We’ve been told about the Revival movement that happened in the areas Kigezi and later spread all parts of East Africa in 1920s and 1930s. This Movement did not only transform the people of Kigezi spiritually but it also touched on the civilisation of the people, the education, the health and the general well being of all the people who were living and staying in Kigezi region. People had been lost in the bad practices of witchcraft which took almost everything they had hence leaving them in terrible state of poverty, The animals would be slaughtered and sacrificed for rituals instead of selling them and using the money to take children to school and other income generating activities.
The Revival movement taught the people of Kigezi that trusting and believing in the almighty God was the only way to transform society, it is the only hope left for the mankind. This prompted the people of Kigezi to shun all these bad practices and turn to Christ, some turned into preachers and that how great preachers like the late Bishop Festo Kivengyeri came up. Bishop Kivengyeri and his team did not only preach about sin but they also helped Uganda to do away with the then bad governance of dictator Idi Amin. This means that the Revival movement did not only impact the spiritual lives of the people it also impacted on the politics of the country, giving people confidence and hope that they would do away with the bad politics that led to the loss so many lives including the head of the Anglican church in Uganda Archbishop Janan Luwum.
Since then, the whole of Kigezi has been an example to the rest of the country and the world in spiritual transformation. So many preachers who benefited from the fruits of the Revival Movement have come up to preach the Gospel of Christ within the country and outside. Some of these old preachers, We’ve not interfaced with them as young people, Unfortunately most of them died when we were young but we’ve read about them and heard stories about them. Bishops elect of North Kigezi Diocese Rev Asiimwe Onesmus is one of the kind, a talented preacher of the Gospel of Christ, who isn’t not only talented in preaching but also in art. I was told the other day that he taught many students the Fine Art Subject. I feel that the Rev Asiimwe Onesmus is a fruit of the great East African Revival and an evidence of the fire that started from the hills of Kigezi and spread to different parts of East Africa Uganda. He will use that expertise and talent to transform the Diocese of North Kigezi, the Christians will tap on his blessings and so many will be inspired and encouraged to turn away from the bad practices like drunkardness that has kept the region behind.
The Bishop elect for North Kigezi Diocese served as a chaplain of the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Luke Orombi. We would wonder how the a man wearing a necktie would be the one to carry the Pastoral Cross of the Archbishop, some many people asked so many Questions . One time in his sermon at the headquarters of the Diocese of Kigezi during brethren conference, The Archbishop Luke Orombi told us that he had personally identified Rev Asiimwe Onesmus, He told us that he had seen a unique talent in him that needed to be supported and developed, That’s exactly the reason as to why he handpicked him to be his Chaplain just like Jesus Christ did when he was choosing his disciples. Chaplain Onesmus Asiimwe would translate to the maltitude of Christians the Archbishop’s sermons to Runyankore Rukiga for everyone to understand, and whenever he would be translating you wouldn’t miss a single word. Time came and the necktie wearing Chaplain was ordained deacon at St Peter’s Cathedral Rugarama and he later became a Reverend and I was told he has been perfectly serving St Francis Chapel at Makerere University.
Through his preachings, I’m confident and very sure that the Bishop elect for North Kigezi Diocese, Rev Asiimwe Onesmus will transform that area. The Christians should give him all the necessary support and desist from dividing the Church basing on ethnicity. President Museveni has always guided us about the politics of identity that have unfortunately started entering the Church. This is because in the past days, the then leaders gave identity and ethnicity alot of attention and even nominated several ministers basing on their faith and tribal background. It would later turn out into a shabby situation with DP going against UPC. During that time Democratic party was for the Catholics and the UPC was for the Anglicans. I have read and also been told that at one time conflicts started and people lost their lives. Some Ugandans have since then been lost in that kind of politicking which has ended up dividing people permanently and hence affecting development.
The youth of North Kigezi Diocese, should be proud because they are going to tap into the vast wisdom of the Bishop of elect, He has passion for the young people and I think that is how he earned the nickname Uncle O, I’m confident that several conferences will be organized both at the Diocese level and parish level to preach to the Young people. This will not only help the diocese but it will compliment on the government’s efforts of supporting the Youth while they grow up. Whereas it has been a challenge for everyone of us to help the young people as they grow considering the challenges they meet but such efforts of the religious leaders surely help and at times put a stop to some of the dangerous vices like fornication, drug abuse and so many others that have spoilt the future of so many Young people. Most of them find themselves in that situation because of lack guidance and knowledge.
The Writer is a deputy RDC Sheema District.
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