- Written by Mark and Megan Mantey Mark and Megan Mantey
- Created: December 13 2021 December 13 2021
In our last newsletter, we shared that Uganda went into another lockdown and that churches and schools closed. Thankfully, the country has re-opened. Churches are gathering again, and the seminary started the 2021–2022 school year in October. Since then, our focus has been on teaching, administering, mentoring, and helping at the seminary. For our roles in Uganda, many of our responsibilities are walking alongside the LCU in our daily lives together. This means we are present for both the joys and challenges.
We recognize the challenges as elementary/high schools start again in January. Many of the Lutheran churches have Lutheran schools attached. COVID-19 has also affected seminary student recruitment. Pray that teachers and students can return to schools. Please also pray for patience as students focus on learning again after nearly a two-year hiatus.
The joys of resuming seminary classes and worship are apparent. We missed the students! We missed gathering together with the people at church! Seeing returning students and greeting one another with big smiles was a great reminder of why we are here. It is also a joy to welcome new students to the Lutheran Theological College Uganda (LTCU) as they begin their seminary journey. The first year of seminary is exciting, nerve-wracking, and challenging. We are grateful to walk alongside the new students and encourage them to learn and study.
As the lockdown in Uganda has eased, we praise God as we seek new normals. We are thankful we have been able to resume our daily work supporting the Lutheran Church of Uganda. One of our favorite ways to do this is by attending local church services in neighboring villages to help celebrate when people are baptized or confirmed. We have witnessed over twenty baptisms of all ages in the past two weeks! Few situations on earth are more joy-filled than baptisms in the Lutheran Church of Uganda! There is much celebration, clapping, singing and dancing as each person is adopted into God’s family through Holy Baptism. We praise God for the local pastors sharing the Word of the Lord so that people can hear and believe. We celebrate that churches opened, pastors and leaders are evangelizing, and people learn more about Jesus Christ every day. We are thankful for the work of the church!
We recently were also able to attend an Introduction. An Introduction is a cultural wedding where the bride/bride-to-be introduces the husband/husband-to-be to her family. Of course, there is much cause for celebration as families unite and welcome and support one another. Dancing, festivities, and friends and family are joining from different parts of the country, and the world came together for this celebration. Introductions share how the families and friends will support the couple as they plan to begin their lives together. We praise God for these moments.
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.