The work that TLI shares in Northern Uganda bears the fragrance of the gospel in some amazing ways. Our in-country partner, along with a network of churches from western Wisconsin (the St. Croix Valley LEAD Team), has done a wonderful job preparing a new cohort of 40 leaders for training as expository preachers. The previous cohort, having graduated from TLI's three-year curriculum cycle, has been used by the Lord to launch more than 30 church plants. The aim for this second group is to continue, by God's Spirit, the multiplication of theologically sound churches, but also to raise up national trainers for the ongoing development of godly leaders.
As the current cohort took shape, our national partner and the LEAD Team interviewed potential trainees to determine their call, desire, and preparedness for training. By God's grace, we were also able to identify six Ugandan and South Sudanese leaders whom our U.S. team of trainers will work to develop. While the diversity of the group is exciting to us, it also presents some potential challenges.
This part of the world is home to several tribes with a long history of strife. As we identified the six national trainers, three came from the Acholi tribe and three from the Ma'di tribe. These tribes, two of the largest in this part of Africa, have been in conflict for more than one hundred years. On the evening of our first training, their unity in Christ was put to the test. We received news of a Ma'di attack on some nearby Acholi villagers. But instead of dividing the trainees, this news brought them together. The fragrance of Christ was sweet and powerful as these disciples of Jesus from enemy tribes expressed genuine care for each other, as they prayed for and encouraged one another.
God is at work bringing unity through his gospel. Please join us in prayer as the second TLI course is to be taught in early August, 2019.