- Written by Mark and Megan Mantey Mark and Megan Mantey
- Created: 06 November 2017 06 November 2017
We enjoyed seeing how people celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. More importantly, we were thankful to witness the different opportunities to point people to Christ. In Uganda, October 29 was an important celebration, as it was also the consecration of the first presiding Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU), Bishop Charles Bameka.
People gathered together from all over Uganda and bishops and church leaders came from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and South Sudan to celebrate this milestone in the church body. The LCU has been steadily growing since Lutheran missionaries first came to Uganda from Ghana in 1994. As a partnering church of Ghana, the LCMS provided support to the growing Lutheran church in Uganda since 1995.
Since that time, the leadership structure of the Lutheran Church of Uganda has changed to better suit their needs as a developing church body so they may do the Lord’s work in Uganda. The Gospel continues to be shared throughout the country by trained pastors and lay leaders. Men and women answer the Lord’s calling by attending seminary to study towards being pastors and deaconesses within the Lutheran church. Members of the LCU serve Christ through their everyday lives in their various roles. The Holy Spirit continues to do great work through the people of LCU.
As they enter this new chapter in the church body, please pray for Bishop Bameka, the deans and pastors, other church leaders and the congregants as they live, serve and share Christ Jesus with their communities.
The month of October brought two unique opportunities to learn more in our roles as missionaries.
During the mid-semester break in early October, we were able to travel to Matongo, Kenya, to visit with the faculty and staff at Neema Lutheran College. This is about a six hour drive east from Jinja, Uganda. We were accompanied by two of our colleagues from the Lutheran Theological College (LTCU), Rev. Dr. Enoch Macben (Acting Principal) and Rev. Peter Maganda (Dean of Students). Neema Lutheran College is a long-standing seminary in East Africa, with similar educational structures and comparable joys and challenges that we also experience in Uganda.
Since it is only the LTCU’s second year of operation, we are grateful for opportunities to gather together and learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ in Matongo. It was a very worthwhile experience as we observed and were able to further discuss best practices for Lutheran theological institutions in East Africa. Most importantly, it’s encouraging to be part of a partnership with a neighboring Lutheran seminary to train people to further the Gospel message throughout East Africa.
Each year the LCMS missionaries in East and South Africa gather together for Continuing Education. This year we traveled to Arusha, Tanzania, to learn more about Confessing in Context as facilitated by the Rev. Dr. William Schumacher from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. We discussed the importance of better understanding the context of people we daily work with, including how societal views, time and history are interpreted and how to best communicate within this context.
Lusoga Learning Update
Osiibye otya! This is a common greeting used in the afternoon simply meaning, “How is the afternoon?” The proper response is “Bulungi,” which means “fine.” People then proceed to inquire about the person’s home, family, cattle, work, etc. Greetings are very important in Uganda. There is always time to stop, greet and inquire how a person is doing, whether you know them or not. It’s also a great form of outreach that lets people know we’re interested in knowing them as beloved children of God. We always take the time to greet and speak with our neighbors, shop keepers, taxi drivers and all whom we encounter.
Please continue to pray for us as we engage with our community and share the love of Christ in Lusoga.
Mark and Megan Mantey serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as career missionaries in Uganda. Mark serves as the project manager for the seminary, and Megan is the seminary’s instructor of Christian education and counseling. You can follow their work at www.facebook.com/MissionMindedManteys.