Stocki and Bishop Isaac

Bishop Isaac was a leader. He was a Church leader; Elim. He was a community leader. I don’t mean leader in the sense of he has a position of leadership. I mean he led. This man took his people from where they were to somewhere else. 

In August 2015, I sat with this man, small in stature, huge in faith, frail in body but robust in soul, under a tree in Arua, West Nile, Uganda and basked in the rays of his spiritual maturity and missional vision. 

He told me that me that in 2008 he had been speaking to the children in Church. As he was sharing with them he asked God, “What can I do for them?” Onialuku is a poor part of Arua, up on the north west fringes of Uganda, feeling cut off. There were few resources to come up with any pie in the sky dreams.

Bishop Isaac sensed God answered him by telling him to start a school. Now that was a dream. In Uganda you don’t just put your name down for a school place when your child reaches their third or fourth birthdays. As parents or community leaders you need to actively start a school, close enough for your young children to get to. 

So with some parents Bishop Isaac did just that. They started a class in the Church. Then they built a make shift school beside the Church building. 

By 2015, when I got to the chair under the tree, Bishop Isaac’s dream had been hit out of the park of Arua dreams. With the school developing and growing Bishop Isaac had connected with Fields Of Life and Fields Of Life had connected them with Fitzroy. 

As Bishop Isaac and I looked up after he shared the story of his dream, we were gazing right into the bricks and mortar of a dream come true. Right there in front of us was a brand new school just a few feet away. 

Now the children of this community had a place to grow and learn and be equipped to take their place in the development of their nation. It was one of those very thin places between how earth is and what heaven is and how the two can merge. If we dream. If we dream in God.  Bishop Isaac taught me that… and more.

Bishop Isaac sadly passed away just six months after our time under the tree. I miss him very much, especially when I am sitting under our tree. I thank Bishop Isaac for inviting us into his dream and I thank God for miraculously connecting a tiny community in a marginalised place in Africa with a Church in South Belfast. 

Bishop… I miss you very much. Thank you for inviting us into your dream. We will continue to care for it!


You had a dream

And it wasn't about you

It was about the children

Who couldn't dare to dream

You dreamed for them

For their future and the nation’s

And now the children grow in a field of dreams.


You had a dream

You got to see it through

We weep at your death

But smile at your dream

For the dream lives after you

God’s dream built on earth

Onialeku as it is in heaven.


You had a dream

And you invited us in

We sat under a tree

You envisioned and inspired

And I felt the dreams 

They flew and floated and fell

I was soaked by their blessing.


You had a dream

You were dreaming in God

And you carried it into being

And now you leave it down

So we will lift it up

We will cradle it and care

This dream will go on… and on…



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