One of Man Up’s ministry partners in Uganda is Pastor Bubonero Samuel. Pastor Samuel is a pastor, orphanage director, community leader and founder of Return Ministries International, based in Kampala, Uganda.
(This is Pastor Samuel and his beautiful wife Sarah with a Man Up team member in 2013.)
Kampala is the capital city and most heavily populated in Uganda, with over 1.7 million people calling it “home.” Agriculture, forestry, and fishing provide 66% of the employment opportunity in Uganda, and Kampala is robust and alive with business. You’ll see street vendors selling meat (dead and alive), bananas, and other various crops such as tea leaves, coffee, and sugar cane. Nearly 80% of Ugandans are self-employed, and while the average monthly pay of a Ugandan citizen is around $153/month, only 25% are considered “poor.” It’s these whom Pastor Samuel is trying to reach for Jesus.
The 2014 trips will be the fourth year in a row that Man Up has partnered with Pastor Samuel and his team. Pastor Samuel is slight in stature, but stands tall amidst his own people in the fight to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to the orphan and widow in his community.
Pastor Samuel speaks passionately and knowledgeably about the Word of God to change the culture of his city. Man Up teams work closely with him in several capacities:
1) Orphan care. Pastor Samuel has a great burden “to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed” (Psalm 10:18). Return Ministries offers “physical care, medical intervention including HIV/AIDS treatment, education – formal and vocational, counseling and emotional well being, as well as moral and spiritual discipleship.” Man Up looks to help these children by participating in feeding programs, providing supplies and education, and sponsorship.
(When possible, Man Up participates in a feeding program at Return Ministries. Pastor Samuel spearheads the effort to reach out to the fatherless in his community.)
2. Discipleship of Men. Pastor Samuel hosted the Inaugural Man Up Men’s Conference in 2013, with over 300 young men in attendance. Orphans in Uganda exist due to war, poverty, and disease, but much of this issue could be mitigated if men followed the biblical mandate to “Man Up” in the home as a father and husband. Part of Man Up’s goal in Uganda is to help come alongside ministry partners who are passionate about seeing men mature in faith and help them accomplish this.
(Over 300 young men turned out for the two-day conference. Man Up conference speakers had a first row seat!)
3. Pastoral Encouragement. We love those who minister to the “least of these,” which especially means we love pastors. Pastor Samuel has an outreach to local youth called “coffee time,” and he seeks to engage and equip them for personal development and improvement. This includes expenses for seminars on life skills, AIDS awareness campaigns, biblical courtship and dating lessons, sports , music and drama programs, among others. Man Up looks to facilitate this discipleship endeavor by providing resources, both educational and financial, to Pastor Samuel.
(This is the newly-donned Return Ministries Guest House. It’s beautiful, both inside and out. We feel very fortunate that Pastor Samuel has found favor with local Christian businesses, friends, and family, who help underwrite the cost of this Guest House.)
Statistics in this article provided by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.