Madi Okollo district leaders resort to prayers to overcome challenges
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
MADI OKOLLO. The district leaders in Madi Okollo have resorted to prayers as one of the sure ways of overcoming some of the challenges they are facing.
The idea of the annual prayers was orchestrated by Joanne Aniku Okia, the Madi Okollo district Woman Member of Parliament (MP).
Speaking during this year’s prayer organized at the district headquarters on Monday (January 29, 2024), Aniku said the mandate of having the annual district prayers was given to her by the Lord towards the end of 2021.
“I heard the Lord speaking to me very strongly that we should come together and pray for our district and we had our first prayer in 2022. During that time, the theme was ‘Arise and shine, come let us build Madi.’ The theme was taken from Isaiah 60 and we prayed for our district at that time from sub-county to sub-county. It was a time when we had just come out of politics, so people were not seeing eye to eye,” Aniku said.
“Even at sub county level, you would find that some of the people who made it to the political offices were not the choice of some of the people, so there was a lot of division. You would find that some of the technical people were fighting with the political people but there was such a powerful restoration of relationships of connections,” Aniku added.
She noted that Ewanga sub-county had the most profound stories that they hadn’t seen in Madi Okollo.
“There was true repentance, no one was told what to say but people were on their own rising up and confessing and I believe that Madi will never be the same again from that first meeting. So, we were saying let us leave the past behind, we were saying God has called us. If you are the one in political power, God has called you, if you are the technical person, then God has called you, not the one someone wanted but you, you are the one with the mandate. The Bible says that all leaders are given by God and so, if the one you did elect was not there, that is okay, now this is the one there, so we went and prayed in each sub-county and it was very powerful,” Aniku explained.
“In 2023, our theme was ‘Let nothing move you, always give yourself fully to the work,’ and it was about not being side tracked. So, we were saying let us be focused and give ourselves fully to the work. We talked about marrying the land – meaning you give yourself fully to the land because if you love the land, the land will love you back but when you don’t love the land, the land will vomit you out. That one is scriptural. If you dispute the land of Madi Okollo, the land itself will not allow you to be here in peace, it will vomit you out,” Aniku remarked.
She said this year 2024, the theme came from Isaiah 54:17a and it says ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper.’
“It continues to say that every tongue that rises up against you, you shall condemn and it says that is the heritage of the servants of God. The servant of God is someone who does the will of God not their own will but who does what God has sent them to do. So, that is the overview of where we have been and where we are today,” Aniku elaborated.
In his homily, Dr. Joseph Okia, the Senior Presidential Advisor in Medical Affairs assured the public that with prayers, nothing will kill God’s vision for Madi Okollo district.
“No weapon formed against Madi Okollo will prosper. I know there are many threats against the district; there are boundary disputes, there are all these issues that have come up trying to threaten God’s vision for Madi Okollo but I’m here to tell you, no weapon formed against you shall prosper. Let people talk, let people say but you will silence every voice that rises up in opposition and these are the benefits enjoyed by servants of God,” Okia who doubles as Aniku’s husband said.
“Now for me I get very excited, I have made declarations here that Madi Okollo district will be the best district in this country. People are going to talk, I’m telling you; people are going to question, why Madi Okollo, already they have started. Hon. was telling me that she is working to make sure there is an industrial park in Madi Okollo, she is struggling saying we are trying to get the land and all that, people are already questioning why Madi Okollo, why don’t we put it somewhere else but Madi Okollo will silence all those voices,” Okia promised.
The special prayer was graced by Rev. Fr. Richard Lino Opio, the Parish Priest of Wadelai Catholic Parish, Rev. Samuel Andama, the Priest of St. Phillips Church of Uganda Okollo and Rev. John Oroch, the Head Archdeacon of Oyubo Archdeaconry.
The clergy also used the opportunity to pray for the prosperity of Madi Okollo district as well as blessing both the technical and political staff of the district.
In his remarks, Kazimiro Ezaruku, the Madi Okollo district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) commended Okia for the sermon and affirmed their commitment as the technical team to work towards achieving the vision of making Madi Okollo the best district in Uganda.
Similarly, Ismail Drabe, the Madi Okollo district chairperson thanked Okia for coming to discover Madi Okollo arguing that many people don’t know that Madi Okollo is a great district endowed with resources which are their spring board for taking the district to the next height.
During the occasion, intercession prayers were held by the different district staff on the need to improve on the health and education sectors, success of government programs, love and unity amongst political and technical staff before certificates and gifts were awarded to the best outstanding district staff of the year 2023.
But Swaib Toko, the Madi Okollo RDC appealed to the district officials to stick to the commitment made during the intercession prayers so that the vision of making Madi Okollo the best district in Uganda can be achieved.