Watchmen International |Africa | Discipleship | Bible teaching

Watchmen International began in 1994, around the time of the Rwandan genocide when many refugees were flooding across the Ugandan border desperately trying to escape the atrocities taking place in their own country.

The founders, Hugh and Juliet Shelbourne, were then living in Uganda, working with indigenous local churches. Hugh was deeply troubled as he realised that many of the people implicated and even actively involved in the Rwandan genocide were professing to be born-again and spirit-filled believers who, stirred by tribal hatred, were killing and maiming their brothers and sisters in Christ.

In the midst of these turbulent times, Hugh came to understand in a new light that what the Bible calls ‘sanctification’ is a necessary process of radical heart change, following an initial commitment to Jesus Christ. This radical heart change is required in us all and must always lead to a truly transformed life and lifestyle. The raw tribal outbursts of anger, hatred, jealousy, unforgiveness, bitterness and murder, evidenced in Rwanda and many other situations across the world, were manifestations of what the Bible calls iniquity, part of the old fallen human nature and should no longer be a part of the life and lifestyle of a disciple of Jesus Christ.

This spiritual revelation became the foundation stone of the Watchmen message and ministry in Africa . Over a period of time and through teaching this message of transformed hearts leading to transformed lives, Hugh began to see a real change in the marriages, family life and ministries of many Christian leaders. This led to the founding of the first Watchmen team in Uganda, made up of pastors and leaders (with their wives) from different church denominations, who travelled the country teaching and testifying to this message of personal spiritual transformation.

Today, Watchmen International has expanded into several nations – Kenya, Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zambia and Malawi – with each nation having its own indigenous inter-denominational National leadership team responsible for the expansion of the work in their own nation.

As the ministry developed, Nursery education was added to the work – our first Christian Model nursery school was opened in 1997 in Kilembe, Western Uganda. Schools are now established in six of the nations we are working in. These schools give an opportunity to impact whole communities with the message of change as well as providing education and improving health for many hundreds of young children.

In 2006, a clean water project – LifeWater – was added to the overall ministry of Watchmen International in East Africa, providing clean and safe drinking water to many families, schools and local communities.

In 2007, the Africa Youth Award was launched, a two-year discipleship and personal development programme for young people – introducing them to this same message of personal spiritual transformation.

In 2012, the ‘Spiritual Transformation’ training programme for pastors and leaders was launched, drawing together Pastors and leaders from across the nations in which Watchmen International is working for a 10 day training programme, with the aim of equipping them to be effective trainers of trainers in their own nations able to reproduce the training programme in their own churches and areas.