As the book of Esther closes, we find Haman, the enemy of God’s people, being hanged from the platform he had built for Mordecai. The irony in this is so profound that critics of the Bible have said this must be a fictional story. But in Uganda this Easter, a platform that was built to tear down the Message, was used to proclaim it. So great was the proclamation of a living Word in our day that it was picked up by national TV and radio, and broadcast around the country.
In our podcast of May 5th, Brother Fred Kiyingi tells the whole amazing story. The church in Nansana was one of the early churches to have received the Message in the awakening that broke forth in 2018. A humble church of 80-100, it is in fact fairly large by Message standards. With your help, Bible Believers was able to fund the construction of a building for these Believers in 2021, and the church has been carrying on faithfully.
But as Easter 2022 approached, a coalition of denominational churches from Kampala picked a site very close to this church to have a crusade of outdoor meetings. A stage was built, and a large expensive sound system was set up. As the meetings progressed, it became clear to the Believers that this was not just an evangelistic campaign, but the group had chosen this site to launch a larger attack against the Message of the Hour in Uganda in general, and the church in Nasana particularly, as well as Brother Fred Kiyingi personally. Well known ministers used these meetings to spread lies about the Message, accusing it of being an illuminati movement, referring to symbols found in the Message such as pyramids and eagles to make their point. The sound system was so powerful that the Nasana church was not able to hold services in their own building, and had to relocate to home meetings for a time. Also, it was discovered that the denominational group was planning to buy the land, and build a permanent facility there. The meetings had no end date.
After consideration, Brother Fred sat with the mayor of the area, wondering if they might have some legal recourse, as this was clearly a direct attack on a legally operating entity. The Nasana church had all their permits and paperwork in place. The mayor is a Muslim man, and when he learned that the Nasana church was not trinitarian (an anathema for Muslims) he sympathized with their predicament. But he also realized that the denominational coalition was very connected to the larger government, and to oppose it would weaken his own position. In order to give any help, he would need the support of the local population.
The Brothers had already been working on this. The Message of the Hour in Uganda has never been propelled by large, big-budget meetings, but rather is a grass-roots movement among the common people. Brother Fred and helpers from other churches began going house to house among the people of the area, proclaiming the truth about what they believed and taught. According to Brother Fred, the local population was very receptive. With this backing, the Mayor was able by some unknown means to force the denominational group to close their meetings and leave the area. But the Lord was not done. The mayor contacted Brother Fred and told him that he “must” conduct meetings in the same location, to “clear the minds of the people”. Brother Fred protested that he did not have the funds to do so. To his surprise, all the necessary equipment was offered to the Believers for free!
During the Easter weekend, the meetings were held, and were attended by upwards of 1500 people from the local area. On Easter Sunday, the Nasana church was swarmed by a crowd of visitors so large that the service was held outside on the church grounds. At least 500 were in attendance instead of the usual 100 souls. But perhaps most striking of all, the larger situation attracted the notice of the national press, and reporters with camera crews showed up, wanting to interview Brother Fred. For a time, he declined all interviews, not wanting to give the perception of any controversy with another church. But finally, he agreed, after imploring them not to say anything negative about the other group.
Brother Fred’s comments were aired on two major radio stations, and also on National TV. The Believers meeting times were also announced, providing free publicity. True to Brother Fred’s desire, the reporting did not highlight anything controversial, but simply gave Brother Fred a chance to testify to what he and Message Believers believed and taught. A section of his comments was aired on TV, without comment or criticism.
The greatest result of these meetings is that more than 50 people have been baptized so far, and more are declaring their intentions to do so. A retired general, turned pastor, from the administration of Idi Amin has given his full support to Brother Fred as have others.
The long-term effects of this amazing turn of events are hard to predict, but clearly, the hand of the Lord is evident. The Believers did not pick this controversy and did nothing to propel it along. But the attack ended up giving them a platform they never could have paid for. And shortly after that, the land on which the denominational group had intended to build a facility was purchased by a business, and from now on will be used for business storage.
We praise God for His miraculous intervention in this time of trouble. This platform, built to tear down the Message, was used to proclaim it as never before.
Brother Fred Kiyingi on NTV News
Podcast: How Opposition Turned Into Blessing - with Brother Fred Kiyingi
Click the podcast image to listen to the entire episode.
-SUPPORT THE WORK-
To support the work in Uganda and you live in Canada, please contribute to Cloverdale Bibleway by using the button below. If you live in the USA or beyond, please use the Bible Believers button below. God bless you!