Matt Schmucker, vice president of 9Marks, recently traveled to Uganda to take part in an amazing opportunity to equip and encourage thousands of African believers. Matt was invited to speak at the International Bible Conference, an event held annually in Uganda. Along with other speakers, Matt had the opportunity to teach to about 24,000 Christians from all over Africa who are eager to grow in Christ, yet often subjected to a plethora of false teachers. At 9Marks, we are seeking, by God's grace, to invest whatever resources we have to proclaim the Gospel in every corner of the world and equip believers everywhere with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God's glory through healthy local churches. Matt's recent trip to Uganda represents part of this global vision.
The following is a brief summary written by Matt Schmucker about his recent trip to Uganda. Our prayer is that you would be encouraged as you read this, and that you would be compelled to prayerfully consider joining us in our mission to reach the nations for the glory of God.
A report from Matt Schmucker on Africa trip
Just returned from a week in Africa with the group known as International Bible Conference, led by Pastor Jeff Anderson of Grace Bible Church in Colorado Springs.
We traveled through Amsterdam to Entebbe, Uganda and drove a long way to Mbale where 23,900 pastors and Bible teachers gathered for three days of teaching with a two-fold goal of modeling expositional preaching and learning Colossians.
We had significant problems the first day with crowd control, food distribution (Acts 6 all over again!) and a massive African thunderstorm interrupting and canceling the late afternoon talks. Tents were blown apart and the sound system was knocked out.
Day two began with uncertainty not knowing whether the food/sleeping arrangements for that many people would be resolved. We prayed. God answered. The crowd could not have been happier and more attentive to our teaching. Things were peaceful, food was
distributed equitably at lunch and the men returned for an afternoon of teaching with only slight rain.
Day three brought about the end of Colossians and the conference. As one person said, “Satan started the conference with a victory, but ultimately lost.”
The spirit of the Ugandan people is very friendly and sweet; they are an easy people to love. Evident poverty and primitive living is apparent, but doesn’t seem to prevent evangelism and the planting of churches. (We westerners will one day give an account for what we do with all we have.)
On a personal note, I read a soon-to-be-published book on race relations in America on the plane to Uganda. It was a bit academic to me until I found myself dropped into the middle of Africa and suddenly not in the “majority” for one of the few times in my life. I praise God for the opportunity to be exposed to another culture, to proclaim His truth and to be returned home safely.