Uganda (MNN) — This past summer's al-Shabaab bombing in Kampala, Uganda caused 76 deaths. When Ugandan officials arrested a suspected terrorist on a plane a week ago, that was the last straw. No more risks would be taken. New guidelines for public gatherings were immediately issued.
The new guidelines came just in time for the Luis Palau Association Love Kampala Festival in Kampala, Uganda's capital city.
Despite increased security from medal detectors to a host of Ugandan police, the two-day festival boasted 82,000 people.
The Livin It® action sports team gripped the attention of many as BMX biking, freestyle motorcross, and skateboarding professionals performed stunts never before seen by most Ugandans. The crowd danced and worshipped as they engaged with the music of U.S. recording artists Nicole C. Mullen and Dave Lubben, along with popular Ugandan artists, the African Children's Choir and Jamaican reggae and gospel singer Papa San.
Andrew Palau spearheaded the festival and testified to thousands how Christ had rescued him from a life filled with drugs, alcohol and promiscuity. He proclaimed a message of hope and love in Christ to the people there, making it clear that "God loves Uganda, and He loves you."
Perhaps the most significant result of the festival was the way in which it brought 1,000 Ugandan churches from various denominations together in unity. Vice President of LPA Alliance Ministries Dr. Tim Robnett notes, "The festival accomplished the goal of fostering a new level of trust and collaboration among churches which will lead to future locally-run evangelistic campaigns and church growth. From the beginning, our purpose was to create a sustainable network of church, business, and government leaders willing to work together to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the region."
Palau's entire visit to Uganda was a good start toward this goal. He visited a slum area where his team installed the community's first-ever public toilette facility. The team also provided a water retrieval and storage system for a community with no running water. Wherever he went, Palau preached the Gospel.
Palau also visited four prisons with the athletic team. After he spoke to over 3,000 in one maximum security prison about salvation in Jesus Christ, over 2,000 decision cards were returned indicating people had prayed to accept Christ as Savior.
In addition to these engagements, Palau spoke in several other venues, preaching the Gospel at public schools, universities, a leadership dinner attended by members of Parliament, a women's banquet and a sports event attended by some of Uganda's top athletes. While Palau spoke, various other Christian communities teamed up to provide medical clinics, blood drives, food distributions, clean water projects, sanitation and neighborhood renovation work.
Throughout the visit to Uganda, thousands of lives were touched and thousands were introduced to the Gospel. Pray that thousands would indeed respond to the power of the Gospel and that impoverished Uganda would become a place of spiritual wealth.