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Inside Deliverance Church Uganda’s five decades of evangelism

Pr. Edward Kiwanuka (General Overseer) and beloved wife Monica Kiwanuka.

No matter where you live, it’s an established reality that Uganda is rapidly becoming very urban and more populated. According to experts, Uganda’s total population doubles every 20 years, implying that by 2031, the population might be over 66 million.

It’s hard to wrap our minds around this kind of enormous shift however, might need to prayerfully understand how evangelism can be done as the number of those to reach with the gospel increases continuously. For Deliverance Church Uganda, church planting and discipleship of new converts lies at the core of their existence.

The Church began in 1967 as a fellowship of young people in a secondary school who got pre-occupied with preaching the gospel in secondary schools, colleges and the university (only one university then).

Later 1971, Deliverance Church was began based on Luke 4:18, with the team fired up to go out for missions. But how favorable was Uganda for evangelical missions at that time – The President Idi Amin’s era?

Leaders and believers of Deliverance Church Uganda were among those that were imprisoned when the church in Uganda was banned in 1977.

“During one Wednesday afternoon service, men armed with AK-47s attacked the church. The service leader blew a trumpet and commanded everyone to kneel down and pray in tongues,” Mr Edward Kiwanuka recently recalled.

“The soldiers later ordered us to crawl to a small compound in front of the church building and lie flat on our bellies, from where we were loaded onto a truck and driven off to a place which I learnt later was the most feared Nakasero State Research Bureau known for it’s dungeons and torture chambers,” he said.

The group was later, in three batches, moved and detained at Luzira. Even behind bars, they led evangelical movements and led many to Christ.

“Since we were detainees, we never went out to work like other prisoners. Our main duty was to receive visitors who brought along with them foodstuffs and bibles for us. This kept our spirits high together with the daily fellowship with one another which was carried out in intervals, it increased our hope in God,” he added.

“We later learnt through a rumor that President Idi Amin has assigned his Vice, Maj. Gen Mustafa Adiris the task of killing us and the body bags had been prepared for the disposal of our bodied.  Around that same time, the Vice President got involved in a serious motor accident on Jinja Road and was airlifted to Cairo(Egypt) for treatment. That is how we escaped death,” Mr Edward Kiwanuka said.

Out of prison, the Church remarkably grew within the tough season, further developing and also focusing on Community engagements over time, that include Health programs

To date, the church has established over 467 congregations across Uganda, with a team of 15 senior citizens designated to oversee its national operations in the 5 regions of the country (Western, Central, North, Busoga, and Eastern regions).

“In addition, the church, through The AIDS Intervention Program based in Jinja, partnered with over 250 Pentecostal churches to reach and care for over 1.5m affected and infected persons. Through a partnership with Compassion International, the church advocates for over 6000 children with need through 23 Child Development Projects,” a statement received by UG Christian News says.

“A total of 17 schools have been started up by the church in the desire to promote kingdom based education and imparting Christ’s values to learners. National Perspective Deliverance Church Uganda has established itself as a rich source of men and women of integrity from where both Government of Uganda and the Private Sector routinely selects individuals who serve the country with distinction,” it adds.

On December 8th, 9th and 10th, Deliverance Church Uganda will be celebrating 50 years of God’s faithfulness in a three-day convocation at their Nsambya branch below Sharing Hall.

They expect to have at least 2,000 participants each day throughout the three days.

aaron@ugchristiannews.com

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