Monday, September 30, 2013

A Day of Firsts

It seems that it is true every day of our trip, but this has certainly been a day of firsts.

  • To begin with, this was the first time that we have done any ministry in the Town of Jinja. Jinja is an historical place that lies on Lake Victoria at the source of the Nile River. We were able to train 20 pastors, mostly United Methodists, in discipleship, ministry, spiritual gifts and worship. Our work was well received by those who attended.
  • The church which was the site of today's meeting, Community Church of Faith, is an interesting place. They also have an orphanage which is home to 25 children, most orphaned by AIDS. They also have chicken coops at two locations. They eat the eggs and sell the chickens. They get most of their funds from contributions, but are trying to become self- sufficient.
  • Simon Ndegwa was our host pastor. He is a man of God from Kenya who serves as an associate pastor at Community Church of Faith. He was a gracious and caring host. I am hoping to get to know more of him in the future.
  • The highlight of my day was after our training was complete. We had a lunch provided by. The host church and as we were finishing up I stepped outside onto the very busy street. One of the pastors joined me to tell me about a ministry he is involved in, MJK- Making Jesus Known. They focus on street evangelism, drama and music to reach teens in the community. As he was telling me this two young girls walked by. This pastor called the girls over and told me that they needed prayer. I thought this was his "pick up line," but it turns out that they a part of a group of teens he has been trying to reach who are Muslims. He asked me if I would pray for them. I said I would love to. The girls knelt down on the ground to pray because that is what Muslims do. I pulled them up, held their hands and prayed that The Lord would reveal himself to them. And I prayed in Jesus' name. Please be praying that God will work in the lives of Saphina and Shiratt.
  • Joseph Kanyike, John Kiviiri, Chad Yoder, Brad Beatty and myself  have been discussing ways. To coordinate and organize our efforts in Uganda. We think that we have finally hit on it. Luanda is a Swahili word that means to prepare. Our mission is to prepare pastors and church leaders for the work of ministry. Be praying for this effort that we might glorify God and his work may be accomplished.
We are officially done with our work now. Tomorrow we are going to do a little sightseeing, visit with some friends so that we can say goodbye and then we are flying home tomorrow night. It will be a long trip (twenty hours of flying time) but we are all exhausted and ready to be home. This may be my last post for a few days, but keep checking back for updates and photos.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Lord's Day

Today began very uneventfully. We left our hotel for worship at 10am. It is just a short ride to Namboole UMC. In about 10 minutes we arrived at church and were getting ready for worship to begin when John Kiviiri, the pastor brought out a guitar for me to work on. While everyone was in the church singing and worshiping God- doing all the good stuff- I sat outside stringing an old Yamaha.

When I got it finished I was able to return to the service. There were songs by the choir- five young adults who sang beautifully, the children- about 10 elementary aged kids, and the congregation. Brad sang a couple of songs and I accompanied him on guitar. Chad preached this morning and did a great job. All in all, both of my teammates are doing good work. And I mean work. We are all working hard. Today we got one hour off to rest between five and six pm. Brad and Chad are both keeping a great and positive attitude as well.

After church- which lasted a little over two hours- we were invited to Pastor John's house for lunch. We were served rice, pineapple, boiled Irish (potatoes), a pan fried bread, chicken and a tomato sauce. It was all delicious. John said to me, "I am so honored you came to my house. You were so gracious to me when I came to America, I could never repay you." What a humble, lovely man.

As church was dismissing it began to rain. It is the rainy season after all. It rained throughout lunch and was still raining when we finished eating. We had to wait awhile because our van was being repaired. So we talked and relaxed and visited. After awhile we were still waiting for our ride. John made a phone call and we realized that the repairs were taking longer than we thought. We would need to walk home. We sat out for the mile trip in the rain. First down hill from the church and then uphill to the hotel. As we got to the last half block before the hotel, our driver pulled up to pick us up. We told him to go home we could make it the rest of the way. As he drove away, the sun came out and it stopped raining. Our timing was terrible.

