By Ambrose Ogwal
“Almighty God, You are our Fortress, our refuge and the God in whom we place our trust…”
These are the words that form the first line of the Corporate Prayer of the Bible Society of Uganda and caught up in a prayer mood, members who turned up on 05th March 2021 for the 2nd Acholi Branch AGA fervently and passionately filled the atmosphere in and around St. Monica Main Hall – Gulu City with these words as they thanked God for the entire BSU family, Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, Staff, Members and Donors. Members prayed for blessings upon donors who have continued to support BSU, for revival within their own hearts and our mother Country Uganda, not forgetting the cry for wisdom upon the leaders of our Country Uganda. As the General Secretary of The Bible Society of Uganda Mr. Simon Peter Mukhama joined in the Corporate Prayer that was led by the Branch chairman Rev. Godfrey Loum, He was flanked by His Grace Archbishop John Baptist Odama (Board Member), His Grace Bishop Silvestros Maximos Kisitu who heads all the Orthodox churches in Northern and Eastern Uganda and Rev. Eunice Piloya Opok (Board Member).
The theme for the assembly was paraphrased from Jeremiah 1:10 – “Set to build and to Plant” which is also the BSU theme for 2021 and 2022. This scripture was read out loud in Acholi language by a visually impaired Mr. Owiyo Patrick who first brailed the scripture on a plain manila paper before taking the reading since Acholi Braille bible is not yet in place. We are hoping to have the Acholi bible produced soon through the continued support of our members and donors. Mr. Owiyo was accompanied by his Visually Impaired wife and she fluently read the same scripture from her Goodnews translation braille bible that she received from The Bible Society of Uganda. This session left many members in awe as they followed the readings from their own bibles and both of them read perfectly to the dot. This is what we call “Vision beyond sight” and as The Bible Society of Uganda, we call upon everyone to donate towards this cause of providing scriptures for the blind so that every visually impaired person in Uganda (At least 2million Blind) can own their braille bible, preferably even in their own languages. A braille bible currently costs 2,000,000/= (Two Million Shillings).
The AGA served as an opportunity for members to buy bibles, renew their membership, receive a report on the branch operations for 2020, receive an audit report of the branch for 2020, receive an update from the General Secretary/CEO and most importantly allow members to ask all the questions they had regarding the work of The Bible Society of Uganda. All this was successfully achieved and notably, most questions asked were in line with Acholi Bible revision progress and why certain bible verses seemed to be missing. Thanks to Mr. Simon Peter Mukhama who addressed these issues ably and left members greatly informed. The Acholi Bible Translation team led by Mrs. Grace Twikirize also provided great clarifications on the ongoing revision of Acholi Bible.
Two life members were delighted to receive their life membership certificates from Mr. Simon Peter Mukama and The Chairperson of the Women’s Taskforce was ceremoniously pinned with a life membership badge by Board member Rev. Eunice Opok after she fully paid her membership instantly during the AGA. As a way of raising funds for the New Bible House, Mr. Simon Peter Mukama introduced “The Bible House Magic Cups” to the members and they were left excited and instantly 10 cups were purchased and many more members were still left in need of them.
We thank members, the secretariat, Acholi Branch Executive committee members and staffs, Translators and volunteers for making this meeting a success. To God be the glory.