It’s in the context of the heart language that individuals should know God. In Uganda, most of the best doctrinal training is in English, and yet Luganda is a widely spoken language. Uganda Bible Institute student, Joseph Sizomu Matovu, mourns this as most Luganda-speaking preachers don’t teach correct doctrine. This is why Joseph said, “I long to train in correct doctrine, not only in English, but also in Luganda.”
Besides the fact that it is his native tongue, Joseph has personal reasons for wanting to equip Luganda-speakers. When he first put his trust in Christ, many of his important questions on his faith went unanswered for lack of guidance. Joseph wishes better experiences for new believers. “Issues of prayer, reading the Bible, sharing with others, sin, how media relates to our walk with Christ, spiritual growth, the Holy Spirit, ministry to others – these need to be covered with new believers.”
It’s not empty talk. Before attending the Word of Life African Bible Institute, Joseph practiced this level of discipleship with six young Luganda-speakers. Picked off the streets of Kampala during a Calvary Chapel Kampala “drop-in” program, these boys accepted Christ as their Savior. When approached by counselors, they were interested in getting off the streets to grow in Christ and to pursue an education. By the time Joseph joined the ministry, they had been taken off the street to live in a discipleship house and were going to school.
For 2 years, Joseph lived with these young men in this same house, a house which became an environment for discipleship steeped in God’s Word and personal accountability relationships. They shared struggles and victories, sought encouragement in God’s Word and stood together in prayer. “This is what accountability looks like.” Eventually, these boys will have learned a skill and will hopefully continue to live their lives in a way that gives Christ glory.
As a student, Joseph brought both his passion for the Luganda ministry and personal discipleship to the Word of Life African Bible Institute. Since coming, Joseph says that his ability to touch lives for Christ has improved – he was timid in sharing the Gospel but has found confidence in learning how to give a clear presentation. He said, “I am glad for the fruit that God has brought out of my learning experience at the Bible Institute, and I hope to carry on sharing the Gospel. At first I aimed to reach those who have accepted Christ but desire to grow through discipleship. Now, I am equipped to share the Gospel with nonbelievers.”
It’s his passion to work with community projects that meet Luganda-speaking communities’ physical and spiritual needs that will give him avenues for sharing the Good News of Christ. It’s this kind of atmosphere – of discipleship and servant-hood – that’s Joseph’s ambition.