1 January 2013

Uganda: Marriage, Jobs and Wealth Top Kololo Prayer Requests

By 8pm on Monday, worshippers were already at Kololo Independence grounds for the annual national celebration prayers hosted by Pr Jackson Ssenyonga and his wife Eve under the theme, See, I Am Making All Things New - Revelation 21: 5. ?

Eyes glassy from the sting of the evening cold, Christians settled into their seats. Some worshippers had arrived as early as 3pm. Jorum Ssebandeke from Masaka was in Kololo to ask God for a proper job. For eight years, the 39-year-old has worked as a casual labourer and now wants an office job.

"Last year, I prayed for a job but did not receive any. So, I have come back for the third time hoping 2013 will work out," he said.

It was hard finding anyone on the grounds without a request. ?Christine Kirabira from Matugga squeezed a Shs 50,000 note into a white envelope and dropped it into the offertory basket. ?Her prayer was for marriage this year. Random interviews indicated that jobs, marriage and the desire for an affluent life dominated the prayer requests.

The certainty that when one sows one reaps, ran throughout Ssenyonga's sermon of the night. And as the congregation worshipped with eyes closed, each person offered a prayer request accompanied by their seed of faith. ?However, Robert Asiimwe, a congregant, disagreed with Ssenyonga's position, saying that people are forced to give out of intimidation.

"Rather than telling people that the larger seed you sow, the greater your reward, people should be encouraged to give cheerfully and also tithe," Asiimwe said.

Gospel artistes Pr Wilson Bugembe, Julie Deborah and Martin Seku got the congregation dancing. But when Uche Agu of the Hey, My God is Good-ooo fame stood up to sing, the crowd went crazy. Chairs were lifted, hankies waved and dance moves of all ages displayed.

Then came the fireworks. Bursts of yellow, green, blue, and purple... This loud crackling announced the dawn of 2013, as on the grounds, the prayers and screams got louder.

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