Reaching the Unreachable

The radio becomes an opening wedge among cattle god worshipers in Uganda.

The Bahima, a cattle-keeping clan of the Banyankole tribe, is a spiritually closed people group within the Uganda Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists. They predominantly consider themselves belonging to Bachwezi—the traditional god of cows. Cows are their sole source of survival, hence the clan’s complete loyalty to the god of cows. They believe that Bachwezi will keep their cattle secure, grow their herds, and protect from misfortune.

They are also the ruling clan of Ankole, a region in southwestern Uganda which was a traditional Bantu kingdom from the 15th century until 1967. Ugandan kings were from the same linage, and the current president of the Republic of Uganda belongs to this clan. This contributes to a superiority complex that is common among tribesmen. Because they believe that they are the superior clan, they despise the rest of the clans. This is another challenge for evangelists, who are outsiders.

Lastly, they are the richest clan; their wealth comes from the sale of cows, milk, and other cattle products, which are in demand both in local and international markets. They live in expansive homes, sport fancy cars, and attribute their success to the cattle god.

When the first Anglican missionaries came to Uganda in 1877, they found that the traditional religion dominating the area was an obstacle to the spread of Christianity. Their unique approach of winning traditional kings first gave them an advantage. When King Ntare V became an Anglican Christian, the majority easily subscribed to Anglicanism, which they call “Ediini Y’omugabe” (The King’s Religion).  Today the traditional religion of Bachwezi worship and Anglicanism dominate the area. Other faiths are not welcome. 

The disinterested response of this people group explains why the Adventist population in southwestern Uganda has not grown steadily for quite a long time. Traditional public evangelism tools could do nothing to impact this people group because they are always busy tending cows and they despise evangelical outsiders.

Radio evangelism has opened an amazing door for the Three Angels’ Messages to reach the Bahima. A radio station manager in the community happened to have a Seventh-day Adventist sister who passed away. In her memory, he gives the Adventist church one free hour of airtime dedicated to preaching. 

Providentially, the Bahima began to listen. Joseline was so impressed that she requested an in-person evangelistic series focusing on Bible prophecy. The local church district quickly organized this and invited Pastor John Kaganzi to be the main preacher. 

Pastor John presented many challenging messages to the cow god worshipers, and the Holy Spirit worked among the people. When Pastor John preached about the Sabbath and the state of the dead, the listeners were stirred to their very core. At the end of the series, Joseline and 126 others were baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church!

God used the radio to reach the unreachable! Because radio evangelism has proven to be the most effective method of evangelism in this area, we want to expand the coverage of Adventist World Radio’s 104.2 Messenger FM. To do this, we have been advised to relocate the tower to Mwizi, a more elevated hill near Mbarara. We pray that God will provide us with the resources for this project. 


John Kaganzi is a district pastor in the Ruhandagazi District in Uganda and the manager of Messenger Radio in Mbarara.

How You Can Help
Pray for the people in this region to open their hearts and minds to the gospel message.

Give to the work in Uganda. Needs include a new radio tower to reach many more people. Send your gifts marked “Uganda Radio” to: 

Mission Projects International 
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

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Thank you. Your gifts sustain seven full-time Bible workers and one full-time evangelist who are bringing God’s last warning to southern Uganda. Thank you so much for your support of these workers!