Kampala's Recent Bombing
Uganda made international news on July 11th when bombs went off in two crowded areas of the capitol city, Kampala, as people watched the final minutes of the World Cup playoffs. Another crowded place had a bomb placed that didn’t go off; else the death toll of 74 people would’ve been much higher. Every since Uganda had placed peace keeping troops in Somalia in 2007, terrorists in Somalia had been threatening to do just this. Terrorists thrive in unstable countries, so these people do not want peace in Somalia. They have threatened further bombings if Uganda doesn’t pull its troops out.
New Life Centre is the mother church of 3 other tiny village churches which banded together a year and a half ago to begin overnight prayer meetings, mostly to intercede for Uganda. Now this is not just 4 churches getting together once a week, this is each church having its overnight prayer meeting, and people from the other churches come to attend. So these people are spending on the average of 3-4 nights a week in active prayer and intercession until 4 or 5:00 AM! They talk of “fasting” their sleep. While I know there are other intercessory prayer groups in Uganda, it seems our groups have been very special somehow. Some years back, someone in the US told me they’d had a dream of the map of Uganda with a fire in the center of it (we are located right in the middle of the country), and flames all around the edges of the map. Then during the time when terrible riots were wracking the country last September, a visiting evangelist in a Luweero church was heard to say, “There is a prayer group in Luweero that will be responsible for the salvation of the entire nation of Uganda."
We all believed that prophetic word was about our prayer groups. Did it mean that everyone in Uganda will be saved and believe in Jesus? I don’t think so. Many will, but there are different types of salvation, and in Africa nations are often preoccupied with surviving their neighbors, surviving famines, wars, political tyrants. And we are seeing evidence of God answering prayers for Uganda.
With national elections pending in early 2011, the nation becomes more and more turbulent as people jockey for position and power. Corruption is cannibalizing Uganda, and as times become harder, people simply come up with more strategy to increase corruption. Recently President Museveni announced Uganda’s first national day of prayer. Political opponents sneered and said “He’s failed at running the country, so now he turns to God!” But he insisted that if Uganda doesn’t change her ways and seek the face of God, His blessings on the nation will be lost. And that prayer meeting was 20,000 people strong, composed of both Christians and Muslims praying side by side, for 8 hours! Governmental leaders of every branch stood up, confessing sins in their offices, and repenting before God and man. People were urged to not re-elect corrupt political officials.
That very week there was a political rally at one of Kampala’s big stadiums. A Member of Parliament, known as one of the most corrupt, “untouchable” MPs, was booed down every time he tried to speak! The people refused to listen to him, letting him know they were sick of him and his corruption.
The next thing was the police began to crack down on powerful witchdoctors, who were often found to have evidence of human sacrifices and possession of chemicals for counterfeiting money.
Then came the bombings…
Kampala and Uganda rallied together, an unusual unity taking place. Even the Muslim community was angry about the bombings. Africans have strong taboos against suicide, so many were heard condemning the taking of innocent lives by the suicide bombers. Even religious leaders joined behind the President’s plans to send yet more peace keeping troops into Somalia. The nation has forged together in teaching and learning safety awareness, and setting up security measures in every place where there are crowds of people. People are patient and willingly tolerating the inconveniences of security checks of cars and persons.
The President then called the nation to prayer again, designating that Friday for Muslims to pray, Saturday for the Seventh Day Adventists, and Sunday for the rest of the people who worship on Sundays to pray for the nation. Other African nations are rallying, sending or planning to send more troops into Somalia, determined not to allow terrorism to wreak more havoc on the continent. The planners and hit men for the bombings have been found and arrested.
Please continue to pray for Uganda and the rest of the continent as the struggles continue. Especially uphold Uganda in the coming months as general elections approach in early 2011, that there will not be insurgency and that people will be wise in their voting, and for safety from terrorist attacks.