Name | Philip Sayuni
Hometown | Kamuli District, Uganda, Africa
Degree Program | Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies
From the Word
Growing-up in the small village of Kamuli District in Eastern Uganda, Philip Sayuni, Moody Bible Institute freshman pastoral studies major, is familiar with struggle. However, as a Christian, he has been able to overcome the challenges associated with rural African life because of his hope in Jesus Christ and in God’s Word. After high school, Philip and three friends felt the call of the Lord to start a church ministry.
“We were all from poor families that had no future, but we truly believed God at His Word and believed that He was calling us for a purpose,” he said.
In 2003, they planted Light the World Church and Mercy Childcare Ministry in Kampala, Uganda. As Philip ministered to the people of his village, a desire grew in him to better understand the biblical truths he was teaching.
“Once the seed was planted in my heart to pursue a Bible education so that I would be better equipped to lead the ministry God had given me, He opened many doors that led me to Moody,” said Philip. “By bringing me to Moody, God has begun to prepare me to serve the ever-growing spiritual needs of my people.”
Light the World Church now serves more than 1,500 members and Mercy Childcare Ministry cares for more than 80 children. A number of American ministry organizations, including Uganda Orphanage Relief and Come Let’s Dance, have partnered with the church to help advance its vision and mission.
From February 1-5, 2010, these partners asked Philip to lead them in an evangelistic crusade in Kamuli. He was granted leave from Founder’s Week to lead the mission, ministering to more than 1,000 Ugandan children and speaking at Light the World Church.
“My biggest purpose was to share my story because the people of my village have seen [my family’s] tears and despair, and I have come back a transformed person—transformed by God and His faithfulness,” said Philip. On this trip, he was able to lead many people to Christ and prayed with them as they sought God’s wisdom for their lives.
The people of Uganda have a deep need for the Truth and the hope of the Lord as they are realizing witchcraft is empty and painful. Additionally, Northern Uganda has been torn apart by war and the entire country is riddled with poverty. Many people cannot afford Bibles, and while the native pastors have a deep passion for the gospel, few have received a formal Bible education. The pastors must often ask their congregations to sell personal possessions to buy Bibles for their churches.
“There is so much hunger for God in so many places. In their hardship, the Ugandan people are running to Jesus for hope,” said Philip. “God opened a door for me to come to Moody, and my dream is to return home once I graduate so I can continue preaching and serving my people.”