ECLEA.net

Equipping Church Leaders • East Africa                   |||             "DEEP FOUNDATIONS • HEALTHY CHURCHES • TRANSFORMED LIVES"

Deepening the foundations of biblical knowledge for East African church leaders

Burundi Kenya Rwanda South Sudan Tanzania Uganda
Burundi Kenya Rwanda S Sudan Tanzania   
Uganda

to create healthy churches and transformed lives.


To learn more about each of the countries of East Africa and ECLEA's work in those countries, please click on the flags of the countries above.

ECLEA News & Blog

Accounts of ECLEA's training conferences are set forth below, often with photos. Accounts of all-African conferences and TOTs are contained in the pages of the individual East African countries (click on the flags above to go to the pages of the countries). Older news accounts are located in the News Archive. News items are added regularly, so please stop back often.

Additionally, ECLEA's director, Jonathan Menn, maintains a blog related to ECLEA that includes entries pertaining to his book, Biblical Eschatology, sermons he has preached, the activities of ECLEA-trained East African pastor-teachers, and other matters.

Visit Jonathan's blog here.

ECLEA Director Jonathan Menn with Maasai Leader Boniface Kugotha

ECLEA Director Jonathan Menn with Maasai leader Boniface Kugotha at a Biblical Stewardship TOT in Nairobi.


Jonathan Menn, ECLEA Director
Jonathan Menn

Report on trip to Uganda, April 2021:

Traveling in the era of covid has its challenges. The test requirements for all the countries are different. For Uganda, you just need a covid test 5 days before departure. However, I was transiting through Amsterdam. Even to transit there, you need a pcr test within 72 hours of ARRIVAL. I thought the requirement was 72 hours before DEPARTURE, so my test was done slightly too early. Which meant I had to get a new test and take a later flight. Ugh!

Nevertheless, I made it to Uganda without other incident. Bishop Sempala picked me up in Kampala and we traveled to Buvuma Island in Lake Victoria, where I had never been before. We did the book of Galatians, an incredibly important book that goes to the heart of the gospel of God's grace. Much of this was new to the participants, but they saw the implications of the gospel and we had many good questions and comments. BTW, we started out with only 13 participants on day one, but that increased to 25 or more on days 2 and three, despite rain (which says something over here).

      
       Boats at Kiyingi on Lake Victoria                              Our venue in Buvuma                                   Sunset over the islands
                                                                               (Bsp. Sempala in background)

Some of the participants were impressed with how "everything we do is spiritual." One commented on the fact that how we take care of the land shows how we dishonor or honor God. Another talked about the fact that we should cook good and nutritious food, because our bodies are the "temple of the Holy Spirit."

Three of the participants had been raised as Muslims. One came to faith in Christ after his shaihk told him that they were all supposed to "pray for Muhammad." He realized, in essence, that "ïf I have to pray for Muhammad, then who is going to pray for me?" I pray that all of these church leaders will take back the things they learned to their respective churches and teach and apply the lessons from this wonderful book.

We concluded our trip at the West Lango Diocese of the Church of Uganda (Anglican), headed by Bishop Julius Ceaser Nina, my longtime friend and ECLEA's treasurer. I had not been to West Lango before. Recently-installed Bishop Nina is an active and visionary leader. I hope that ECLEA will continue to be involved in this dynamic diocese. We taught The Church: Its Nature, Mission, and Purpose to 30 interested and attentive archdeacons and priests. The bishop himself was present throughout.


Bishop Nina

One gratifying thing was that this group established a timetable and stuck to it. This was largely the work of Joseph Odongkara, who had been a barrister in England for 25 years, but then received a Master of Divinity and has now returned to his native Uganda. He has a remarkable story, and his great desire is to form a Christian Legal Aid firm to help the thousands of poor and marginalized people whose land is being stolen but who do not have the means to fight injustice in the courts. Please pray that this will come to fruition, God willing, this year.


Joseph Odongkara

Our plans that I get my covid test in Aduku (the town we were in) or in the city of Lira fell through because of no guarantee that I would get the results in time to fly home. So Joseph readjusted the schedule, moved the starting time up, cut lunch and break times, and pushed the closing time back, and we were able to finish the course in 2 days instead of 3. That kind of commitment suggests that more good things will be coming from West Lango!


The West Lango group

I got my test in Kampala, and the results were available the next morning. I am glad to be home, as I have several ECLEA translation and writing projects to get back to. I hope to return to West Lango later this year, perhaps to do Christianity & Islam.

