Messiah has partnered with Nakabango Lutheran Church in Uganda since 2006. Over the years we have developed strong connections with many people in the Nakabango community! One of the young men we recently met is Benard Mwesigwa Jester (he loves to be called Mwesigwa, but many of his friends call him Jester!) He works in both Nakabango and Mafubira. The following was his response when asked why he felt called to be a pastor:
As a child, I loved Sunday school classes. The hymn that goes like “Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak but He is strong…” were so catchy but I never understood the lyrics. My mother was a senior usher in the Anglican Church (episcopal) so every Sunday she went to church with me. Being raised up by a single parent was not that sweet; there were several challenges but mom taught us how to pray. Before we went to bed, we recited Psalm 23. Still it was just a routine thingie but never understood what the words meant. I was born 26 years ago and on 24th January 2019 I will be 27 years old. Brenda is my eldest sister and I come after Lynda.
I went to Good shepherd nursery school, then went to Main street primary school. For my secondary I went to St John’s secondary school Wakitaka, and then Jinja Senior secondary school. Since I was born in Jinja and studied in Jinja, I didn’t know about outside world until I moved out of my comfort zone when I went to Matongo Lutheran College, Kenya in August 2014.
When I was a child, mom was a staunch Anglican but later, she became Pentecostal. I moved with her to every church she went to but later, I came to know about Lutheran Church through a friend, at that time I was 15 years old. I started to go to Nakabango church for service. I could walk from Mafubira to Nakabango every Sunday. At that time I was staying with my grandma. She wasn’t bothered about me joining the Lutheran Church coz she knew I was a “church goer”.
Why I feel called to preach? Okay, it’s a call from God!! After reading Romans 5:6 -11 which says, “for while we were weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. ” it changed my life. It was my turning point.
I am called to preach, to teach and to administer the sacraments because it is what our Savior Jesus told us to do in Mark 16: 15. Secondly, to proclaim the sound doctrine, as Apostle Paul says in Titus 2: 1 ,” But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine” … Sound doctrine has to be taught to all nations!!!
After finishing my seminary training, now I am a chaplain at Nakabango Lutheran schools, also I preach at Nakabango Lutheran Church in the morning service and also at Mafubira Lutheran Church in the local language service. I’m preparing to be ordained soon. The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ alone!!
It’s now that I know the love of God in Psalm 23 and the hymn “Jesus loves me this I know”. For as 1 John 4:11 we should walk in love for God loved us first.