of 1998. Modele shared, “The focus of that first team visit was ‘soul winning’ and I spent much time traveling to teach pastors how to evangelize.” Modele also noted, “There was also a little school off the church property that had a few kids with a chalkboard that Pastor Dongo was involved with, which seemed to be gathering more kids in the area.”
The following year, Rev. Modele sent two other members from his church, the Rev. Paul Worthington, and Sister Jamila Reid. A year later, one of Modele's friends, the Rev. Jesse Bottoms, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church, Poughkeepsie, NY, sent two volunteers to assist in the construction of the church on Gaba Road which would be called Kabalagala Pentecostal Church (KPC). It was clear, God’s vision for the children of Uganda was spreading to churches in New York.
dump into a home setting. As Robert shared the Lord with barely clothed children rummaging for food, he committed to the Lord that he would help any way the Lord willed. Six weeks later, Robert and Nicole found themselves at this gathering listening to Bethuel talk about his vision to empower the orphaned through education and discipleship.
They hosted Bethuel at their home that night, and by the next morning, the Cockburns had heard clearly from the Lord that Pastor Bethuel was a man after His heart and could be trusted. After a unanimous family vote, the Cockburn’s decided to empty their ministry account balance to buy the property for the first school/orphanage.
Over the next many years, Robert and Nicole traveled to Uganda three to four times annually, preaching and overseeing the construction of God Cares Nursery & Primary School. They continually shared the vision with their sphere of influence, bringing numerous pastors, school teachers and other interested people to Uganda, including a longtime friend of Robert’s, Bill Shepherd, who gave approximately half the needed funds to build the school in memory of his wife, Sue Shepherd.
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Part 1: The Beginning
Brother Jerry Lehmann, one of Buyamba’s founders on the U.S. side in New York, was stationed in Uganda as a Mennonite missionary from 1984-1987. Jerry told the story that during that time, he decided one Sunday, to walk through the streets of Gonzaga to find a church. As he passed a few people on the way, he asked, “Where do the saved ones meet?” Each person on the street he asked would smile and instruct him to keep walking for he would "run into them soon enough." As he approached Pastor Bethuel Dongo’s open-air church, Jerry heard the singing, saw the crowd, and listened as Pastor Dongo got up to share the gospel. Pastor encouraged the assembled believers as they sat under the crude sheets nailed to posts which offered a semblance of a roof over their heads to block the sun. It was then that Brother Jerry began attending Pastor Dongo’s church.
Jerry Lehman’s funeral will be held Saturday, June 23 at 11:00 am at Abundant Life Church, Kingston, NY
Reflections from those who served alongside Jerry
We welcome your comments and reflections on the life of Jerry Lehman. Use the comment box below to share your story or any condolences.
Riches and honor are with Him, enduring riches and righteousness." Proverbs 8:18
Life was like walking through hell after our dad passed on where we could hardly afford meals or money for education because he was the breadwinner, and everything we had to sustain our lives was taken by our relatives who had forsaken us. We moved and stayed with our grandmother who was very poor and selling local breweries, but she was the only one with open arms to receive us with our mom. We stayed in this poor lifestyle and attended some UPE (free government-funded) school where we could hardly afford even the smallest penny we were required to raise, and kids would make fun of us.
I can say that to be the man I am today from the lonely family and hopeless boy I was, that I have been able to serve and inspire many young people here is because of other people who kept on encouraging me, praying with me, and supporting me.
I can say that to be the man I am today from the lonely family and hopeless boy I was, that I have been able to serve and inspire many young people here is because of other people who kept on encouraging me, praying with me, and supporting me. I greatly understand the impact and value of reaching Christ, love, sacrifice, belief in others and faith in God.