- Written by Mark and Megan Mantey Mark and Megan Mantey
- Created: 09 January 2018 09 January 2018
After this past semester had ended at the Lutheran Theological College Uganda (LTCU), we were invited to accompany Bishop Bameka and other Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) representatives to Nakivale Refugee Settlement for the consecration of Alleluia Lutheran Church’s new building.
As we wrote in our June/July 2017 newsletter, the congregation of Alleluia Lutheran Church at Nakivale Refugee Settlement received a grant through the Tin Roof project from the LCMS. This was the perfect opportunity to celebrate alongside the congregation and encourage them in their daily lives and ministry.
When we visit congregations throughout Uganda, the services are in the local language for the region. Depending on the situation, there are also translators available so that the Word of the Lord can be understood by as many people as possible. This past visit, Okach Opiew, a student at Neema Lutheran College in Matongo Kenya, translated the consecration and worship service (including 29 baptisms and eleven people confirmed).
When you worship in other languages, it allows the opportunity to observe in other ways how the Lord is working in the lives of his people. While with the people at Alleluia Lutheran in Nakivale, we witnessed great joy in the Lord. We saw this through our time together in worship, conversations and interactions. Even though they encounter hardships, it was their joy in the Lord that was most evident, and for this we praise God.
Ochan, a LTCU student who is a member at Alleluia Lutheran Church, was also present for the celebration. One of our great joys is that we get to continuously encourage and equip Ochan in his ministry, so that he may build up the body of believers at Nakivale.
In Uganda and throughout much of East Africa, everyday routines often shift during the Christmas season.
Many people leave the cities and go back to their family’s home, often in smaller towns and villages. Most of our colleagues that we work with at the Lutheran Theological College Uganda (LTCU) also went back to their family homes, continuing to work and share the Gospel in their home region. The LTCU students are also responsible for evangelizing, teaching and building up the LCU while at home during the Christmas break. In southwest Uganda several mission stations started with the help of current LCU pastors and LTCU seminarians. In midwest Uganda, pastors and seminarians work together to build bricks to lay the foundation of a new church in their region. We praise God for the work of his kingdom through their hands!
Christmas in Nairobi
While students and staff at LTCU were with families in different parts throughout Uganda, we had the opportunity to visit with our missionary family in Nairobi, Kenya. Even though we are part of a larger LCMS mission team, and often work together in different avenues, we are only able to get together as a team twice a year.
Although not all team members live in Kenya, we were able to spend time with all families that live in Nairobi. We’re thankful for the opportunities to build upon and strengthen relationships, worship and spend time together, and encourage one another in life and ministry.
We now look forward to preparing for a new semester and welcoming students back to the seminary!
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.