By Titus Kakembo
While celebrating ten years in existence, Pastor Ronnie Makabai of Evangelical Truth Ministries (ETMI) along Salama Road is determined to promote evangelical tourism among his followers.
The former journalist intends to team up with the ministry of tourism to update the existing literature on individual destinations and exploit social media.
“For a start, we are going to have guides to take tourists through the route that the Uganda martyrs trekked from different places to Mukajanga’s (the hang man) place where they were hanged and burnt,” says Makabai.
“Besides that, worshippers love to see the beauty God has endowed this country with.”
Pastor praying for the sick(L). The congregation praying. PHOTO/Titus Kakembo
“The Church is continuously challenged to make itself relevant to a cross section of changes in society,” says Makabai.
“The tourism package will create jobs for drivers, the hotel will accommodate guests and there will be market for the crafts.”
There is a variety of religious attractions like where Bishop Hannington was hacked to death by the orders of Chief Lubas.
He says Mackay’s cave in Natete is worth a visit because this is where the English Bible and hymn books were translated into Luganda.
“Kigungu in Entebbe is another place worth spending your time to meditate the challenges the first missionaries faced when they delved into Africa,” says Makabai.
“There were wild animals, diseases, hostile tribes and lack of roads then.”
Makabai’s creativity has gone digital where believers text him a problem, he goes on bended knees and prays for a person on line.
“The biggest issues are broken families, irresponsible spouses, cheating partners and lonely hearts seeking partners.
“I tell my flock not to seat back and wait for God to deliver a list of their requirements,” stresses Makabai. “Do something while praying. For example if you want to own a house, then buy some bricks not asking and waiting for delivery.”
When I went to attend ETMI service last week, I found a big gathering at 3:00pm.
An incinerator for burning witch craft at ETMI PHOTO/Titus Kakembo
Makabai got into prayer as his image was on screens in different corners of the house of God.
There were patients brought on stretchers and others staggered to the podium whimpering with pain. There were howls of dread. Many testified their fear of heartless human beings in society.
One Sarah Nabatanzi walked to Pastor Makabai with her back curved like that of a waking cat. Her forehead was ridged by the pain.
Some believers unfurled their shirts and dresses to show the numbers inscribed on the body.
“God strengthen your people to be able to brave the difficulties in their lives,” prayed Makabai while touching heads. We denounce the evil spirits in your name God.”
“There is gossip about a number getting inscribed on your body. People have come to me scared of passing on. The number that appears is symbolic of the number of days one has left to live!”
People with unfulfilled longings have been forced to make their wills or delegate caretakers of the dependents when they die.
“Do not mind if you are disliked. It is our (saved people) rebellion against evil that makes us resented by others in the spirit world. Especially because I have an incinerator that burns the fierce secret fetishes of converted witch doctors,” Makabai always assures his congregation.