The addition of the palm oil industrial activity to Bulaga Island has injected money into the local economy, has actually paved some of the main road, mostly where the trucks go in and out of the processing areas, and has brought the solar power station and even water pump stations that are beginning to provide primitive plumbing. I noticed on Buvuma that they are right now installing a water pump station that will affect the water supply along the main road through the island. This is Bittico already influencing the development of better infrastructure on the second island they will occupy.

The other change that has impacted Bugala and clearly paints the future of Buvuma Island is the tourist industry. Several nice hotels have been built on Bugala near the water and white sand beaches have emerged from the former overgrowth at the edge of the lake. I asked if the white sand had been imported, and they told me that, no, it was already there, but no one was interested in beaches until the musungu came. So now there are many beach areas that have been cleaned up and debris removed, parks installed adjoining the beaches, a golf course even reaching up the hill from the water in one area, and nice, small musungu-style hotels built along the new beaches.

The clash of this beach area with the more typical Ugandan culture of the village that sits atop the ridge above it was startling to us. It was like moving between two worlds. There is even a third ferry from Kampala that has begun delivering musungus directly from the Entebbe International Airport area to this new tourist enclave on Bugala. Many musungus arrive, spend a week in the small hotels and then leave without ever exploring beyond this one isolated little beach area on what is a huge and fascinating island.

This type of development has caused the cost of everything to rise. We paid higher rates here for rooms in the guesthouse than anywhere I’ve been, and even the food from the street vendors is three or four times as expensive as normal.

On the spiritual side, the bishop I worked with says he has 77 churches covering 88 islands strung out across the lake from this large island in the north to islands many miles away near the Tanzanian border on the south. These distant islands are extremely isolated, reachable only by expensive motorboat trips, and even the bishop himself finds it difficult to minister to these islands because of the cost of hiring a boat and the amount of time it takes to get there. Many have no church at all.

The Christians from these islands, some of whom boated in for our church-planting class on Monday and Tuesday this week, represent a population that is largely unreached. They have no Bible training, few Bibles, and almost no one goes among them to minister. With more islands than churches, they can be classified as an unreached people group.

I’m recruiting. I need young, passionate-for-Christ men and women who can teach the scripture, evangelize, and help plant churches in such difficult places where there are few comforts of civilization. I will gladly train them. There is enough work to do in these islands and the ones around Buvuma island that several entire lifetimes could be absorbed in ministering to them.

If you’re out there hearing the call from God, please get in touch with me through this website.