While most people spend hundreds of thousands of shillings to buy self-help books and listen to life coaches for inspiration, in Naalya, folks access all this at no cost.
To be specific, this occurs at Prayer and Divine Healing International Ministries, a church chaperoned by Pastor David Kwesiga.
Last Sunday, the 25-year-old preacher was walking the enlivened believers through how the polarity of character paves us a way to the bad or good side of life.
As he opens his sermon, the sharply dressed Kwesiga assures the congregation: “I can pray for you, but character is what determines whether you maintain the blessings or relinquish them.”
To him, character is the bedrock of business, relationships, work, and education among other key elements of life.
The preaching at Divine Ministries is so incredibly interactive, even more interesting; every bible reading is interpreted with real life examples.
Audience participation is also highly observed.
On invite to the pulpit, Harriet Babirye defines character as “someone’s ways,” adding, “The way he behaves.”
For Matthew Muganga, he thinks, “Character is how you handle yourself.”
To emphasize Muganga’s definition, Kwesiga chips in: “Bad character gets you out of the way to God for another person”, then continues: “Families are collapsing because of rumors; people are losing business because of poor treatment of customers and others are failing at work because of one major thing, character.”
This, Kwesiga illustrates with an example of a laundryman he fell out with because the latter had no respect for clients.
“There was this guy who used to clean my outfits … then one time he burnt my suit, but on taking my complaint, he charged at me”, he pauses, then goes on: “He was really terrible at customer care.”
The energetic preacher also reserves some time to remind parents that “the only thing you can give your children is to train them to have good character.”
Besides inspiration from real life stories, the bible is also handy during the service.
And the first reading was taken from Esther 1:9-19. It tells a story of Queen Vashti who was banished for her refusal to appear at King Xerxes’ banquet to show her beauty as the king wished.
Esther would be chosen to succeed her as queen.
The story can be summarised as follows.
While Xerxes holds a magnificent banquet for his princes, nobles and servants, Vashti holds a separate banquet for the women.
On the seventh day of the banquet, when the king’s heart was “merry with wine,” the king orders his seven chamberlains to summon Vashti to come before him and his guests wearing only her royal crown, in order to display her beauty.
Vashti refuses to come, and the king becomes angry. He asks his advisers how Vashti should be punished for her disobedience.
His adviser Memucan tells him that Vashti has wronged not only the king, but also all of the husbands of Persia, whose wives may be encouraged by Vashti’s actions to disobey.
Memucan encourages Ahasuerus to dismiss Vashti and find another queen. Ahasuerus takes Memucan’s advice, and sends letters to all of the provinces that men should dominate in their households.
Ahasuerus subsequently chooses Esther as his queen to replace Vashti.
At the end, Kwesiga says, “You might be beautiful, pretty but if not anointed with character you will fail.”
Other readings were taken from Ruth 3:9-11, Esther 2:7, Ruth 3:11 and they also clearly described how character is pertinent in our daily struggles.
The prayer session concluded with Kwesiga informing Christians of a 2-week fasting period that starts today (Monday) and advised them to read, Matthew 17:21 for more knowledge about “character building and disconnecting from bad characters.”
Pastor Kwesiga concluded the Sunday Service with extending support to the churches of Prayer and Divine, Kiwanga and Remah Christian Fellowship.
A piano, an amplifier, a mixer, a monitor, a bass speaker and keyboard stand worth Shs6m were taken.
On this, the pastor said: “If we do not give, we don’t get.”