Two things to especially note today-

  1. I got to see my old friend Racheal Newumbe. I met Racheal on my first trip to Uganda several years ago. We have corresponded occasionally and I brought her a music book for guitar. Many of you will appreciate knowing that it was Racheal who taught me the song Wange Wange.
  2. Also this evening I got to meet Joseph Kanyike's fiancee, Carol. She is a very nice young lady who is committed to Jesus and loves Joseph. As they were leaving this evening she pulled me aside and said, "Thank you for loving Joseph." Of course my reply was, "Thank you for loving Joseph." They seem well suited for one another and I believe they will have a long and happy marriage.
Tomorrow we are going to be teaching some pastors in the morning at Jinja, a larger town about one hour from here. They have confirmed that there will be at least 30 pastors there. Following that we are having some fun time. We are going to visit Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile River and a water fall before we have a nice dinner out in Kampala. I'll update you tomorrow.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another Day, Another Training

Today was quite an experience for us in Uganda. We were picked up at our hotel for a day of teaching in Joseph Kanyike's village. Joseph is my dear friend and an exceptional young man. He now lives in the city but grew up in the village of Ngugulo. So we left our hotel at 8am, only to stop less than a mile later. The van pulled off the street and we were told to get out for a few minutes because the clutch needed an adjustment. Of course, we Americans rolled our eyes and prepared to return to the hotel. We know that such an extensive repair would take several days and a lot of money. However, within 15 minutes we were back in the van and on the road. This place is a little bit amazing.

Once we got on the road it was quite a trip. First we drove on a road that was a little bit like a road in America. It was paved and relatively smooth, but there was a lot of traffic on it. There were more pedestrians everywhere than you can even imagine. We drove through several roundabouts until we were on a two lane road about 30 minutes later and clearly in the country. Another hour of riding and my seat was getting a little sore. This road was interesting in that periodically it was equipped with speed bumps. That is one way to save money. Fewer traffic enforcement officers are required. That is when we turned off for the last hour of our trip on an almost two lane dirt road. There were lots of ruts, holes and ditches.

Finally, we arrived at the church in the village. It was a tiny building, but was packed with about 50 people. There were mostly pastors and church leaders, but many of the local church members, including children, as well. It's hard for me think that there are very many churches in America that would be full on a Saturday afternoon.

Brad sang Lord, I Lift your name on High accompanied by two boys on the drums. He also sang Give Me Jesus and Amazing Grace. He did a great job. Chad taught on discipleship and Brad taught on worship. I spoke for quite some time on ministry issues including spiritual gifts and the work of equipping the saints.

We have found that fielding questions has been very popular. Between the three of us we can handle most of them. The only difficulty comes when we have issues with translation. Although the official language of Uganda is English, we are working with country, mission pastors who are much less fluent. So, we are all using translators. So a pastor asks a question in Luganda and it gets translated into English. Then we offer an answer and it gets translated into Luganda. If we misunderstood or if our answer needs followed-up on the process starts all over again. This becomes very tedious, but everyone seems to be staying engaged through it all.

After about three and a half hours today the final question was, "When are you coming back to teach us more?" It was definitely a positive ending to the day.

As we were leaving the church and heading back to the city, the pastor, Grace Ndembe (a man, by the way), asked how he could join the United Methodist Church. I didn't know what to tell him exactly, but we are working on a plan. God is moving here and I am glad to be a part of it.

Be praying for us. We have worship in the morning where Chad will be preaching. We are planning on a great day of rejoicing and worship. Then, we have a lunch with Pastor John Kiviiri, Joseph Kanyike and other members of Namboole UMC. After that we get to rest!

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Little Update...

