11 July 2013


Several months ago, I remember a short-term missionary asking me why Far Reaching Ministries (FRM) had an armored SUV with bullet-proof glass.

“This is Africa,” I explained.  “This place can blow up at any time.  It’s inherently unstable.”

Well, this past month has given me a taste of just how unstable.  Several weeks ago, the mayor was beaten up by the police and tear gas was fired twice. 

Next, Kampala’s shopkeepers closed their stores to protest a government fee on imported goods.  The shopkeepers said they were determined to keep their shops closed until the government eliminated or softened the import fee.

When we arrived at church Tuesday morning, we found the building locked.  I wasn’t expecting that.  The church staff ended up going over to a local café and prayed there.  It was very encouraging to see the church staff undeterred by the day’s events.

On Wednesday morning, I called the building manager to find out if he could open the church for us.  He told me, “The situation is not so good.  We will not open the building.”

Since Ugandans tended to understate things, I knew this meant things were pretty bad.  Later that morning, the U.S. Embassy issued a security warning about “planned demonstrations.”  So, I texted church staff not to come in and about 700 church members telling them our evening worship service had been cancelled.

The police presence in downtown was about double the usual amount.  Things were generally quiet except for when the riot police walked by.  It seemed like things were safe enough to return to the church building, so a few of us walked over and talked the building manager into letting us in for about an hour.  It took some talking to him because he was under strict orders not to let anybody in.

Once inside, we rushed to make preparations for Sunday’s worship services and the children’s ministry classes.  Afterwards, I treated the church staff to a goat and rice lunch at Uhuru, the same restaurant that was practically engulfed in tear gas the week before.  I couldn’t thank them enough for their great dedication and courage.

Next, we planned how we were going to prepare for Sunday’s worship services should the building be closed for the remainder of the week. 

By the grace of God, we remain UNDETERRED.  We are convicted by our mission from God… to spread the Good News in Kampala!

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

Undeterred from Kampala,
John Eastham

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