Compassion International Worker Shares How Her Degree Shapes Her Ministry to Children

by Kelsey Madas ('15)

October 15, 2019


Medrine Nabalema (‘20) is earning her master’s degree halfway across the globe in Kampala, Uganda – though it hardly seems necessary, given her already impressive resume. A longtime Sunday school teacher and children’s committee members at her local church and, most notably, a senior partnership facilitator with Compassion International, she’s got credentials to spare. So why earn a master’s degree?

Nabalema is a high achiever with an unmitigated desire to share the gospel with children. “My passion is to reach out to every boy and girl with the message of salvation that message of God’s love,” she said in an interview with the college via email. She’s halfway through completing her master of arts in contextualized pastoral ministry, only available through the college’s partnership with the Pastors Discipleship Network, also located in Kampala, Uganda. Through this unique partnership, pastors and ministers in Africa can gain access to Lancaster Bible College’s high-quality biblical education right where they are: working in local ministries, just like Nabalema. “The greatest task in my life is evangelizing and discipling children,” explained Nabelma.

Perhaps the reason Nabelma feels so strongly about reaching children has something to do with her own story of coming to faith. The third of seven children, she had a happy childhood and said her parents placed a strong emphasis on church attendance. It was there, in Sunday school, where a 9-year old Nabelma first heard the message of the Bible explained to her in a way she understood. “My Sunday school teacher Aunt Beatrice taught us about God’s love in John 3:16,” she explained. “At first, I thought that I was a good and obedient child. However, when they explained what sin was, I realized that I was a sinner. I would sometimes take sugar without permission and sometimes disobey elders, and I knew that was wrong.” While those examples seem insignificant and maybe even silly, that was all it took for young Nabelma to understand that if the wages of sin is death, even those things counted. But Aunt Beatrice did not leave the children without hope. “Aunt Beatrice further explained about God’s plan for each one of us to be with God, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins to give me eternal life,” she said. “That Sunday, I gave my life to Jesus Christ.”

Nabelma is a prime example of the impact – negative or positive – an adult can have in a child’s life. She is quick to share the hope of the gospel with children who are eager to listen, all the while being quite cognizant that not all the children she meets would describe their childhood as happy. Many of the children she interacts with don’t have much of childhood. This makes her role all the more critical. “I always invite them to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior if they have never done so before,” she said. At a recent event where Nabelma taught, she saw 44 children give their lives to Christ, a great encouragement to her.

In her role as a senior partnership facilitator for Compassion International’s Ugandan presence, she works closely with local churches – a natural fit for Nabalema. “It is a joy to be part of this process where children encounter the love of God through His people and become that which God created them to be,” she said. “The biggest joy I have found in my role is ministering to children alongside the church and witnessing the success in their lives. It’s like the before and after shots. Every single time I witness this, it is a blessing.” While her job is brimming with hope, it can also be somber. “The most challenging part of my job is when I receive sad news about a child,” she said. “That breaks my heart. The death or disappearance of a child, or when bad things happen to them – during those difficult moments, my strength comes from the Lord.” But one thing keeps her going: “It’s their testimonies that encourage me to keep serving. I am always filled with joy as I listen to their stories of redemption.”

Nabelma first learned about PDN’s partnership with LBC through a colleague and noted that all she’s learned has been practical, helpful and transformative. “What I have received through my education at LBC has helped me immensely in the children’s ministry programs I work with,” she said. “My biblical narrative class has helped me appreciate the Bible like never before. “The knowledge that the Bible is a single story has helped me to connect the story at an individual level. I have always treasured the Bible and it is one of the gifts I share with the children in my life. These courses have helped me appreciate the Bible better, and my prayer is to walk in obedience of the Word and to see every boy and girl receive that precious book, read it, believe it and apply it to the glory of God.”

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22 Comments

  • stephen kalibbala says:

    Yes, that is a true representation of Nabalema Medrine.
    She is an inspiration to not only the children but to many of us .

  • Allan Abraham Koki-Kaweesa says:

    Medrine Nabalema and fruitful children’s ministry are synonymous. As one of her classmates of Cohort 4, I agree with her regarding the richness of the course and its great positive impact on one’s ministry. Well done Medrine and may God richly bless your ministry! Thank you LBC and PDN!