First things first-

Shalom, Dorcas' two year old daughter, was taken to the hospital today. She saw a doctor, had some blood work done and received 30 days medication for the fungal infection she has. The cost was $35. Joseph, one of our main contacts, apologized because it cost us so much. We all smiled because we know in the USA that a visit to the ER with lab work and a prescription would only cost a little more than $35.

One sobering note about the hospital was seeing a family enter a building with a sign posted that said HIV/AIDS Clinic. That is something that we do not think nearly as much about in America as they do in Uganda.

Dorcas is very emotional about our visit. We helped her sick child, of course. But she apparently had a dream last week that some white people would come to her house. This dream occurred before she knew anything about our mission trip. She now knows that God prepared her for us and that he brought us to her. He orchestrated our meeting while we were still 8,000 miles apart. She said that she is already sad about us leaving and we still have four days.

Today's Teaching Time
Today we spoke mostly about the Bible, the importance of it, how it came to be, etc. The pastors were very appreciative of all our teachings. For three days we have been sharing things that seem very basic to me. But these men and women are eating it up. They are encouraged that people from the other side of the world are concerned about them and are taking the time and effort to support their work.

At the close of teaching Chad, Brad and I prayed for each pastor. They came up one by one and we laid hands on them and prayed. It was a powerful and moving experience for us. When we had finished, the Ugandan pastors asked if they could pray for us. Of course we said yes. They surrounded us. Laid hands on us. And prayed for us in English and Luganda. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me so far.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Our bags arrived today. Yippee! We were able to give the pastors some of the materials we brought for them just before they left for home. More importantly to Chad and Brad, I was able to put on deodorant and a clean shirt.
  • We met the cutest little girl today. Promise is about two years old, but unfortunately for me she is scared of me. She cried and cried. Maybe these children are a good judge of character. One lady said, "I don't know what's wrong. They have been wanting to see Muzungos (white people)."
  • That led to an interesting conversation with some others. Muzungo is the name for white people, but it doesn't seem to be an indication of prejudice. I was told that when I am greeted with "Hello, Muzungo," I should respond with, "Hello,..." But unfortunately I can't remember the name for black person.
  • Money is the biggest issue for these people. They don't have any. There is no industry to speak of and the wealthiest people are employed by the government. One person we met makes a living by buying things in the market and selling them at a profit. That is problematic because no one else has money to buy either.
  • We are considering what is next for our little project. Look for details on what we are calling Mission of Hope (for now anyway). Joseph wants us to support pastors and church plants. That has been in my heart for a long time and it truly seems to be where God is leading.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 4

God at Work
A few weeks ago I learned about a man called Allen Howe. Allen is a pastor who does pastoral training work in Uganda. I initiated a contact with him so that perhaps we could meet and share ideas and plans. I didn't hear from him for quite some time, but last week I received an email in which he indicated that he would be glad to meet with me, but was getting ready to go to Uganda. He schedule would not allow for the meeting before his trip. He suggested that perhaps we could meet in Uganda, but that didn't seem likely. He sent me his schedule and it turns out that Allen was on the same flight as we were. We got to meet momentarily in the airport in Brussels and then were able to visit for quite some time during the flight. God is at work in everything we do.

Our Favorite Thing... so far
By far, we have all enjoyed the music the most. Namboole Church, where our training is held, is providing their praise team for our seminar sessions. John Kiviiri's son, Daniel, plays the keyboard and drums (at the same time) and there are 3-6 young ladies who lead the singing. Most of the time we do not understand the words, but we certainly experience the worship. There is clapping, waving, hand raising, dancing, shouting and lots of energetic and loud singing. As Brad began his teaching on worship today he wondered what he was going to teach these people who have such a glorious relationship with God.

The different pastors at the training session have also been given opportunities to sing solos. They are not necessarily beautiful songs, but they are definitely heartfelt and true. Yesterday, two young men put on a cd and then danced to the Lord. It was different than what I would expect at home, but it was definitely good.

