A Different Kind of Jubilee

Uganda just celebrated their 50th anniversary of independence from the British Empire.

While there were the usual parades, speeches, decorations and promises, their Jubilee celebrations were marked by a very premeditated spiritual focus, with engagement from the First Family all the way down to the rank and file believers.

On Sunday afternoon there was a large gathering at the nation’s leading hotel hosted by His Excellency President Museveni and the First Lady.  It culminated with the signing of an intense proclamation of repentance and covenanting the nation to God.  It was nationally televised with a high level of engagement by Christians and pre-Christians alike.

I was privileged to be present and my defining memory of the evening was all the pushing and shoving at the front of the auditorium by people wanting to sign the 4′ by 6′ proclamation when it appeared as though they might be running out of room at the bottom for signatures.  So many people were desperately wanting to be signatories of this historic document.

It was printed the next day in major newspapers for the nation to savor.

The second event was at the national stadium and was hosted by the Christian community.  It ran from 10:00 a.m. on the eve of the anniversary to 6:00 a.m. the next morning.  At midnight, as the first minutes of the second 50 year period of their history ticked by, His Excellency stood in front of the crowd, backed by the First Lady, and repented for the sins of previous presidents, governments and citizens, and then dedicated the nation to the Most High God as an official act by the head of state.  This too was watched by the nation via television.

Here are links to the local newspapers for those who wish to read the details.



That is the snapshot:  a people who are passionate about enthroning Jesus over the nation.

As dramatic as that is, the movie is even more compelling.

The first 24 years of Uganda’s history was marked by wild swings between unstable governments and totalitarian regimes that did great harm in the nation.

His Excellency fled from such an unjust government, went to the bush, and over a number of years led an effective insurgency to take over the nation.

While that was celebrated as a great victory, the reality is that he was now governing a nation that was in shambles.  Destroying something is easier than building, but with immense energy and creativity, he set his shoulder to the wheel and in the next 26 years made huge progress.

Here are some statistics revealing the progress in building the nation.

The army was the primary enemy of the citizenry prior to his war.  Now it is a highly professional army with superior training and a reputation for maintaining order, not causing chaos.

In 1986 the economy was so fractured that national tax receipts were a mere billion shillings.  Today it is over one trillion.  Inflation peaked at 216% per year and now is 6%.

In 1986 Uganda had 26, 328 phone lines.  Today in a population of 3,200,000, 40% own mobile phones.

At the time of independence, Uganda had only one radio station, owned by the government.  Today there are 200 radio stations and 10 TV stations.

At independence, there was only one woman doctor and no women judges or lawyers.  Twenty-four years later, there were still only 2% women in Parliament.  Under His Excellency, that figure has grown to 32% of Parliament, with a significant presence of women through other sectors of government and society.

While those figures are good for any nation, it is in the expression of their Teacher gift that Uganda has been extraordinary.

From one ravaged university in 1986, there are now 27.  Uganda has such excellence in higher education that some of the heads of state of surrounding nations came to Uganda for their formal education in the recent past.

In 1989 a mere 60 medical doctors were graduated from one medical school.  Today four universities graduate over 500 medical doctors a year.  By 2011 the country had a total of 72 private hospitals and a couple thousand government run clinics.  HIV/AIDS infections are down by 50% at last count.

My point is this:  often we see spiritual passion coupled with an abysmal lack of social skill, and dedication to God does not, by itself, overrule bad choices in the gritty stuff of daily life.

In this case, the government of His Excellency has executed well on sundry fronts.  While the nation is far from being a utopia and there is still immense job security for anyone with a yen to build a nation, the facts are, he has a plan, he is getting results and the nation has come farther in 26 years than most.

Against that backdrop of fierce intentionality in doing the daily work, the unequivocal repentance for the national sins and the unambiguous dedication of the nation to the Most High God certainly sets the stage for an acceleration of the good things already in place.

Keep an eye on this nation.  No telling where the King might move with power and grace.

Copyright October 2012 by Arthur Burk

From The Hub, in Anaheim

This entry was posted in Blessing Land, Defining the Spiritual Climate, Erasing the Line Between Secular and Sacred, The Culture, The Kingdom of God. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to A Different Kind of Jubilee

  1. Go Uganda for stepping out so boldly! And thank you Arthur for the link. Although I am not sure how or why, I have been told that I have Uganda “on me”. (I pray for Andrew and Good Africa whenever Africa comes to mind.) I read the entire thing and while at first my tears were for the beauty of it, I spent almost an hour travailing heavily as I read their list of sins for which they were repenting. I prayed for those who commented in the blogs. While it was definitely rough I felt both spent and filled at the same time 🙂 Thank you for bringing such a wonderful event to my attention. It is very encouraging.