  • Innocent says:

    I can testify that Medrine has a heart for children.
    Continue spreading the Gospel to the children and inviting then to Christ. This is the best way we can bring transformation in the world.
    Thank you Nabalema

  • Lenny Mugisha says:

    I have heard and read stories about Medrine’s love for children and I never get enough of them. I enjoyed reading her story and testimony from yet another perspective – thanks LBC for sharing it. Medrine is a great example of a true advocate for children and an inspiring servant leader to the local church. Thank you, LBC, and PDN for your investment in Medrine. As a colleague and fellow child advocate to Medrine, I attest to the fact that your investment in her is not in vain. You can take Medrine for her word, she is purposeful and well-targeted. She couldn’t have done this to just add another degree on her academic credentials; she will use the knowledge gained to advance God’s Kingdom through sound teaching. Congratulations Medrine for the far you have gone in this program, our prayers are with you as you march forward to the finishing line.
    Blessings!

  • Prim Tumuramye says:

    Great story Medrine. Proudly associated to the great cause of serving children. Let your light keep shining!

  • Nicholas Kiiza says:

    Wonderful story! I am glad I went through her mentorship. Always encouraging when you feel so down.
    May God continue blessing her as she ministers to more people. 🙏🙏

  • Christine Juliet Naiga says:

    Indeed she is ablessing not only to chidren but also mature people. May the good lord continue to use u in each n every thing you do

  • Christine Juliet Naiga says:

    Indeed she is ablessing not only to chidren but also mature people. May the good lord continue to use u in each n every thing you do

  • Kasule geofrey says:

    Aunt Medrine is really a great woman of God who has served with all her heart, minds and may God bless her abundantly.
    May god bless the works of her hands as she continue serving.
    Philippians 4:4-5.

  • Kato Godfrey Bukenya says:

    Am do delighted that Medrine’s love for Christ and Children is becoming exceedingly,abundantly,above and beyond measure.
    May God use you more even through this career achievement .

  • Peter Birungi says:

    Medrine or Sr. Medrine as we fondly like to tell her has not only spoken of Jesus she has been a written living epistle of Jesus to All of us!!! Glory to God.

  • Apio Alison Phinny says:

    Auntie Medrine truly loves children with true love and she advocates for them by speaking and praying for them. Her zeal to see children attain their God ordained destiny challenges us greatly.
    God bless you

  • Katamba Rebekah says:

    The Medrine that I came to know 6 years ago a journey with her in regard to love for the little oneshas been and is a remarkable one its no doubt that her heart beats for children as asserted by her favourite scripture, from Matthew 18:14 it sums up all that has been written about her .keep up the good work

  • Mbambu sylivia says:

    Indeed she is.she is my inspiration.
    My God bless her.

  • Nyonga Queen says:

    Medrine is more than an achiever. She does,can do & will do anything & everything it takes to help restore a child. For a child, Medrine has plan A,B,C,D,E….Z ! You will confidently answer Jesus ‘ questions in Matthew 25:31-46. Your selflessness in Child ministry is sweetly contagious. We are proud of you.

  • Medrine Nabalema says:

    Dear friends am humbled by your comments. Each one of you has played a very key role in my life as we minister together to each precious child God has blessed us with. For the young adults I ministered to when you were still children, you blessed me big time then and still do today. Last evening as I studied Mark 9:36-37 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” these verses spoke to me deeply. May we continually receive the children in His name. Many thanks to each Professor and fellow Cohort 4 students, this course is building me each day. My prayer is to live it out as I serve the Lord. Kelsey thank you very much for this opportunity. Stephen K., William M., Herbert B., Allan A.K.K., Innocent A., Lenny M., Prim T., Nicholas K., Christine J. N., Geofrey K., Godfrey K.B., Peter B., Alison A.P., Aunt Rebekah K., Sylivia M., and my sister Queen N.B. thank you very much for sharing your heart with each one of us on this subject that blesses my heart. May the good Lord bless each one of you always. Medt. Malachi 3:16.

  • Medrine Nabalema says:

    PDN and LBC you are a big blessing. Thank you very much and keep up the good work. Dear Sponsor. Blessings always

  • Agnes says:

    Medrine, it’s such a blessing to read this story about you and to actually see you live it out it your work. You are truly are a blessing to children and to us all. Only God knows how many lives have been impacted through your dedicated service. Blessings evermore

  • Jane Ruth Wanyama says:

    Thank you LBC and PDN for sharing such a powerful story about Medrine.
    For the time I have known Medrine, children have always been at the center of her conversation and she has always raised key concerns which are all focused on making the lives of children better.
    I am sure the Masters Degree has made her ministry to children even better.
    Medrine, you are such a great resource in child advocacy!

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