This morning we got to spend some time at the Wesley Preschool. There are 40 students there from 2 1/2 to 7 years old. The school is humble. Visual aids are all homemade. School uniforms are stained, tattered and nearly worn out, but these children are loved and cared for. They sang us a song to the tune of Frere Jacques called "Baby Jesus." It was beautiful.

We know that the world is a difficult place. Today we came face to face with that reality. It really began yesterday. Dorcas is one of the singers in the praise team. She also serves meals, washes dishes, listens to our teaching and has sweet and gentle spirit. At the close of our session yesterday, Dorcas invited us to her home. At first we thought she was being polite. We teased each other that she was flirting. But she seemed very serious about it and today she persisted.

Our plan is that tomorrow we will end the training after lunch. I suggested we come to her home after we finished then. But she insisted that she had been preparing for us to come today. So we relented and went.

She was so excited to have us come. We traveled in our van down one dirt road after another. It rained this afternoon so everything had turned to mud. Nothing looked nice today. Finally we were driving down a street that was filled with pedestrian and auto traffic, but was the size of an American alley. Children stopped to look at the van with the Mzungos (white people). Everyone was friendly, but we were very conspicuous.

Finally the van was parked and we set out on foot. The small homes were packed together in what seemed like a mishmash pattern. We followed Dorcas for about a block between homes, past latrines and through the mud. For a moment she took my hand and thanked me for coming to her house. When we finally arrived, her two youngest children greeted us. Maria is four years old and Shalom is two. When Shalom saw me she screamed and burst into tears. I think I was the first white man she had ever seen.

When we got into Dorcas' home she invited us to sit down. The total of her home was one room of approximately 10 by 15 feet. In it is a bed, a small couch, two chairs and a large cabinet. Chad, Brad and I sat, along with John Kiviiri and Joseph Kanyike our hosts. Then Dorcas told us the story of Shalom. For the last 10 days Shalom has had welts on her legs. She now has a large blister that covers the entire area between her nose and her upper lip. She is in constant pain and has a fever. Dorcas thinks that Shalom has small pox or measles or something. She really has no idea. Dorcas doesn't know what to do and can't afford a doctor. When we asked how much it would cost to see a doctor for Shalom we learned that it would cost between $10-$20. Dorcas does not have any money. We decided that we will be taking Shalom to the hospital tomorrow afternoon. Please pray for Shalom and Dorcas.

As long as you are praying for them:

  • Pray for Maria as well.
  • There is another daughter who is 11 years old. She lives in a village with her grandfather because her mother cannot afford all the children.
  • Dorcas lives alone with her two daughters, but her husband is her landlord. She does not pay rent, but lives next door to him. He provides no help or support to her. I am not sure of all the details, but Dorcas definitely has a hard life and complicated relationships.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Check this Out

If you are interested in seeing what our work is looking like find Chad Yoder and Joseph Kanyike on facebook. They have both posted pictures from our trip so far. 

Days 1-3, 25 September 2014

So much has happened since we left Indiana on Monday. We have been in non-stop motion. I'll try to hit the highlights, but I may not get things in order. Check back each day for the latest news on our Uganda Mission 2013. And stay tuned later in the week for some photos.

