With his brilliant smile and infectious laughter, one would never guess how deeply Pastor Morris Bazibu understands the pain of bad leadership. And yet, says Morris, it was the fear and pride of a single leader that nearly cost him everything.
Morris was born in rural Uganda, during the horrific eight-year dictatorship of Idi Amin, who appointed himself president after a violent takeover. Morris’ father was an educated man, and as such, was viewed as a threat to the government. So at 2-years-old, Morris and his mother watched as his father was taken from their house and brutally slaughtered in their garden.
“He was killed because of bad leadership,” says Morris. “From there, our lives were shattered completely.”
Morris explains that only divine intervention could have allowed his family to move forward from such devastation.
“By the grace of God, we learned to become what we are,” he says. “We learned to serve God. We allowed Jesus to be the Lord and Savior in our lives. And so it has been all about Jesus ever since then.”
“Lord, Here I Am”
Morris has gone on to become a pastor and a leader for Male to Manhood, an international network to mentor men to become responsible sons, husbands, fathers, and citizens. And in 2013, he was introduced to Lead Like Jesus for the very first time during a training event.
“My life was changed,” he recalls. “I began to practice these principles at home. In our culture as Ugandans and as Africans, men are always the bosses. But after my training, I began to lead like Jesus would – to serve my wife, to serve my kids, to really take care of my family.”
He also felt something bigger stirring within him.
“I felt this is a call God was leading me to,” explains Morris. “So I said, ‘Lord, here I am. I am available, able to do this.’”
“I lost everything because of bad leadership,” he continues. “Bad leadership cost me a father. It cost me a family. It cost me a life, and the education I would have enjoyed. I feel like every man and woman in this country should lead like Jesus. And that’s when I began to participate effectively.”
Today, Morris serves as the National Director for Lead Like Jesus in Uganda, and under his leadership, the ministry is growing rapidly.
“We thank God for what is happening in this country,” he says. “We just trained a team of 25 facilitators who have the ability and the networks to reach every region throughout Uganda. With only this group and the right resources, we could reach – at minimum – 10,000 people in a year. We could reach 100,000 in the next five years.”
The team’s focus thus far has been working through churches, where they they have been able to reach entire families for Jesus. And through the churches, they also provide training to leaders from all walks of life – including marketplace leaders, government officials, and university educators.
“One of our facilitators is a prince in my tribe,” he explains, laughing with delight. “He has connections throughout that kingdom and is taking Lead Like Jesus to my king. My king is going to lead like Jesus! I am so excited!”
In Every Language
The biggest challenge the Uganda team faces is obtaining adequate financial resources – especially for new translations.
The recently completed Luganda translation will open new doors, particularly in the southern areas of the country where this is the primary language spoken. But there are still millions of Ugandans whose primary heart language is something other than English or Luganda.
“If we had the right languages in every region, I can’t imagine what the expansion would be,” says Morris. “There are women in the rural parts of this country, there are men, there are children who need to hear this message,” says Morris. “They need to understand that people can transform. People can change. This takes a language they can understand, a book they can read.”
And Morris is committed to doing whatever it takes to share the leadership of Jesus in every corner of his nation.
“We want to see a president in this country lead like Jesus. We want to see the local government, people in administration, policy makers leading like Jesus. But this is going to take us reaching out to the schools and the organizations.”
“Pray for us,” he asks, “and any way you can support us, please support us. The need is big.”
“Lead Like Jesus has changed my life,” he continues. “And I’m sure that it’s going to change the fathers. It’s going to change the mothers. And it’s going to change the children – because it directly affects the families. And if they are leading like Jesus Christ, then we know that tomorrow we will have great leadership all over this country.”