“My preaching weighs more than my age” – indications of impact

It is always encouraging to hear about BUILD’s impact. Trainers and participants often write and share what is going on in their lives, and here are just a handful of comments. They speak for themselves, not least because of their context: the reports included the challenges they were facing, which included ill-health, loved ones lost, insecurity and numerous accidents.

Noah, a young priest from eastern Uganda, underlines the opportunities that BUILD has opened up for him: “Amidst the challenges God has been in control, and through the BUILD classes I have been given opportunities due to the way I always handle the scriptures. I was given the opportunity to be mission coordinator of the archdeaconry, and given the opportunity of training all the mission coordinators of all the twelve parishes with the BUILD programme. I was also given the opportunity to preach before the archdeacon. People commented that my preaching weighs more than my age and wondered where I was trained.”

Despite the many difficulties that David, a pastor from western Uganda, is facing, he shares: “The BUILD programme has improved my leadership skills, and because I am now confident in biblical interpretation I can stand in front of educated people having confidence that what I am going to say to them is true and the real message of God. I have now started a Bible study class at the archdeaconry headquarters: every week the number of participants increases because of the real message they get from the Bible. And every Sunday the congregation increases because of the message they are receiving.”

Catherine, a church worker from central Uganda in her early twenties, explains how the training has empowered her beyond expectations: “When I was in the field I was not expecting anyone else to help when carrying out my training to the group, but I want to thank God that I was helped by the Diocesan Secretary, who helped me to organise the participants. The people gave me maximum respect that I never expected and also patience: this was a miracle because I thought that I could not manage and even in my preaching God made me strong.” As a result of her growth in confidence and competence she was fast-tracked for ordination and further studies.

Matthew, from South Sudan, begins with a gracious understatement: “Though Christians are not settled due to the insecurity that sparked off in South Sudan, the church is progressing. This helped us a lot to mobilise participants for the BUILD programme from the four archdeaconries of Nzara Diocese. As the BUILD programme has rooted its seed in South Sudan and Nzara Diocese in particular, we therefore hope that it will be scattered to all dioceses in South Sudan. This is because God is our refuge and strength.”

Mercy, a Christian worker from Kenya, explained how the training, coupled with practical challenges, strengthened her as a leader: “I appreciate the BUILD course because it has taught me to be a leader of integrity who can lead by faith even in hard times. I have learnt to trust in God’s wisdom that will help me make decisions that are right and valid. It is as a result of the much I have learnt in this course that I have not given up in ministry during the hard times I have been through.”

It is our hope and prayer that these indications of impact will be multiplied up as these trainers and more besides pass on BUILD to others.