RECONCILIATION PRAYER HELD IN KITGUM DIOCESE ON SUNDAY 25TH MAY 2014 LED BY BISHOP JOHNSON GAKUMBA BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF NORTHERN UGANDA ASSISTED BY THE RETIRED BISHOP OF KITGUM DIOCESE MACLEORD BAKER OCHOLA II AND BISHOP BENJAMIN OJWANG.
Bishop Johnson took with him the Archdeacon of Nwoya Archdeaconry Rev John Ochola, Mr. Mawa Francis-Chairman house of laity and Rev Canon Willy Akena the Chaplain.
The team left Gulu Sunday morning and by 9:00am they had arrived in Kitgum. They went to straight to the Bishop’s residence in Mican. The Bishop was not at home when the team arrived, but Margaret was at home and welcomed the team.
The Bishop was hesitant to picking his clerical robes, and the pastoral staff. He said he will not participate in the service but instead he will be prayed for. After pleading with him, he finally accepted to take the robes and pastoral staff with him. The team was warmly welcomed at the Ground of the St. Janani Luwum Church by excited Christians who had been praising God while waiting for the arrival of Bishop Benjamin, Johnson Gakumba and the entourage. After greeting the Christians the team then went inside the Church for robing.
The service continued with the Holy Communion Service, with three readings Psalms 133, Romans 12: 9-21 and Matthew 7:1-12. Thereafter, six people gave testimonies. They included:-Representative of the Concerned Christians, who said, “there is no more concerned Christians in Kitgum Diocese, we are all one in Christ.” Representative of the Clergy testified that “let this repentance and reconciliation be from the heart”. Bishop Macleord Baker Ochola II gave his testimony followed by Bishop Benjamin Ojwang “I stand to declare total repentance and forgiveness to those who in one way or the other I have offended or have offended me. It is now time for a new era”. RDC Kitgum Captain Santo Okot Lapolo testified “Today I will sleep soundly” and finally the LCV Kitgum said “Today a miracle has taken place”.
The Sermon was delivered by Bishop Johnson Gakumba who appealed to the Christians of Kitgum not to give room to the devil again, to settle their differences quickly before it escalates, to love one another and live in Peace with all. The Sermon was followed by offertory and Holy Communion conducted by Bishop Ochola and Bishop Benjamin. The final blessing was done by all the three Bishops.
After the service key people had lunch at the residence of Retired Bishop of Kitgum Macleord Baker Ochola II. After Lunch a team went to Mighty Fire FM who gave airtime on their radio for one hour and fifteen minutes. The team included Bishop Johnson Gakumba, Bishop Benjamin Ojwang, B.Y Opio, Dr. Okun Okaka and Rev. Simon Peter Odur.
Christian of Kitgum expressed joy and happiness that the conflict that had separated them is now over. We thank God and the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda for standing by the people of Kitgum in the time of need. We continue to pray for genuine repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and transformation of the people. We acknowledge there are issues raised by the Synod that still needs to be addressed.
RT.REV. JOHNSON GAKUMBA
DIOCESE OF NORTHERN UGANDA/REPRESENTING HIS GRACE THE ARCHBIHSOP OF THE CHURCH OF UGANDA