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Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.Romans 12:10–13

World-wide we are all discovering the “new normal” in regards to daily life. In Uganda, the countrywide lockdown is slowly lifting, even as the curfew remains in place. Private and public transportation are now allowed on the roads with limited passengers and face masks. From mid-March until late-May people relied on walking or bicycles to get around as a measure to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, many non-essential businesses have been able to resume operations. Country borders, schools and public worship remain closed for now. So, the Lutheran Church of Uganda continues to minister via radio, phone calls and limited gatherings. Like a lot of the world, Uganda is discovering what this means. What elements of life remain the same? What is different?

As we have shared before, greetings hold great value in Uganda. It is a way to acknowledge that you see a person, including their worth and value. Greeting someone and taking the time to listen and talk to them greatly acknowledges that they matter and are an important part of your day’s interactions. While out in Jinja after the lockdown, it was a joy to see people we had not seen in several months.

Observing other interactions, people were joy-filled to be able to greet others as well. Yet, there was some differences on how greetings now took place. Instead of the standard lingering handshake, people now might wave, or raise eyebrows as a quick greeting. Hands are now kept to oneself, but the joy of interacting and sharing about the day are still present. Smiles (albeit some are under masks) are still shared. People are grateful to hear how their neighbors and community members are doing. This presents such an opportunity for the church, and for us as missionaries, as we can continue to share about Christ’s love in the midst of a fallen world.

Life and Mission Update

Despite the many challenges people have endured during this time, it has been a blessing to see the helpers.

The Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) continues to distribute food to students that attend the Lutheran schools, pastors, and seminary students that are in need. Working with partners, the LCU has been able to make several distributions over the lockdown. We are grateful for their continued care during this time. Likewise, we appreciate the deep care for one another and sharing what is available with those nearby.

Our gratitude also extends to our partnering congregations and individuals in the United States. Thank you for your continued support that allows us to stay in Uganda during these times. We are very grateful for your ongoing prayers and support.

Additionally, we are thankful for the hands-on helpers. We have had several individuals assist with sending out our USPS newsletter when churches were unable to do so. Also, there have been people available to help send handwritten thank you notes on our behalf since Uganda is not able to send or receive mail at this time due to the country’s borders being closed. Those acts of kindness allow us to share communication with friends and ministry partners.

We praise God for the helpers! May we listen to one another, learn from one another, and share in each other’s burdens when appropriate. Our prayer is that we all can continue to serve in Christ’s name, spur one another on, and encourage one another in the one true faith.

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