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Tribute - Kakongoro: A passion for Christ to the end

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th April 2007 03:00 AM

TO me, the Holy week will never be the same again. It took another turn when my father and friend, Rev. Canon Elisha Kakongoro Akiiki took a higher call last year.

Tribute - Kakongoro: A passion for Christ to the end

TO me, the Holy week will never be the same again. It took another turn when my father and friend, Rev. Canon Elisha Kakongoro Akiiki took a higher call last year.

By Margaret Kakongoro

TO me, the Holy week will never be the same again. It took another turn when my father and friend, Rev. Canon Elisha Kakongoro Akiiki took a higher call last year.

He died on April 12 (Wednesday) and was buried on April 14 (Good Friday). We had shared a passion for Christ, and a love for the people. He took us along during family visits, religious engagements and national celebrations.

In this way, I learnt to love God, people and my country. To this day, I seasonally tithe to my village church. We studied the Bible and sang together.

He had many biblical and spiritual jokes but turned them into lessons for us to learn. Even in his sickness, he gave me a lot of spiritual wisdom. In 2004, when he turned 80, I led my siblings to throw a party in Kampala.

This was the last time he came to Kampala for treatment. I had a desire to surprise him with good things and he always appreciated. He had accidentally met Christ during a visit to a church near his sister’s home in Kigarama at the age of fourteen.

The preacher of the day failed to talk, then the Late Festo Kakonge (Sr.) took over and led him to the Lord. Together with his brother, the Late Yowasi Musoke, they evangelised the village from house to house until their father threatened to kill them if they did not stop.

They chose to stick to Christ and had to leave home. He was adopted by the Kakonge and attended school which had evaded him thus far.

From Kigaaya Church of Uganda Primary School, he joined Aggrey Memorial School in Bunamwaya (Kampala) and lived with the Byangwa family. Later, he joined Ruharo Teacher Training College, Mbarara and graduated to teach in Kabaleega and Bulindi Integrated Schools.

Later, he served as District Inspector of Schools and retired as the Senior Education Officer in 1975, having served in Bunyoro and Mubende.

His role models in the Revival fellowship were Bishops Rwakaikara and Kivengere, Rev. Canon Katarikawe and Rev. Can. John Wilson (all deceased).

Becoming a cleric after early retirement from civil service saw him serve as Diocesan Secretary, then Mission Co-ordinator in Bunyoro-Kitara Diocese. We continued to live in Buswekera-Kabuye at our home so we never interacted with various church congregations.

This saved us from the stigma sometimes associated with children of the clergy. In his “free” time, he served in our local church (St. James COU, Buswekera) which did not qualify to have a Reverend.

He was discouraged from serving in the mission department because it blocked his opportunities of ever becoming a bishop, but he persisted because of his passion for evangelism.

As an adopted child, he learnt to work hard, be obedient and submissive; qualities he carried into Christian work. He was active in the East Africa Revival Fellowship especially in organising, running and speaking at conventions.

He cultivated a broad knowledge of the bible and had deep insight into spiritual matters. He counselled Christians at different levels of life in areas of spiritual growth, interpersonal relationships, marriage and work among others.

He was a popular preacher who visited different churches within and beyond the diocese. His messages were captivating, humourous, well illustrated and bible based. Often, he used reflective songs to make altar calls.

He preferred older tunes to most hymns because to him, the modernised tunes were just entertaining. His favourite tune was “Do no sinful action, speak no angry word …..” Often he took us along to attend such activities. I personally enjoyed his sermons and discussed them with him at home.

Sometimes, he organised and went on evangelistic missions for a week or more to provide people the opportunity to meet Christ. He was pained by nominal faith and the absence of fruitful Christian living in the church.

He opened our home for young Christians who needed discipleship. He also paid them for work done at home and on family projects.

To groom our attitude towards work, he gave us tasks in the farm if we wanted him to sponsor us for trips or give pocket money.

He had intended to engage in evangelistic home visits to the high social class after retirement but that is when he fell sick.

Tribute - Kakongoro: A passion for Christ to the end

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