September 30, 1973 – August 4, 2022
In August 2022, Michael Lopuli completed his life’s ambition to translate the Exposition of the Seven Church Ages into his native Karamojong language in Uganda; then almost immediately, he passed away. Here is the story, as told by his dear friend, Losike John Jonathan.
Michael Lopuli was born on September 30, 1973 in Kotido District, Uganda. He was the first born to Akello Mary and the late Logit Samson. He first encountered the Message in the 1980s. As he was walking one day in Alerek village, he saw a piece of paper and felt the urge to pick it up. It was a photo of a man with the Pillar of Fire above him. He believed it to be real, unlike the painted fire above the so-called saints in the Roman Catholic Church. He told me he longed to know more about this man but did not have any more information.
In the 1990s he visited a friend, who happened to be the brother of a Believer. There, he saw a book with a photo, and remembered the photo of Brother Branham, the Pillar of Fire above his head and the writing below it. He wanted the book but could not borrow it because it belonged to someone else who was not there at the time. It wasn’t until 2002 that a Believer was able to share the message of salvation with Michael, and he believed. This was no small miracle because he had been a staunch Catholic.
He was taken to Abim, Uganda, to be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. During his visit to the pastor’s home (Brother Yox) he was given some message books and a newspaper with articles concerning Brother Branham’s ministry. After nearly twenty years, Brother Michael found what he had been longing for. He took the books from Brother Yox and began to read them.
When he went back to Alerek, Brother Joel, a pastor in Alerek, gave him some more books, including the Seven Seals, and the Seven Church Ages as well as some message tapes. From the first day Michael started reading the message books in 2002, he never one time questioned any statement of the Prophet. I remember when I first understood the Message in 2006, all the Brothers rejected me except Michael and another Brother. The rest rejected the importance of reading the messages of Brother Branham. I never argued with them, but left the church to avoid causing confusion. Michael did not see it that way. He wanted me to remain in the church and help share the Message with them. That was the only point I ever disagreed with Michael up to the day of his departure, but it did not hinder our relationship. The Message was our constant topic of discussion every moment we were together. I will always miss that.
Translation of the Seven Church Ages Book
The message books received strong resistance from the Brothers in Karamoja. They said the books would lead the Brothers astray from the Word of God. I left the church, but Michael remained. Eventually, some Brothers started to see the Message. This put the Message in direct conflict with the church in Karamoja because they interpreted the Bible differently. One subject of contention was that of marriage and divorce. These kinds of conflicting interpretations caused serious arguments among them, causing the few who believed the prophet’s interpretation of the scriptures to be excommunicated.
The Karamoja church divided into two groups: Those who believed the Message, and those who believed the local ministry above Brother Branham’s messages. The reasons given by non-believers of the prophet’s message included the fact that they could not understand English, therefore they could not understand the Message. This sparked the idea of translating the Message in the Akaramong language. Using a borrowed laptop, Michael began to translate part of the Seven Church Ages book.
We started with that for two reasons:
- It contained most of the doctrines of the Bible as revealed by Brother Branham. Therefore, having the Church Ages book translated would give a Christian much of what the prophet taught.
- The Church Ages book was written in perfect grammar, without repetitions. This gave Michael a good exercise in translation, so he could later translate the sermons.
We chose to start with the part about the serpent’s seed for our first translation. Michael would translate, and I would proofread. We agreed on one main principle: to translate the prophet’s Message without changing the meaning. Brother Michael never inserted his own ideas into the translation. When Brother Yox heard of our desire to translate the Message, he came and encouraged us to continue, and the Brothers contributed money for a laptop computer. Michael continued his work of translation using the new computer and a Brother in Kampala volunteered to print translated message books.
Brothers in Moroto wanted translations of the sermons, but I advised Michael to finish with the Church Ages book first. He continued the translation work until he was attacked by Tuberculosis. He was taken to Mulago National Referral Hospital where he received treatment. He was discharged and after a few days he resumed his work. The Lord would not call him home until he completed his mission.
Michael was first diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2020 at Abim hospital, and after six months of treatment, he looked stronger and healthier. But after some time, he started coughing again. In June 2021, he was again taken to Abim hospital where he started nine months of treatment. He was not improving. In May 2022 he was taken to St. Kizito Hospital Matany, where he was referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital. He stabilized and was discharged from Mulago Hospital after three days. This release was critical to his mission. Even while battling with the disease, Michael would use his little energy to translate. He wanted very much for the people to read the Message and come to the knowledge of truth as God has sent it to us through His prophet in these last days. From his home, he continued translating until he finished the Church Ages book in late July 2022.
I called Brother Michael on the 30th of July 2022, at 7:00 in the evening. When he received my call and I asked him how he was feeling, he told me that he was weak and that he had difficulty breathing. He told me that my call had awakened him, and he was speaking for the first time in many hours. He said his life was almost going away. His whole family had gathered where he was. When he gave the phone to his wife and I asked her how his condition was, I could hear him in the background saying, “Do not give John a lot of worries.” He was taken to Kotido General Hospital on the 2nd of August 2022. Michael breathed his last and departed this world at 5:00 AM August 4, 2022.
After Brother Michael passed away, Brother Busobozi came to visit and comfort the family. He also needed to identify a replacement for Michael, to continue the translation work. Michael had identified his brother, Losike John Jonathan, since they had started the translation work together. I am that brother, who has given this account, and the translation work goes on.
I am also happy to report that prior to Brother Michael’s departure, there was a reconciliation with the Brothers who had excommunicated him long before. There are now many Brothers in both the Moroto church and Matany church who have come to believe the Message, and are now translators themselves!
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