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Greetings from Ddembe! This summer has been packed full of new and exciting things, and we wanted to take a moment to share a little bit about one of our favorite events that has happened so far this summer – our first-ever youth conference! Back in May, we hosted a team from one of our partner churches, The Church at 4Points, and it was such a pleasure to have them join us for our first youth conference.  

For a few years now, we at Ddembe have thrown around the idea of hosting a youth conference, but it wasn’t until this year that everything finally fell into place. Our initial vision was to host a conference for the youth at our home church in Jinja. However, with the encouragement of members of our Ddembe staff, it quickly grew beyond any of our initial thoughts or plans to encompass multiple churches in our area and any youth who desired to attend.

This conference was a beautiful example of the body of Christ working together in unity to glorify the Lord and minister to their community. Over 40 churches in our area partnered together to make this conference possible. The praise team alone had over 100 members comprised of students and leaders from multiple churches and youth groups. Over the course of the three-day conference, 400-500 students attended each day.

The conference centered around Ephesians 2:1-10, as each session walked through these verses and focused on the theme of Gospel Living. We were so grateful to Michael Roche from the 4Points team for leading two of our teaching times and our other leaders in Uganda who led sessions as well.

One of our favorite memories from the conference was a moment after one of our sessions when multiple young men and women came forward to share that they wanted to give their lives to Jesus. The church erupted in shouts and songs while one youth blew a trumpet in celebration, and many students raised their chairs in the air and danced around the room. The scene brought to mind Luke 15:10, and what a beautiful thing to think about – not only the rejoicing on earth in that moment, but the rejoicing in heaven.

We ask that you pray for these students as they get plugged into churches they were connected with during the conference. Some of them have already begun facing persecution, as one of the young men who professed faith in Christ came from a Muslim background and was kicked out of his home once his family discovered his faith. Members of our church have met with the young man and his family on multiple occasions since, sharing the gospel with them and seeking to restore the family relationship. Please pray that this young man’s entire family would come to know and love Jesus and that he would continue to be strengthened and grow in his faith.

We at Ddembe have a heart for the youth of Uganda. They are the future of this country, and each one of them has been divinely placed in this time for a reason. We pray they would have hearts that burn with a love for God and be beautiful ambassadors for Him throughout their country. We also thank the many people who gave, prayed, and served during this conference. Each of you were crucial in making this happen, and we cannot wait for the opportunity to host another conference in the future!