Equipped to Bring Good News to the Poor

15 September 2020 |

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” -Luke 4:18

God’s Word brings good news to the poor. 

But what does that mean for a Ugandan widow unable to feed or shelter her children? Or to any number of the 422 million people across Africa living below the global poverty line? 

There are many relief and development organizations working to end poverty.

But for pastor Emmanuel Mukeshimana of Uganda, the most strategic response to the poverty he saw across East Africa was to attend seminary. Why? Because a sustainable response to an urgent issue like poverty is one rooted in Scripture. 

Emmanuel says, “I want to bring God’s truth to the broken beliefs and systems that lead to poverty.”

That’s why, with scholarship support from Langham, he pursued his PhD in theology. Today, as a Langham Scholar, he is positioned to be an agent of transformation across Uganda and beyond—and he is multiplying others to do the same. 

Empowered to Empower the Poor

With the platform of his PhD, Emmanuel says his vision is to apply the Gospel to alleviate poverty in his nation. One way he does this is through an outreach he launched that aims to address the physical and spiritual needs across Eastern Africa. 

Square Ministries Africa brings education to needy children, microloans and training to lift women and widows from poverty, and Good News to the least of these. Today, in the context of COVID-19, that means mobilizing  teams to provide for the basic needs of those suffering in the midst of a global pandemic.

Emmanuel (at far left) visits Irene and her family who now have a home, and a glimpse of hope, because of Square Ministries.

Because of Square Ministries, and through Emmanuel’s leadership, families like Irene’s can experience Christ’s love in practical ways that bring transformation. The widowed mother of seven struggled to feed her family until Emmanuel and his team sent her to receive training as a tailor. They provided her a small loan for a sewing machine—which she was able to repay within months. The tailoring business she started provided for her family, and she was in the process of building a modest house. With COVID-19 came a downturn in her business and a halt to construction on the home. Her family faced homelessness until Square Ministries came alongside to help finish the house. Irene exclaimed, “God has sent you at the right time!” Her watching grandchildren chimed in: “Oh, that is how God works!”

Multiplying Leaders Who Proclaim Good News

Emmanuel is passionate about equipping the church to listen to and care for the poor and vulnerable—helping them move toward Jesus as they move out of poverty. 

Emmanuel says a PhD allows him to fulfill God’s calling to teach and preach His Word, and to train others. It’s a critical need. The church in Uganda, like many countries across the Majority World, is exploding with growth. Yet, Emmanuel says, “In Uganda and in East Africa in general, we have a shortage of trained pastors. . .over 75% of church workers do not have theological training.” 

Emmanuel and his family

The result?  False teaching like the prosperity gospel runs rampant, leaving believers vulnerable. “How I wish that we could train more and more to fill this gap,” Emmanuel laments.

As a professor at Uganda Christian University, Emmanuel has the opportunity to teach the school’s 300 students how to understand God’s Word, and relate it to pressing issues their people face—issues like poverty, disease, and corruption. Emmanuel’s students go on to plant and lead churches, start salt and light ministries, and model Jesus’ love and care for the poor.  

Grateful for Your Support

With your generosity,  Langham identifies, supports, and mentors emerging leaders like Emmanuel through PhD studies, positioning them to become agents of change in their nations.

It’s an investment that multiplies! An independent study by outside agency Excellence in Giving shows that over a lifetime of ministry, one Langham Scholar like Emmanuel will directly train 7,733 leaders for the global church—3x more than he would without a PhD! This year, you are helping to support PhD studies for 84 emerging leaders. Imagine the impact as these leaders go on to multiply over 600,000 more who can bring God’s Word to bear on urgent issues His people face. We are grateful!


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