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Kristin Cole                      972.267.1111
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Saddleback Pastor Begins 12-day, Three-country African Visit to Unite Government, Business and Church Leaders in Discovering National Purpose

Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, CA, this weekend launched a national Purpose Driven Living program in Uganda, a unified and focused effort to equip Ugandan leadership with practical tools to live lives of purpose in their homes, businesses, and communities.

This is the second East African country to invite Dr. Warren to bring the well- known Purpose Driven Life and Church leadership training to churches, businesses and government on a national scale. Rwanda adopted the program nationwide in 2005. Over 30,000 American churches – approximately one-tenth of the congregations across the country have used the 40 Days of Purpose emphasis.

At a press conference and subsequent meeting with organizers upon arrival in the capital city of Kampala, Dr. Warren expressed appreciation to the coalition of national leaders who invited him to return for his fourth visit for a series of public meetings.

“Our hope and prayer is that lives will be transformed and churches will be strengthened,” Dr. Warren said, outlining a three-fold challenge for Purpose Driven Living to ‘Live it, lead it and link to it’ with others.

“My message to individuals is to build your life on purpose, instead of prestige, possessions or pleasure; my challenge to churches is to cooperate, not compete; and my challenge to business and government leaders is to use their influence for the glory of God and partner with local churches in solving community problems,” Dr. Warren concluded.

“Through his book, ‘The Purpose Driven Life,’ pastor Warren has challenged us to go deeper into the Bible so we can grow stronger and reach out wider, knowing that God has called us to make a difference for Him,” said Hon. Rev. Canon Dr. Hamlet K. Mbabazi, former Member of Parliament, who headed the organizing committee. “God has brought Pastor Warren, who has been a blessing to the world, to Uganda for such a time as this.”

His Grace, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orambi, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda (Anglican), led the initiative to bring different denominations together with business and government leaders to extend a national invitation from Uganda to Dr. Warren.

“Pastor Rick has partnered with President Kagame and others to make Rwanda a Purpose Driven country – I ask, why not Uganda as well?” Archbishop Orombi challenged an unprecedented gathering of 450 national leaders at a banquet gathered to hear Dr. Warren speak. “Uganda should be a Purpose Driven nation as well. But it takes people of purpose to build purpose driven churches, purpose driven communities, and a purpose driven country. Someday, we will have a purpose driven continent!”

The next morning, Dr. Warren spoke to an enthusiastic group of church leaders gathered at Makerere University, one of the largest on the Continent. “The future of Christianity is not Europe or North America, but Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” he said to rousing applause. Local choirs sang original songs about God’s purposes for our lives.

Dr. Warren concluded his message by saying, “In 1935, the East African revival broke out in Rwanda and Uganda, which spread to all of Africa. My prayer is, “
‘God, do it again.’”

While in Uganda, Dr. Warren met with First Lady Janet Museveni to discuss the PEACE Plan, an aggressive and progressive vision to promote reconciliation, equip servant leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick and educate the next generation. He also addressed students at Uganda Christian University.

Local organizers concluded that Dr. Warren’s visit resulted in a self-sustaining, grass-roots coalition connecting government, business and church leaders in an unprecedented way. It also provided visibility to churches and their message. One non-Christian business leader told the event organizer, “For the first time, the Gospel made sense to me.”

Dr. Warren departed Uganda for Rwanda, where he and President Paul Kagame will lead a national rally in Amahoro (Peace) stadium in the nation’s capital on Sunday to launch a nationwide 40 Days of Purpose. He and his wife Kay will also participate in a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives conference in Kigali, and inspect their Western Rwanda Healthcare Initiative, a PEACE plan project that is training churches to provide health care in partnerships with hospitals and the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Warren serves on the President’s Advisory Council of Rwanda which will be meeting late next week. He will then travel to Nairobi to meet with church leaders in the wake of recent violence following the Kenya elections.

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