How A Marathon Mission To Uganda Is Transforming Lives For Christ

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In Summary: The Houston-based Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute are a friend and ‘neighbor’ of Uganda. Not only by word but also by deed. The institute has voted with its feet to demonstrate its love for Uganda. It has happened three times in as many years in a row; and still counting! Now, barely four months after a 30-day mission trip to Kampala, plans to hold an international Christian conference in the country ‘before November’ are already underway. It took a 1-month marathon Mission Trip last June to Uganda to make such immeasurable impact. Dr. Larry Patrick, a professor and founder of Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute, Houston, Texas led the mission team to Uganda. He was accompanied by his protégé Mark Ddamulira, a student at the Southern Texas University, Houston. Now, lives are being transformed. It is happening both ways; missionary are beaming with gratification and the flock asking for some more. There is a sense of bonding that is invisible to the naked eye. But one thing is clear, both missionaries and the flock are getting closer to God than ever before. Christians from the Anglican Dioceses of Namirembe and Kampala were the primary beneficiaries of the Bible teaching sessions, training seminars, round table talks, sermons, fellowship, prayer, radio programs, and praise and worship. This time round, the international conference will benefit even more Christians. The conference aims at building, strengthening, and advancing the teaching and spreading of the gospel in the country. So, when you believe in God but not sure He loves you, this conference is for you. You will then discover that there is nothing you can do to make God love you more. And there's nothing you can do to make Him love you less. You can’t beat that!

A cross-section of participants at one of the training session conducted by Dr. Patrick during his mission trip to Kampala, Uganda last June.

Houston, Texas—Barely four months after a transformative one-month marathon mission trip to Kampala, Uganda, plans to hold an international Christian conference in the country “before November” are already underway to  build, strengthen, and advance the teaching and spread of the gospel in the country,  organizers of the conference  announced here last week. The forthcoming international Christian conference in Kampala is a brain child of Dr. Larry Patrick, a professor and founder of Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute (CTSBI), Houston, Texas, USA. “The conference will be answering to the widespread need for deeper and broader teaching and understanding of the scripture by our brothers in Uganda. The need and enthusiasm is high in the country and we have the inspiration to respond to the need,” Dr. Patrick who doubles as a Bible teacher and pastor told the EADM in an interview. The theology professor only returned to the United States last June after completing a one-month-marathon mission trip to Uganda that is “changing and drawing the lives of more Christians closer to Jesus Christ,” he said.

Dr. Larry B. Patrick, THD. is a professor and founder of Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute (CTSBI), Houston, Texas, USA.

Dr. Patrick was accompanied on the trip by his protégé, the Ugandan-born Mr. Mark Ddamulira, a student at the Southern Texas University in Houston. “It was a life-changing mission trip that focused on teaching, preaching, worshiping, praying, learning, and sharing between the mission leaders and the participants,” Dr. Larry Patrick told the EADM. Dr. Larry B. Patrick, THD. is a professor and founder of Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute (CTSBI), Houston, Texas, USA. A student for 40+ years and a passionate teacher of the word of God, Dr. Patrick was convicted of God in 2016 to start global mission and made his first trip in 2017. Although he has been to Ghana before, he has been to Uganda more. On his third trip to Uganda this June, he has conducted training and teaching the word of truth to both clergy and laity. Author of several books including the most recent ground breaking "The Workbook on the Plan of God"; Dr. Larry Patrick is a husband, a father of four, and a grandfather. “Study to show thy selves approved UNTO GOD, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth" (2 Tim.2:15).

Mr. Mark Ddamulira, currently an honor Junior (third year) student at Texas Southern University, majoring in Civil engineering with a minor in Music is the man who panned the camera to capture all the images that are speaking louder here than the words in the story.

The two-man mission trip to Uganda also included Mr. Mark Ddamulira, a Ugandan-born college student at the Southern Texas University in Houston, Texas. Mr. Mark H. Ddamulira aka Dr. Patrick's "Timothy", was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda and currently an honor Junior (third year) student at Texas Southern University, majoring in Civil engineering with a minor in Music. Mark Ddamulira, introduced to CTSBI upon arrival to the USA three years ago, is also pursuing a Master's degree in Systematic Theology. Driven by Ephesians 4:1; “to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called - a child of God (Theosapien)”, this is his second mission trip with CTSBI to Uganda. A multi-talented youngster, Mark Ddamulira is a violinist and has a passion for film and photography.  

