Theology of Work Paidha, Nebbi Disrict, Uganda Report
Sonya Undugu Initiative Foundation
Theology of Work is a divine purposed goal and plan to help God’s people gain an understanding and application on God’s perspective and purpose towards work, and how God intends to accomplish his purposes and plan for creation and redemption. It is our goal that our churches will recognize that the calling of people in the work place is equally important to those ministers who are called to serve them. Further, it is our goal that our pastors and church leaders will learn to empower ordinary people to integrate their faith and life from Monday to Sunday, and to remove the barrier between what has been defined as “spiritual/sacred” and “secular.”
Henceforth, we believe therefore that, it is going to be a paradigm shift in view of these truths, and that Churches will witness ordination of professionals, Business leaders, political leaders, Artisans and farmers to serve as Christ Ambassadors in the market place. God ordained work and because we are His ambassadors, we have been assigned to this noble task in order to carry on with His plan and purpose to the whole world.
An East African Theology of Work Teaching Tree
Five days training in Paidha, Nebbi District in Uganda
I am hereby impressed and excited to report that Theology of Work course program is transformational and inspirational that cuts across the board in matters to do with evangelism in the market place. It is a strategic means to reach out to the whole world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ holistically. At Jerusalem PEFA church, Paidha, in Nebbi District, we held a training that brought together 100 participants. It was overwhelmingly and remarkably attended beyond my expectation. We planned a class of 55 participants, but God convened His own class of 100 people in number. Thank God that we were able to provide food for everyone. 52 leaders camped at the church premises and the rest paying for their own accommodations.
The well represented and highly attended class comprised of leaders from Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, most of them being the refugees whose nations have been affected seriously by recurrent civil war and also the Ugandan nationals who refused to be left behind. At the same time, we had a class of 5 Muslim men and two Muslim women who are now converted to Christianity represented.
Uganda is hosting over 4 million refugees mainly in the Northern part of Uganda. They entirely depend on relief food which is, like giving fish for one day and people remain on the waiting mood, not knowing whether they will eat tomorrow or not. Theology of Work is coming in to fill the gap, challenge the waiting attitude and help the refugees understand that, as much as they are waiting for handouts from well-wishers like NGOs, they still have God given gifts, talents, skills, and abilities to do work as a livelihood provision as well as serving and worshipping God as was commanded by God to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is helping them to unlock their potentials and see Jesus Christ in action as they serve and worship God.
I was amazed to see diverse of professionalism represented. It was a class of church leaders, bishops, pastors, government officials, teachers, business people, doctors and engineers. We also had radio presenter who wished that we should have a class with her colleagues at their working place. We were also blessed to have an army officer working with Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) who called back at the office to be granted five days leave to attend the training. He promised to take the teachings back to his colleagues at the Barracks. I cannot forget to mention Madam Sylvia, the owner of a Guest House where I spent five nights. She joined and sat patiently in my class for five consecutive days.
For a long time, work has been considered to be secular and for livelihood rather than a calling and God has little effect or completely has nothing to do with work. It was time to challenge this misconception and reconnect God’s people back to the original purpose will of God towards His created mandate.
For the first time in history, since I started teaching Theology of Work, Social Economic Empowerment, Leadership Development and Church Planting after my graduation in 2007, at Carlile College, Church Army, I was glad to have 11 bishops in number who sat under my feet to be taught how to unlock, nurture and empower people’s potentials and make them relevant in the society where they have been called to serve God. This is amazing; it is awesome and overwhelmingly received with both hands.
I gathered stories from different people related to Theology of Work concept and it is amazing to here positive declarations to have this course right at the grassroots. Nebbi class is as a result of Arua district class that graduated in May 2010. One of the student’s in Arua class, Rev. Geoffrey of PEFA Church had a heartfelt to extend the course to Nebbi district. He realised how important and transformational it was to help his congregations, community and business people to benefit from the training as well.