'Uganda has switched off the whole internet. We’re fine but just wanted to let you know that we will be off-grid for a time’.
So read a text from a mission partner in Uganda on the eve of the country’s general election that is taking place today (14 January). 38 year-old-pop star Bobi Wine is pitted against the 76-year-old veteran president Yoweri Museveni.
If you, like me, woke today to the news of the latest twists and turns in the transfer of power in the USA, bear in mind that if Museveni wins in Uganda, he will work with his seventh American president. Whose grip on power is greatest?
In the strange, upside down world of global politics, one president has his social media accounts closed, whilst another shuts down an entire country’s internet access in the hope of securing a sixth term in office. This puts an entirely different spin on democracy, freedom of speech and the electoral process we often take for granted.
At the time of writing, it is very uncertain what kind of country Chris and Ros Howles and Rachael and Bernie Muluuta will wake up to tomorrow morning. Having witnessed first-hand the violence of the election campaign last year, there is no guarantee what the aftermath of this election will hold.
Today, will you join us in praying for this situation?
‘The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake.’ Psalm 99:1
Pray with one of the most profound truths of the Scriptures in mind. The Lord governs in every sphere. He rules every nation. He rules the Church. He rules us. It is the Lord who governs you and me. It is the Lord who governs presidents.
‘Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.’ 1 Peter 2:13-17
Pray that the church would discern what it means to fear God and honour the president. Pray that their trust in God’s rule would free them to serve the nation of Uganda faithfully and courageously.
‘Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.’ 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Pray that Chris and Ros (and children Josh, Danny and Chloe), together with Rachael and Bernie Muluuta a few miles away, would know the Lord’s peace and protection today and in the coming weeks.
Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat CC BY-NC 2.0
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