Jonathan and Lisa Mayo are missionaries serving in university and education ministries in East, Africa and the ministry continues to expand throughout Africa. Jonathan recently wrote about how the seeds of the University Discipleship Movement have grown over the years and taken root across East Africa. Continue reading to learn how God is using UDM and its mentors and students to positively impact Africa for Christ.
“Shortly after Kennedy Kirui graduated from Kenya Highlands Bible College (now Kenya Highlands University), he arrived in Kampala, Uganda, in the fall of 2002 to continue his education at Kampala International University. Soon after arriving on campus, he realized that there were no Christian groups doing ministry on campus. Kennedy, along with two other students, met together for Bible study and fellowship and to encourage one another in their Christian walks. They met only once a week, attending their own churches on Sundays. As they continued to meet, Kennedy found out that Africa Gospel Church and World Gospel Mission were both in Uganda. Some WGM missionaries began to help lead Bible studies and other activities as called upon.
“As time went on, more students joined the fellowship and other groups began to form. Eventually, the students started United Faith Chapel, a thriving community of believers and a full-fledged, student-led church in Kampala.
“As early as 2005, Kennedy and I began to dream about seeing a university ministry like the one at KIU spread across Africa. This eventually led to the formation of University Discipleship Movement. God’s transforming work did not stop in Kampala; UDM has now grown from KIU to universities throughout East Africa as students at other universities have asked for help in creating their own student-led ministries.
“The movement’s vision is to see a generation of transformed university students who will take the whole gospel to the whole world. In addition to working with existing Christian groups on university and college campuses, UDM leaders help establish discipleship programs and campus churches at universities where Christian groups do not yet exist. Currently, discipleship ministries are being held on 22 campuses in East Africa with the potential of more universities being reached as financial and personnel needs are met.
“The discipleship movement reaches the less than 5 percent of East African people who are able to attend university. These students are growing closer to Jesus and are being challenged to be change agents for Him in their communities and countries. Many discipleship leaders shared that they see a huge difference in the students who have completed UDM’s programs. Students testify regularly about the transformation that has taken place in their lives.
“In the midst of this amazing work, the University Discipleship Movement is facing obstacles. Spiritual warfare challenges students and leaders in their faith, university administrators are not always open to the ministries’ active role in student life, and financial struggles make it difficult for the movement to expand and acquire necessary resources.
“Despite these challenges, God is faithfully making a way for the movement to affect transformation among university students and leaders throughout Africa. Grounded in their faith in Jesus and their education, students are being equipped to spur long-lasting spiritual and economic development.”
WGM can help you get involved in the ministry of UDM as it continues to spread throughout Africa. Visit www.wgm.org/udm for more information about how you can help make a difference today!