At Adventist World Radio, our motto “From Broadcast to Baptism” isn’t just a tagline—it’s a way of life! And as a recent story from Uganda illustrates, even a short broadcast can make that connection happen, no matter how difficult a new believer’s situation may seem.
Right now, the Good News is spreading rapidly across Uganda, with four AWR stations covering the southern part of the country. But it doesn’t end there! Very soon, three stations will be added to the north, so that no part of Uganda will remain untouched.
In the meantime, however, church members are reaching out to their communities through short local broadcasts. In the northern Lira District, Evangelist Peter Ebong broadcasts on QFM every Sabbath from 5-6 p.m. Peter’s prophecy-centered messages are the most popular programs in the entire region.
Peter’s broadcasts recently caught the ear of Isaac, a 24-year-old peasant farmer in Agweng Village. Formerly a devout Catholic, Isaac came under conviction about the seventh-day Sabbath and felt called to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church after listening to the programs. When Peter announced that there would be baptisms for people who wished to start a new life in Christ, Isaac contacted him immediately.
However, when Isaac shared his decision with his wife, Rachel, there was a problem: she bitterly opposed it. Other villagers had started rumors about the church, and she believed them. Isaac told AWR, “All I could do that night was pray in earnest that God would change Rachel’s heart.”
Then a miracle happened overnight. Rachel had a unique dream in which she was dressed in white, holding hands with her husband, and walking into a building that was beautiful beyond words. Inside, she saw many people dressed in white, and they were singing the most heavenly song.
When she awoke, she was still humming the melody. She turned to her husband, shook him awake and said, “Isaac! Isaac! Get up! Let’s prepare and go to the baptism. I want to be baptized too.”
Isaac was shocked. As she told him about her dream, they both realized it must have been sent from God. The Holy Spirit had worked on her heart and brought her to conviction as well.
However, their challenges were far from over. As they readied themselves for baptism, hostile relatives and clan members fought hard to stop them—even stealing Isaac’s shoes and his only clothing for special occasions. But Isaac and Rachel were resolute in their decision to go.
“Isaac! Isaac! Get up! Let’s prepare and go to the baptism. I want to be baptized too.”
They also faced the challenge of getting to the baptism location 25 miles away, since they had no money for transportation. They spoke with Peter, who encouraged them to travel by motorcycle, and told them he would pay for the rental.
They arrived—with Isaac barefoot and in threadbare clothing—at the Northern Uganda Field Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where they were baptized.
Upon their return, Isaac couldn’t keep his joy to himself. He started sharing the message with zeal, and soon, his family members and friends were listening to the weekly broadcast.
Within a couple months, Peter traveled to Isaac’s village and baptized 24 people. Today, a congregation worships every Sabbath at the home of one of the new church members. Five additional people will soon be baptized, including Isaac’s father.
On a daily basis, Peter receives calls from people all over northern Uganda who are requesting baptism. His most urgent need today is $500 to purchase a motorcycle that will enable him to quickly and regularly travel more than 50 miles to baptize listeners, lead worship services, and nurture new believers and congregations.
Please keep Uganda and the outreach of people like Peter and Isaac in your prayers.
In 2018 alone, 146 people were baptized in the northern part of Uganda, and over the past two years, four churches have been planted in and around the Lira District. Just imagine what will happen over the next few months when AWR goes from no full-time stations in the north to three stations broadcasting 24/7!
By AWR, with Immanuel Ogwal, Communication Director, Uganda Union Mission