Ms. Evelyn Mayambala speaking at one of the training sessions during the mission trip. She did a tremendous job developing and coordinating the activities in Uganda before the two missionaries; Dr. Patrick and Mr. Ddamulira arrived in the country.

Meanwhile, ahead of the trip to Uganda last June, the mission team at the Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute (CTSBI) spent several months of preparation working out the modalities of the task ahead. The CTSBI Mission Team worked tirelessly together in Stafford near Houston, Texas, while a committed Christian in Uganda, Ms. Evelyn Mayambala worked diligently through countless challenges to pave the way for the successful development of the one-month mission activities,” says Dr. Larry Patrick, the mission leader who arrived in Kampala, Uganda on May31st. He said the time and energy invested by Ms. Mayambala to prepare the ground for their missionary work was priceless.

Christian Joy @St. Paul's Cathedral Namirembe. Members of the Cathedral Joint Choir Fellowship at Namirembe Cathedral were the very first group with whom Dr. Patrick shared the good news of the gospel on the first day of his mission to Uganda.

The Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute (CTSBI) mission activities were kicked-off with a training session for the Namirembe Cathedral Choir fellowship on June 1st, a day after the Bible teacher and College professor arrived in Uganda. During the session, Dr. Patrick taught the choristers about the biblical Joy which is founded on Grace and Peace. “I left them with 2 Peter 1:2 ‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,’ the foundation of joy,” the upbeat pastor teacher said.

Namirembe FM Radio talk show host Rev. Kisakye (middle) moderated and interpreted for Dr. Patrick during a live program while the pastor took and answered bible-related questions from listeners on his second return to the station.

Later, Dr. Patrick was hosted on a live radio program on Namirembe FM radio station where he introduced and discussed topics he planned to teach during his mission to Uganda. During the radio program, Christians from across the Namirembe Diocese were invited and encouraged to attend the planned training seminars the professor of Theology was going to conduct.

Dr. Larry Patrick was to return to the studios of Namirembe FM three days later to reach out to a wider audience. On his second radio program, Dr. Larry Patrick emphasize, in a more profound manner, Christian relationships, including marriage, especially to the clergy and the youth. During the program, Dr. Patrick described and explained the 36 things that God does for a believer at the moment of salvation. While fielding questions from listeners, he simultaneously extended an invitation to the audience to turn up in large numbers to participate in the Bible classes and teachings.

A cross-section of the congregation at the St. Francis Chapel, Makerere University during one of the sermons delivered by Dr. Larry Patrick. The church is mostly attended by University students, very youthful and with an electric atmosphere.

During the first Sunday of the mission trip, June 2 Dr. Larry Patrick preached at all the three services at St. Francis chapel at Makerere University. The majority of the congregation at the St. Francis chapel are youth; current university students, alumni, as well as university faculty and staff. Expounding on the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in the church, the Bible scholar and preacher described and explained the purpose of the Holy Spirit and how it is linked imbuement of the elders of Israel to prophesy to the Israelites in judgement for their rejection of God’s care in contrast to His dwelling within the believer to reprove the world of sin, and righteousness, and of judgement.

With readings from Numbers 11:23-30, Acts 4:23-31, and John 16:5-15, the animated preacher elaborated how the Holy Spirit purposely reveals to believers about the destruction of sin “because they believe not on me”; about righteousness “because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more”; and about judgment “because the prince of this world is judged,” (John 16:9-11). “For many, it was enlightening to learn about the three functions of the Holy Spirit in their lives,” the Houston-based college professor and missionary told the EADM in an interview on his return to the USA.

 
While at St. Francis Chapel of Makerere University, Dr. Patrick taught a pre-marital class and advised them to seriously commit and prepare to take their vows by learning the undeniable fact that man and woman are different according to God's design stated in Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Peter 3:1-7.

If any of the churches visited by Dr. Patrick got an unfair share of the professor’s teachings, it was St. Francis Chapel, Makerere University. Dr. Patrick returned to the chapel to preach during the midweek service during one of the four weeks he spent in the country. Teaching about Christian Relationships, he told the congregations to always place God at the center of all their relationships as an insurance policy against heart breaking.

