Each month, we are sharing a new story with you about what Ethos is able to do missionally because of your radical generosity. This July, we want to tell you about our friend James Odong in Northern Uganda. James has been a pastor for almost 25 years, and has planted 15 thriving churches in the past 10 years. He is passionate about making disciples and raising up Godly leaders to advance the Gospel in every village of Uganda. By making disciples and reproducing healthy churches, James wants to awaken the movement that Jesus began and see the Kingdom of God come to life in Uganda and beyond.
James has absolutely incredible stories from walking with the Lord, and is one of the most faithful men you will ever meet. He says he’s learned to trust the Lord completely after seeing God’s faithfulness over and over again. One example of that is from James’ early years of being a pastor. Northern Uganda was ravaged by war for 25 years, and one day he was preaching in his church when Joseph Kony and the LRA Army stormed in. They held him at gunpoint and told him to stop preaching, but James firmly stayed put and simply asked that his church be allowed to continue to worship. The army amazingly replied for him to continue to do his job and they would continue to do theirs, and at once left him and his church unharmed. Another way James saw the Lord move in extraordinary ways was a day he and his team were traveling to another village to plant a church. Travel was extremely dangerous because of landmines that were placed in the road, but it didn’t deter James and his team. They safely arrived in the village, only to find out that hours after they passed through a bomb had exploded on a road exactly where they walked. There was no explanation for it not going off other than the Lord’s protection.
Ethos has gotten to partner with James and Switchboard Missions over the past 3 years to help train over 750 African pastors in numerous villages in Northern Uganda as well as Kenya. This month he’ll be heading up another training in an area called Jaka. James realized his gift for teaching and discipleship when he started going to new villages and raising up leaders, and churches just started being planted through that. James is currently planting two Ethos churches: one in Lira, Uganda, and one in Kisoro, Kenya.
If you’d like to join us in prayer for James and his family, he recently just lost his 15 year son, who was murdered by a village witchdoctor. His wife, Janet, and he have 6 remaining children. James also asked that we pray for him to have the guidance of the Holy Spirit as he plants churches, so that the glory of God might be revealed. He says the leadership of the Holy Spirit is essential in guidance and direction, so that he doesn’t move forward with any human ideas. James is tirelessly working towards the Gospel advancing in Africa, and we get the honor and privilege of partnering with him in prayer and support!