the six-hour-drive back home (that’s unusually long).

Before the Worship Service in Bukokwa
before Sunday worship in Bukokwa

The group of believers now meeting in Bukokwa is eager to call a minister and identify themselves as a church. They are only waiting for the church fellowship to formally organize before moving forward.

The quick development in Bukokwa has something to do with the involvement of Bible Institute students from Nyakaliro. It was the students who did the work of evangelism in Bukokwa–and they did well! Pastor Jonas says that the students’ enthusiasm for their ongoing studies has spilled over to the group from Bukokwa. And as a result, there are now more students enrolled in the Institute from Bukokwa than Nyakaliro. This multiplication of disciples through these churches is the reason for the massive uptick in student numbers this year. Praise God!

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