  • We left Argos, Indiana at noon on Monday. Dave Shivers drove the three of us to O'Hare Airport in Chicago. It was a great day for a ride and Dave was especially congenial. It was great to have someone who was willing to lead out in prayer for us as we left.
  • We checked in at the airport for our 6pm flight to Brussels, Belgium on United Airlines. I am not sure the size of the plane, but there were nine people in each row in the economy class and I was in the back row, row 45. The flight was good and we arrived in Brussels without incident at 930am. We then had to navigate through an unfamiliar airport that was not marked very well, at least for my liking.
  • By the time we found our way to our connecting gate, the flight was ready to board. This time we all sat in the back row. The flight left at 1130 and arrived in Kigali, Rwanda at 9pm. We took on more passengers there and then flew to Entebbe, Uganda. By the time we got off the plane in Uganda it was 11pm. This is where our first difficulty came up. (In fairness, it is our only difficulty so far.) Our luggage did not make it to Uganda. Thankfully the clerk was able to locate it right away. Our bags, including toiletries, clothes, snacks and even the Bibles that we collected for the pastors, will not arrive until Friday morning. We do believe that our luggage is having a nice vacation in Europe, however.
  • Our hosts, John Kiviiri and Joseph Kanyike were waiting for us outside the airport. They have arranged transportation for the week and got us to our hotel. By the time we got to our rooms it was 2am. This trip took us over 30 hours.
  • This morning we started our seminar for the local pastors. There were nearly 50 in attendance. We were hoping for 20, were promised 30 and now there is some thought that there will be more tomorrow. God is good. 
  • Brad was able to do some research on the possibility of getting internet connections for the pastors. Like most things in Africa, it seems as though it is going to be complicated and expensive. Please be praying that we will use wisdom and determine the best way to share the 3-5 Plan and the support and training that it hopes to provide.
  • Teaching/ Preaching is hard with a translator. Although Brad and Chad agreed that I should preach that way at home. Apparently they think I need a translator all the time.
  • The music and worship times have been great! We did not understand any of the words, but it was apparent that these people love God. There was singing, shouting, clapping and dancing.
Here is the tentative schedule for the rest of our stay.

Thursday- Seminar at Namboole UMC
Friday- Seminar at Namboole UMC
Saturday- Visit to Ngogula and training for pastors there
Sunday- Worship at Namboole UMC, Some touring
Monday- Meeting with Pastors in Jinja
Tuesday- Visit and fact-finding at Wesley Nursery School
               Departure from Uganda at 11pm

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Prayer Focus Times for Uganda Mission Trip, by Brad Beatty

Prayer Focus Times for Uganda Mission Trip
Monday, Sept. 23 – Tuesday, Sept. 24
12 noon Mon.–6pm Tues. – Travel
Wednesday, Sept. 25
2am-12 noon
Preparation for teaching, meeting new friends, and visiting needs of the church
Thursday, Sept. 26 – Saturday, Sept. 28
2am-10:30am – Worship and Teaching
Sunday, September 29 – Tuesday, October 1
2am-10:30am – some teaching, evangelizing, and visiting surrounding villages
Tuesday, October 1 – Wednesday, October 2
5pm Tues.- 4pm Wed. – Travel
We want to thank you all for your prayers and support for this trip! Our prayer is
that the Lord will work in amazing ways and that He will bless our time spent in
Uganda, and everyone’s time spent in prayer throughout this awesome adventure!
God bless you!
Pastor Dewey Miller
Pastor Chad Yoder
Brad Beatty

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What We Will be Doing, by Chad Yoder

I have always wanted to travel the world. Since my first week in ministry, I have wanted to tell everyone in the world about my God who reached out to me and changed my life. I am getting that opportunity this year on a global scale. In just 11 short days, I will board a plane in Chicago and, after a whole complete day of travelling, land in Entebbe, Uganda. I have had many inquiries about this trip so I will lay out the basics as I understand them so that you can all join with me in prayer for the pastors in Uganda.

As a basic starting point, we leave on September 23rd at 6pm from Chicago. (When I say ”we”, I mean Pastor Dewey Miller, Brad Beatty, and myself.) After a lengthy flight, we will land in Brussels, Belgium sometime during the day on the 24th. After a 3 hour layover, we will board another flight directly to Entebbe, Uganda, just north of Lake Victoria. Then, it is just a short cab ride to our hotel in Kampala, the Sportsview Hotel right next to the national soccer stadium. Wednesday will then be a recovery day. We will be getting ready for the rest of our week, as we prepare to teach.

