Pastor Brian Mpora of Eden Revival Church Wandegeya got saved at 13 years while in school. His journey as a Christian enabled him realize the grace of God in his life. He shares his story.
I got saved when I was thirteen years while in a catholic school, Namilyango College. We used to hold fellowships in school and later as the fellowships grew, this posed as a challenge because different students would get converted from the fellowships we were holding. We were hunted down by the administration and called all sorts of names by fellow students. I did not grow up in a Christian family and when my family discovered that I was saved, they were shocked.
At fifteen years, I was spirit filled and this posed as a threat in the catholic faith and sparked off some sort of persecution as we would be hunted down. At one point, they suspended all if not most of us. One of the converts burnt his rosary and as such, he was immediately expelled from school.
Personally, I was suspended from school. When I got home, I found my family waiting for me. They told me to leave the new faith. I did not respond to them but rather I recall quoting for them a scripture that states,
“Jesus said I did not come to bring peace. Fathers will be against their sons, mothers against their daughters and man’s worst enemy will be their household.”
Imagine quoting that for your parents! They tied and beat me up but still, I said that I am going back to school and I promised that I would continue with my studies. But I did not give up my faith.
I went back to school and was able to excel academically but whenever I look back at that period, to me, that is the basis of my faith. My strength in the Lord has been from that background. I look at the faith of people today; many have not had the privilege to go through what I have gone through. They are easily swayed by material things such as money. The trials I went through have made my faith solid.
Today I am a pastor. I have always felt God direct me at the different phases of my life. When I finished my Senior Six, I worked as a bar manager in my father’s bar but I always longed for the day that would end. I later joined university on government sponsorship. However, I got so taken up and involved in fellowship, prayer meetings and this occupied most of my time. I ended up as a leader of a Christian union. My studies however were affected. I later got retakes and ended up applying for a dead year.
Luckily, I got a chance to continue with my studies through with the help of my mother. I had not grown up with her and she looked for me and offered to pay my tuition. I went back to school and excelled in my studies. I completed university and later taught in different schools.
At the time, I had three jobs and one day during service, I felt the Lord speak to me to leave my three jobs. It was not an easy decision to make and I struggled with it for about two weeks. I consulted my pastors and later decided to serve at church. This year, I was ordained as a pastor.
I am married and before choosing to leave my three part time jobs, I was planning on getting married. I think that is why making the decision was difficult for me because I needed the money for a successful event. But God provided for me.
However, during our introduction, my father-in-law told me that, “I do not sell my daughters”. My family members decided to mobilise something to take to him but we were not under any pressure. Our introduction was in November and two weeks later, on December 14, 2008 we held our wedding.
As a pastor, I face many challenges among others loneliness. For instance when a pastor delivers a strong and powerful sermon, people think that it applies to them and they are beyond mortals. So you are isolated and have no one to share with. Although here at our church, the Bishop has groomed us and we have a fellowship where one can easily talk to someone and tell them what they are going through.
One major thing is to keep God’s word in your heart to grow spiritually. The word of God is very important. In fact as a young Christian, one of the things one needs to do is reading and studying the word. Studying is to compare, rehearse and when it comes the basis in your life, everything becomes the basis according to the word.
I was lucky that at a young age, I got to study the word of God and understand it. And today I am a bible teacher.
A Christian needs to be spirit filled because the spirit of God helps you to see things differently. The spirit of God guides you to follow the right path and I believe that if I was ot spirit filled, I would not be where I am now.
One weekend when I was fifteen, I felt the need to pray more. As I began to pray, I was filled with the spirit of God. I started speaking in tongues and laughing. I prayed for at least five hours. But to me, that has been the point that I attribute to my strength.
I advise the young people to seek the spirit of the Lord. Hunger and thirst for the Lord because when you seek you find. Also, study the word and this will keep you.
I owe my success in ministry to my pastor Bishop Morris Bukenya. Because when I joined the church, I did not know how to minister, lead people or even conduct a wedding but I have learnt all this through him and his ministering. God has used him to mentor and help me grow in ministry. I urge the young people to find someone that they can emulate. Find someone that is consistent that you can learn from and can mentor you.
I look at Pastor Bukenya’s integrity, love, humility and the way he sacrifices for the ministry. I also owe my success to my wife because I think God brought her in my life to shape my character. She grew up in a Christian family unlike me and things like strictness, transparency, honesty; such virtues that I have learnt from her that have helped me grow.
I find it hard to pray at times and I think it is important for Christians to know the seasons that God is bringing into your life. Identify the season in your spiritual life that God is bringing your way because there is always a grace that comes with it. If God is bringing some preachers on video, books, prayer, fasting flow with that because there is always a grace with the particular thing in your life. I think I have learnt the art of knowing the season He is taking me and I flow with it.
How can one know? We need to learn to hear from God because that is very key in a Christian’s life. One might wonder how they hear from God. There are different ways but someone will have a unique thing with them when it’s God. Some people will have dreams, others it’s just through reading the bible and they get direction, others it’s through listening to anointed messages while to some people it’s a still voice.
God speaks to us and it will come as a strong idea that really excites you and does not go away. It’s easy for me to know that God is speaking because it has happened to me several times. And when it keeps recurring, then you will know that God is speaking to you.
I think there is a time I regressed most especially in my senior four vacation and I really loved listening to secular music. But I never reached the point of saying that I am not saved because deep down I knew that I was saved. I stopped attending fellowships but when I would go back to school, I would rejoin. I think school really helped me to keep my salvation. Christians should learn to trust in God especially when they pray for something and it takes long. When the time is right, God always answers our prayers.