“I’m worried about you.” Walujjo Besweri received these words from his friend, Shalifu—a Muslim taxi driver who often transported him around Kampala, Uganda. Shalifu went on to say he was concerned for him because he spent all his free time at the beach or in clubs. He asked Walujjo if he would come and meet his friend who was a good man who might be able to help him. Walujjo agreed and was surprised when his Muslim friend brought him to Sojourn Church. It turns out that Shalifu’s friend was a Christian church planter.
Shalifu refused to enter the building since he was a Muslim but offered to come back and pick up Walujjo after the service. This became their routine for the next few weeks. Walujjo was intrigued by the preaching about Jesus and began taking notes and talking to his Christian friends at university about what he’d learned at Sojourn.
Walujjo said, “I was on my way to becoming a Christian and didn’t even know it!” Two months later, Walujjo professed faith in Jesus Christ and officially joined the believers of Sojourn Church.
Sojourn became an Acts 29 church and Walujjo became a deacon. A few years later, he entered Sojourn’s training process to become a church-planting elder and completed his Acts 29 assessment. Today, Walujjo leads Sojourn Church, the only Acts 29 church in Uganda. He’s preparing other men to be sent out from Sojourn and mentors aspiring planters in the regional Church in Hard Places cohort. Walujjo hopes to be part of the planting of many more gospel-centered churches in Uganda.
Walujjo says a major challenge facing Ugandan pastors is the pervasive culture of nominal Christianity. Many Ugandans confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord but lack the lifestyle to back up their words. Sojourn Church is passionate about educating people about the dangers of Christian nominalism and the false hope to which many cling. They’re working to see a transition away from easy believism into true conversion. They’re counting on God to help many Ugandans move beyond a lip service faith and embrace a heartfelt one dependent on Christ.The gospel is on the move and church planters are on the frontlines of its advance. Click To Tweet
Sojourn is an incredibly diverse church. Half of the church is made up of people from countries outside of Africa, such as America, Japan, Denmark, China, and the UK. The other half is made up of Ugandans (from different tribes) and people from other African countries. The gathering of people from so many different backgrounds often presents challenges but Sojourn is committed to cultivating and preserving unity among its beautifully diverse congregation.
Many Ugandans associate Christianity with the “health and wealth” prosperity gospel. They want to be part of this popular movement and its megachurches. Sojourn is discipling people toward concern for the lost, not being part of a popular movement. They’re creating a church culture shaped by passionate disciple-making by equipping people to proclaim the only gospel with the power to save (Rom. 1:16).
Their mission is simple: Plant churches. Preach the Word. Let God save his people. To equip their members for mission, they’re devoted to building a church culture centered on the Scriptures. The result is a congregation increasing in Bible literacy. They’re growing in confidence to take the Word to those who don’t know its truths.
God’s matchless grace is transforming sinners into saints. One of Sojourn’s members used to attend a prosperity gospel church. She began visiting Sojourn but constantly complained about the expository style of preaching. Over time, her life was changed by the gospel and now she’s the first person to ask Walujjo, “What’s the next book of the Bible we’re studying?”God used the concern of a Muslim taxi driver to serve as the catalyst for his salvific work toward a future Acts 29 church planter. The Lord is at work in mysterious but sufficient ways in every corner of the world. Click To Tweet
Another member is a former Muslim who converted to Christianity. Her family rejected her and cut her off financially, which impacted her ability to complete university. Though tempted to deny her faith to restore her relationship with her family, she persevered and was baptized. She now serves Sojourn as a deacon and God is slowly restoring her to her family as well.
God used the concern of a Muslim taxi driver to serve as the catalyst for his salvific work toward a future Acts 29 church planter. The Lord is at work in mysterious but sufficient ways in every corner of the world. The gospel is on the move and church planters are on the frontlines of its advance. The Acts 29 global, diverse community unites to exalt our heavenly Father who transforms sinners into saints. And we delight in our shared mission to make disciples of his Son by planting healthy, multiplying churches.