Last summer, our synod declared fellowship with the Obadiah Lutheran Synod (OLS), a small confessional Lutheran church body in the African nation of Uganda. On Jan. 13, the OLS held a synodwide worship service celebrating its fellowship with WELS. Members of the OLS traveled from towns and villages through southeastern Uganda to attend—some for more than six hours. More than 800 people attended the special worship celebration. Missionary Howard Mohlke and I were blessed to attend as the representatives of WELS.
The morning began with heavy rains. Because the celebration was to be held outdoors and the dirt roads leading to the location were impassable, the service was delayed for several hours until the rain stopped. But the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of those who came to worship. The service began with songs by the youth choir and with the robust singing of many hymns by the worshipers. The service also included the ordination of a new OLS pastor, an address by OLS President Makisimu Musa, and words of encouragement from many of the OLS pastors in attendance. The celebration also included words of greeting from the WELS representatives as well as encouraging words of congratulations by local and national Ugandan government officials.
Just as the delegates at our WELS convention last summer were overjoyed to establish fellowship with the OLS and thanked God for the blessing, so the people of the OLS shared in that joy and thanks.
The OLS is planting new congregations in towns and villages throughout Uganda, and it is being blessed with a growth in membership. Along with that growth comes challenges, especially when it comes to the need for all-wheel drive vehicles that can negotiate the bumpy and muddy roads to enable contact with remote congregations. And while the synod builds its own churches with locally made mud-fired brick, it is in need of funds to provide roofs for those buildings.
WELS members have been generous in their support for these projects, and the OLS is very grateful for what has been received. But additional funds are needed to complete the necessary projects. If you would like to support the OLS in the gospel ministry it is faithfully carrying out, you can send your gift to WELS World Missions, designated for the OLS in Uganda, or donate online.
Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder
Learn more about the work in Uganda.