Outreach Ministries on the Lake Victoria Islands
It's a long way to Sigulu Island. And even farther to Lolui Island in eastern Lake Victoria.
Closer to Kenya than they are the Uganda mainland, they are part of the Buvuma chain of islands.
Rev. Gabriel Ojambo is the overseer of this area and has led a dedicated team of church planters who have started quite a few churches on the islands.
He commented, "The island churches are a challenge. It's a long way there by boat, and transport is difficult and costly."
"But the people there need the Lord, and this area is very underreached."
The Africa Gospel Church has about 20 churches in the area, and about 30 pastors and evangelists who are in our pastoral training / church planting training programmes.
Many of the churches on the island are very basic shelters with mud walls and grass roofs.
They serve well during the dry season, but are often inadequate when the rains and winds come.
"We're trying to help raise funds for roofing sheets for these churches. People contribute what they can when they can, and slowly we are making progress. It's not as fast as we'd like, of course," remarks Rev. Ojambo, "but we do what we can. People from all of the churches give to help one church at a time get a good roof."
Jon Ewing, a missionary with World Gospel Mission, recently joined Gabriel and several evangelists on a series of evangelistic crusades and Jesus film showings on the island.
"It's a long way out there. Really a long, long way," Jon commented. "And when I got there I was amazed and humbled at the ministries I found there."
Groups sang, the Gospel was preached, and in the evenings, the Jesus Film was show with the help of a small generator and a compact video projector.
"It's really a great ministry," Ewing commented. "The Jesus Film really helps people see what they have heard just a little about. And out there on the island, there is nothing like this, so it's quite the event."
And that is true in many places in rural Uganda.
"When we show the Jesus Film, people come. Many come, I think, because there is nothing else to do. But they come. And when they do, they come face to face with an amazing story about God's amazing love, and many come to Christ," says Rev. Emmy Mugisha, General Secretary of the AGC.
One big challenge, of course, is the follow up of these new believers. Rev. Ojambo spends a lot of time encouraging the island pastors and evangelists to do proper follow up and discipleship.
A number of the islands are very, very rugged, and while there are many people there trying to farm and fish, the area is very underreached.
Rev. Ojambo says, "Yes, it's a long way out there. And the ministry is hard. But the people need the Lord."
"So, we go."