Service Leads To Salvation

We thank our Lord for this new year of 2020 and for the ended 2019. Our ministry has seen much fruit this year as more people have heard the Gospel. Here are just a few examples:

In Remera, members of the church wanted to help rebuild the home of an elderly woman. Her home had been destroyed, and she had no one to assist her with repairs. She was deeply involved with witchcraft, but the church members felt strongly about ministering to her. They approached her to ask about helping, and the pastor asked to pray with her. In that prayer, he asked the Holy Spirit to touch her. She has rejected witchcraft and is now serving Jesus! Here you see church members working on her home.

We recently held a one-day workshop for women to encourage them in their everyday life. One woman, Agnes, shared her testimony about how Jesus sustained her even when she was struggling the most. She spoke about her life before becoming a Christian. Her husband wasn’t a Christian either, and most of their days were spent fighting. He would send her out of the home during the night. There were many days when Agnes wasn’t able to eat because her husband spent all of their money on alcohol.

Members of the church visited her village. She heard them praying and wanted to know more. Soon after, Agnes accepted Christ! She became a singer in the church and began faithfully praying for her husband and family. She prayed for God to give her strength. God has answered her prayers, and her husband is now a believer!

Our children’s feeding program in Kigali feeds hundreds of children experiencing malnutrition. Their families are now attending church and hearing the good news of Jesus. We thank God for these opportunities to tell others about Him!

Union of Baptist Churches

We are privileged to introduce you to a man who has been greatly impacted by the ministry of UBC. His story, which he shares below, is one of redemption, hope, and full reliance upon Jesus Christ.

I am called by the name of Hagumishuti Eilya. I was born in Rutshuru territory in Nyanzale village in the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 23, 1975. I am the third born of my family. My father was married to four other women, and my mother was the second wife. She was very jealous of the other wives and children. She used to train us to grow into conflicts with the other children of my father and consider them as enemies. At age 11, my two older sisters and I were trained by our grandmother in witchcraft. She wanted us to poison our brother and become the leaders of our family.

In an effort to try to control my father, my mother introduced him to drugs. She supplied him with drugs to keep him in our home so that she would have access to all of his income. She did not want the other wives to have anything.

At age 14, I was in secondary school with my brother, Nelson, the son of the first wife of my father. I used to run races with him at school. By the end the school year, he began to win all of our races. My mother was totally jealous of that. Nelson and I would tend the family goats in the afternoon. One day, my mother and grandmother gave me a banana that had been poisoned and told me to give it to Nelson. I gave him that banana, and I ate one without poison. After tending the goats, we each went back to our homes.

About an hour later, someone came running to our home to say that Nelson was about to die because of complications in his belly. My father, mother, and grandmother ran to check on him and instructed all of us children to stay at home. After a few minutes, I decided that I needed to join them. Nelson was my friend, and I knew that I should not have given him the banana. I had to try to remedy this problem. When I arrived, I was met with many people weeping. I told my father and the neighbors present what I had done. They gave Nelson traditional medicines that caused him to vomit the poison. Fortunately, he survived.

My mother and grandmother were immediately captured and beaten by the villagers. They both died two days later. I, too, was beaten, but my stepmother intervened. She was a Christian and knew how I had been impacted by my mother’s teachings. She wanted me to live with her and attend Sunday School and church. I went, but was insulted by all the other children because of what happened. No one would be my friend. I learned about Jesus and was mentored by Pastor Ushindi. At 16, I was baptized. There were still very few people that would accept me. I began to fall away from my faith.

At 19, I decided to join a rebellion group in our village. During the war against the government army, I was captured and put in prison. I was there for one year and four months before I escaped, fleeing to the town of Goma. I met a woman and got married, but I continued living in a very sinful way.

In September 2017, I met Pastor Kazaviyo while I was working. He started telling me about the news of Jesus Christ. I told him that I know all that. He asked me if I had received Christ in my life. I said yes and that I have been baptized since I was 16 years old. He asked me why I hadn’t continued to serve God in church. That really made me stop and think. When he saw that, he continued to question me. I told him all about my life story and the devastating things that I had experienced. He comforted me and gave me a new hope in Jesus Christ. He invited me to his church, where I began to learn more about Jesus and grow in my faith.

I am now an evangelist and share the hope of Jesus with others. The Lord has blessed me with a wife and five children. The Lord has cared for me, even when I had done so many terrible things. I am grateful for the ministry of UBC that helped me find God and His purpose for my life.

Seira Community Ministry – Rwanda

The Lord has faithfully been growing the churches that are part of our ministry. Our first church in Kigali now has two services every Sunday with over 600 people hearing the word of God.

The members of the church in Rukumberi met for the first time under a cover of tarps hobbled together to give protection from the sun. Last summer, church members began working together to make all of the bricks for a church building. They now have a beautiful, safe place to meet protected from the elements. The church is also surrounded with gardens that are used to help provide for the community.