  2. Mary-Anne Simpson says:

    What a sense of JOY and hope this posting has given me as we are being pressed on every side in our corner of Africa.
    It is a challenge right now, not to shrug one’s shoulders and fall into the trap of thinking that we too are “going the way of all African countries” (I must point out that like many Africans I mean sub-Saharan Africa). Which, within 10 – 15 years of having achieved democracy, see great progress and change only to slide effortlessly into a single ruling party / dictatorship situation.
    I would consider us to be die-hards, who in spite of “looking” for options beyond our borders still believe in our heart of hearts that we will end our days on African soil.
    But even we are wondering at the wisdom of having all we own invested here.
    Thank-you for bringing a different perspective to our beloved continent, and thank-you for your continued visits to her, you bring with you hope, joy and the blessings of God the Father who looked on Africa with loving approval when He formed her.

  3. Allen Kagina says:

    It is still difficult for me to describe the feelings I had as I and several hundreds of christians witnessing the dedication of Uganda to God Most High by the President of Uganda. I remember being so thankful to God that we could bequeath to our children a better Uganda than had been bequeathed to us by the first leaders if Uganda. I am so glad I have lived to see this day.

    Arthur, your message to the nation that night was one of the first bricks in building the new Uganda. Thank you for coming out to Uganda.

    • Arthur Burk says:

      Allen, I have a friend who began life pretty tough, but she has been adamant in saying that the beginning of her life does not have to define the end. The same is true for nations. I celebrate the enormous steps that were taken during the Jubilee to redirect the nation to a different future.

  4. Rosa says:

    Uganda, The Pearl of Africa.I absolutely love this post. Verifiable,measurable change. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Peggy Costion says:

    Ecuador was the deciding vote in the UN to allow Israel to enter. That country is blessed for blessing Israel, relatively free of drug cartels and earthquakes that surround it. A nation that knows and trusts God and stands by Israel, is a blessed nation

    • Teena says:

      The country that gave the deciding UN vote for Isreal in 1948 was Guatemala………………. But I do argree with you that when a nation honors our Father they are blessed. I pray the US gets it soon

  6. Ellen Cooke says:

    Brought tears to my eyes, so happy for the nation of Uganda, and so wanting the USA to follow suit and bring an end to our slow turning of our back to God and His desires for us. Thanks for sharing and I will pray for Uganda, that God’s divine hand would protect them, give them wisdom, and give them peace, love, grace, and strength in the many days to come.

  7. Carol Tattersall says:

    I wonder if this great and exciting nation is a prototype for what is the destiny of all African nations. Maybe they will indeed become the breadbasket of the world. The discovery of vast reservoirs of water beneath the continent, and good government to access it, could support this. Namibia is said to have enough pure water to sustain them for 400 years. This is so encouraging.

  8. Catherine says:

    Whew. This is beautiful.

    Father God, may it be that the world sees this picture for what it really is, and may we see Uganda positioned among the nations according to Your will as Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

  9. Tracy says:

    My Africa!!

  10. Ingrid Roberts says:

    Thank you for posting this Arthur. I just sent it to my spiritual sons, young men I met a number of years ago on a trip to Uganda. I have purposed to encourage them with the resources I have been given, including many of your teachings. I wrote out the entire redemptive gift set for them! It was fun trying to identify their specific R gifts… One is an exhorter who we supported to attend the Iris school of ministry. This was before I knew he was Exhorter, he has since started a ministry called Stars of Hope, there is no telling what God will do with them! Another son is a Giver who we helped to finish University. I believe he is destined for a strategic position either in business or government or both.
    You mentioned Uganda as Teacher, I thought it was Prophet…( this was mentioned elsewhere) would you mind clarifying for me? I want to help the boys understand so they are better able to cooperate with God’s purposes for their nation.
    Your teachings keep me busy! Thank you again for your ministry.
    Ingrid Roberts

    • Arthur Burk says:

      Ingrid, I had labeled it as Prophet in the past, based on superficial study. When I went back and read a lengthy history, I changed my position. I feel the land Teacher based on the evidence. It is divided North and South, and the things that thrive the most are the Teacher components.

      The federal government is Ruler, I feel. And the primary political party that defines the values of the nation seems to be Prophet.

      So there are loud competing voices in the culture.

      There are also those in Uganda who quite firmly disagree with my sense of the nation, so at this point, I would say it is still open to discussion. On the one hand, they have much more data. On the other hand, I have much more experience interpreting the data. So I am not being dogmatic, but neither am I hiding what I believe.

      • Ingrid Roberts says:

        Thanks, this is helpful and interesting. Identifying land and people groups is challenging for sure. I will pass what I know on to my friends, fortunately I’m most familiar with Teacher land. They all walk in huge creativity, are very gifted, and worship from the heart!

  11. Pat says:

    WOW! What an exciting report! And how wonderful that you get to be a part of it.

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