Our mission is simple: we want to train pastors. We could travel anywhere and preach the Gospel, but we want God to take a permanent place in the hearts of Ugandans. We want continued discipleship taking place, a continuing renewal of Bible study, prayer, and accountability. The best way we can do that is to train new ministers on the ground in Uganda. So that is our whole purpose in Uganda.

We have called this idea The 3-5 Plan. 3 days, 5 topics of teachings. Pastor Dewey will be teaching the men on leadership, Bible study, and prayer. Brad will teach worship, as he is the worship leader at Dewey’s church. I will be training the men in discipleship and preaching. The seminar will span across 3 days. This time around, that means Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There will be a time of prayer and devotion each morning, followed by 2 hours of class time before lunch. We have 20 men (the most we felt we could really handle with only 3 of us going) split into two smaller groups of 10. So in the morning, the groups will go to different classes. Then in the afternoon, they will switch and attend the other session, followed by group worship in the late afternoon. We have done this not only to help with getting everyone’s questions answered during sessions, but also to promote small accountability groups for the men to call upon later. We want to promote the building of relationships among the pastors who attend. Ministers here need support and so do our men in Uganda.

Our original plan was to have 20 men trained during the seminar in Mukono, just outside the capital city of Kampala. However, we received an email with wonderful news: not only had they filled the 20 slots in Mukono, but they had an additional 20-30 men who desired training as well! Since we just learned of this about 2 weeks ago, we have added a one-day teaching session on Monday the 30th in Jinja, a couple hour drive from Kampala, to accommodate the added demand. In total, we will be training 40-50 new ministers from all across Uganda during 4 days of teaching. God is so good!

Our plan doesn’t stop there, though. The men who attend the seminar are expected to, in turn, have 5 disciples of their own by the time we return again next year. In essence, we are training 20 men, but we expect them to pass on the knowledge we give them to 100 more young men. There will be a continued correspondence when we get back to the States as well, including Youtube videos they can get together watch each month for additional training on specific topics. They will have regular email and Facebook contact with us, as well as continued updates on their own disciples.

There will essentially be a sort of licensing system. This first group of men will be second year leadership students when we return next year and their disciples will be first year students. The hope is that over many years, this multiplication will yield significant results not only for the salvation of Uganda’s people, but also for deeper discipleship and a greater percentage of disciples instead of just converts.

Our goal is to reach Uganda the best way we know how. I love the idea of training new leaders and sending them out. They can accomplish much more over their lifetime than I can in just the few days we will be there.
I hope that answers some questions and explains the 3-5 Plan in a way you can understand. We are extremely excited for this opportunity and are praying for God’s favor to be with us as we travel. I simply ask that if you have read this, please add us to your prayer list and even say a quick prayer for us now. Don’t just pray for us, though. Pray for these men who will be attending to learn more about God and being a disciple. Pray for God’s favor in their lives. Pray for God to open doors not only for us, but for these men to share the Gospel in their communities. We are praying for AWESOME things to come from this trip and we hope you will too! Thank you so much for your support and prayers!

P.S. – I will post regular updates, if possible, from our hotel each night. If not, I will post a lengthy summary of our trip when I return. Stay tuned for good news from Africa!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The 3-5 Plan

The 3-5 Plan

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3.5

The 3-5 Plan is a program designed to support Christians and churches in Uganda. The church in Uganda- particularly the United Methodist Church- has the opportunity to expand and grow in monumental ways, but there are many issues holding it back. One of those issues- perhaps the most important one- is a lack of trained and qualified pastors and leaders in local congregations. To that end this program will seek to disciple Christian believers in the basic tenets of the Christian faith, from a United Methodist perspective. There will be a special emphasis on training pastors and church leaders. In this way we will see that the local church will be built up to the glory of God.

The 3-5 Plan consists of three levels of training and involvement that will cover a time of approximately three years.