The erudite theology professor and preacher also took time to reach out to Christians around the globe to join the Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute (CTSBI), missionary efforts to save the lives of men, women, and children by teaching millions the truth; God's unchanging Word, with faith that their lives will be transformed for the better. “We set out to establish teachers and train Pastors with the understanding of the Plan of God and we want to express our sincere gratitude to all who donated towards this mission,” Dr. Patrick said in a statement on the Uganda mission trip Web site. He added that “When you become a supporter of Charis Theological Seminary, your prayers and financial assistance have an immediate and direct role in contributing to our global missionary program,” the statement on the Web site read in part. “Donations were used to provide teaching and training supplies including Christian books; audio aids for learning; teaching supplies (Paper, Pens, Etc.); travel expenses; and other much-needed supplies,” the statement said. Since the CTSBI missionary program has financial obligations that persist on a reoccurring basis, the statement stated: “We greatly appreciate and welcome one-time gifts as well as planned gifts to support our efforts around the world.”

Meanwhile, because the mission trip coincided with the Uganda Martyrs celebrations on June 3, the mission team participated in the events marking the Uganda martyr’s festivities at the Uganda Martyrs shrine at Namugongo. Martyrs day in Uganda is dedicated to the remembrance of those Christian converts who were executed at Namugongo, a suburb of Kampala, for their refusal to denounce their Christian faith. Historical accounts suggest that on orders of the king of Buganda Kingdom at the time, Kabaka(king) Mwanga II, Twenty-three Anglican and twenty-two Catholic converts were executed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887. On this day, people make pilgrimage from different parts of the country and others from neighboring countries to participate in the celebrations.

Pupils of Kabowa Primary School in Kampala listen attentively to Dr. Patrick as he planted the word of God in their ‘gardens’. The students were told that they must do everything, even school work, as unto the Lord.

The students and staff of Kabowa Primary School on the outskirts of the capital Kampala did not miss out on opportunity to tap from the wisdom of the man of God. While at the School, Dr. Patrick shared the gospel with the pupils and told them about their creation in the image of God; privileged children of God, new species of creation knew as Theo-sapiens (God-men). While enlightening them about God’s omnipresence, he came up with a new saying; “God is present, all the time and all the time, God is present and that is His nature.”

Meeting separately with the staff of Kabowa Primary School, Dr. Patrick emphasized the importance of their role as teachers and urged them to not only impart academic education to the students but also Christian virtues while they still have the freedom to (in contrast to American schools). He challenged them to create a curriculum that incorporates the teaching of the Book of Proverbs. 

While ministering during one of the weekend workshops at St. John’s church in Entebbe, Dr. Patrick taught on the 'Kingdom of Heaven" and reminded the congregation to think and conduct themselves as children of God.

During his first training session at St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe, Dr. Patrick taught a class on marriage. The trainees learned about the function of man and woman in marriage and were entreated as husband and wife to think like a third person who is Jesus Christ. Later, the Pastor teacher visited the nearby Mengo Hospital where he taught in a trainees’ fellowship on how to utilize God’s omnipotence through prayer as they deliver medical care to patients in the course  of their work. He also ministered to the patients at the hospital.

The congregation at St. John’s church in Entebbe near Kampala was among the first of the equals to benefit from the teaching and preaching from Dr. Larry Patrick. The professor dedicated the entire weekend of June 7-9 discussing a variety of issues Christians encounter each passing day along their walk with the Lord. During a training session on the signs of the times, Dr. Patrick referenced scripture to demonstrate how the signs of the end times are manifesting in our midst and the real meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven. “The interesting session helped Christians to understand that as ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven, we are all called to know about our Home to be better representatives,” the erudite Bible teacher said.

The professor of theology also taught about Christian relationships and was encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest expressed and demonstrated by men as husbands through their attendance and active participation in the training. During the session, the professor asked couples to sit together and take notes together. “This technique helped husbands and wives as well as men and women to learn and understand how each of them has to function as an active partner in marriage as designed by God,” the pastor said with a sense of fulfillment.

On Sunday June 9th, the day of Pentecost, the pastor shared with the congregation the message of renewing of the mind as children of God. Dr. Patrick read from Romans 12:1-2 which states: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.

Dr. Patrick’s mission trip coincided with the Pentecost day, June 9th at St. John’s Church Entebbe. He preached from Romans 12:1-2 as requested by the Vicar of the church, Rev. Festo Kalungi. The congregation was excited to learn that "transformation" is equivalent to metamorphosis as in a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.

