The people of Lango have suffered for over 30 years, right from the period when Idi Amin was in power (1971 – 1979), through the present era of Yoweri Museveni. Their sufferings came not only from the ruling governments of the day, but from the “cattle rustlers”, the Alice Lakwena rebels, and more recently, from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony. As a result, thousands of children were kidnapped and forced into slavery or child soldiers, thousands of people were brutally killed and their way of life drastically affected as they were eventually herded into internally displaced people’s camp (IDP) by the Museveni government.
Two notable but very horrific incidences in Lango were the “Aboke girls abduction” and the “Barlonyo massacre”. In the “Aboke girls abductions”, 139 girls who were attending St. Mary’s College boarding secondary school in Aboke were abducted by the LRA on October 10th, 1996. The “Barlonyo massacre” was an incidence where 300 people of Barlonyo IDP camp in Lango were brutally murdered within three hours on February 21st 2004, by the LRA. The government of Uganda has finally chased the LRA from the region and disbanded the IDPs, but now the people of the region have to proverbially pick themselves up with their bootstraps. The people of Lango are in desperate need of help and this is an effort to reach out to them, but starting with the Christian believers in the rural villages who depend on subsistence farming. God is working in the lives of the people of Lango even in the midst of these hardships. For instance, in the 1970’s, one could travel over 20 miles without coming across a single evangelical or “born again” church. But now, it is common to find at least one born again church within 3 – 4 miles. The Plough to the Hands is a call to those whom God touches their hearts with this burden to join hands and help the church and the people in Lango rebuild their lives. It derives its name from the verse in the gospel of Luke (Lk 9:62, King James Version) “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” For these people, the only way they can put their hands to the plough is if the ploughs are put in their hands so that they may fulfill work for the Kingdom of God.