With a heart full of hope and anticipation, Simon Maanda (2020 alumnus) drove the Gospel Chariot truck into a village in Karamoja. This region of Northern Uganda has been long considered the country’s frontier – with dry grasslands, semi-nomadic herders, extreme poverty, and large caches of unregistered firearms.
Sent by Gospel Chariot Missions to this poor community, Simon desired to share the Good News of the Gospel of King Jesus. He smiled warmly and greeted them in their native language which he had studied in preparation for his visit. The villagers were amazed at his knowledge and invited him into their manyatas (homes). He lived, played, ate, and drank with them.
Over the next few days, Simon spoke to the people about the love of God. He prayed with the villagers and spoke of the joy, peace, and hope that comes from having faith in Jesus. In the midst of poverty and suffering, the villagers were moved by his words. Many wept with amazement at a God who understands their pain and is willing to meet them in their need.
Simon could feel the Spirit of God moving in the air.
On the last day of his visit, he held a special service and baptized those who had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As he pronounced them children of God, tears of joy filled their eyes. They had never before felt such love and acceptance.
Through the power of the Gospel, this village was forever changed. In the few months since that first visit, churches have been successfully planted in the region and the Kingdom of God continues to expand.
Just before his ascension, Jesus tells his disciples, “You will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Simon knows what it means to be a witness to the ends of the earth. And, he knows the power of God to change hearts and lives through his willing service. He is one of many African Christian College graduates who work with Gospel Chariot Missions to spread the Good News throughout Africa, especially in hard-to-reach areas.