By Emmanuel Many
Have you ever been in a discussion and someone refers to the Church as poor? To be sincere, I’ve always found that discussion hard on my side. There are some people who ignorantly refer to the born again as poor. It’s usually done by the category of unbelieving, money-minded people who know little about Church. Some of them may have references related to how ‘Church’ has appeared to them in their recent life-time. Let’s not discuss ‘Church’ now. Let’s keep on the line of personal faith, which leads to a triumphant Church. A triumphant Church is immensely blessed and cannot be compared with a community where its own members meet once a week but remain strangers to each other.
As I read the book, The East African Revival Through Seventy Years’, I was impressed with Bishop William Rukirande’s description of the outstanding benefits of the revival. The revival had taken away tribalism and racism! Amazing! Do you see how spiritual transformation works? It went beyond changing individuals to transforming communities! Looking beyond, a sustained revival could lead to transcending peace!
Did you know that running away from God is the reason we remain indebted and equitable growth remains a dream? Did you know that only a revival can effectively transform a marriage to a glorious and unified family? Bishop Rukirande mentions that the revival led men to call their wives “Madam” and women started calling their husbands “Sir”. The revival was making people reconnect rightly, an act that would lead to unfathomable blessings. This naming culture was relevant to Sarah’s attitude towards her husband Abraham, whom she would call ‘my lord’ (1 Peter 3: 6).
Please tell me, how much money would you need to restore marriages in your community? Running away from God means people will begin looking for alternative solutions that even cost a lot of money. Even after expenditure, make an evaluation! The problem will likely be bigger than before. Whatever you fix with money, you might need more money to fix it again the next time it breaks down! The way to resolution of our misunderstandings is a revival, which simply means a return to the governance of one appointed by God, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6-7).
A revival can help resolve many problems we see as huge mountains today. Those of you who have seen the Muhabura mountain ranges of the Uganda-Rwanda-Congo border-line, you know how the mountains look so precious but we, the local people, don’t often go there for tourism. It’s generally expensive. Obviously, we can’t go over the mountains either. We must go round, and even then, we wouldn’t easily complete a voyage around them. That’s the type of education we have in most of Great lakes region countries, if not all; working hard in school, ever learning but still having large populations unemployed immediately afterward. There’s a huge risk if we educate our children for up to 20 years and afterward there’s no employment or their education is simply irrelevant. One parent will ask, what if I had invested that money instead? Now the private sector has ran crazy. Education which is a basic need, is a business! Parents sacrifice their investment to give their children decent education, but they must wait for others to create jobs so they can work for them! Would Jesus teach our children that way? But there’s hope, and this hope can be seen in our return to the same Lord we are running away from.
Bishop Rukirande mentions how Churches ran a revolution to educate children. He lists President Yoweri Museveni and the Late Prof. Apollo Nsibambi, the former Prime Minister of Uganda, as beneficiaries of this effort. You might have also heard President Museveni commend his mother for her faith.
Our generation today know little about the significance of the great East African revival. Please those who know more, share with the young generation your experiences of the revival. That historical success is critical for their growth as God-fearing, constructive citizens.
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