When Jim Patterson came to faith in Christ on Friday 10th April 1959, he prayed – “Oh God if you can heal my broken heart, dry my tears and give me hope, I will go to the Nations of the world to tell them of the hope that You gave me”. God answered that prayer, and after Jim’s release from the Army, he began serving the Lord as an Evangelist. In 1963 he was given the opportunity of serving the Lord as a Pastor by Rev Jimmy Morgan – Field Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal Churches. In September 1989, whilst Jim was leading a series of three Gospel Tent Missions under the title “Mission of Hope” – Pastor Girado Olukol and two other men from Uganda visited the Mission in Ash Vale, near Aldershot in Hampshire, and shared briefly in the meeting.
The next morning was a Sunday and during the service, Pastor Girado (Middle man in the photo) was invited to speak. He looked at Jim and said, “Pastor Jimmy, come to Uganda and help us, we need you, please come, you will be most welcome”. Immediately into Jim’s mind flashed scenes of the night he was born again and the Lord seemed to be reminding him of the promise he had made in his prayer on Friday 10th April 1959, when he told the Lord that he would heal his broken heart and dry his tears and give him hope, then he would go to the nations of the world to tell them of the hope that God had given him. Jim responded to the Pastor’s invitation by forming a Team of five people, which included Jim’s wife and daughter. They spent five weeks in Uganda, leading various outreach meetings, missions and speaking at Pastor’s Seminars under the team name of “Mission of Hope”.
Eventually in 1990, Jim and his wife Ruth responded to the clear call of God and sold most of their possessions in order to raise enough money to be able to return to Uganda for an indefinite period. After about six months, the “Bigger Picture” began to emerge, and after much prayer it was made very clear by the Lord, that Jim & Ruth should pioneer a New Ministry and this was to be called “Uganda Mission of Hope”. The name was inspired not only as a result of Jim’s prayer back in 1959, but by two verses of Scripture, namely Jeremiah chapter 29 and verse 11 and Colossians chapter 1 and verse 27. The new Mission was registered with the Uganda Government, and God enabled Jim & Ruth to see the work grow to over 100 Churches. To God be all the Glory. God also enabled them to pioneer “SOMAT”, which means – School Of Ministry And Theology, this enabled many Pastors to be trained for the work of Church Ministry.
With the help of volunteers Gerry and Yula Matthews from Tasmania, a Health Clinic was built and launched in a remote village in Soroti. Sponsors and Donors helped Jim & Ruth to supply many new bicycles and Bibles to Pastors, also building materials and help with buying plots of land to erect new Church buildings.
In 1995, it was decided to affiliate a major part of the Mission Operations, to the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance in the UK. A Ugandan National Chairman was appointed and Jim’s responsibilities as Mission Director and Training Centre Principal were transferred to the National Executive Council in March 1996, when Jim & Ruth returned to the UK. Since returning to the UK, Jim & Ruth have revisited Uganda for two to three weeks on a number of occasions and during their visits, they have preached and taught at both National and Regional Conferences.
Jim & Ruth Patterson by Lake Victoria in Uganda 2002