Christians resource impoverished pastors in Uganda

By December 17, 2008

Uganda (MNN) — Poverty remains high in Northern and Eastern Uganda's rural areas. Even
though the government has made great strides toward overcoming poverty, it still affects about 46% of the
population.

One condition that has a particularly severe impact on poverty reduction
in Uganda is peace and security. Due to unstable political conditions in the
north and west, large displacements of people and broken infrastructure, the condition
persists.

In these isolated areas, like
many other uprooted workers, pastors make roughly 30 cents per month, according
to Sues Hyde with International Bible Society-Send The Light.

She says that's also why they
resourced 160 pastors. "These
pastors live in a highly-Muslim area. Most of them have been displaced
at some point in their lives. They are faced everyday with decisions we will
never face. "

Hyde was part of a small team of IBS-STL
staff and volunteers who brought Bibles, reading glasses, and Bible training to
rural northern Uganda. More than 160
pastors and church leaders traveled hours by foot and bicycle to attend the
14-hour-a-day conference.

Due to the
overwhelming poverty these church leaders face, few would ever expect to have
basics. A
Bible can cost up to three times a pastor's annual salary. Hyde says, "For them to be given the
tools to understand how to develop a Christian worldview is equipping them for
life. That includes a lifestyle of evangelism and discipling." 

Little good comes from having a Bible, however, if the person
can't see to read it. So, the team brought more than 200 pairs of reading
glasses. Older participants and teachers from a nearby school snatched these up
eagerly.

Hyde says training and helping
these impoverished church leaders provides invaluable support for future
outreach. "The pastors were elated.
Many of them would never, in their lifetime, be able to get a pair of reading
glasses. First we handed out the glasses, and then the
Bibles.  I have never heard such
wonderful praise as when these pastors were given these tools."

More Bibles are needed in this desperately poor region. Because royalties
from the NIV family of Bible
translations cover overhead, 100 percent of donations go to Scripture ministry.
Visit www.ibsstl.org/ministry
for more information.

 

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