When lockdowns to combat Covid-19 struck the world in mid-March 2020, Uganda boasted one of the earliest and most vigorous efforts, taking a strong “prevention” approach, though not a single case was found in its borders at that time. After a one month review, Ugandan President Musevini renewed and increased the restrictions, to the point of decreeing a curfew from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM, and shutting down all forms of public transportation. In his March 25th speech, the president quoted the Bible, “Finally, I want to draw your attention to a Biblical verse. In Isaiah 26:20, it says, ‘Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the LORD’s anger has passed.'”
Debates about the effectiveness of the lockdown measures may continue for a long time, but among Believers, there is little debate that this precious verse pertains to the Bride’s absence during the great tribulation, not an endorsement of staying home during a pandemic. The world is not yet in the great tribulation, the rapture has not yet happened, and therefore the Bride is still being called.
Before the Covid-19 surprise hit the world, we were observing great numbers in Uganda being called to the Wedding Feast. But what happens when a pandemic and a revival collide? Surely this is a most unusual turn of events. Does the revival go on, in spite of the fact that the End-Time evangelists cannot travel and preach? Does the momentum die as Believers—and potential Believers—are cloistered in their homes for six months? The dropping of the Covid-19 curtain put many things into darkness, but now that restrictions are lifting, we are starting to see the answer.
Many of the newly called—called right in the middle of this dark time—are coming forward to enjoy their long-awaited Baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Nothing can kill a true move of God. While many churches have observed a cooling off of their Believers without the weekly propping up of church meetings, the End-Time revival has continued. Quite evidently, this Word carries special power. It can restore and rejuvenate in a dark cave, or even a prison cell, just as well as in a power-packed meeting. The unique situation in Uganda underscores the fact that the power is in the Word itself, not the environment which surrounds it.
At this time, churches in Uganda have re-opened, but are limited to 70 persons in attendance to allow for social distancing. In these meetings, baptismal services are taking place, as those touched by the Word during the lockdown are coming forward. In just one church, 32 baptisms have taken place in the past two weeks. Brand new groups are now embracing the Message, as we learned a few weeks ago when a group of Methodist minsters gathered in a remote place to hear the End-Time Word articulated by Pastor Stephen Ibale.
Needs still abound in Uganda, needs for Bibles, Church Age Books, and meeting places. As the curtain continues to lift, we must be prepared to support the flood of new Believers with the resources they need. Natural hunger is a not uncommon reality in poor countries such as Uganda, and as Jesus Christ said, the poor we will always have with us, and the lockdown has not helped. We do not disregard their needs. But our main mission is to equip Believers with the more important spiritual food, that will bring them eternal wealth.
Bible Believers solicits your continued prayers as we continue to watch this unique situation unfold, staying ready to step in and help however we can. Every prayer, and every financial contribution, is very much needed, and much appreciated.