I left Kitale Kenya on the 17th for Kampala to join the Lutheran Media Ministry Uganda (LMMU) team and Rev. James Odoo from the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) to go with me to the refugee camps in Adjumani area northern Uganda.
On the 19th December I left Kampala for northern Ugandan, heading to the town of Gulu to meet Rev. James Odoo who was also travelling from Lira town to meet me in Gulu town. Its took me 6 hours from Kampala to Gulu by road, so I reached there when it was very late to find commercial vehicles that ply Gulu-Adjumani route to continue our journey to the refugee camp in Adjumani area.
So after meeting Pastor James, we decided to spend a night in Gulu to continue our trip from Gulu to Adjumani in the following morning, a trip which would cover a distance of 150km. In the following morning we took a commercial vehicle from Gulu to Adjumani and we reached our destination in the hot and dusty afternoon and that was Nyumanzi refugee camp which has got 2 of our congregations.
On the same day, Monday the Lutheran Media Ministry Uganda team joined us in Nyumanzi in the evening and our mission activities started with showing of Jesus’ film in Dinka at one of our congregation churches. The films attracted many people and the space was not enough for the people who had come to watch the film.
During the show the Lutheran Media Ministry team asked the audience who had been touched by the film or those who wanted to know more about Jesus to have their names registered and their names be given to the church pastor for the follow up. That exercise was carried out and people gave their names. I made comments before and after the show explaining the significance of Jesus’ films and its difference from other normal films which they watch.
Other activities which were carried out on Tuesday in Nyumanzi refugee camp include women and children teaching. These were conducted by the Lutheran Media Ministry Uganda. They began by teaching the women alone. The Lutheran Media Ministry team was composed of women only. The men were allowed to join the women during opening prayer, team introduction and the delivery of the word of God and after that the men including pastors were politely asked to leave the venue before the women teaching could start. After the conclusion of women teaching the children’s teaching started and the men were allowed to stay on during the children’s session.
After the conclusion of children’s teaching all people went to church and the service of the word was conducted and Rev. James Odoo preaches and I make the concluding remarks encouraging our congregation members and telling them about the state of our church (SSELC), especially how it is spreading and doing in other locations inside South Sudan.
After the conclusion of our mission in Nyumanzi refugee camp, we moved to another refugee camp called Ayilo located 18km south of Nyumanzi refugee camp. This camp has one of our congregations.
At this camp (Ayilo) all the activities which were carried out at Nyumanzi refugee camp were also carried out there. Women were taught women things as it was done at Nyumanzi refugee camp. What was taught to the children at Nyumanzi was also taught to the children at Ayilo. They were taught the word of God in a simple way to suit their understanding.
Attendance was very large at Ayilo, many people came to watch Jesus’ film and many women camp to attend women teaching as well as the children.
The LMMU distributed some used clothes to women and children in both refugee camps we visited.
Impact made by the mission on our congregation members in the refugee camps
It was very exciting for our church members to see me again after 2 years and 9 months since I visited them. Some were telling me that they were no longer expecting that I would visit them again after it had taken me that long to visit them.
Our church members were also encouraged to see their brother and sisters from the Lutheran Church of Uganda visiting them. They were being derided by members of other churches that they belonged to a church which has got no members from any other place and they thought that was why there were no people from other places or countries including Uganda visit them. So people were amazed to see people from Uganda visiting our members in the name of Lutheran Church. It was really a very huge operation which has publicised the SSELC in the refugee camps more than another other time.
After this visit our church members will be respected because people will not continue thinking negative about them the way they used to think about them before this visit. And above all, our church members were encouraged by the preached word of God and they asked me and the visitors from the Lutheran church of Uganda to keep visiting them regularly.
Rev. Nathaniel Bol Nyok
December 31, 2016
Report on the use of funds
How Ksh 132,309 = $ 1251.74 was spent
Ksh 64,612.75 from St. Paul’s Cullman AL + Ksh 67,697 from Pilgrim Jonesboro Arkansas = ksh 132,309 change to dollar, 1dollar @105.7 kes = $1251.74
– Kitale- Refugee camps in northern Uganda = $180.00
-Transport for Pastor James Odoo from Lira town to refugee camps and back = $100.00
– Accommodation on the way to and from the camps = $270.00
-Accommodation in Gulu for 2 nights for Pastor James Odoo = $100.00
– Entry visas to Uganda and back to Kenya = $ 100.00
-Movement between the camps for 2 people = $260.00
-Facilitation of church leaders who accompanied us between the camps = $150.00
Total = $ 1,160.00
Balance = $ 91.74
The above balance and ksh 25,000 which was given to me by another donor from Nairobi towards my pastoral visit to the refugee camps in Uganda was given to some of the needy people in the camp.
Rev. Nathaniel Bol Nyok
December 31, 2016