Uganda, Africa

UGA04a - Personal support of Thomas Lubari and Joyce Gaba

Partnership Ref.:



Thomas & Joyce Lubari



Funding Status:

Fully Funded

Partnership Type:

Evangelism / Church Planting

Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 1,980

Connected To:

UGA04b , UGA04c , UGA04f , UGA08


Population: 45 million

Life Expectancy: 63.7 years

GDP: US$979 per capita

Unemployed: 12%

20% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

1 families are being assisted

2 church planters are being supported

Partnership Overview

caring for othersThomas Lubari and his wife Joyce Gaba are extensively involved in various ministries and activities in Jinja where they live. They lead a church in Njeru, which is a very poor slum area of the city, and are also involved in church planting, Foundations for Farming training, running trauma healing workshops, a micro-loan programme, and overseeing a vocational training programme for both young Ugandans and South Sudanese refugees. Thomas is a godly, passionate man, and his wonderful wife Joyce shares in the ministry with him. Their determination, love and commitment are impressive. 

History Of Partnership

Bright Hope World's Africa Director had been emailing Thomas for over a year before they first met in person in 2006. He met Thomas in Jinja and learned about Thomas and Joyce's story. Thomas and Joyce are both refugees from Sudan who escaped the war in 1990 and settled in Uganda. They have pursued education and done well in both the work sector and at Bible school. They have five children of their own and at that stage had another three children who they took care of because their parents had abandoned them or died.

They first started a church in Koboka, a town in the west Nile that borders South Sudan and the DR Congo but had to leave when rebels attacked Koboko.  They moved to Jinja and founded a church in Njeru, a slum area, in February 1996. They still lead the local church in Jinja, but their hearts are often for the refugees from South Sudan and also those who are caught in the war-torn country. Despite significant challenges to his personal safety and his own traumatic experiences, Thomas often goes back there to help the country and the church grow. 

Thomas leading small groupAfter the meeting in 2006, BHW started to help them as a family and planned to increase the support of the ministry as the relationship grew stronger. BHW team members visited them again in 2007 in their home in Jinja and were again impressed by their enthusiasm and diligence.

Thomas is dedicated to serving the Lord full time - he trains God's people at a local church level in Jinja and has done similar training in Sudan, with a great desire to continue that once the situation in that country stabilises. Joyce works as an administrative assistant in an American Christian ministry to support the family's daily needs and also oversees all the women's and children's ministries at church. Besides leading the church, they also run a micro-loan income generation programme in Jinja to help the church members improve their socioeconomic position. Joyce also practises Foundations for Farming there and Thomas travels a lot teaching and training in Foundations for Farming and related matters along with discipleship. The church in Njeru consists of people who have suffered from the war in northern Uganda and South Sudan and are squatters who are constantly displaced with no place to go, children from broken families and orphans, and widows/widowers, so it is essential they have a holistic approach to their ministry. It is a very transient place, but they continue to press ahead despite big challenges. 

Teaching othersInitially, South Sudan was a big part of the focus of Thomas’ ministry. His heart beats for that country and, in particular, for the refugees that have flocked to northern Uganda, and now comprise some of the largest refugee camps in the world. There are huge issues in these camps, particularly as the refugees have suffered extreme trauma, all of them have stories of loss of family members to the war, and ongoing violence. The World Food Programme has not been able to maintain food levels at a reasonable level and many refugees have found their allocations significantly reduced. The situation is dire, but Thomas has built a dedicated network around Foundations for Farming and is training many people, including local leadership.

In addition to doing Foundations for Farming training (UGA08), Thomas also leads trauma healing workshops (UGA04f), and they oversee a vocational training programme (UGA04C) in Jinja. This benefits both Sudanese refugees and Ugandan nationals. 

Their lives have not been without trauma themselves. Aside from both being refugees at various times and having lost extended family members to the violence and conflicts, in 2021 their eldest son Taban Emmanuel was brutally murdered. Bright Hope World has endeavoured to support them through this enormous grief and loss.


The Lubari family and the many people they minister to. They are developing a network of leaders around them and despite some setbacks they are seeing good progress with this.

What We Like About The Partnership

Thomas is a very broad, visionary thinker. We are totally impressed with his dedication and focus on, improving the lives of those people in his care. He has a very broad vision both for northern Uganda, and also South Sudan.         

Their absolute commitment to the work in Jinja and South Sudan.


Key People

Leadership Profile

"passionate coupleI sometimes feel weighed down. You know I was an orphan and suffered that trauma right from childhood until when I started working to fund my schooling. My father died when I was eleven (my mother had already died when I was 2). I laboured from that age to the time I completed my A' level in 1983. Within which year I married after being employed with an Agricultural Development agency in Sudan." Thomas - part of his written story.

This gives you a sense of Thomas and Joyce's character and personality. They are both very diligent. Thomas travels a lot to train people, while his family lives in Jinja. Joyce works part time at a Bible School to get some extra money to look after the family when Thomas is away. It is a difficult life, being apart for long periods.

Other People Involved

There is a network of Christian leaders in the refugee camps in the north of Uganda that Thomas works with, trains, and supports. They form the nucleus of the Life Gospel Network, which is a registered NGO in Uganda. Thomas also now includes other leaders as part of the training team when he travels and teaches. However, this particular partnership simply supports Thomas to carry out the work that he does.


Vision And Annual Strategy

Uganda has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and, as at the end of 2023, is suffering from extreme poverty and a lack of basic infrastructure and resources. This has not prevented Thomas from being active in seeking to alleviate poverty, and in Foundations for Farming and trauma alleviation training.  Bright Hope World is wanting to support and strengthen our involvement with Foundations for Farming training as we see this as foundational for successful development in the country.

Thomas and Joyce’s vision is much wider than this, and we support it. We are continuing to support them as a couple as their ministry is extremely effective, and they have had to overcome enormous challenges. The provision of personal financial support is supplemented by support of some of their individual leadership and training activities which is done on a project-by-project basis.