- Written by Mark and Megan Mantey Mark and Megan Mantey
- Created: 11 December 2017 11 December 2017
Our first semester ended the last full week in November. This allowed us to reflect on the generosity of our hosts, the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU), and our individual and church partners through the LCMS.
Throughout the semester, there have been ample opportunities to be grateful. After several months of transitioning, our recent focus was more on our assigned roles of project management and teaching. We have been able to work alongside the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU), learning the best practices to teach and learn about financial management in different cultures and build relationships with people all throughout Uganda. Megan enjoyed teaching three classes and learning more about class subjects she’s familiar with through the context of her students’ experiences. Mark has gained a better understanding of how projects develop and how the church implements their vision. The LCU has warmly embraced us, assisting us as we learn, asking questions to better understand and serve God’s people in Uganda. The real blessing is seen through the interactions we have with the 41 students at the seminary and the pastors and leaders of the LCU. We understand the unique opportunity to daily serve alongside others who are passionate about sharing the Gospel on a daily basis with communities throughout Uganda.
As we reflect, our hearts and minds also ponder the relationship with you, our friends, family and partners in the Gospel who live in the United States. We’re grateful for the varying ways that we’re cared for, such as daily prayer, encouraging emails, phone calls, cards and letters, as well as ongoing financial support. We’re grateful to be your missionaries in Uganda.
This past month, we had a lot to be thankful for in life and ministry.
As many in the United States prepared their homes and kitchens for Thanksgiving, life in Uganda continued on its normal path. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it is not widely celebrated here. However, since people in Uganda are so caring and and compassionate towards others, we were asked about what Thanksgiving is and how we were celebrating.
We saw this as an opportunity to have a “Thank-filled” meal at our house, inviting friends from the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) along with our neighbors. Our meal included a combination of traditional Ugandan and American foods. The most important aspect was spending time together as friends, learning more about our cultures and sharing the love of Christ through fellowship, hospitality and conversation.
As there are many Muslims in our surrounding area, we also wanted to be intentional about reaching out with the love of Christ and introduce our friends who are Muslim to our friends within the LCU. We were overjoyed when our neighbor, who is Muslim, could join us for dinner and be part of our “Thank-filled” meal. It was quite the celebration with friends and for that we are grateful!
We are grateful that seminary students get the opportunity to practice and lead worship at our congregation in Jinja. This month we had Earnest and Obed, originally from southwest Uganda, serve in this role. This also allowed us to spend additional time with them outside of worship and the classroom. We’re thankful for such moments as we build relationships with the body of Christ!
Lusoga Learning Update “Nenda okugula akatunda. Mukalini leero?” This translates to “I would like to buy some passion fruit. Do you have it today?” Every couple of days we go to the Central Market. This gives us the opportunity to practice language, build relationships, as well as buy the delicious foods that are in season. This market is similar to an American farmer’s market. It has different farmers and vendors that sell fresh produce, spices and more throughout its three levels of shops. All of our produce comes from here, so you could say it is definitely farm to table. As we grow in our language skills, we enjoy that we can engage with others in our community this way.
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.