- Written by Mark and Megan Mantey Mark and Megan Mantey
- Created: September 08 2020 September 08 2020
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you.Psalm 32:8
Since March, Uganda has been in some form of lockdown because of COVID-19. During the last three months, restrictions were lessened, but schools and public worship have not been able to resume. Nightly curfews also remain in effect. We share this to give insight to our day-to-day living and also to re-enforce the Lutheran Church of Uganda’s ability to adapt to circumstances for the sake of the Gospel. For, despite the challenges that continue worldwide, we witness that the Lord’s work continues. The Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) leadership met to discuss how they can best continue training their seminarians while also recognizing government operating procedures. This included limiting the number of people gathering together, not having formal classroom instruction and maintaining health and hygiene practices.
The LCU leadership decided to focus immediate opportunities for the Year-Four seminary students, as they were originally scheduled to graduate in June 2020 before classes were dismissed due to COVID-19. The goal was to finish the classes from March in a practicum or hands-on approach so the students could apply what they have learned so far. The arrangements included three different mission center locations for the students, which followed the government operating procedures. This also allowed other LCU pastors and leadership to participate and help prepare the seminarians for pastoral ministry.
In this hands-on, four-week program, the students focused learning on pastoral ministry, teaching the Small Catechism and Bible studies. They also reviewed and applied Hymnology for various worship settings, and finished theology course units that helped them understand and apply Scripture to their various contexts. Please continue to keep the LCU leadership and the seminarians in your prayers as they grow together. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
We are both so grateful to remain in Uganda during this time. Much of our lives has changed and yet much remains the same. We continue to work from home, but also remain in constant contact with the Lutheran Church of Uganda. The LCU has utilized zoom meetings to connect with leadership in the rural areas so ministry planning can continue. We have been able to join those calls and share greetings with far away friends in other parts of the country.
Since the seminary is currently not able to resume at full capacity, our day-to-day routine has changed substantially. Yet God continues to provide us with opportunities to serve Him. We still connect with students, faculty and LCU leadership. We still serve alongside the LCU and strive to learn more about how the LCMS can best collaborate with them. We still celebrate life together, whether it is birthday celebrations, worshipping together over the radio or socially distanced gatherings. We still listen to one another, mourn together and are present for one another … even though it looks different. For all of these opportunities, we’re grateful the Lord abundantly provides.
Thank you for your prayers as we navigate how to best serve and share the Gospel through our vocations amidst COVID-19. Please also pray for our LCMS and LCU colleagues as they also strive to do the same. We continue to pray for our friends and family (you!) who share in the Lord’s work in Uganda. Thank you for continuing to walk with us in 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.