On the shores of the world’s largest tropical lake, you might expect to find expensive vacation homes and resorts, booming real estate sales as buyers vie for lakefront property, and beaches thriving with tourists.
But that isn’t at all what you would find on visiting one of the many remote peninsulas jutting from the North shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda.
To get there from the bustling capital, Kampala, you would catch one of the narrow handmade wooden motorboats leaving from the Ggaba fish market dock.
Upon arriving on the other shore of one of the numerous coves of the massive lake and disembarking from your craft, you would need to hire one of the congregating motorists, waiting to transport you on the back of their bike over rough, remote African paths and trails for another twenty minutes.
Boats and motorbikes at the primitive dock you would land on after leaving Ggaba market by boat.
You would pass several small concrete trading posts, where water and maybe a few basic necessities could be purchased. You might observe a lakeside “resort” or two. Small, makeshift homes and shelters dot the area.
The population thins as you push deeper into the jungle-like terrain and further from Kampala, but there are people living in this remote area.
The desperation and poverty in this area is severe. People living here search desperately for a place to put their hope.
Many have dutifully set up whatever they can as shrines in their yards and homes, hoping their ancestors will be appeased and will not harm them.
This region is where the Lord planted the ITMI’s International School of Missions, giving the school a unique reach into the desperation of this area.
Through the support of ITMI partners, the school has managed to build several small buildings on their remote land, including several classrooms, a church building that was originally intended to be a piggery, a structure where chickens are raised and a small open-walled shack where students can prepare meals.
ISM classroom building.
The church in front of the building where they meet - the one that was originally a piggery.
The small structure where ISM students can prepare meals.
Benefit #1: ISM graduates are leaders who know the Bible
The main mission of the International School of Missions is that students would leave knowing how to understand Biblical truth, how to teach it, how to share it one-on-one and how to share it to the masses.
This is a dire need in Africa. Sincere and eager but untrained and undiscipled leaders - many without access to their own copy of the Bible - often lead others astray.
This isn’t an accusation. It comes from hearing testimony after testimony of these leaders themselves confessing they’d led people astray after they are discipled and equipped with the truth.
They are so thankful to be taught what mature, trained leaders like ITMI’s Muhindo Kawede, the founder and Director of ISM, have to share with them.
ITMI's Muhindo Kawede with an ISM student.
Benefit #2: ISM Students’ Evangelism Practicum is resulting in new believers!
The students of ISM frequently do outreach in the surrounding area, initiating discussion with anyone who will talk to them. This regularly leads to new believers.
Not long ago, the school had a special time of collectively asking God for his grace to help them reach their neighbors with the Good News.
They used all the methods of sharing Christ they learned in class. For a week, they held evangelistic crusades each evening.
During these open-air meetings, Kawede called witch doctors, wizards and gang leaders to repent and worship only the Lord, their Creator.
Open-air crusade in this rural area near the school's property.
An ISM student leading worship at the open air-crusades.
Benefit #3: Changed Lives
Kintu Kabiona lives near the International School of Missions property.
Poverty drove him to join a gang. As a gang member, he intimidated and stole from others in the community. Fear, deeply ingrained by life in an Animistic culture, compelled him to build a shrine to his ancestors, whom he hoped would change his fortunes.
Kintu was divinely appointed to be at ISM’s crusade. He and 38 others came forward to repent of their sin and lifestyle and lack of trust in God.
Benefit #4: New believers are discipled and students are learning to disciple.
The ISM leaders in training are following up with Kintu and discipling him along with the other 38 who expressed a desire to begin a relationship with the Lord.
Kintu attends the church that meets on ISM’s campus every Sunday and continues to grow in the Lord!
Worship and prayer time on a Sunday morning with Bible Mission Church, which meets on the ISM property and is led by Kawede with help from his students.
And the ISM students?
What better way for them to solidify what they are learning in their classes than for them to explain it to new believers?!
They are being formed into powerful, equipped and capable leaders that will be sent throughout Africa when their time at ISM is complete!
Benefit #5: The opportunity for others to leave a legacy of hope in a place that really needs it.
Many exceptional ITMI supporters have blessed Africa by helping Muhindo Kawede equip well-trained Christian leaders, trained, practiced and ready to bring the truth about the Lord to places that need it the most.
How have they made this incredible impact? By helping one or more students with their tuition. Some helped with $223 to cover the cost of one trimester. Others made one-time gifts.
At $667 a year, one family could cover the tuition of an ISM student with $55 a month!
ISM students often struggle to pay for this instruction. Some are already pastors who work part-time jobs and still struggle to provide for their families. They desperately need the guidance that the Lord uses Muhindo Kawede to impart, but few can afford it.
One scholarship recipient fell to his knees and cried when he learned he could attend ISM! That’s how big an impact it makes in the lives of these Christian leaders.
The ministry of the International School of Missions allows many opportunities to leave a legacy of the hope and truth found only in a relationship with Jesus.
I WANT TO EQUIP A PASTOR AT THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF MISSIONS!