Level I. Intensive Discipleship

In the first year of the 3-5 Plan there will be an 'intensive' training component. The Intensive component of the 3-5 Plan will consist of a 'retreat setting' in which the leader and participants of the program will spend three days together at one location covering the basics of church leadership and discipleship. There will be an emphasis on face to face interaction between and among the leader and participants, relationship building and establishing accountability. Topics included in the Level I Intensive will include:

·        Basics of Bible Study.
      Old Testament.
      New Testament.
      How to study the Bible.
      How to lead others in Bible study.
·        Prayer Ministry.
      How to pray for the sick.
      Praying for the lost.
      Leading in prayer ministry.
      Public prayers and praying.
·        Preaching.
      Sermon preparation.
      Sermon planning.
      Sermon series'.
·        Discipleship.
      Church planting.
      Spiritual formation.
      Spiritual disciplines.
      Tools for spiritual growth.
·         Worship.
      Theology of worship.
      Worship practices.         
      Baptism and Communion.
      Leading worship.
      The importance of music.
·        Evangelism.
      Giving a testimony.
      Relationship building.

The second component of Level I could be called “Discipleship.” This aspect of Level I is focused on follow-up after the intensive. A sincere effort will be made to continue accountability and relationships in a 'long-distance' setting. The objective is to motivate all participants to maintain consistency in training, study and application.

There will be some follow-up materials provided for Ugandan participants of the 3-5 Plan. There are many resources that will be included, but among them will be resources on Bible Study methods and suggestions, Bible reading and small group resources and booklets and tracts that can be used on an individual basis as well as in a group setting.  Most importantly, at least to begin with, will be this book and the resources included in the Appendix.

Additionally, there will be monthly video teachings via a dedicated YouTube channel. These will be coordinated with the printed materials.  Topics of these teachings will vary according to needs in the Ugandan church and the expertise of those creating the videos, but may include:

      Youth ministry
      Developing a financial base for your congregation
      Ministry to the hurting and oppressed
      Issues in contextual ministry
      Suffering in ministry
      United Methodist Doctrine, History and Practice

Ugandan pastors and church leaders involved in the 3-5 Plan will also receive weekly emails, or have access to regular internet, facebook or blog posts. These weekly posts will be coordinated with the YouTube teachings and other printed materials. The specifics of these teachings will be based on the needs of the church, the strengths and weaknesses of the Ugandan leaders and current issues in church leadership. Each weekly contact will be original and unique, but will focus on a monthly theme.

All of these materials will serve to increase accountability and evaluation. Local participants in this program will be expected to participate fully at each of these levels. Although we anticipate that there will be difficulties in some ares with internet access and communication in general, there is a hope (and an expectation) that each of these components will serve to move each pastor to a more full and focused ministry.

The final component of the first level is prayer. The 3-5 Plan group will serve as a prayer and accountability group. Each member will covenant together to pray for one another and support all members in the Christian faith and the journey to effective and faithful discipleship. This aspect of the 3-5 Plan will continue throughout the three year program, and hopefully beyond it. The intensive will be bathed in prayer before it begins and prayer will be a hallmark of the retreat. Each piece of the follow-up procedure will be thoroughly prayed over. Video teachings and email correspondences will include times of prayer. There will always be opportunities for prayer at every turn.

There will also be a part of the entire program that allows for and encourages prayer requests and needs from Ugandan participants to US leaders and their congregations and supporters. This program will only succeed as leaders and participants pray together and for one another. We must not take this for granted. Perhaps the most important element of prayer is that the participants will be praying for one another. Meetings among participants throughout the three year program are focused on encouragement, accountability, sharing of needs and resources and prayer.

In Level I participants will be recognized for for completion of the intensive. There will be a concluding evaluation that will focus on participation and involvement in all aspects of the program. During the discipleship phase there will be check-in requirements for online assignments and regular written work that will be graded.

Leaders who complete Level I will receive a certificate.

