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Brief Story of Gulu, Uganda, East Africa

Establishing the Methodist Church in Gulu, Uganda

Thumbnail Sketch of Gulu Methodist Partnership Inc

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            When a local church feels the Spirit moving them to do missions beyond their own church and community, they need to decide, “Are we being led to give a little assistance to a lot of missions or are we to make a major commitment  to a small part of God’s great harvest field?”
            The Gulu Methodist Partnership Inc (GMPI) began as a mission ministry of the Hindman United Methodist Church (HUMC) to make a major impact on the Gulu District of the Methodist Church and its local churches in their efforts to make disciples in their churches and communities. 
            Bishop James R. King Jr. introduced the local churches of the Kentucky Annual Conference to the plight of Northern Uganda Methodist Churches and invited them to get involved.  HUMC was one of those churches that responded. They studied the devastation that was left in Northern Uganda in the wake of the two decades long civil war between the LRA rebel army and the government forces of Uganda.  HUMC developed a heart for the Gulu District that only grew after hosting the Hope for African Children’s Choir; many of the children were orphans from Gulu, Uganda. 
          The HUMC formed a relationship with Gulu District Superintendent (DS), David Ntogohnya, and began assisting the Gulu District Methodist Churches as the DS directed. This relationship morphed into a partnership.
          Before long, other churches and individuals joined in this mission. From the beginning, it was the vision of HUMC that one day GMPI would involve more local churches, and individuals and become an independent Federal 5O1c3 Non-Profit Mission independent of the HUMC.
          This vision was realized. In 2011 GMPI formed an illustrious Board of Directors (BOD) that included a medical doctor, a circuit court judge, pastors, school educators and administrators, an accountant, and business people. Working together the BOD formed the Gulu Methodist Partnership Inc (GMPI). The Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2011 and GMPI applied for a Federal 501c3 status which was issued in 2012.
          This is a relatively young mission, yet God has accomplished much through the work of the Officers, BOD, the generous donors and the members of the GMPI sponsored Volunteer In Mission Teams.

          These are some of the accomplishments. All the glory goes to God who moves human hearts to serve and give and Who blesses their efforts.

Gulu Pastors

Pastors Support – Each Gulu Pastor and the Gulu District Superintendent receive each quarter:  $150 support, $15 for internet use and $30 for church and community ministries. In a country where the average salary is $1 to$2 dollars a day, this support is a significant help but they and their spouses still need alternate sources of income.

Pastor TrainingPastor and Lay Leadership Training –Pastor Training during Mission TripFunds are provided for holding seminars taught by the Gulu District Superintendent, David Ntogohnya (an Asbury Seminary Graduate), African subject matter experts and short term missionaries from the United States. The DS and District Lay Leadership Team have placed clergy and lay training as a priority. Lay persons have had little to no discipleship training. Those chosen to be local pastors, have had little pastoral training. It was at one of these training sessions that local pastors were taught how to serve communion and churches received communion for the first time in years.

Land for Gulu Methodist Churches

Property Purchases – The donors to GMPI has enabled the purchase of property for the Gulu UMCs. One such property (pictured here) is prime real estate ($30,000) and is near the Gulu University. It could one day be used for a student (youth or children) center or  for an orphanage. 
District Conference Center

Hospitality LodgeContruction Projects -The GMPI sponsors Volunteer In Mission (VIM) Teams to construct the District Conference Center (left) and is now working on the Hospitality Lodge next door (right). Funds are provided for Gulu District Leaders to do the work before the teams arrive and after the teams return home. Tailoring Business


Small Business Funding: GMPI has funded small business loans to Methodist churches and individuals in the churches; for example: a tailoring school, tenant farming, a grain reselling projects and others.

Bible translated into local languageMinistry Resources

Resources for Ministry: The GMPI has purchased Bibles, Disciplines, Worship books, instruments, cameras, flannel graphs and material, Soccer balls and other sports equipment.

Transportation: the GMPI has purchased bicycles for pastors and a Bota Bota (motorcycle) for the Gulu District.

VIM Team during mission tripVIM Team PreachingVolunteer in Missions (VIM) Teams - for Construction, Evangelistic services, children’s ministry, lay and clergy training.

        VIM Team doing children's ministry         VIM Team in ministry

Well Provided through GMPI fundingWell Drilling and Maintenance and  Pump Repair
Gathering water from nearby pondPictured on the left is an Acshwan villager getting water for her family from this pond. GMPI is raising fund to drill new wells, maintain existing wells and repair broken pumps. GMPI is also committed to bring in professionals to train local church people how to do well maintenance and pump repairs.
Passing out Mosquito NetsPassing out Mosquito NetsMosquito Nets Purchase and Distribution
Mosquito nets save the lives of people from Malaria, especially the lives of children. The churches distribute them to their people and also to an appreciative community. Hundreds of nets have been distributed.

Childero Orphan MinistryChildero Coordinator Sandra AyattCHILDERO Orphan Mission: Centenary  (Lexington, KY) UMC provided funds to begin CHILDERO, a mission to educate, disciple and mentor 50 orphan children from the Gulu Methodist churches. GMPI provides some funds and accountability. CHILDERO is an indigenous mission with Sandra Ayatt (right) its Coordinator. The picture on the left is one of the weekly Bible Clubs the orphans are required to attend.