Thank you again SO MUCH for your ongoing prayer and financial support. I appreciate both and assure you that you are making a tremendous difference in the lives of countless individuals, churches, and communities in what I consider to be the most spiritually significant region in the world.

TOP OF PAGE


Jonathan Menn, ECLEA Director
Jonathan Menn

JANUARY 2021: First trip to East Africa this year!

I have finished my first trip of the year to East Africa, spending two weeks along the coast of Tanzania. We began with the book of Revelation in Kibamba, near Dar es Salaam, with 18 participants. This was completely new for all of them. Those who had previously studied the book had been taught a very different view. By the end of the course, however, I think they saw how relevant (and challenging) the book is for the church today.

We then went through the book of James with 25 participants in Goba, again near Dar. James is very practical and goes to the heart of what real saving faith looks like.


Lunch in Goba

The participants obviously "got it." On the second day, one woman said that a person had come to her house the night before, having to go to the hospital. The woman thought of what true religion is in God's eyes (Jas 1:27) and that "faith without works is dead" (James 2) and ended up spending the entire night with the person at the hospital!

A man said that he was a Masaai and had always been taught that the Masaai were the best, and nothing should be done for people of other tribes. Now he sees how wrong that is and how it is contrary to the gospel itself.

The gospel is, indeed, life-changing. I'm glad to be able to bring this life-transforming message to these dear people in this vital part of the world.

We finished with two conferences: Christianity and Islam in Tanga with 24 participants and Galatians in Kibaha with 15 participants. Both went well. We had previously taught Christianity and Islam in Tanga. The participants this time were different, except for one participant (Lazaro) who wanted to learn the material again. I'm glad Lazaro came, because he has led a number of Muslims to faith in Christ, and he taught much of the session on bridging the divide between Islam and the gospel.


The Tanga group (Joram and Lazaro are the two men front row, center)

Several of the participants said that, before this course, they had thought that even touching a copy of the Qur'an was a sin; but now they want to get a copy themselves in order to read it and use it in talking with Muslims about Jesus. One of the participants was a former Muslim and another has access to New Testaments printed in both Arabic and Swahili, which can help in presenting the gospel when they are given to Muslims. I hope the group will stay in touch with each other. Much good fruit can come from this group.

The group presented me with a beautiful wooden plaque that says, "You ECLEA are the light of the world East Africa (Matthew 5:14)." I am very touched and am keeping it displayed in my office here at home.


Receiving the beautiful plaque

Galatians helped, I think, to dispel at least some of the legalism that characterizes much of the church in East Africa. Further, seeing the implications of the gospel can make a big difference in the way people "do church."


Just outside our hotel in Kibaha

Most countries now require that one have a negative PCR covid test within 72 hours of travel (and you need it to even be allowed on the airplane). The Netherlands (KLM's hub) now also requires an antigen test done within 4 hours of travel. As a result, KLM threatened to cancel all of its international flights (the government now says that flight crews do not need the antigen test [but passengers still do]). I got my PCR test done on Thursday for the Saturday night flight out of Dar es Salaam. The lab said that I should receive the results on Friday. I spoke with KLM twice to confirm that the flight was not cancelled. They also said that, since antigen tests are not done in Tanzania, I didn't need one.

The situation then got complicated. I didn't receive the PCR test results on Friday, or Saturday morning or even as of the time we ended the Kibaha conference Saturday afternoon. Then at 4:00PM on Saturday I was notified by KLM that my flight had been cancelled and I had been rebooked on Turkish Airways to leave at 4:00AM Sunday and fly home via Istanbul. By 6:00PM I still didn't have the PCR test results. We decided to go to the national lab in Dar es Salaam personally. Joram and I were in the lab for over an hour talking with someone about getting the results. It turns out that the lab in Dar had not even received my test sample until that morning. Eventually that night they gave me the result and I was able to make it home all right. (Interestingly, the airlines now require that all passengers wear masks throughout the flight; I pointed out that every single person in the plane had just been tested and had been certified to NOT have covid--so requiring anyone to wear a mask was absurd. They agreed with me, but "those are the rules.")

I am next planning on going to Kenya in early April. Thank you for your prayers and support. You are making an important difference in East Africa. God bless you, Jonathan

TOP OF PAGE


News Archive  
  

Click here for ECLEA's News Archive

TOP OF PAGE


Support ECLEA

Donate now to help ECLEA thrive!

Please visit the Contact & Donations page to support our work with a secure online donation or to mail us a check.

Your tax deductible gift helps equip, train, and empower church leaders in East Africa to promote biblical values and transform lives through the power of the Gospel. Plus, giving online means your gift can be put to work even faster to reach church leaders with practical workshops and encouragement.