Dec 15, 2016
More than 250 people were baptized as the result of a Facebook invitation to a three-week evangelist campaign held in a rural region of Uganda. The Facebook group entitled SDA-U, with a following of more than 9,000 Adventist youth, recently used social media to invite hundreds of people to the evangelist outreach event, which was held in Agago, a region located approximately 400 miles north of Uganda’s capital Kampala. An estimated 400 people attended the nightly meetings.
Rogers Kaggwa, communication and education director for Central Uganda Conference said “Our hearts have been touched to see God at work through through the meetings. We praise God for youth that are dedicating their social media for ministry and outreach.”
The SDA-U Facebook group was started by three young men, Samuel Okello, Andrew Ssegawa and Ivan Kiconco who had a shared vision to promote evangelism. Okello, a native of Agago, is the only known Adventist in the region and felt the joy he has experienced in Adventism should be shared with the people in his village. He proposed to mobilize funds to establish an Adventist presence in Agago.
In addition to the baptisms from the social media campaign, Adventist young people have raised more than $5,000 USD towards building a new church for the members. The youth are hoping to raise an additional $12,000 to complete the building, which will seat over 400 people.
The idea was welcomed and spread on social media, drawing positive responses from members. A member of the group, Emimma Ssimbwa, was appointed treasurer and people started making donations.
Prime Radio, an Adventist radio station based at Central Uganda Conference in Kampala, helped to promote the “Agago 4 Jesus” campaign through the airwaves.
To get the churches’ support, the three young men visited the Northern Uganda Field, under which Agago falls, and got the blessing of the field executive director, Luke Isile. Twenty missionaries were dispatched by the field to Agago in preparation for the evangelist effort.
“Agago 4 Jesus” caught the attention of Uganda Union as well as East Central Africa Division. Two weeks before the effort started, a day of fasting and prayers was held at Uganda Union office.
Ivan Kiconco, accompanied by 30 young people from across the country, camped at Agago and conducted several community service initiatives to reach out to the community. They made a strong appeal to church members to wake up from their comfort zones and get involved in reaching Agogo with the good news of Jesus.
Paul Muasya, General Field Secretary of the East-Central Africa Division, who visited Uganda Union Mission during the 2016 year-end meetings, was delighted to receive the report on this initiative. He hailed the use of social media as the way to go in furthering evangelism. He cited “Agago 4 Jesus” as a good example of what media can do.
Muasya added “social media gives youth an opportunity to participate in spreading the gospel.” He also urged SDA-U members not to stop with “Agago 4 Jesus” but plan again for 2017. He gave assurance that the church in East-Central Africa is fully behind the project and urged them to always involve the higher church offices in their endeavors.
The nearest church to Agago is over 70 km (43 miles) away. This church will be a center for growing church membership in the surrounding area.