Level II. Replication

In the second year of the 3-5 Plan each of the original five leader/ participants in Level I will find five more leaders to mentor and disciple. This means that Level I is duplicated five times over. Each leader is responsible for finding, discipling and training five others. In fact, each leader can (and is encouraged) to begin more than one group of five. The 3-5 Plan can quickly move from addition to multiplication in its impact. All of this activity should happen right away. Within one month of the original intensive there should be five Level I groups in addition to the original group that is now considered to be Level II.

Each leader is expected to recruit and disciple others. This expectation will be a part of an annual evaluation of every 3-5 Plan participant. There are no shortcuts and very few exceptions. Christians are called to make disciples and the 3-5 Plan makes this an imperative.

It could be that this aspect of the plan will manifest itself in the planting of new churches or 'faith teams.' Each 3-5 leader is expected to recruit, train and 'pastor' at least one new group.

Leaders who complete the faith team requirement will receive a recognition certificate.

Level II leadership can manifest itself in local churches, schools, workplaces, community or small group settings. Although the “intensive” three day retreat experience is not necessarily repeated at this level, there is plenty of room, opportunity and material for these groups to cover.  The focus is for each leader to begin the work of fulfilling the Great Commission right away. Each believer in Christ is responsible to share the message of the gospel with others. Leaders in the 3-5 Plan will do this by building up other believers and by recruiting new Christians within the church and alongside the church. It will be no surprise then, if new churches are started wherever 3-5 Plan participants live and work.

As a part of this replication, each student will translate one lesson (or resource) into his/her native language for use by all future leaders. Care will be taken to ensure that material is translated accurately and in a balanced way. The process of translation will have multiple benefits:

·        Access to the material will be easier for all people regardless of their ability to read and understand English.
·        Those who are involved in the translation of material will necessarily be more familiar with it and therefore have greater benefit in terms of personal discipleship.
·        Creating resources in Luganda will have a long term effect as the material will be available and used in perpetuity by those who long to grow in faith.
·        This newly translated lesson is then taught to the five leaders that follow the original participant as part of Level II.
·        Participants in Level II groups can join in and participate in the follow-up activities of Level I. There is no limit on reading on-line materials, participating in video lessons or other supplementary activities. Level II participants have access to all the resources of Level I participants. And since the material will be archived, and because new material will be consistently added, the library of available resources will quickly become significant. All of these materials will eventually be translated for use in Uganda.
·        This replication should take place among both church leaders and church members. The 3-5 Plan works to train leaders for ministry as well as leading all Christians in discipleship activities. Therefore, a leader of pastors/leaders could easily lead a group of pastors at the same time that he leads a group of his local congregational members. This will build up the church on two fronts.

Leaders who complete Level II will receive a certificate.

Level III. Instruction

The goal of all this activity is for pastors to gain the experience, knowledge and competence to plan and lead their own groups, churches and studies. In Levels I and II leaders are given the tools and experience to begin to lead of their own volition and planning. In Level III a pastor begins to take the initiative in the work of ministry with the safety net of supervision from Level I and II leaders. This will be accomplished in the third year of the 3-5 Plan.
Each leader will select one topic of local significance in his/her community. S/he will develop  a lesson plan and write resources appropriate to their setting. These resources will be used in leadership forum and training settings, as well as local church and ministry settings.

Some topics might include:
      Evangelism in a Muslim community
      Christianity and local religions
      Leading worship in the local setting
      Issues in local church ministry
      History of the church in Uganda
      Methodism in Uganda

The ultimate goal of the 3-5 Plan is that local pastors and church leaders will be able to take full responsibility for every aspect of the local church ministry. To that end, Levels I and II will seek to prepare participants to assume the reins of responsibility in Level III. Accountability, training, support and encouragement will continue, but ultimately in Level III Ugandan leaders will take charge.

Leaders who complete Level III will receive a diploma.

Those leaders who complete all requirements and courses at every level will receive a “ministerial certification.”