How One Mother in Uganda Spread the Love of Jesus to Her Entire Village
When Ziana began seeking after God in 2017, she was compelled to share what she had found with her neighbors. Her love for God and others helped transform her village in rural Uganda.
This is the story of Ziana, her husband, Peter, and their four children.
In 2017, local Lifewater staff began working with Namuzigo village, a community in great need of safe water. As staff went house by house to establish relationships with each family, share life-saving sanitation and hygiene practices, and build a water source ideal for that village, Lifewater’s ministry partners invited community members to explore the Bible together.
Ziana laughed as she recalled this time. She grew up Muslim but didn’t have any particularly strong passion for any religion. When asked to attend she simply said, “I do not like the Bible.”
But, after much back and forth, she went at the request of her husband, who was raised a Christian. Inspired but still uncertain, she decided to start her own small group in her home with friends and family.
“As we continued to read and study the Bible together, it touched my heart,” she said. “It started changing me; I felt that we needed to spread the love of Jesus to the rest of the community.”
Making Disciples of All Nations
Ziana encouraged the friends and family gathering weekly at her home to start their own groups.
“The Word got into us and we felt this need, this spiritual hunger to spread it around,” she said. “We got that boldness of the spirit to go even to the homes of those who practice witchcraft!”
In Namuuzigo village, some community members practice indigenous religions, much of which can be called “witchcraft.” A man who lives on the edge of Namuzigo village was known for being a witch doctor, and everyone feared him. Mothers warned their children against playing near his home, and no one dared to share the Message of Jesus with him.
But Ziana, emboldened by her commitment to make disciples, went to his home and talked with him about Jesus.
“We sat down and he listened to me,” she said. “Now, we call him by the name of Christian.”
Christian has joined Ziana’s small group, and they meet weekly at his house to study the Bible. The mother of four refused to let fear keep her from reaching the people in her community who needed the news of Jesus, including witch doctors.
The Love of Jesus Brings Transformation in Namuzigo Village
Ziana started her very own church in the community. Since starting her church and holding weekly Bible studies, she and her church leadership have baptized over 150 people from her village and the surrounding communities. Ziana credits this first to God and then to the work of Lifewater.
“Through Lifewater’s work, we see the message of love spread practically,” she said. “When Lifewater brought water to the community, they brought life.”
Every aspect of Ziana’s life has changed since that first Bible study in her home a year ago. She radiates with a gentle affection for everyone she meets and speaks with earnest about the love of Jesus.
“Now, I am leading a church and many are coming to Christ,” Ziana said.
“Before I knew Jesus, I did not have joy,” she said. “Since I became a Christian, I have cast all my worries on God, and because the Word of God is within me, I have joy overflowing.”
Ziana’s children have been so influenced by their parent’s examples that they’ve started their own Bible studies with their school friends.
“My children feel very alive and happy and healthy and full of joy, and we all feel united in spreading the Message,” she said. “I expect that when my children put God first, they will grow up and become responsible citizens, showing people the light of God wherever they go.”
Safe water, improved health, and the love of Jesus are working miracles in this rural Ugandan community and many more in East Africa and Cambodia.
At Lifewater, we respond to God’s call to share the gospel with others through both physical and spiritual actions like studying the Bible, building and restoring relationships, improving community health, and increasing access to safe water.
Our goal is that God would transform communities both physically and spiritually. Find out more about how your gift of safe water can reach families hungry for the hope of Jesus here.