In Jarama, we have a church and water project that provides clean water to those living nearby. The people are so grateful to have clean water and because the church helped to bring in the well, they have started coming to the church to hear the word of God. The church has grown from 150 members to 300 this year.

Nyirabazungu Peresi

Meet one of our church members in Jarama. Her name is Nyirabazungu Peresi. She has lived with HIV for many years. She had no hope to live after she received the news of her diagnosis.

In 2013, when we went to Jarama to start a new church, we met Nyirabazungu when she attended a seminar where we shared the Gospel. The pastor told the people that the impact of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. She was very touched by that word, but did not accept Christ that day.

The next day, I was there with other members of our ministry. As I left, she stopped my car on the road and started to ask me how she could have eternal life. She told me that she was dying. I asked who told her she was dying and that no one can know the time they will die. She answered with two things – I am living with HIV because my husband frequented prostitutes. When he died, I began prostituting so that others would have the disease too. I do not have peace in doing that. Also, I am drinking too much, and sitting with people that are no good.

We prayed together, and now she is a Christian. She helps in our Sunday School classes and is also the secretary at the church. We praise God that she has turned from her wickedness and is living her life for the Lord.

Nyiramivumbi Pascasie

On the last Saturday of the month, we go to visit with those who are in the hospital. We give them clothes, food, soaps, and other items depending on what we are able to get every month. We also spend time praying with them.

Nyiramivumbi was very seriously ill, without someone to help care for her. People from our church continued to visit her in the hospital for months, praying with her and sharing about Jesus. God answered our prayers; and finally, Nyiramivumbi was well enough to go home. She began attending our church services and accepted Christ as her Savior last year. She is 83 years old and is very proud of being a member of the church that cared for her while she was ill. We continue to help her as different needs arise, and she is faithful in praying for others.

Pokot Outreach Ministries – South Sudan

The focus of our ministry over the past year has been evangelism, church planting, the training and equipping of leaders, and education. Evangelism was done in our five hubs and was significantly boosted by the Jesus Film machines. Over 15,000 people were reached and almost 500 came to the Lord! Four churches and several preaching centers were established and 77 people were baptized. We have had exciting moments with training of our leaders.

Among those who were impacted by our ministry is a woman named Lokeno, who came to the Lord as a result of our evangelist and mission hub leader to Mogos, Eliya Lokuru. Lokeno, who is due to be baptized this month, was formerly an ardent believer of African Traditional religion, which is a belief in animism. Preoccupied by a fear of spirits and malevolent gods, they seek the comfort, protection, and priesthood of witch doctors. They believe that every sickness, catastrophe and calamity has a direct connection to the spirit world. Therefore, charms and superstition give physical assurance of the control of the spiritual world. Lokeno had beads, bracelets, pieces of skin ropes and other things worn on the wrist, waist, neck, and some put in the house as an expression of her belief in the occult. She followed witchcraft and occult teachings, but after hearing the good news, it dawned on her that there is a loving God who loves and cares for her, who is appeased not by traditional sacrifices and superstition, but by a pure heart surrendered to Him.

After hearing the good news of Jesus Christ, and of the love of a good and gracious God, Lokeno stripped herself of all connections to her former way of life, giving up her belief in animism, burning her bracelets and charms, and completely surrendering her life to the Lord! She is so excited about her new found faith, and her testimony is leading others to church. She always testifies to others about the goodness of Jesus and is leading others to Christ. We praise God for her!

The other evident impact that our ministry is causing is to children. With the excitement of showing the Jesus Film, along with joyful singing and child-friendly games, our ministry is attracting many children, both in the villages and urban centers. At our main hub in Kapoeta, we have over 200 children attending our weekly activities. These children are from various family backgrounds. Some have both parents, while others are partial orphans and a few are total orphans. Some are living in the home of friends and others are street kids. We had previously taken 13 street kids and sponsored them to go to local schools. A few were later taken to a boarding school by a church organization that has similar interest in children. There are three who are now staying in the homes of believers in Kapoeta. One is a Toposa girl called Napem, who was drawn from street life by the love of Christ through our ministry. Her former life was the business of collecting used water and soft drink bottles, which were sold very cheaply to retailers to wash in order to repackage their liquid products such as cooking oil, petrol, or liquid soap. This hard street life orients boys to abuse drugs and use vulgar language. Most become desperate and alcoholic. Girls usually follow the same route, but also became commercial sex workers at some point. We are happy that the trajectory of Napem’s life was affected positively the day she joined our community. We sent her to school for a year, but she found it hard to continue since she is in her early teens and still in grade 1. She lives in the home of a church member. We are still exploring how to help her learn a trade or skill that can help her be self-reliant. She is part of our community and joins all activities with the teenagers at our church. I baptized her in December. She asked me to give her a new name on baptism day, and I called her Ruth. We hope that she will live to tell the goodness of God. I can’t tell of the joy in our hearts whenever I see her, and the many other lives, affected positively.