Friday’s elections shouldn’t hinder Bible Translation

By February 14, 2011

Uganda (MNN) — Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni is up for reelection again, after a 25 year reign.

This Friday's election will determine if Museveni will stay in power, or if one of the three other candidates will take his place. Museveni's long term rival Dr. Kizza Besigye is in the running again, along with newcomers Nobert Mao and Olara Otunnu. Two other candidates have also been mentioned.

According to the BBC, Museveni's popularity has fallen over the past few elections. The last run got him 59 percent of the vote. In the 1996 election 10 years before, he had 75 percent of the country's support.

Some say that after a quarter of a century, Museveni has overstayed his welcome. The people of Uganda will be the judge of that, though, this Friday, February 18.

Whatever happens, Wycliffe Bible Translators director for Uganda and Tanzania, Liz Thomson, doubts that ministry will be very affected. She says political changes should not dictate much in the way of ministerial changes, especially thanks to the large influence the church has in the country.

"I've not got any sense in which it would be problematic this year," says Thomson, who goes on to add, "but it's always worth praying for the elections and for the outcome of the election."

Prayers may be in order against violence as well. Rumors are floating around that civilian brigades may form, and could get ugly, during election time.

Thomson is optimistic, though. Peace has long been a aspect of Ugandan presidential elections. "We are just very grateful to God that in the past the elections have gone very peacefully," reflects Thomson.

The ministry is on their guard just in case. "We always have to be cautious over the time of elections, in case there is any civil unrest associated with it, but we've never had any setbacks as a result of elections."

Pray that that would continue to be the case right now, as Wycliffe's work is truly too important to lull. The ministry is currently involved in translating the Bible in 13 different languages. Beyond translation, Wycliffe makes Scripture more accessible to people across the country through distribution in local churches, and through literacy programs. (You can adopt one of these language group in prayer. Learn more here.)

National uncertainty typically breeds questions and some unrest. Pray that Wycliffe staff and other Ugandan believers would proudly preach the Gospel during this time. Thomson adds, "Pray for the churches–if there is unrest –that the church will be preaching peace and unity, because I think at times of civil unrest, that's when differences come to light."

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