My name is Martin Okello Okwir, a teacher with KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority) schools and I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I fellowship with St. John’s Chapel Luzira Prison in Kampala as my local church and also a member and an Advisor to my village church, St. John’s Church C.O.U Amatiburu in Dokolo District, Northern Uganda.
Although the church in Amatiburu had existed for a long time, it had no furniture for its congregants. The first time I went back there in 2014, the parishioners were sitting on the floor and this moved me and my family and we decided to uplift the status of the church through starting an initiative which would make the worship and service experience better for the parishioners. I started by giving five plastic chairs the following Sunday and provided the next five chairs to make ten on the Sunday that followed. This eventually became a motivation to the members of the church who realised they could do something about their sitting experience and one by one they bought chairs and currently we have over three hundred and fifty plastic chairs. After achieving that, the church entrusted the care of the chairs into the hands of my wife and the church structure into mine. We currently have a new structure raised and roofed, left with fixing windows and doors.
I was prompted to give back and take part in the building as I had made a commitment with my God and the best way I was led to give back to him was by building a worthy House where people can honour, praise and worship God.
My plan after retirement was to go to Bishop Tucker Theological College at Uganda Christian University to acquire basic knowledge on how I can interpret and convey the Bible message in the community. For me, when the ‘Equipping to Serve’ Veritas College training on how to interpret the Bible was introduced at my church in Luzira, it was my answer to my prayer because I had earlier discussed my Bible training plans with our Priest and thus did not have to wait to first retire in order to go for theological training.
When I used to preach, I used to think that I was doing the right things, but I realised I made a lot of mistakes and errors in interpreting and communicating the message. The basic skills and foundational knowledge that I have attained through training in module one has equipped me and now I am preparing to go back to my Village Parish to disseminate and help my people. Wherever I will be, I have to make sure that I give the right message and following the right approach.
I am married through holy matrimony with seven children. Our first born completed school and is working, three are at the University, and two are in their final High school year and last born is in baby class. They are all believers and during the family bible study and prayer time, each of the children including the four year old last born take turns in leading and sharing. This is one of the ways they learn through practising. We also incorporated other families and birthed a family fellowship which has had a big impact in their children as some of the children had gone astray and parents have come to appreciate.
The lesson on how to do exegesis really challenged me and although it was hard at first, with the help of other lessons and practise and the guidance by the Holy Spirit, I am getting acquainted with the process.
Having completed the first module, as a class we plan to proceed to module two to continue learning how to interpret other literature types.