This month, during our #GoGrowChange theme, the focus will be on seeds—ministries that started small but have grown in recent years. The story below focuses on The Print Shop in Uganda. Kenneth and Delight Hopson are missionaries serving in Uganda, and Kenneth runs the shop. Continue on to read about how God is working in and through the services The Print Shop provides!
(Story and photos provided by Kenneth Hopson.)
“Impact Notice: The Print Shop is a printing outreach that produces Christian literature for ministries that are affecting Africans’ lives in and around the country of Uganda. Wow! That’s the word that comes out of me when I realize how this print shop operating in a garage is reaching different tribes and cultures of East Africa, in many languages, for the gospel’s sake.
“The Print Shop makes an impact that reaches far beyond words printed on sheets of paper. The printed Word is powerful; it is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. When ink is put on paper, the paper is put together to make books, and the books are shipped to an organization ministering to a tribe that is receiving the Word of God for the first time—that means impact for Jesus! Can you imagine being able to read the Bible for the first time in your own mother tongue, learning about how Jesus can transform you into a new creation in Christ?
“This impacting ministry once was only a dream in my heart after Jesus saved me in my early 20s. I learned about printing in high school, never imagining that God could use a printer anywhere or for any reason in His vast kingdom. But that is exactly what He has done. God called me to serve Him with what talents I had, and the best way I could think of to do that was to do what I loved—printing. After applying to serve with WGM, God gave me the desire of my heart and called me to East Africa to serve with an existing printing ministry in Tanzania in 1997. For four years, I learned about printing in another context and another world. Those four years turned out to be invaluable to me, preparing me to one day begin a brand new printing ministry in Uganda in 2004.
“That is when The Print Shop began. Those early days were spent printing pastoral training lessons and other materials for WGM. My wife, Delight, was beside me, often helping me collate around our dining room table. Slowly I began to receive requests from Christian ministries in Uganda to print their materials. This started with Heritage International School, where Delight has been ministering for many years and where our three children—Kaleb, Austin, and Emilee—have attended. A “chance” meeting here or a secondhand “happenstance” there brought more ministries to The Print Shop, asking if I could print their materials that they needed to reach Africans to whom they were ministering.
“The work was sometimes so much that I came to realize I could no longer keep up. I began asking others to pray with me for someone with integrity to help me. I needed someone who had a heart as I did—to reach people by printing materials for God’s glory. In His perfect time, God answered many prayers and brought to me a young Ugandan man named Leonard. Leonard didn’t know anything about printing, but he had a servant’s heart, which I so desired in an employee. I taught Leonard how to print with passion, because what we are doing is so important for God’s kingdom! Leonard learned and learned well and has now been with me for two-and-a-half years.
“The number of ministries that we are able to print for has grown very much and has now reached into Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania are also future possibilities! The number of languages in which we have been able to print is also many. The number of tribes and souls impacted so far? Only God knows.
“This is what God can do, and this is a daily reality in The Print Shop. We help to advance the kingdom of God by printing the Word of God; discipleship materials; Bible studies; books about Christian living, stewardship, marriage, parenting, prayer; and many other items, making it possible to place printed pages in the hands of real people. That makes my heart pump! I hope it moves you, too, and encourages you to pray for Leonard and me daily so that The Print Shop ministry can continue to grow, reaching more and more lost and spiritually hungry people for Jesus’ sake.”
WGM can help you get involved in Uganda ministries like The Print Shop. Visit wgm.org/uganda for more information. Another way you can get involved is by praying. Will you pray that The Print Shop will continue to grow and become a shining beacon for the gospel message, reaching people who desperately need to hear His Word?