Building a “House of God” in Uganda
Tucked into the wilds of Uganda’s Gulu region is a tiny village called Lajwaaokok. By all accounts, it’s the village that shouldn’t exist. Indigenous ministry workers were astonished when they discovered it in 2015. Lajwaaokok has no store, no school, no medical clinic, no electricity, no paved roads, and no community buildings—not even a working well. Its residents have to walk up to 3 miles just to buy a bar of soap. Yet as the country attempts to heal from a 20-year civil war, 1,000 people have chosen to settle here.
And they have a church.
Ministry workers started the church under a tree in 2015, and the congregation grew steadily. Finally, in 2017, a local family offered a small piece of property for a church building. The villagers erected a grass and mud hut on it, which has served as their meeting place ever since. The locals call it their “Ot-pa-Lubanga,” or “House of God.” The members named it “Bethel.”
Today, Bethel Latwong Church has 70 members, all of whom are first generation Christians.
In a place “whose order of the day was brewing and consuming alcohol,” says the pastor, Bethel Latwong stands as the village’s sole center of community life and hope. Those who have come to Christ through its ministry hunger for greater knowledge of God’s Word. Those who have no other place to go come to its doors for help. Both the need and the potential for radical life transformation in Lajwaaokok are enormous.
That’s why ICM chose Bethel Latwong as it’s 10,000th church development project.
In partnership with Favor of God Ministries (now Favor International) in Uganda, ICM will provide funding for Lajwaaokok’s Christians to build a strong, permanent church building, which should be completed in September. The building will not only facilitate worship services and Bible study groups, it will also be the center of a women’s empowerment program that is bringing hope to hundreds of families in Uganda and South Sudan.
The Women’s Empowerment program is a unique part of Favor’s ministry in East Africa. Traumatized, displaced and impoverished by the violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army, many women in this region are seeking ways to rebuild their lives and provide for their children. In response, Favor has established Christ centered vocational training to help these brave women. Some raise goats and pigs, others manage small shops or make clothing. The money they earn allows them to pay for their children’s food, education, and medical care.
To date, Favor’s empowerment programs have impacted over 1,200 women.
The new church and empowerment program will only be the beginning for Lajwaaokok village.
Favor has plans to see a school, a mobile medical clinic, a clean water well, and a robust discipleship program established there. Thanks to your prayers and support, this entire region will soon know the love and provision of Christ.
To hear more about Lajwaaokok Village and Bethel Latwong Church from one of its members, please watch the video below.