- For the past nine years, we have been serving Jesus as Brent & Virginia Earwicker, missionaries sent out from Westside Church to reach the islands of Lake Victoria. Oriented around the local church, we have always desired that our work to flow through a healthy indigenous congregation and so yoked ourselves with the best leadership we could find, attempting to serve Jesus with all our hearts both in the urban church and in the churches of the islands. And for the better part of a decade that arrangement worked very well.
- While our labor in the local church took much of our time and focus, we counted ourselves blessed to freely give ourselves to building God’s church in the place He planted us. It also yielded many strong leaders who followed our pattern of whole-hearted service within the church and out on the island mission field, and we found a multiplied effectiveness as we served together in a ministry that was so close to God’s heart: to make disciples of the unreached in remote, forgotten places at the ends of the earth.
- But as time has marched on and this ministry has grown, it’s no longer possible for us to operate solely as individuals, using the strength of relationship alone to minister to an ever-broadening swath of islands and the large population represented by the 75+ membership of our island leadership network. A new church planting thrust, daily radio broadcast, weekly island trips, and monthly evangelistic events just can’t be carried out in a part-time fashion with a volunteer team. And there are many more dreams in our hearts that must be prepared for fulfillment.
- And so we are currently in the process of establishing a national NGO (non-profit organization) based in Uganda. We’ve rented an office in a strategic fishing village/landing site, begun hiring staff, and are looking to purchase lakeshore land on which to build our base of operations. While all of this has become a legal necessity for us to provide a proper framework for our team to work within, it has also helped to refine and clarify our vision. The seeds deposited in our hearts half a lifetime ago are now springing to the surface as we put down on digital paper our plans to be carried out in the days and months and years ahead.
We see thousands of missionaries empowered to launch out to the darkest parts of Africa. Uganda has had the Gospel for multiple generations and are a people prepared to take the message of the cross to the ends of the earth. All our experience in leading training programs and Bible schools will now be utilized for the specialized equipping of indigenous laborers called to the unreached in surrounding lands. Our beloved islands will not only continue to be a great field of harvest but will also become a solid training ground for fledgling missionaries to get their feet wet in ministry while boosting the island churches at the same time. Already we have dozens of young people in active service and many more looking to us for specialized training.
We see churches being multiplied in previously unreached areas throughout the continent. While the remaining harvest fields of Africa are primarily strongholds of Islam and extremely difficult places for the Gospel to take root (there’s a reason they are still unreached in 2015!), we believe that the love of Jesus is more potent than any other power, teaching, or religious system and that God will call out those he wants to give their lives away to see movements of churches established in every place. Nine months ago we began church planting in unreached island villages, learning the ropes and overcoming challenges while building a solid model for multiplication in other difficult areas.
We see entire regions being transformed by a unified Church. In church work, it seems nearly impossible to get strong leaders to work in unity but we are seeing the God of the impossible touch the hearts of his people as they come together to build His Church. For many years we have labored amongst existing churches on Lake Victoria’s islands and now resource a majority of their leaders in our Island Leadership Network. In all other unreached target areas where the church begins to multiply, we plan to care for these leaders in the same way that has proven vital in the lives and ministries of our island pastors.
- It’s amazing to see how all the pieces of scattered ministry seem to come together at the right time. This is a new season for us, and while the nature of our ministry in Uganda remains the same, the air is pregnant with a substantial vision to fulfill our part of Jesus’ Great Commission.
- We are believing God, not only for thousands of missionaries to be sent out in the next decade, but for thousands of senders on both sides of the ocean to make their work possible. Please pray with us that our merciful God would send out laborers into this vast harvest by stirring our American brothers to give of their resources and our Ugandan brothers to offer themselves for this worthy work.
- We will keep you posted on the development of this vision and the framework that surrounds it and how you can specifically get involved with our emerging indigenous missionary sending organization. Thanks for standing with us as we go forward to reach the world!
Our rented office building is located in the middle of Kasenyi fishing village (an strategic port for our island pastors and leaders)