FCP 28 | Tyler Workman, Okoa Refuge

June 21, 2023


    Okoa Refuge has Bible Schools, Discovery Bible Studies, and church plants that exist to equip indigenous men and women to effectively preach the Gospel, to continually make disciples who go on to transform entire communities, and to steward and multiply healthy churches in order to see all of East, Central and North Africa reached for Christ.

    Their church planting starts with students attending Bible school. From the Bible school, potential missionaries identify themselves. After completing Bible School and missionary training, they begin praying and asking the Lord to show us which unchurched area he/she should be sent to. After being sent, they begin praying for a person of peace. When the Lord identifies that person, the missionary begins to disciple him/her and the family. That discipleship time turns into a Bible study. The Bible study grows into a home church and as the people multiply, leaders are raised up. At that time, a church is planted. This is also when a Bible School is launched.

    During the Bible School, more people are trained to go and make disciples. More Discovery Bible Study groups are started, continuing the process. This, in turn, results in more disciple makers and missionaries to be sent to unchurched areas. They now have indigenous missionaries in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, DR Congo, Zanzibar and Chad. They are also in the process of translating Bible School and missionary training curriculum into multiple languages of unreached people groups.

    Listen to Episode 29 of the podcast and access the show notes below.

    Future Church Insights:

    1. The non-negotiables that drive them. 

    Their core values center around breaking negative cycles, reaching the unreached, sacrificial service, and glorifying God in everything. The Gospel drives it all and is the vehicle of everything that they do while all these ministries that they do more so function as the exhaust of that vehicle. It’s the outcome of transforming people and their communities.

    2. Key lessons learned along the way. 

    As a young leader who moved to Uganda at 24 years old, his experience as a leader was next to none. One of the hardest and most painful lessons to learn was how to empower and the trust his team. Once the mission started to grow and be successful, it was difficult to let go of that level of control and wanting to have his hand on everything. Of course, this eventually led to burnout and unhealthy relationships within his marriage and family. Learning to delegate and trust his team was key to watching the organization flourish.

    3. The biggest challenge they are facing right now. 

    A roadblock that they are running into is having a culture and mindset shift within the East African Church to not being one that receives missionaries, but sends them. Another challenge is working with the Ugandan Police Force to create a memorandum of understand to be able to bring in human trafficking training for them. Not just for the force, but also for the entire region.

    Goals and Desired Outcomes of WI+H Movement:

    • 130 schools by end of 2024 with 2,600 students graduating every 2 years
    • 2,000 DBS groups across East/Central/North Africa in next 3 years
    • 1,500 churches planted in same time period
    • Assess 500 of those churches and hold over 50 regional trainings
    • Indigenous Missionaries sent to Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria



    Key Quotes from the episode from Tyler Workman:

    “When you change the life of a child, you affect one person. When you change an entire community, you affect entire families and hundreds of lives.” – Tyler Workman

    “Just teach them to obey all that the Lord commanded them and let the Holy Spirit move in the Gospel move as fast as possible.” – Tyler Workman

    “We exist to glorify Christ through stabilizing the family unit and transforming entire communities.” – Tyler Workman

    “Okoa’s childcare program is aimed at raising up the next generation of Ugandan children in such a way that they understand their incredible value and are equipped to go out and change the world.” – Tyler Workman

    “Through Bible study, prayer and vocational training, we want to rescue women from the sex trade in Masaka. These women are loved, educated, discipled, and prayed for as they find their way to freedom.” – Tyler Workman

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