Dr. Patrick informed his trainees that Christians at the Houston-based Charis Theological Seminary had coined a phrase that describes the renewing of the mind; “Post-Salvation Epistemological Rehabilitation”, a transformation process analogous to a caterpillar going into a cocoon and at the end of the process becomes a butterfly. “When we study and apply the word of God in our lives we are transformed and emerge as  butterflies,” Dr. Patrick said with amusement.

Indeed, the analogy of the butterfly so much excited the congregation that one of the church elders said; “we should not think as caterpillars, we are now butterflies!” While still at Entebbe, Dr. Patrick held a cheerful round table session with the youth and fielded a variety of questions from the excited youth. The youths were eager to learn about relationships and how they should conduct themselves as Christians while dating. “Another enlightening discussion centered on dreams and spiritual gifts as well as spiritual awareness which comes from spiritual understanding – Sunesis,” the missionary Bible teacher said.

While conducting teaching sessions for seminary students and lay readers at Uganda Martyrs Seminary, Namugongo Dr. Larry Patrick was excited for the opportunity to share with the trainees the Thirty-six things that God does to the believer at salvation. “This teaching session was particularly an eye opener for the seminarians because they had not been taught about the topic let alone the depth to which they explored the issue,” Dr. Patrick said.

Once again, Dr. Patrick shared with the Christians in Namugongo a topic that excites him to teach at the slightest opportunity; Christian relationship, a class offered for two semesters at Charis Theological Seminary in Houston, Texas.

During the session, couples shared their experiences and learned about their individual and collective responsibilities in a Christian marriage. Referencing 1 Peter 3:1-7; in which the Lord commands husbands to feed their wives and honor and love them, Dr. Patrick  used, to the excitement of the couples, the analogy of husbands feeding wives as an honor just as a farmer feeds a milk cow.

Before winding up his ministry at Uganda Martyrs Church, Namugongo, Dr. Patrick delivered sermons at all the three services at the church. His teachings focused on the stages of Spiritual growth including Epignosis, Sophia, and Sunesis as laid out in Colossians 1:9: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. Dr. Patrick later held a round table session with the youth and fielded several questions ranging from concerns of the western homosexual culture and how its spread could be prevented in Uganda, as well as other questions about the conflict between society and the word of God.

The clergy, lay readers, and the laity of Namirembe Cathedral learned that when people get saved, “they become children of God, Theosapiens, and are no longer Homosapiens. Dr. Patrick encouraged them not to divide along homosapien lines (tribal, economic status, social status, etc.); we are all of the same family, one in Christ.

To say that Namirembe cathedral got an unfair share of the time Dr. Larry Patrick spent in Kampala would be an underestimate. Because, he returned to Namirembe Cathedral more than twice. He lived at the Namirembe (Church of Uganda) guest house, a stone throw away from the Cathedral. For a full week, Dr. Larry Patrick conducted marathon teaching sessions for a cross-section of the laity, clergy, priests and Lay readers. This particular lasted 3 days. The sessions were held at the Bishop Dunstan Hall at St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe. The wide-ranging topics covered during the program included “Unity in the Royal Family of God,” which focuses on how Christians should be of one mind and think alike for the unity of the body in Christ and  “Gates of Arrogance,” which are forms of pride – subtle tricks and forms of distractions that Satan employs on Christians to take them out of Fellowship with the Holy Spirit. This result in Christians falling in sin when the devil leads them into temptation and takes their minds off Christ.

“The clergy and priests embraced the teaching and were inspired to extensively study the word of God to better feed His sheep as a command given by Christ,” Dr. Patrick said. The visiting college professor also conducted an extensive teaching session on Christian relationship for the clergy and laity to purposely inspire and encourage them to teach their flock on what God designed the divine institution of marriage to be. The participants were further motivated as the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, The Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira attended most of the sessions. Dr. Patrick also taught about the signs of the times, emphasizing the key to the end times being Jerusalem. The Pastor teacher completed the week at Namirembe with a full day workshop on Christian relationship for the laity at Namirembe Guest house, where the missionaries resided during their stay in Uganda.

For the entire evangelism week at All Saints Cathedral, Nakasero between June 23 and 29, Dr. Larry Patrick delivered sermons, conducted training sessions, held fellowships, separately interacted with the youths,  the elderly, and the clergy, and also celebrated his 69th birthday. Kicking-off the week with preaching in all services at All Saints Cathedral, Nakasero that included a youth service, Dr. Patrick taught about “Being rooted ‘end’ Christ; “not growing on Christ as the foundation of our Faith, but rather growing inside Christ, as in a building being built inside a building and not just building on top of a foundation,” he said.

