Each day, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Uganda partners with Mission Mbale to feed over 100 children. MISSION MBALE
NEWNAN — In 2013 Warren and Mary Faye Moore were in eastern Africa on a mission trip. While there, they decided to take a side trip and visit the school where their daughter taught. All of it was supposed to be a quick trip and then back to America.
That ended up not being the case. The Moores saw conditions they couldn’t ignore, much less forget. So, they brought their experiences back to Newnan and First Baptist Church, where they are members. Since then, they’ve built a collection of volunteers who have made it their mission to feed and clothe a neighborhood in Mbale, Uganada.
From Feb. 11-21, 15 volunteers from six Georgia Baptist churches will go into the heart of the Namatala slum in Mbale. Their primary goal will be to teach and disciple children and adults in a one-on-one or small group setting. It will be done under the umbrella of what began in 2013 – Mission Mbale.
Of the 28,000+ residents in Namatala, over half are children under the age of 14. Of these children, approximately 6,500 have lost at least one parent. Their median age is just over 15 years old.
The Moores’ 2013 mission trip in Uganda featured “Pennies for Posho,” an effort to feed children in eastern Africa. In visiting their daughter, though, the couple traveled through the Namatala slum and were struck by the needs on display.
Through Mission Mbale’s partnership with Ebenezer Christian Ministries that began in October 2013, the mission has been to “share the hope found in Jesus Christ with children and families who live in the Namatala slum in Mbale, Uganda,” shared Renee Wright, a Mission Mbale board member as well as executive assistant to the president and administrator of human resources at Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes.
The ministry and its volunteers partner with Ebenezer Baptist Church, a plant of First Baptist Mbale that, in turn, was an International Mission Board church start. Together they minister to nearby orphans and families by helping provide food, housing, water, medical care, and education, to name a few areas.
Through the relationship between the Ugandan church and ministry, a building for the church is in the process of being finished. There is also a thriving Christian school and orphanage that feeds approximately 100 children every day.
Gifted with a large rooster
Volunteers with the ministry take several trips to Uganda each year with a focus on evangelism that has brought many converts. What’s more, the predominantly Muslim community has embraced the Christian church and organization, welcoming them by the gift of a large rooster (Founder Warren Moore explains this is the equivalent of handing someone the “keys to the city.”).
“It’s just such an eye-opening experience,” Wright, a member of Palmetto Baptist Church, said. “It’s really hard to explain, but when you worship with our brothers and sisters there – just the passion they worship with and the joy – it’s just so powerful. That’s one of my favorite things.”
And although meeting the physical needs in such a destitute area is a priority, “We want them to have clean water. We want them to have food. But more than anything, we want them to see and feel the love of Jesus,” Wright stressed.
Sanctuary built through partnership
The Moores own church, First Baptist Newnan, caught the vision for Mission Mbale in 2018.
Ebenezer Baptist had been meeting in a tent for three years. As such, Mission Mbale volunteers had been praying for another congregation’s partnership to build a new Ebenezer sanctuary.
During April 2018, First Newnan held a special missions giving emphasis on Mission Mbale and Ebenezer Baptist in Uganda. From that push, over $80,000 was committed to help construct the church building. A similar offering by the Sunday school classes raised an extra nearly $30,000. The amount made the building functional, although still unfinished.
God continues to work through the ministry, say leaders. “It’s all for His glory,” Warren Moore shared. “He has blessed and blessed and blessed.”
Mission Mbale is seeking for partners in prayer, support, and short-term mission trips. For more information on the ministry, visit missionmbale.org. To sponsor a child, visit missionmbale.org/child-sponsorship/.
Myriah Snyder serves as content editor for The Christian Index.