On the first day of teaching at the Lutheran Theological College in Uganda, I asked my class of second-year seminary students to say something about their church. The response overwhelmingly was: “We are sharing the Word of God.” Later in class, I asked what excited them about their upcoming vicarage. One student quickly replied, “Evangelism and church planting.” Another later told me, “I wish you could be here in August. I’m going to plant a church.”
With responses like this, it’s no wonder churches in Africa are growing. Studying Paul’s letter to the church in Rome with them was a wonderful way to learn about their excitement. In this letter, Paul clearly explains the Gospel and how it impacts people’s lives. We took the time to go through the whole letter and see how God holds all people guilty so that all may receive His mercy in Jesus Christ, who gave Himself on the cross and rose again from the dead.
The Lutheran Theological College in Uganda opened in 2016, and its first class will graduate in 2020. From what I saw of the students, they will be ready. Even now, they are excited to preach, teach and administer the Sacraments. They are excited about planting new churches, and they know the challenges that lie ahead.
At the seminary, professors like Enoch Macben, Peter Maganda and many others are exemplifying how to be faithful pastors and preachers. It was a great privilege to serve under and alongside these men, as well as Bishop Charles Bameka and the rest of the Lutheran Church in Uganda.
The sermons my students wrote in class on texts from the Book of Romans show they will be able to preach God’s Word. They understand Law and Gospel. They are excited and ready to share God’s Word. As I think back on my brief time there, I thank God for these students, their country and their church, and I pray that God showers His blessings on all.
Story by Rev. Jacob Mueller – sole pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Emma, MO