Just Give Me a Tree

Church Planting in Uganda

Travel to northeastern Uganda, and you may stumble across the village of Kaliro where Pastor Kasajja Fredrick and his family live and minister. Since the time of his salvation and calling of God, his burden has been to see independent Baptist churches started in his community.

In the past fifteen years, Pastor Kasajja has put feet to his burden and has established fifty churches, all of these having a local pastor to lead them. Each week he travels for hours and hours on his motorcycle, mentoring these men. However, Pastor Kasajja has often prayed for someone to teach him more and help train these pastors in Bible doctrine.

In God’s perfect timing, I met Pastor Kasajja in November 2017 and have now taken two trips to these remote villages. We have taught Bible Institute classes and held training sessions to mentor these men and help them as they pastor their churches.

During our last visit, I asked Pastor Kasajja, “How can you start fifty churches, help keep them Baptist in doctrine, and keep on with your intention of church planting?”

His reply amazed me.

“Pastor Keith, I simply ask God to give me a tree. That’s all I need to start a church.”

Pastor Kasajja realized that having a building or property would not make a church. His goal was to first reach the people. After spending weeks soulwinning in a village, he would pray for God to give him a tree for meeting with the new converts under. (This was usually a mango tree.)

After a few months, in almost every case, one of the people of the church would donate a piece of land for constructing a pole structure with iron sheets for cover. As I traveled to nearly all of these churches, I was humbled at their simplicity as well as their desire to serve the Lord and to grow in their knowledge of Him.

I went to Kaliro to teach and mentor these pastors, and I left having been taught by them. Sacrifice, love for souls, love for church planting, a giving spirit, and a willingness to travel miles on a bicycle or on foot, just for a few hours of Bible training, helped me to see how many times my desires and priorities have shifted to self-gratification rather than self-sacrifice. May God help us to learn from these “third-world Christians” and truly see what serving God is all about.

“God, would you give me a tree? A place where I can reach and influence people for the cause of Christ in these last days.”

How many of us are waiting for all of our plans to work out before we step forward and serve God? Many put down stipulations of what they need or want before they surrender in service to Him. Our willingness should be to start with a tree and trust God to direct our paths as we put feet to our burdens.

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