A section of the congregation during the evangelism -week at the All Saints Cathedral listening from the overflow section as Dr. Patrick preached

During the week, all daily activities were preceded with a morning service which spiritually prepared Christians to actively discuss wide-ranging topics including the little Old Testament study of scriptures exploring the trinity, lessons on Spiritual growth as a believer as in a mansion known as ‘Palace Beautiful,’ the doctrine of wisdom, and also the now popular and anxiously awaited Christian relationship teaching. “What was remarkable about the week-long program at the All Saints Cathedral was the large attendance, enthusiasm and active participation the Christians exhibited during the training sessions, Bible teaching classes, fellowships, and sermons. Many of the Christians testified about their inspiration to study the bible more,” Dr. Larry Patrick told the EADM after his return to his base in Houston Texas.


Members of All Saints Cathedral Nakasero gathered to celebrate Dr. Larry Patrick's 69th Birthday at the cathedral in Nakasero

During the same evangelical week, a celebration of Dr. Patrick’s sixty-ninth birthday was held at the cathedral. Dr. Patrick later had an exclusive one-day fellowship with the senior citizens of the church. Both the pastor teacher and the seniors were very grateful for the time they spent together, learning from each other and discussing how their wisdom can be imparted to the younger generations. “These seniors have the kind of wisdom that has sight beyond sight which they have gained from their age and experiences,” Dr. Larry Patrick says. The seniors expressed excitement to learn about the Doctrine of Wisdom which values the knowledge generated by the seniors from their diverse life experiences.


Dr. Patrick with a section of the seniors who are members of the All Saints Cathedral during the senior’s day observed at the church.

The climax of the mission trip was a spiritual marathon during which Dr. Patrick was the preacher at all the three sermons at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe. During the three sermons, the man of God emphasized man-God-given mandate to maintain Unity within the body of Christ, leaning on the Greek word spoudazo which is used for ‘endeavoring’ in Ephesians 4:3-6. He urged Christians to endeavor, to make haste, to take care, to put in all effort, to thrive, and to do their best to study God’s word as it is the foundation of the Unity of the body of Christ and the premise upon which the transformation of the mind is based.


Several participants who attended the training sessions by Dr. Patrick at a send-off dinner in honor of the pastor teacher at Namirembe Cathedral that marked the climax of the mission trip to Uganda

Before his return to the United States, the visiting American Bible teacher, scholar, pastor, and trainer, Dr. Patrick was hosted to a farewell reception by the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese the Rt. Rev. Luwulira Kityo at his residence at Namirembe. The event was attended by representatives from the different congregations to which the pastor teacher taught. The highlights of the reception which transformed into a fellowship included numerous testimonies and thanksgiving to God for the work He did through His servant Dr. Larry Patrick.

The Houston-based Charis Theological Seminary and Bible Institute are a friend and ‘neighbor’ of Uganda. Not only by word but also by deed. The institute has voted with its feet to demonstrate its love for Uganda. It has happened three times in as many years in a row, and still counting! Now, barely four months after a 30-day mission trip to Kampala, plans to hold an international Christian conference in the country ‘before November’ are already underway. It took a 1-month marathon Mission Trip last June to Uganda to make such an immeasurable impact. But it is happening both ways; missionary is beaming with gratification and the flock asking for some more. There is a sense of bonding that is invisible to the naked eye. But one thing is clear, both missionaries and the flock are getting closer to God than ever before.  Christians from the Anglican Dioceses of Namirembe and Kampala were the primary beneficiaries of the Bible teaching sessions, training seminars, round table talks, sermons, fellowship, prayer, radio programs, and praise and worship. This time round, the international conference will benefit even more Christians.  The conference aims at building, strengthening, and advancing the teaching and spreading of the gospel in the country.

On June 30, 2019, Dr. Patrick and his compatriot Mark Ddamulira left Uganda with an indescribable sense of spiritual fulfillment for the work well done, and time well spent. The end of the 2019 mission trip to Uganda also marked the beginning of the preparation for the 2020 mission to the East African nation. While details of the forthcoming international Christian conference are still being worked out, a review of the concluded one-month mission trip to Uganda and preparations for a similar mission trip next year are already underway. However, before the 2020 trip gets off the ground, the Pastor Teacher is again packing his bags to return to the same Pearl of Africa, this time, for a conference that is expected to break more yokes and unchain more chains!

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