Read This Story
GULU has a history marked by violence, mutilations, rapes and mass murder. Rebel groups terrorized the region, holding the people there hostage in fear. It was to this hostile place that the Lord called Pastor Bulamu Experito. Daniel Kolenda sat down with this pastor, church planter and evangelist to hear his amazing story...
Daniel Kolenda — You actually came here to Gulu as an evangelist during a very difficult time in Uganda’s history. Tell me about that a little bit.
Bulamu Experito — I come from the center part of Uganda... the Lord put the burden in my heart to come to the northern part of Uganda where the rebels were committing atrocities, mutilating people, chopping off their limbs, land mining roads, burning people’s houses and all of the heinous activities.
Daniel Kolenda — Why were the rebels doing all these things?
Bulamu Experito — They were resisting the government and they had mobilized many people. They called themselves the Lord’s Resistance Army. However, they were being influenced by evil spirits and so they were committing a lot of atrocities in their land under the influence of evil spirits.
Daniel Kolenda — Why do you say they were influenced by evil spirits?
Bulamu Experito — We have gone to altars where they used to sacrifice even human beings in order to receive extra demonic abilities to continue to do heinous activities [to] other people.
Daniel Kolenda — So then why do they call themselves the Lord’s Resistance Army if they are involved in demonic things?
Bulamu Experito — They thought when they used the Lord’s Resistance Army they would appeal to the religious sentiments of the people and they would receive more support.
Daniel Kolenda — And not just religious, but they portrayed themselves as Christians didn’t they?
Bulamu Experito — Exactly.
Daniel Kolenda — And so now you are coming here as an evangelist. You are a Christian now. You are preaching for the Lord. That must have been a complicated situation.
Bulamu Experito — It was a very thin line of division. Because everybody thought Joseph Kony was their messiah because of the powers of divination he had. You know the power he was wielding over the people and here you come, smaller man who is not of any part of their ethnic background and you are preaching Christ, you are preaching Jesus. You are telling them the Lord is the Savior, yet they also have the Lord’s Resistance Army. And Joseph Kony is doing mysterious things in their ministry. Actually, up to now, the people were believing in Joseph Kony. Ninety percent believe he is the Messiah. He has penetrated so much of their nerves that they heavily adore him.
Daniel Kolenda — Just for those that don’t know, Joseph Kony was the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army correct?
Bulamu Experito — He was the leader, yes.
Daniel Kolenda — And how long did this go on? It was something like twenty years, right?
Bulamu Experito — Over twenty, over two decades coming to three, thirty years.
Daniel Kolenda — They would come into villages. They would kidnap the children to turn them into child soldiers. They would mutilate people. They would force children to kill their parents. Why where they doing this?
Bulamu Experito — They wanted to inflict terror... when you terrify people you have influence over anybody then.
Daniel Kolenda — Now why would anybody want to come to a place like this to minister... a place where people are being mutilated and killed? Why would you come here as an evangelist?
Bulamu Experito — Jesus goes where the need is great... the need for Him here was great. That is why He put that burden in my heart to come to the north. Though in my natural understanding, I thought I am coming here to die, because all the people here, and Joseph Kony was killing them.
Daniel Kolenda — So when you came here, you came with the mentality that you were coming here to give your life?
Bulamu Experito — Exactly.
Daniel Kolenda — And you still came?
Bulamu Experito — And I came.
Daniel Kolenda — Now tell me what happened when you got here and began to minister.
Bulamu Experito — When I came here, the Spirit of the Lord led me to begin to pray for people and teach about the Holy Spirit. Joseph Kony had an organization called the Lord’s Resistance Movement and he had a cousin called Alice Lakewena. She was also a rebel leader. She had an organization called The Holy Spirit Movement. Now the Lord is telling me to teach people about the Holy Spirit. So you can see the danger I had. So I preach, I teach, in the churches ...about the Holy Spirit.
Daniel Kolenda — The government might think that you are one of these rebels too.
Bulamu Experito — Exactly, nevertheless, I went ahead in obedience to God. And I began to preach everywhere: in schools, the marketplaces, in hospitals, everywhere. I was preaching like a dying man to dying people, as if it was my last sermon to preach... as if I was preaching the last sermon [before] I may died... as if it was their last sermon to hear before they died. Joseph Kony was here killing everybody, land mining roads, mutilating people’s lips, and chopping off their ears. You know it was really a danger, it was really a death. So I would preach such that I would snatch those toward Heaven instead of going to Hell.
One time, I’d come from preaching... the rebels were waiting in the middle of the road and they put me at gunpoint... [another time] they came to the room where I was staying... the rebels banged the door and it opened and they put me at gunpoint... they pushed me in another room in my house and they locked me there... they threw the keys to me through the window and told me pray that we may all die. They picked everything I had in my house and they went with it.
[One day] the current mayor came... he told me, "Pastor, all the rebels who came to kill you have been killed and everything they stole from you has been recovered."
Daniel Kolenda — Now Pastor Experito, tell me what Jesus has done now in this place. I hear that you have planted churches and the Lord has given you mighty breakthroughs.
Bulamu Experito — Before I came here there were accounts of churches not even formed... But as we are talking now we have more than two hundred churches that have been planted.
Daniel Kolenda — All in this area?
Bulamu Experito — Yes, over two hundred churches.
And people are coming together to pray. People are worshipping God. People’s thirst for God is phenomenal now.
Daniel Kolenda — All because a man came willing to lay down his life for the preaching of the Gospel in faith-trusting that God would do His work in his life and now today you’ve seen a mighty breakthrough. Pastor Experito, thank you for your ministry and God bless you.