Delegates from the 11 countries that make up the East-Central Africa Division (ECD), recently joined together in Kampala, Uganda, to celebrate the mission achievements in the region. The Mission Extravaganza was held on the outskirts of Kampala, at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium in Namboole. Inside the stadium, praises and prayers could be heard from a distance, as the congregation listened to missionary reports, testimonies of salvation and future plans for mission.
Prior to the celebration, the division organized evangelistic crusades. For two weeks, evangelists from across the region were deployed in Kampala and its vicinities. ECD’s Women and Children Ministry department director, Debbie Maloba, said more than 2,000 women attend a congress she organized with the General Conference. During the congress more than 1000 women graduated from the leadership certification program. She also coordinated TIC (Total children Involvement), an initiative intended for children to become evangelists.
Many more activities paved the way for the celebration, including youth community outreach. Magulilo Mwakalonge, ECD youth director, shared joined with the young people who built classrooms and gave clothes to needy people in the rural area of Karamoja. The crowning glory of the event was the baptism of more than 3,000 people at the end of the evangelistic efforts.
The meetings, which bring the whole division together to witness God’s transforming power, were the dream of division president, Blasious Ruguri. Ruguri said when he tried to count the blessings God bestows upon the division, he could not find words to adequately express the feelings of his heart. But because events must have names, he called them “Mission Extravaganza.” Speaking at the occasion in Uganda, Ruguri urged Adventists to focus on mission and celebrate it when the Lord gives a harvest.
Since the beginning of the quinquennium, the mantra for evangelism in ECD has been “Mission Priority, It is Harvest Time”. Ruguri recalled some of the miracles that have taken place in the territory, such as the unprecedented growth of the Adventist Church in the region, which now has more than 4 million members. He also cited the new ECD medical school which is now the education flagship in the division.
The ECD Mission Extravaganza in Uganda was also a time for revival and reformation for the attendees. William Cox from the United States, expounded on the theme of justification, sanctification and glorification through Jesus.
Since 2016, mini-extravaganzas have been taking place in the unions. The one in Uganda was a culmination of jubilation in ECD. A similar gathering was organized at the end of the last quinquennium in the city of Dar es Salam in Tanzania.