Getting off the van in Arua, Uganda for the first time, I was expecting to meet a force of nature. A man with such a big vision and passion for what God could accomplish through himself and an expectation that it would all come to fruition surely would be larger than life. Only someone with a powerful and imposing countenance could lead and protect and be the visionary that I had heard about. The surprising reality of the man I first met couldn’t be further from my expectations. Visionary, yes. Imposing, no. Pastor JP is a small, humble man with a contagious giggle. He is as likely to be found playing with and loving on the children as he is to be found in meetings with adults interested in his ministries. Pastor JP is also a very generous man. It is very cultural in Africa to share with others even if one only has a small surplus of anything. Those who are shared with often feel that they are a part of one’s family. It is clear that Pastor JP and his wife, Rose, are very generous with any extra they have because of the sheer number of young men and women who refer to Pastor JP and Rose as their parents. It seems his “family” is endless. When I think of Pastor JP, I am reminded of King David. It really isn’t the size of the man that God cares about. It’s the size of his heart that matters. And Pastor JP has a really big heart.
Through the years Pastor JP has built a very impressive resume. He is co-founder of Gaba Community church and Africa Renewal Ministries (ARM). ARM has hundreds of church plants, a medical center, an orphanage, a University and supports several schools with over 8000 students in sponsorship programs. He has worked hard to establish Maranatha Christian School and Maranatha High School in Gaba, Uganda and has served on the board of directors for both schools. He has served on several other boards including Wenzt Medical Center, Africa Renewal Saving and Credit, and Africa Renewal Management. Most recently Pastor JP has planted Arua Community Church where he serves as lead pastor and he is Director of Solid Rock Christian School.
Pastor JP’s leadership and big visionary style encourage all who know him in their own personal talents. Pastor JP helps people believe they can accomplish the dreams the Lord has placed on their hearts in order to make a change in the lives of others. This is the man to whom many of us have entrusted our resources and our hearts which are tethered to the people of Uganda. He continues to work tirelessly for the greater good of people and for the pursuit of the redeeming story of the people of Arua, Uganda. What a privilege it is to know Pastor JP and for my own story to be inspired by this man after God’s own heart.